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4. Lois Lane is the worst thing to ever be in a movie ever
As annoying as Lex Luthor “Jr.” was in this movie, I thought Lois Lane was SO much worse. I wasn’t the hugest fan of Amy Adams as Lois Lane in Man of Steel, but she grew on me after repeat viewings. And as far as performances go, Adams is fine in this movie, it’s just… My GOD is she fucking annoying in this movie. FUCK.
Lois Lane’s only purpose in this movie is to go out of her way to have to be saved by Superman. That’s it. Oh, sure, she has her plot thread throughout the movie, but if you’re telling me that you were invested in that at all, you’re fucking lying.
I think my favourite Lois Lane moment was when she threw the kryptonite spear in a pool of water and later dove back into said pool of water to retrieve said kryptonite spear, nearly killing herself and Superman in the process. Stupid, codependent and pathetic. Yes, that’s CLASSIC Lois Lane.
5. Batman is the only one with any goddamned motivation
It’s like I said before: Batman’s motivation for disliking Superman is at least well-established. You could understand why somebody who’s experienced what he’s experienced would be skeptical of somebody with the power of a literal god flying around unchecked. Especially when that somebody is Zack Snyder’s Superman.
However, that’s where the logic behind character motivations kind of takes a joke off of a cliff. Batman’s actual reasoning for questioning Superman’s authority is faulty, because what the fuck is he doing that Batman isn’t already doing (super powers notwithstanding)? And why does Superman have a problem with Batman’s methods? Does he really have a problem with the violation of civil liberties and the murder of criminals? Yeah, whatever. Tell that to the warlord he smashed through a cement wall at the speed of light. Or the civilians that he didn’t save from the CIA hit squad, or whatever the fuck was going on there. What an essential plot thread that was, eh?
Setting aside the fact that Wonder Woman, despite being one of the best part of the entire movie, kind of came out of nowhere and has little to no reason to exist in this movie other than to set up the Justice League movies, Lex Luthor’s motivations are perhaps the most nonsensical. He wants to see Superman taken down because… Why, exactly? Because Daddy Issues? Come on. My dad locked me up in a closet and doused it with gasoline while screaming that I was an “envoy of Beelzebub”, but you don’t see me trying to kill God because of it.
… Well, that was strange.
Hey, who’s up for an easy target?!
6. Doomsday? More like DUMBSDAY!!!
Doomsday is one of those comic villains who didn’t have a particularly long stretch of relevance in the comics, but the fact that he was the one who managed to kill Superman forever immortalized him among the pantheon of Superman villains, alongside Luthor, Bizarro, Braniac, Metallo, and Frank Miller. Taking into account the fact that people have wanted to adapt the iconic Death of Superman story for ages, it was pretty likely that we were going to see Doomsday at some point. However, when it was revealed in that shit-tastic second trailer that Doomsday would be appearing in BvS as a combination of Zod and Luthor’s genetics (no, not like that), the internet promptly evolved into the fusion of rage and righteous indignation that it so often becomes. This reaction was justified when the movie actually came out and both Doomsday and the whole “Death of Superman” aspect were revealed to be kind of shitty. The two main reasons for this were: A) Doomsday looks like “Generic Movie Monster 200056” instead of the weird, freakish, somewhat original design from the comics, and it didn’t help that his CGI was kinda shitty.
And B) the use of the Death of Superman elements in only the second damn movie of the series kind of makes the Justice League movies that much more predictable. Instead of uniting against the formidable threat of, oh, I don’t know, fucking Doomsday, we’re just going to be waiting around for Superman’s inevitable return. Because there is no way in fucking hell that they’re letting Superman stay dead. Even if they hadn’t shown the dirt levitating off of his coffin, I could’ve told you that. If they had kept the main conflict of the story as an ideological conflict between Batman and Superman, and done away with the idiotic Lex/Doomsday bullshit, this would’ve ended a hell of a lot better.
7. Using “Darker and Grittier” as a selling point may hurt DC
One the big aspects of the DC movie universe that the higher-ups at Warner Bros. really wanted to push was that these movies were going to be darker than the Marvel fare. I seem to recall somebody boldly declaring that DC was making “superhero movies for adults”. As if making a movie “adult” automatically makes it better. By that logic, Wicked Pictures’ Batman v Superman XXX would probably be among the IMDB 250.
