Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice SPOILER Discussion Thread

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a divisive movie. Just as divisive or perhaps even more so than the previous installment in this new franchise, Man of Steel. So when I sat down to write a review, I found myself torn between like and dislike, and what came out was not really my opinion. I loved parts of this movie, I strongly disliked others. It was both epic and underwhelming, it had some of the coolest moments in superhero cinematic history, and yet there were some truly awful choices made by the writers and director.

So, instead of trying to cobble together my thoughts in some form of coherent rant, I'm going to step aside and start a discussion about it. A forum for anyone who has seen this movie. Did you think it was a train wreck or a masterpiece, or something in between? Either way, please comment below.

Oh, and the gloves are off now, so feel free to SPOIL away.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I saw this movie opening night in 3D. I had very low expectations for it. I thought that, while all the actors would give good/great performances, they would be let down by the pacing/plot/writing/directing/everything else. I was mostly right.

There were flashes of brilliance. Every scene between Lex and the female Senator (blanking on her name) was very well done. The scene on Capital Hill during the Senate hearing was phenomenal. The chemistry between Bruce and Alfred, Lois and Clark, and Bruce and Diana was there. (Not so much between Bruce and Clark, which was disappointing.) There were some frankly stunning cinematography. Everything to do with Wonder Woman was great. That weird fever dream/warning from the Flash? So, so cool. I really, really hope that that means that they're going to adapt the Injustice story line. That would be awesome!

What really let down this movie was its characterization. Now, there's an argument to be made about how closely the characters should resemble their comic book counterparts. And while I don't expect perfectly matching characterization, some things just don't translate or need to be updated, I expect the characters to be recognizable. Lex Luthor was simply not Lex Luthor. Jesse did a great job with him, but Lex is not a twitchy, socially awkward psychopath. He's just not. Affleck did a great job as Batman, but his Batman ignored some of the fundamental things that makes Batman Batman. His one rule is that he does not kill. I don't have so much a problem of him wanting to kill Superman as I do him rather flippantly killing a bunch of henchmen with guns and explosions. Since Batman now kills, that opens up problems with Suicide Squad, which is in the same movie universe. If Batman now kills, then why is the Joker still alive after he killed Robin? There's no reason why Joker should still be alive. And I'm ignoring how Batman is going to bring the Justice League together when he's the one person who always refused to join/only joined provisionally. Maybe I'm being nitpicky or unreasonable, but these things broke the immersion. It just felt wrong.

Still, the movie was enjoyable, and I expect that people less versed in/care less about the comics would not have a problem with a lot of what I took issue with. IT's just frustrating. This could have been a really, really great movie.

~Mel

Brett said...

Basically I'm just waiting for the Director's Cut to really judge the movie. Most of my problems come from pacing issues and editing issues. I'm interested to see how different the Director's Cut is (there's supposed to be 30 more minutes!). I don't mind long or slow movies, as long as the payoff is worth it, and in this movie it definitely was, for me anyway.

Juliette said...

It was entertaining enough and I loved Wonder Woman, but it left me a bit cold. Partly because I didn't believe the ending for a second (they released it Easter weekend for crying out loud...)

Juan Alberto Roche Rodríguez said...

I personally liked it. It wasn't the Godfather of Superheroes movies, but I don't think it was as bad as everyone in the media claim it to be. Meaby the hype was to much (I know I was exited, I bougth tikets like 3 month ahead for the premier, something that I have done only for Harry Potters movies, so for me was something of a big deal somehow...) or maybe everyone expected an Avenger tipe of movie with lot of colourful superheroes and jokes and full of action scenes and with less introspective dialogs and examinations of moral dilemmas. (I am not saying there was no action, but you have to wait for it like half the movie for it.)

I know it wasn't perfect but some part were amazing! I like that they went for a more serious and realistic aproach unlike the Marvel movies, and they tried to pose some serious filosofical question about the nature of heroism in today world and what would be the real repercutions if people with god like powers appeared today and were flying around with not control or jurisdiction and answering to no one, even if they were doing some good. Or how would we react to have some vigilant taking the law in his hand, beating people around, killig or branding them with fire all in the name of justice. Could we really trust people like that? Shouldn't we fear them? How could we know if they will not turn against society at any moment or against each other? Like Lex said in the movie, power can't be inocent. And this were people with a lot of power! And as we discover along the movie, they were subjeted to the same pasions, dilemmas, and emotional weakness like every human is. Batman was really anger at the world and at himself, and directed it to Superman. Superman who has all this power, was insecure about what to do with it and how take responsability for it. And looked for confort from all that in his love for Lois. The movie even hinted what could happen is she died. Would he have any reason for save humanity if his hope were taken away from him?
Those are fascinating question. Maybe one of the reason the movie fail in this regard is that is very good in making those question but not very good in answering them. To give a real reason why this Superheroes are necesary to the world. But at least it tries. And I think that the movie deserve some praise for that.

