In (sort of defense) of Batman v Superman
Well, I’ve been pretty vocal that I really hated Man of Steel, so it should be surprising (or maybe not) that I generally liked Batman V Superman. I can’t say the movie was awesome, or cool, but parts of it were very enjoyable for the most part, I think it’s because, even if the filmmakers didn’t quite deliver most of the time, at least their intentions were pretty clear.
So, getting the obvious stuff out of the way… Lex Luthor pretty much sucks. As some people say, it’s like they were trying to make him some sort of “Joker,” but they completely missed what made him interesting (btw I’m pretty sure that in TDK, Joker was also part of the league of shadows because there are a few things that give that away… but that’s for another blog post).
Doomsday also sucks. I think Doomsday was a missed opportunity. I know that some filmmakers think that ending the movie in a cliffhanger is a bad idea, but I think it would have been really interesting if the movie had ended in the middle of the battle. Doomsday is supposedly a pretty strong character, but they finish him off in like 10 minutes.
Enough of the Super Man Jesus imagery. They use it so much it ends up being ridiculous.
Oh, and Jimmy Olsen dies.
I have to say I “somewhat” got why the two heroes were fighting, or rather, why Batman wanted to kill Superman (Superman pretty much fights because he has no choice… and that sucks…). The subject could have been explored more, but at least you really get this idea that Batman thinks Superman can be dangerous.
And if you think about it, it’s interesting how Superman goes to Batman to ask for help, but as soon as Batman starts attacking, Superman pretty much forgets why he got there and decides to attack as well (albeit not using his full force). It’s interesting because he supposedly wanted Batman to help him, but it doesn’t take him long to say “fuck it!” and throw a few punches himself.
This reminds me of how some people think that the Knightmare is pretty much a setup for Injustice, where Superman goes psycho and starts killing everybody because Louise was killed, and also reminds me that, in Man of Steel, Kal completely destroys some dude’s truck just because he poured beer on him.
So maybe Superman isn’t so “super” after all, to the point to let his “primal emotions” (or whatever you want to call them) interfere to the point he just goes into “fuck it” mode and do things a “super” wouldn’t normally do.
And maybe that could explain why he didn’t give a crap about destroying two and a half cities in Man of Steel…
There’s this part about the bomb that some people didn’t like. I think it was one of the best parts of the movie, because it helps us see that Superman “may not be that super after all.”
The bomb goes off, and then you see the face of a man that is pretty much thinking “I completely failed.” But here’s the thing, in the next scene with Louise he admits he “didn’t see the bomb because he wasn’t looking” (or something like that). This made me think about two things. First, the most obvious answer was that the wheelchair was made of lead (and people who watched the ultimate cut confirm that), but second, it reminded me of that scene in the 1978 Superman movie when Clark’s dad dies, and how he thinks he’s pretty much useless because, regardless of what he can do, he was unable to save his dad.
I don’t know if this is the idea Snyder was going after, but that’s the one I got, and that’s the reason why I think it’s one of the best scenes in the movie. When he says that he didn’t see the bomb, implying that he was distracted (or that maybe he couldn’t physically “see” the bomb because it was un a box made of lead), like thinking that his powers and all his strength were useless in that particular scenario (just like they were useless when his dad died in the 1978 movie).
Also, Wonder Woman was amazing. I still think Gal Gadot is too skinny for the role, but it was amazing to see her performance as WW when she was fighting Doomsday, and how she would show this smirk every time the monster punched her on the face, like she was going full Spartan (“a beautiful death”).
I have mixed feelings about Batman killing because I know Batman “doesn’t kill” no matter what, but the film constantly sets this idea that Batman might be somewhat mental, or that he’s “just tired of all this shit” so I don’t find it very difficult to believe this Batman could actually be a killer. I know Alfred says that “this is how it all starts” and how “good men turn cruel,” but what if Batman has already turned cruel, but Alfred just doesn’t want to accept it? I mean, after all, Alfred there is talking like Batman is some sort of paladin, not this cold blooded killing machine.
It would be very useful to know where this Batman comes from, so we get why he’s become this kind of Batman, but I don’t know if that will happen.
I just wanted to share these thoughts. That doesn’t mean I want to change people’s mind, but maybe you can see things under a different perspective. The biggest problem here is that, to deal with many of the things in this movie, you must “unlearn what you’ve learned” about these characters (for example, the part about Superman being mental), and that’s something that can be really problematic, because these movies are, after all, based on pre-existing characters and the source material should be respected, one way or another.
And that’s it. I promise I will write about why I think Joker in TDK was in fact a member of the league of shadows in a future post.