Batman vs. Superman Can Suck It [Review]

“Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice” doesn’t suck, but being in a theater where people stood up and flipped off the imax screen in front of me really spoke volumes. I cannot guarantee a “spoiler free” review of BvS, so if you’re not willing to have things ruined for you, considered yourself warned or proceed with caution. It is your own damn fault if you scroll to the bottom to see the x/10 I gave without acknowledging I told you that I’m going to spoil this film.

THERE BE ->SPOILERS<- BELOW

Let’s get one thing straight. BvS isn’t necessarily a terrible film. In fact, I do feel that most resident critics in the world of Rotten Tomatoes love to bash big Hollywood blockbusters “just because.”

That’s not what I intend to do. I don’t want to drop trou and smear fecal matter across the silver screen, because the movie wasn’t offensive, it was just – I don’t know – boring? That’s what happens when a movie takes itself too seriously.

lose the sense of humor

I was able to see BvS free days ago, because a friend of mine had access to unique tickets that granted us an early screening. No, it wasn’t part of the giveaway that some people took advantage of last week via the Warner Brothers website, but some of those people were there too.

So you have to understand, because I didn’t have to “pay” for a ticket, my reservations were a tad lighter than those on the internet that either love to rail into movies or were emotionally attached by spending hard-earned coin on a movie that didn’t and couldn’t deliver on all fronts.

How could director Snyder deliver on something he barely understands? We are talking about a filmmaker who recently admitted he received some of his information from a YouTube video regarding comic book heroes.

Can you believe Batman kills without reason in this movie? I can, because the wrong people were guiding the sinking ship.

For those unfamiliar, Snyder admitted that Batman kills in BvS due to unintended collateral damages. I did him a favor by making that sound a little more coherent. Whether or not Batman lovers want to admit, Batman has killed before.

batman killer

In original comics, he was more like his alternate universe father, who essentially extinguishes any criminal that stands in his way. Of course, educated comic book writers realized by desensitizing audiences to murder could form unpalatable characters. Furthermore, when all else fails and Batman needs to take the breath of another, the point falls flat, since you know, he already did it hundreds of thousands of times.

Turning The Batman into The Punisher doesn’t make sense, because he isn’t Frank Castle. Batman has too many complex and ingenious layers throughout himself to permit radically unprecedented behaviors.

Batman in BvS is technically a new Batman, one most audiences don’t understand, and are now unwilling to understand, based off of the Twitter-sphere and social media elite, enraged by preposterous notions that Batman has fundamentally changed with zero reason to.

scream nerd

When the credits rolled, I turned to my friend, who invited me out of generosity, and I politely and seriously posited that “The Bat” we saw on screen wasn’t Bruce Wayne or Batman at all. I considered him a weird “life model decoy.” I know everyone, wrong property.

To contradict myself, can we applaud Sad Ben Affleck as Batman?

Running into destruction, acting as a detective, and fighting like a ninja. It’s everything we daydreamed about since our formative years. Those who wanted to see Kevin Conroy suited up in live action don’t need to think anymore, because Ben – and the rest of the cast – completely owned it. Unfortunately, the script itself is self-absorbed and drawn out.

Reason being?

Snyder couldn’t pick one story.

He claims that the movie that just released today is fueled by, but not necessarily based off of, The Dark Knight Returns, a book considered canonical in the multiverse. Without spoiling too much of that fantastic book, characters die, Joker included, and there is a beautiful introduction to a witty female Robin.

The book itself (and the adapted animation) introduce powerful ideas, like, what happens when Batman and Joker aren’t around, what is good, who is evil, and other fun stuff, such as, should Batman crush his opponents hearts if they reek too much havoc on Earth’s cities?

Barely any of that was in BvS. There’s no sign of Joker, Batman is too young, Superman is younger, Lex is younger than everyone, they forgot about Robin and… Okay. I sound like a purist, but you have to understand that it’s warranted. Snyder claimed one thing, showed another, and delivered something entirely incongruous.

The movie is way long, much like this once review, now wince inducing rant. Shave off an hour and there might be a solid hour and a half long film. The first hour, which drags, is lethargic build up. Traditionally speaking, that should be done in Act 1, Sequence 1, about fifteen minutes into a film. Rules are often broken, but Snyder understands cinematic structure as much as he alleges to understand source material.