Juan Alberto Roche Rodríguez said...

The biggest problem, for me at least, is in the confrontation of our heroes. The hold reason of the movie. It laked momentum I guess. I mean the figth was amazing, everthing I would have expected for a figth between Superman and Batman. In that there was no possible way that Batman could have defeat Superman, and somehow we all know that with his intellect, cunning and will force he have a chance more than anyone else could. The secuence was brutal and Batman almost did it. Yet their confrontation has no construction, they didn't lead it very well. It came almost out of nowhere. For example before the figth they met for like 10 seconds and suddenly they were nemesis fighting for their life. It was like they were phisically challenged each other but not filosofically. Superman was under a threat not mad at Batman. And Batman was just anger and fearfull of Superman, but never reached for a dialog with him, he choosed just to kill him or die trying. I would have liked something more, I don't know. Like for example that Superman went rought after the dead of his family and he had to be stopped. Or that he was under the influence of red Kriptonite and was putting people in danger. Or even better that all of that happened but they were also friends before and it was difficult for Batman to take the hard decision of killing his friend. Maybe I was expecting to much for a movie that just started a franchise, the heroes didn't met before after all.

I didn't like Lex that much, or this psichotic version of Lex but he had more depht than many superheroes villains out there. He felt dangerous and crazy enought. The rest of the cast was good too. Specially Ben Affleck who I had no hopes as Batman and yet won me over and Jeremy Irons that did a lot with the little screen time he had. I wanted to know more about this Alfred.

The direction was good too, the photografy of the movie was inpecable and so were the special effects. Snyder knows his thing, but the rest is the same as any other Hollywood superhero movie, with over the top and exagerated actions secuences, some CGI, some explotions and missiles, and a superpowerful and unstoppable enemie that came at of nowhere in the last minutes so our heros would have somrething to figth.
Another problem was that they try to create or hint a much large universe like Marvel does but in so little time, I didn't liked that. It took several movies to Marvel to earn that right. It felt forced here somehow. And what the hell was that dream secuence with Flash and the post apocaliptic future? Was it a dream? They said it was supposed to be Darkseed, but I have to look for it. It wasn't clear in the movie. Weird. Cool, but weird.

Juan Alberto Roche Rodríguez said...

I LOVED Wonder Woman thought. LOVED HER!!! Best Superheroe entrance ever! For a minute she steals the movie. Kudos to Gal Gadot. She was amazing. Fun, badass, sexy, sophisticated as Mrs. Prince and a true warrior in the arena! The feminist in me loved her and what they did to her in her first cinematic debut. Wonder Woman waits for no man, she was lethal, and she obviously have fun fighting like a truht Amazon, you can tell for her smile. I have the hotts for powerful women. I liked for example how she casually talks to them like they have know for ever. She rocked! To be honest for me seeing her was enought for paid the ticket. She looked like Xena and all, that's even more prise for her. I didn't care that they ruined it with the trailer. It was amazing seen her anyway.

Juan Alberto Roche Rodríguez said...

On a final note, I liked the movie. Maybe didn't loved like the Avengers, but definitely loved more that Age of Ultron. They didn't reinvented the wheel, but the seeds are there for something glorious. I hope they keep making more movies in this universe despite the critics or the box office. It was different than Marvel, but I don't think thats a bad thing. In fact I think thats very brave, and thats what Superheores are supposed to be.

Josie Kafka said...

I haven't seen this movie, but looking at that photo up top, I'm wondering if the supervillain stole Wonder Woman's pants. Evil!

sunbunny said...

Finally saw this. Better than Man of Steel, I think, but not great. Loved Wonder Woman, obviously. I only wish there could have been more of her and that I could own everything she wears. Jesse Eisenberg as Luthor...I don't know. On the one hand, I always think of Luthor as being a stone cold megalomaniac and not a "twitchy psychopath." On the other I wanted to punch him repeatedly and burn all of his clothes so he did a good job making me hate him?

Way too many dream sequences. There should be a rule that movies can have exactly ONE flashback or dream sequence MAX.

