I'm bumping this thread so all spoilers are contained here, and not in the movie thread. WOT approaching.
I finally saw this. I don't really go to theaters, so I rented it via streaming, which turned out to be a blessing. Now, I will say that I went into it having a half dozen people I know telling me it was terrible, but I shrugged it off; I'm a huge Batman/Superman fan, so I honestly figured my fanglasses would cut through it. I mean...I still watch the Bill Bixby Incredible Hulk and George Reeves Superman. Heck, I'd even be tempted to watch Dean Cain's Superman, if it were free.
I was vastly, incalculably, 'supervillain who believes the good guy can't win and so starts monologuing' wrong. This movie is terrible. Literally, the worst. It's freaking Toby MacGuire as Spiderman bad...but worse. I got three hours sleep yesterday, and less than four today, and when I went to lay down and take a nap from sheer exhaustion, I was actually so annoyed by this movie that I couldn't get to sleep. XD
If you haven't guessed, there's a Spoiler-laden rant heading your way, so if you haven't seen the movie...actually, if you haven't seen the movie, you're probably better off.
To get the rant ball rolling, let's start with Batman, one of my favorite heroes. I won't hide that. It's probably why I'm so vehement about his treatment in this movie. It's not even so much Ben Affleck (though his portrayal certainly recalls the Kilmer/Keaton/Klooney Batman phase as opposed to the Nolan movies. That's not a bad thing, since it's more inline with some of the comics) so much as it is the terrible portrayal of the character by the screenwriters. The very first time we see Batman, he's wedged into a ceiling corner of a shadowy room for some reason. A cop sees him and opens fire, so...Batman goes scurrying across the ceiling like the kid from the exorcist. Obviously, the best choice of escape.
Gooberishness of the scene aside, it's more to the point that the 'real' Batman wouldn't have been caught wedged into a corner in the first place. Batman is the night, Batman is a ninja. He defines 'silent but deadly' in a way even a twelve year old wouldn't laugh at. He'd have been out of the house and eating a cheeseburger in his bat pajamas before the cop's even left their car. Come on. That's why he's amazing. He's the Chuck Norris of the comic world. "Because I'm Batman" is a legitimate thing to say even in the real world when you've done something spectacular. And even I wouldn't have tried to wedge myself into a ceiling corner to hide from a guy wielding a flashlight. Not when there was a window two feet away. It's the first of many contrived plot elements in the film that upgrade mildly miffed to full on simmering nerd-rage.
Because then you realize he was torturing a guy, going so far as to brand him with his handy made-for-the-occasion-Batbrander fist of punishment. Which, heaven knows, the sleeze deserved. I'm actually less bothered by that than the rest of the movie. But the defining trait of Batman is that he is the living personification of justice, not cheap vengeance. He may beat the living snot out of bad guys, but he doesn't torture people for fun.
And then, in what I would consider one of the first Deathstrokes (that pun? It's actually more subtle than most of the actual movie) to the film...Batman kills a guy. Not just one, but several. Multiple times. And not “I blew up this building and you were dumb enough to be in it” kills, but “I'ma chaingun you to the face” kills. A little bit of me died inside when Batman was chasing down some bad guys and, after being shot at several times, turned the Batmobiles gun on them. That's...not Batman. Not in any way. Injustice Batman, maybe. Forboding, perhaps?
And yes, I am well aware that OG Bob Kane 1930's era Batman shot people. With a chaingun, even. But that's not the Batman we know and love today. In fact, there's an entire movie on it (See The Dark Knight). Joker takes everything away from Batman. He puts thousands of lives on the line. Where the cops turn dark, where Two-Face is spawned...Batman stands strong. He's the hero Gotham needs. That's one of the most poignant cinematic moments in the past two decades, because Batman is the steel in justice' sword, and refuses to take the lives of even the most monstrous of men, because in his eyes, that would be to become one of them. It's a defining part of his character.
And now Batman is chain-gunning folks like a 90's action movie. No. No, no, no. Nope. If I had been in a theater, I might have been tempted to walk out at that point.