Don’t get me wrong: It’s possible to give a comic book movie a darker tone and still be good. Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the Dark Knight trilogy, and several of the X-Men movies could all be considered examples of how to correctly do darker superhero movies. The problem of going darker and grittier comes when applied to something that doesn’t necessarily warrant it, solely for the sake of appearing more grown-up, therefore coming across less so like a mature work of art, and more so like the overly angsty teenager you went to school with who wrote morbid poetry in the margins of his geometry homework because he heard that the girl he had a crush on thought that My Chemical Romance got better after they ditched the goth look.
And yeah, making Batman movies darker is kind of obvious, but when it comes to Superman… Well… We kind of already HAD a darker, angstier Superman in Man of Steel, and while I liked it, a lot of people felt like it was too dark for a character like Superman, who is not exactly typically known as being a grimdark character.
And I never thought I would hear myself say this… But shit, shouldn’t these movies be at least watchable for kids? I mean, whether we like to admit it or not, the superhero genre is wish fulfillment for idealistic kids. There’s definitely nothing wrong with that, but that’s also something to keep in mind when making a movie that is relentlessly grim and incredibly talk-y, and expecting the public to eat it up.
“But Kenny, why do we need to cater to kids? Deadpool didn’t do that, and it was great!!!”
Right, but Deadpool has never been a character for kids. Batman and Superman have never NOT been marketed towards children, even when the movies skew darker.
“Ugh. Why do you have to be such a fucking moral guardian? You just like to watch Marvel movies with the other three-year olds!”
Oh, go fuck yourself, Strawman! It’s not that kids can’t watch darker movies, I’m just saying that it helps the movie’s case if it stands out in their mind as something that doesn’t fucking traumatize them! Shit, I see kids dressed as Heath Ledger’s Joker every Halloween, but Dark Knight is sure as hell not a stereotypical “kids movie”. It is, however, a movie that kids can appreciate for the cool action and thrills, while adults can appreciate the performances and masterful direction and storytelling. I guarantee that most kids who watch Batman v Superman are either gonna be bored shitless because of the sheer amount of fucking talking (there are very few action scenes at all, now that I think about it), or goddamned terrified by the fact that oh my god, Batman’s a good guy and he just fucking broke that guy’s neck! What the hell!!!
That last point actually leads me into my last point…
8. Zack Snyder doesn’t understand these characters
When Man of Steel came out, I defended that movie from a lot of criticism. I thought that it was a cool take on Superman early in his career, before his eventual character development would lead to him acting like, y’know, Superman. I expected Batman v Superman to touch on this. It didn’t. Then I came to this unfortunate realization: Zack Snyder doesn’t understand Superman. He doesn’t. Snyder seems to be one of those people that thinks that the mainstream Superman is a pussy and Batman is badass because Batman totally beats Superman’s ass in the fascist power fantasy that is The Dark Knight Returns. Superman is still a violent, angsty asshole, and Batman is fucking killing people too, for some reason.
I hate to cast judgment on the guy, because I have no reason to think he’s not a legitimate comic fan, and far be it from me to harshly judge other people’s tastes, but that doesn’t mean that he really gets the essence of the character. Superman can’t be a kind man struggling to find his place in the world who just wants to do good (an alien representing the best of humanity, as opposed to Lex Luthor, a human who represents the worst of humanity). In his mind, Superman is boring unless he’s dark, conflicted and essentially Batman (something that All-Star Superman completely debunks, by the way). And Batman needs to be blowing up and stabbing criminals, because why prove your superior intellect and moral superiority by being the bigger person when you could take the easy route send the scumbag motherfucker to his maker? THAT’s what Batman’s always been about, dammit!
Shit, he can’t even do fanservice right. When tasked with either stuffing Jimmy Olsen into an already crowded movie or simply not using him, he decides to come to the compromise of having the character shot in the goddamned head in the first fifteen minutes of the movie.
So, yeah. To summarize, I’m not saying that Batman v. Superman is a terrible movie. Hell, I’d even suggest that everybody should watch it, if only to form their own opinions. With that said, even though it’s not terrible, it’s certainly not good, and I would say that the number of flaws it suffers greatly exceeds the amount of plusses, as awesome as the positives are. If I had to grade it, I would probably give it a C, with the caveat that I get to re-grade it after I see the R-Rated (fuuuuuck that) extended cut that’s coming to Blu-Ray. I doubt it’ll be much better, but we’ll see.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to find my copy of All-Star Superman and scribble drawings of buildings blowing up in every other panel. Because then it won’t be boring as shit, according to Zack Snyder.