Spoilers… you’ve been warned!
I am a hardcore comic fan. And despite the destruction that descended on Metropolis in Man of Steal, I generally enjoyed the reimagining of Superman. I was looking forward to a sequel where Clark could settle into his new hero role and show us some wonderful, inspiring deeds that make us really look up to that big red emblem.
Then they revealed the next movie would be Batman v Superman. I must say, my hopes plummeted. And with each new teaser and trailer they continued to descend: I realized there was no way this movie would be good.
So was I right????
Well… (deep breath)
The problem is the set up. Batman versus Superman is an endgame storyline. It’s taken from Frank Miller’s the Dark Knight Returns, where Superman has become the USA’s WMD, sold out to the government as its top axe-man. Retired Batman sets out to make the point that Clark has gone too far. He makes suit, gets the kryptonite, and sets an elaborate plan in action to take Superman down, and make a point.
Back to the movie… Also in BvS they decide to introduce Lex Luthor, a perfect nemesis to Superman, and powerful enough to be his own villain, in a stand-alone movie.
Also they introduce Wonder Woman, a powerful, iconic heroine of the DC universe who is (rightfully) getting her own movie, needs no crap cameo introduction, and is clearly a tag on to a movie call Batman v Superman. Not Batman v Superman with Wonder Woman… see what I’m sayin?
Also, they let slip that they were bringing in Doomsday: another end game plot line from the massive 90’s comic series the Death of Superman, leading to the Reign of the Supermen upheaval, as the DC universe grapples with the vacuum of a world without its flagship hero, culminating in his triumphant, historic return.
Also! They want to introduce the Justice League.
So now what are we up too now? The world’s biggest blockbuster of the year:
Batman v Superman with Wonder Woman in Batman Returns: the Dawn of the Justice League and the Death of Superman!!!!
What could possibly go wrong?
It’s not like they’ve ever tried to do too much in one movie before. Saaaay, Green Lantern? Fighting Hector Hammond, AND Sinestro, AND introducing the entire Green Lantern Corps, AND Green Lantern’s end game villain Parrallax who irreversibly alters the DC universe forever. And as we all know that movie was so good (sarcasm)that now Warner Bros and DC can’t even touch Green Lantern for fear of eternal destruction at the box office.
I lowered my expectations as much as physically possible to expect this: a movie with lots of potential, and rushed storylines and character introductions for some cheap cinematic thrills.
So my review is this: I was actually surprised that they did a decent job. I thought that they wove Wonder Woman into the story in a tasteful way. I was glad that the Justice League cameos were all clumped together in an obviously tacked-on scene that we didn’t want, and didn’t need, and then it was over so we could get on with the movie. Loved Jeremy Irons. And I liked that they connected Lex to Doomsday by making him Doomsday’s creator to stop Superman. Better than Green Lantern.
I didn’t like all the story and character changes, (Lex being more like the Joker than a cunning businessman, and Batman being completely short sighted in his psychic premonitions of the future, e.g.) but I don’t have too, because I’m not making the movie, Zach Snyder is. I did like the development of Lois Lane. I felt the only heroes I saw were Lois and Wonder Woman, and the boys were just mucking around being selfish and prejudiced. So I felt I left the theatre NOT inspired by the big red S. Because he didn’t do anything particularly heroic until the end. That’s sad, for me. I like Superman, and I want to be inspired by his example. Instead I felt a bit too cynical, dark, and “gritty” and had to take a shower when I got home to wash the dust off.
For having so much to do, such a large mouthful to bite off, I thought they did a pretty good job of bringing it all together. But I did turn to Hawkgirl, my wife, about 30 minutes into the movie (up to which point they’d really only covered the fact that Batman didn’t trust Superman, and was laying plans to deal with him) and say, “See, this is a complete movie by itself.” To which she nodded. So if you’re planning on seeing it still, be prepared to see about 5 movies in one.
Would I recommend BvS? My answer is: if you’re a fan, of course you need to see it. But if you’re not… it’s not the Movie of the Year. You could happily catch it on Netflix, and be just as well off for being able to pause and take a pee break halfway through.
Also, prepare for the longest, most obvious flashback scene ever: his mother’s name is “Martha.” Okay, we get it!!!!!!!
All in all, I can only give Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice a 6 on the Nogrometer. Because I’m a fan.