so where do i start with batman Vs Superman the Dawn of justice? we’ll i’d start with the stupidly long title, it sounds like two films brought together in a board meeting that i imagine went something like this, “i heard the kids like Batman”, “i heard they like superman”, imagine if we got them to fight, then the whole world would go crazy. this is how i imagine this film got made, genuinely, not with love or fun in mind but in board room with lots of talking taking place without anyone once stepping up and saying “shouldn’t it be fun”?
Firstly though i’d like to take some time to talk about he characterisation of these characters, Batman and superman are close to 100 years old at this point, they both pass their centennial very shortly and for as long as they’ve appeared in the comics they have appeared in many other mediums as well, everything from radio plays (superman) to campy tv series (batman). considering this long drawn history of mainstream acceptance i find it so laughable how off character everyone is in this film. one of the first major problems with this film is that in order for us, the audience to really engage with the film then we must first understand who is the good guy and who is the bad guy, this is by far the most basic of all Hollywood tropes, this naturally causes some problems, when both your main combatants are supposed to be heroes, who are you meant to root for? well it appears that the writers want us rooting for Superman because Batman does some truly shocking and out of character things in this film, we see him branding enemies, i mean he actually uses a gun in this film, on not one but four separate occasions, this is something he would never do and the most glaringly annoying one for me is that he out and right kills people, with out remorse he takes actions that kill people, this is so out of character for batman and considering in the last decade we’ve had 3 films that show just how adverse he is to using guns made by the same people, it shows just how little care went into this film. Batman is not the only character whose off, most of them are, Alfred looks quite young and the parental father figure that he has always been to batman seems to be gone, something that i think is a shame. he is once again turned into a tool for the screenwriters to explain the plot, this is also true of martha kent who has somehow become this scared old lady, she is very much removed from the hard as nails women who would take on a child with clarks abilities, she talks to her son like she’s a journalist writing a story rather than as a mother. Superman is still the same wimp he always is and Clark, yes i do consider them separate characters, is just whiny and narcotic and boring. theses are just the main characters, there are a lot of secondary characters in this film and i mean a lot, there are so many in fact that you’ll struggle to even keep up with whats going on, i’m going to let you in on a secret as well, you don’t need to, there not important, there just there to give the impression that this is a truly fleshed out world, something i think DC hasn’t quite earned yet. there are two acceptions though in this film, i loved lex Luther, he was genuinely sociopathic and i got a sense why he hated superman and thats because superman is more powerful than him and wonder woman, honestly wonder woman made this movie, everytime she was on screen i was captivated, she truly did dominate, especially in the closing scenes. in a film that lacks any subtly she has my favourite moment, when doomsday is attacking she naturally throws herself in head first and gets beaten down and in that moment i felt excited for the new wonder woman movie because in that moment she smiled, i got the sense that she enjoyed what was happening and as an amazon warrior she isn’t averse to battle, not to mention she used her lasso of truth and actually fights like the wonder woman i know. this was strange in this film, that this subtle moment would be my favourite moment because as well as all the characters being very off this film its about as subtle as a brick to the face and that this moment would even make it beyond the cutting room floor amazes me.
so now that we’ve gotten the basic characters out of the way its time to look at the story, this film has a lot to do, from the title you’d think it was a very simple process, we have to find a way to get Batman and Superman to fight, they have done this in the comic books but in the comic there was an actual reason, in this it was pointless, it was just an excuse for mindless violence. so I’m going to try and explain the story, Batman is in gotham fighting crime, superman in metropolis doing his thing, Lex luthor has become obsessed with superman and wants to destroy him, lois is running around the world, some back door deals are happening, and superman must stand before congress. thats just for starters, this is a Synder film, he likes to do these intricate stories and has since his inception, as a producer he likes to do these intricate stories with lots of connected pieces that build upon each other, well from the front they look complete and stable but if you look just slightly off centre you’ll see how little is actually going on. this film is a mile wide and two inches deep in terms of story. there is so much going on but very little of it meaningful and so many of those smaller story lines are quickly abandoned once the fighting starts. the film makers also expect us the audience to know whats going on in this film with zero set up, I’m a DC fanboy, i read several of their comics a week, so i knew what was going, my date on the other hand no idea what was going on and honestly i don’t blame her, they wanted to make an avengers level film without any of the ground work that marvel put into their universe.
the most glaring thing you will notice about this film though, and by you i mean your bottom, is thats its long, its 2 and a half hours long and honestly i will describe this as a film of two halfs, despite how cliched that sounds, the second half is naturally where they put all the action, i think we get a good hour of fighting, first between batman and superman, a fight i still think is pointless beyond any sane belief and then between Superman, Batman, Wonder woman and doomsday and boy is there a lot of fighting. although there was a lot of fighting, a lot of boring fighting in the second half at least i knew what i was watching because i couldn’t tell you anything about the first part of this film, honestly i sat there watching this film and i found myself looking at my watch, yes a film that stars some of my favourite things in the universe was boring me enough to cause me to look at my watch, when I’m watching your movie i shouldn’t be looking at my watch and i most definitely shouldn’t be thinking “oh i still have two hours of this to go yet”. at one point i actually got up and went the toilet, not out of need but my bum went numb from lack of blood and i wanted to get the feeling back, i was assured that alls i missed was more pointless talking and very little going on, this film tries a lot and in trying a lot it fails to deliver on its basic premise, this is a comic book movie and I’m the first to admit that comics aren’t very serious, they are fun though and this film lacks all fun, it lacks all love from the filmmakers and there trying too hard to be cool, this film exists in a universe where marvel are making there films look effortless, we all know what there films are, and at a basic level there fun. hell, this movie came out a month after dead pool a film that summed up everything i like about comic book movies, it was fun, campy and i laughed. this films lacks anything meaningful for the audience, both comic books and non comic book a like and sadly its already made enough money to get a sequel green lit.