And then Batman seeks bloody vengeance on Superman. Yes, I know what the movie is called. But OG Batman vs. Superman was nothing like that. Superman threatened to shut Batman down and expose his identity if he didn't quit, Batman said 'no u' and figured out who Superman was, and how to beat him, then threatened the same. They fought an enemy together, became best friends, ETC.
Now, Batman is pants-dampening afraid of Superman, and not only quakes in his batboots at the thought of him, but reacts out of that fear. Batman, who's almost the definition of fearlessness. Batman, the fear of all that is evil. Batman, he who has faced the worst in humanity with a grim smile. Batman, the man who has traveled to the darkest places in the universe and even death...is somehow reacting to a threat like a claustrophobic in a closet. Seriously?
Then, at what is supposed to be the turning point of the movie, when Batman is about to impale Superman with a kyrptonite spear...the catalyst for redemption is when Superman starts crying about his mom, who he apparently calls Martha all the time, and Batman is like “No bro I got this. BRO, I GOT DIS.”
That...it hurts my mind. It doesn't even make sense the way it happened. I know Bruce's mom was also named Martha, but not only was that a ridiculously quick redemption for Batman, but it either shows Superman as smart enough to manipulate Batman (a slight possibility), but not smart enough to just say that at the beginning of the fight, or maybe even just calling his cellphone...or just incredibly flawed writing on the part of the writers.
Then Batman, who was just about to make Superkabob, basically falls to his knees weeping repentance. I mean, I would cry in that situation. Either half of it. Anybody would, I think. I would've gone to Batman on my knees and begged for his help. But Superman, and Batman for that matter, wouldn't. They probably wouldn't have gotten into that situation in the first place if they had even half the brains they're supposed to have. Worlds greatest detective, amirite? Alien smart enough to build life-simulating androids, right?
And you know, I totally get that that was supposed to be the big emotional revelation, as Batman realizes, SHOCK AND HORROR, that he has become the very thing he had feared Superman was. This happened again later when Batman lures Doomsday back to Gotham to kill him. It's not so much a subtle point for consideration as a bludgeon to the head. But Batman isn't that kind of character (if this movie had been about, say, the Punisher, it would have been fine).
And frankly, it's kind of an idiotic point in the first place. We're supposed to see it from a 'normal humans' point of view that Superman was just as scary as Zod in Man of Steel...but Zod was already blowing up the city in the first place. If Superman hadn't intervened, Zod would have killed millions and blew up the world or something. Superman couldn't just stand by even if people were tragically killed in the collateral. Superman didn't really have a choice. And yes, I know it would be hard to be happy the world was still around when you've lost someone you loved in the process. but having everyone on the planet suddenly be irrationally mouth-frothingly anti-superman isn't even kind of real. Zod killed those people, not Superman.
It's almost like the screenwriters and director had never read/watched any of the heroes before. Just winged it from information garnered from nerdy Kevin in accounting. They screwed up Batman in a dozen ways, and didn't really do a good job with Superman either (though certainly, they did a vastly better job with him than poor Batfleck). Superman is very...nebulous and moody. He's not a boy scout, he's an emo kid on steroids. And, if we're being entirely honest, he's kind of stupid.
In one of the most dramatic moments in the movie, Lex Luthor kidnaps Martha Kent and gives Superman an hour to return with Batman's head, or he'll kill her. Superman rushes off to try and get Batman to help him, or to kill him (whichever is most convenient). Something Superman would totally consider, by the way. He's known for callously offing people he if needs to.
Thing is...Superman has super hearing and X-ray vision. He uses both multiple times in the movie, or I would think the creators didn't know about them. I mean...He manages to track Lois Lane down halfway across the planet and reach her the instant she gets into trouble. So...and this is just an idea...why didn't superman just go find his mom on his own, when she was literally half a mile away? >_< It would've taken him all of two minutes. The rest of the hour he could've used for a nap, or, I don't know...stopping Luthor? I guess it's more “awesome” to get the snot beat out of you and only think to say “Hey bro, can you help me save me mom” at the end of the fight. I mean, key information like that shouldn't just be handed out willy-nilly when you can spend 45 minutes of your hour being manly and fighting over it. They try to portray it like Batman never gave him a chance, but...I mean really. Superman. He's the most over powered character in all of comic fiction, and you're trying to tell me he can't find a way to utter a single sentence before he starts slugging? You're trying to get me to believe he was so angry that he was irrational, but not angry enough to just laser-eye Batman, and punch him instead? Seriously?