There are too many inconsistencies in this film to give it a pass. I don’t want to spend one hundred decades detailing them, but one that stands out the most is when Superman can’t move due to kryptonite breaking him down, and then moments later being able to wield a kryptonite weapon to vanquish a villain that should have never been in the movie to begin with. Wonder Woman and Batman were perfectly capable of tossing this creature in the garbage.

Logistically speaking, Superman could have handed the weapon to one of his comrades and had a nice shawarma dinner thereafter. If we’re already going to veer away from source material, why stop there?

doomsday

I know Snyder is oblivious to the source having used Doomsday in this super hero dance party.

Doomsday almost destroyed DC Comics and caused mass exodus of their fans in the 90s. Some claim to have completely abandoned reading books since. That’s what happens when Superman is pit against an uglier Superman, aka, another “god-like” character. One character has to die, because that’s the only logical step moving on. I can’t explain why Snyder decided to use Doomsday and alter his background, but it doesn’t matter, since the character lacks motive in any iteration.

Doomsday is a walking atomic bomb with a primitive mind. That doesn’t make for good anything.

He looked great though. I never thought Doomsday would look realistic. I never thought Doomsday would be in a live action super hero drama either. I’m not sure what compels Snyder to do the things he does, but it is time for him to hand in his nerd license and grant someone else the wheel.

I don’t hate Snyder, but it’s clear that he needs help. He doesn’t know what makes characters tick and obviously doesn’t ask enough questions. If he did, we’d view a more exciting film with characters that actually did things. BvS is nothing more than a super hero cage match.

cage

Wonder Woman happens to luckily appear at a gala where Bruce and Clark Kent are in attendance. We know that Lex Luthor knows their identities, because he somehow utilizes the omnipresent ability to capture and steal video from everyone on the entire planet and has time to watch each one. That doesn’t cut the cheese, and no one should let that stand.

It’s another throwaway segment that puts stop to any suspension of disbelief moviegoers might have had while watching. Luthor is a genius, not a human computer.

How about the introduction of the league? As a fan, I adored it. As a moviegoer, I was appalled. The pandering was insulting. It came off like a childish fan film that collected a few thousand big ones in Kickstarter grants. It could be cool to see the Justice League one day, but to spend a few minutes with Wonder Woman clicking around on a computer showing that Lex already beat her to the punch is infuriatingly lazy.

What was the point, aside from Snyder and WB are telegraphing what they’d “like to do” one day?  There isn’t one.

Give us here and now . That’s why we’re watching the movie in question, in the present. Leave the franchising for the post-credit stingers. Worrying too much about tomorrow creates a film unworthy of watching today. It will end up always playing catch up with itself.

By the way, don’t stay until the end of the credits, unless you want to pay respects to everyone involved in making the film.

Snyder – stop assuming we know everything going on in your head . You have to show us what’s going on with inertia. Don’t rely on exposition, because if you did reveal spouts of information through that mechanic, it resulted in a flat line. I don’t need to tell you that though, right? You got all of your information from YouTube.

ben

Watching our favorite heroes pit against for a few minutes was fun, but it leaves an empty feeling inside. Is the movie we saw in theaters unfinished? We are aware another half hour is on to the disc version, but even then, I doubt it’ll supply enough meaty footage that patches up narrative.

Does Snyder succeed at all?

therocknods

He does. Whether by happy accident or calculated intention, Snyder directed a movie for audiences that enjoy the cocoon effect during a weekend release. I’ve never seen an audience completely split during an on-screen presentation, cheering for favorite moments against the rallied hollering of rival theater goers. Snyder’s athletic background informed his divisive story telling technique and assisted in constructing a sport-like outing for patrons.

That as it was, I doubt the gimmick will last long. Eventually we’ll all have seen the movie, and the effect will drift. Most fans of sports don’t want to rewatch a grudge match, because they know every moment, play-by-play. Cinema and sports are totally different mediums within a visual medium, and I can’t sit, type, and defend an experiment that only half works.

typingaway

This is the nail in the coffin for Snyder. I don’t think he’s a great professional filmmaker. I don’t think he understands narrative. I don’t think he understands any part of the process, from pre-production to the final cut. It’s become obvious as the years progressed that he prefers style over substance, and when attempting to deliver substance, it’s narrow-minded and juvenile.

He knows how to get the chicken to cross the road, but he’s unaware on why the chicken wants to cross the road in the first place. He’s more concerned with the chicken’s parents.

5/10

GIFS courtesy of Giphy

FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: Photo by Courtesy of Warner Bros. Picture – © 2015 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., Ratpac-Dune Entertainment LLC and Ratpac Entertainment, LLC via IMDB