I actually really liked Affleck's Batman and loved the super chic Batcave. But yeah, his characterization seemed way off to me. I've never read a comic in my life but I grew up watching Batman: The Animated Series and just...no way. No way does Batman sadistically brand criminals for the dual purposes of getting them murdered in prison and inflicting pain. That's not *my* Batman.

One thing that really, REALLY annoyed me was the casting of Thomas and Martha Wayne. I love Jeffrey Dean Morgan and I love Lauren Cohan but he's 49 and she's 34. That's 15 years apart while their markers in the mausoleum showed the characters to only have a four year age difference. And it's not like Papa Winchester has a baby face, he's clearly significantly older than she is.

Besides Wonder Woman, a fully clothed Clark Kent climbing into a bathtub with Lois was the best thing about this movie. So freaking cute.

Billie Doux said...

I get what you're saying about Thomas and Martha Wayne, sunbunny. And of course, I'm sure they did it because Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Lauren Cohan are such recognizable sci-fi/fantasy actors that they'd feel familiar to the audience. I haven't seen the movie yet (I'm debating, since it's gotten such terrible reviews -- maybe on DVD) but I'm sort of tickled by the idea of Maggie and Negan as Batman's parents, although I'm sure Morgan hadn't been cast as Negan yet. Okay, maybe Bela and John Winchester, since they both played continuing characters on Supernatural, too.

Anonymous said...

I think my biggest problem with the movie is that it was supposed to be about Superman and he was the least interesting of the three main characters. I found both Batman and Wonder Woman to be much more engaging than him, especially where the fight scenes were concerned. I'm not an expert in fighting styles or anything, but it Wonder Woman definitely seemed to be the most accomplished where actual fighting skills were concerned, and in my opinion she was the best part of the movie.

I hated the dream sequences. At one point, Bruce Wayne was being lifted off the ground by bats. I started laughing out loud in the theater because of how ridiculous it was. Maybe there is significance that I'm not getting because I haven't read any comics, but each of the dream sequences seemed to just wrench me out of the story and leave me confused about what was going on.

Certain elements like the dream sequences and Lex Luthor might have fit in better too if the movie didn't take itself so seriously. I get it, they're trying to separate themselves from the joke heavy Marvel movies, but you don't need to get rid of the humor all together to be different. Go for a dark sense of humor. You don't need something that makes people laugh out loud, but having one character, just one, that can break the tension every once in a while is usually a good thing. Also, the competing ideologies in the movie just didn't make sense. What was Lex Luthor's motivation? He kept saying he wanted to prove that God was malicious and compared Superman to God. But how does forcing Superman to fight Batman prove anything? If he buys his own bullshit, then shouldn't he wait for Superman to do something bad and then call him out on it? If he doesn't, then why was he doing this? What did he have to gain except the attention of two dangerous men that will try to get him locked behind bars? And of course there was Superman getting angry at Batman for the way he fights crime, even though he causes way less destruction than Superman did in the first film and doesn't kill people. I'm not saying Batman was unambiguous, but Superman's kind of a hypocrite. At the very least, Batman seems to get that Superman doesn't mean harm and only wants a way to fight him if he needs to until the end of the movie when he's emotionally manipulated into believing that Superman is harmful (which is also bullshit, but whatever).

I also really didn't like Lois Lane. Did she even have a purpose in this movie besides constantly getting herself into danger so Superman had to save her? I get one scene of them being "together" while Lois is in the bathtub and Clark Kent is fully clothed (can anyone say power dynamics, jeez) and I'm supposed to care at the end that she's sad about Superman's death? I honestly cared more about what Batman and Wonder Woman thought than I did her. And the engagement ring was so heavy handed, and didn't even make sense. Wouldn't Clark Kent have kept a ring on him if he was planning to propose? Why would he send it to his mom? So that the audience they don't know is watching feels worse about Clark Kent being dead?

And you know what, if this movie had the balls to actually kill off Superman I would give it a little bit more credit. Because that would be a pretty ballsy move. Or even if they just left the audience second guessing for a few years. But they had to have the dirt rise at the end so no one would complain about Superman being dead. It's not as though all superhero movies don't have this problem and Marvel especially seems to rely heavily on the 'they died but not really' phenomenon, but I really wish it would stop so that if a character dies it means something and the consequences that come from it feel real.

So A plus for Wonder Woman, B for Batman (B is for Batman) and probably a C or a D for everything else.