To start another tangent, I'm going to go back to the title: Batman vs. Superman. I mean, 'Dawn of Justice' sounds way cooler, but then you wouldn't have buzzwords in the title. I will grant that is entirely an opinion, too. And when the first joke was made in the film, I pity laughed. I think it was Lex, when they were at a party. “Hey, Kent versus Wayne. I'd pay to see that matchup! Hahaha.” Hey, that's...funny, I guess.
Then it happened about five more times. It was like the movie wanted yet another club to bludgeon stuff with, and it honestly got to the point it almost felt like they were breaking the 4th wall. -_- And I was annoyed, but hey, the screenwriter/director clearly felt special since they were handling two of comic's most beloved superheroes. I can understand the fanboyish giggling and 'hey U guys we're doing Batman versus Superman lol lol lol can u B leve it?' moments they just HAD to injerject into the movie, because I felt the same way when I first saw the trailer. If they had made it even a hair subtle, something you'd only pick up when you watched the film twice, I might have even thought it was cool.
And then it was a plot device. -_- Oh my...What little of me was still interested in the movie went to weep in the corner until it was over at that point. Literally, Lex dreamed a whole scheme (blatantly obvious to anyone outside the screen 37 minutes into the movie, but hey, that's not important) up to get Batman into combat with Superman. I really feel like the screenwriters took a Michael Bay stance. They weren't even trying to come up with an interesting story, because they could rely on sweet special effects and the fond memories of everyone who grew up with the titular heroes to make the movie a win. Transformers, anyone? (Hey, I finally found a movie as bad as this one!)
That, or they just gave up and thought smashing them together like action-figures was a reasonable way to do things. Just...why? You're not even trying. All the rich source material, and you're not even trying to be interesting. The old Super Friends cartoon did a better job than this.
And then there's Luthor himself. Jesse Eisenberg as Luthor is nothing less than a cinematic travesty. Yes, a travesty. I'm sitting here trying to figure out a random actor that I could use to satirically illustrate how bad he did, but everyone I think of would have done a better job. O_o Literally, everyone. Even Toby MacGuire.
Lex Luthor has always been suave, sophisticated. Debonair. He's entirely, horribly evil, but also tall, strong, and generally an attractive person. He's the quintessential politician. Jesse's Lex is small, stupid, weasily, and droolingly psychotic.
Lex Luthor isn't insane. Lex Luthor is just terrifyingly, brutally evil. That's why he's such a good bad guy. He won't hire a hitman...he'll hire a crime syndicate under a pseudonym to take a hit out on himself, garnering public sympathy for his cause and triggering another series of events that leads to the death of the original target. That is Lex Luthor. Not some gangly kid who whizzes in a jar and plants a pipe-bomb.
As a side note, they also killed Mercy, which leads to a whole series of side events and stories in the series that can never happen now.
Too, Lex is obsessed with Superman being a god. In fact, the entire movie, yet again, wields the concept like a bludgeon of superheroes being 'gods'. Which is something DC has done for a very long time...but it's always been done subtly, and left for the reader to pick up and consider. People craft statues or build museums of heroes, and 'worship' them in that way, and the heroes are too powerful for their own good. This is talked about a lot in the Injustice scenarios, and DC comics in general (and it's always kinda bugged me, but this too, is an opinion), but it's usually handled in a thoughtful way meant to make you thing instead of the nonsensical dialogues, forced speeches, and embarrassing PBS specials displayed here. I cringed at Lex's drooling rant near the end. And not just because it was Jesse Eisenberg. It didn't even make sense.
And then there's Doomsday. I kinda want to know how many random story arches the writers jammed together to make this movie, but at the same time, I don't have any desire to see it again. When Luthor started tinkering with with Kryptonian DNA maker, I was like, “OK, are they going to put Bizarro into this?” Then the thing hatched, and I was like “Hey...that looks like...but they wouldn't put--” “SUPERMAN IT'S YOUR *DOOMSDAY* LOOK HOW CLEVERLY WRITTEN INTO THE DIALOGUE THAT BADGUY NAME WAS!!!! MWAHAHAHAHA!!!!”
At that point, I didn't really care. I was just counting time until the movie was over.
But...I started to. For a brief moment, like a restaurant with bad food and service but great dessert, because the last half-hour of the movie is what the other 42 hours of it should have been. Batman, even in the oddly chunky costume, was dodging around the field doing what he could while not dying. Superman was tossing in supersonic punches and being self sacrificial, and Wonder Woman...dang.
That my friends, is how Wonder Woman should be. Is meant to be. Has been since the original (and still, by a vast uncrossable gorge, the best) Justice League cartoons of the early 2000's. Not a blatantly obvious 'I'm the token lady so we can sell action figures to a broader market share' hero, not a plot device for feminists, but a true, honest to goodness, mighty warrior of a hero. That is the Wonder Woman I've been waiting for since I finished watching said Justice League cartoons, in which she was amazing. I mean granted, they did the idiotic fanservice moments of putting her in a skimpy dress (it's bad when your body armor, which reveals 60 percent of your body for some reason, is more modest than your evening gown) at parties, but I can forgive them that by how awesome she was while fighting Doomsday. XD Can't expect much more than that of screenwriters these day's anyway.
And then Superman 'died', which was kinda contrived and really unnecessary, and basically just a lame attempt to elicit an emotional reaction from Superfans. And once again, the fiml became marking time. The Death of Superman should not have been lumped into this movie. It was such a huge thing, such a sad thing, and they're essentially treating Superman like Old Yellar here. -_- The target audience already knows Superman isn't dead, leaving it a big 'shocker' just for the non-comic nerds who probably don't care anyway.
And then, after that one half hour of flaming glory, the movie ends with one of the most brilliant moments of dialog ever crafted in all of cinema. Really, it just described the whole movie for me. Diana, with Bruce at Superman's funeral. Bruce turns to her and says “I want your help tracking down the other metahumans.”
“They'll have to fight too.”
“What makes you think so?”
Deep Batman voice: “We've already got the movies contracted.”
OK, not really. He says something along the lines of “I just have a feeling.” But he may as well have said “Because it's awesome lol,”. That's basically what it felt like. It was the lame cherry on a sundae of disappointment. I mean, don't even try to use one of 57 valid, plausible reasons to bring the League together. Don't pretend that you want to track them down to keep tabs on them in case they go rogue. Don't worry about the mysterious enemy that a drooling, blabbering Jex Eisenthor manages to splutter out. Not project CADMUS, not even a weekly game night for superheroes. Just, “I have a feeling.” This is after a series of badly placed youtube clips of various heroes being seen/born amidst the epic fight at the end. Once again, don't even bother to try film makers. Just let the hype and hope of dying memories of comic lovers and bored summer moviegoers fill the gaps in the story. *thumbs up*
Honestly, just...terrible. I watched the Justice League trailer after this last night, and it looks amazing...but I'm not going to see in theaters. I'm afraid to. They'll probably make the Flash a drunken pirate and Aquaman will be a king who who hates his kingdom and tries to raffle it off or something. Cyborg will go around staring at butterflies with sad cello music in the background as he contemplates life.
The movie actually felt much closer to Injustice scenario to me. Like, if at the end of this movie cycle, it turns out to be the Injustice gang, and the real Justice League has to shut them down, I'd totally buy that as being the legitimate plan. I am ridiculously glad I rented it instead of buying it, because not only would I have been disappointed and owned a movie terrible on a level equitable to the inverse of a movie game, I would've supported a terrible film. XD
Just...gross. WASH AWAY THE HORROR.