Film Review: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of… Injustice?

 

Batman v Superman

The following is a hot ass mess of spoilers, so if you haven’t seen this movie yet and plan to, KEEP SCROLLING.

 

“Twenty years in Gotham..how many good guys are left? How many stay that way?” -Bruce Wayne

The above quote basically summarizes the entire supposed central conflict of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. The film picks up approximately 18 months after the events of Superman: Man of Steel, in which we see that Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck), also known as Batman, is PRESSEDT. After saving Metropolis from General Zod in dramatic fashion, Superman (Henry Cavill) is adored in an almost biblical manner by millions of people throughout the world.

Across the way in Gotham, Wayne has held the mantle of Batman for over 20 years, aggressively ridding the city of it’s rampant criminal underworld, and even going as far as branding the criminals he interacts with with a giant bat symbol. All the while, Wayne obsesses over the idea that Superman’s heroics hold truly evil intent, and takes it upon himself to kill him. Speaking of obsessions, Wayne, while stealing some information to aid in his mission, has a run in with the mysterious Diana, whom common sense will tell you is Wonder Woman, and decides to get down to the bottom of who she is.

Clark and Bruce meet for the first time. Shade ensues.

Clark and Bruce meet for the first time. Shade ensues.

Anyway, Batman spends his time bulking up like The Hulk for his self-imposed showdown with Superman, all while the real villain, Lex Luthor (Jesse Einsenberg) is plotting world domination, one rambling monologue at a time. On the other side of things, we see that though he for the most part is heavily relied on, not everyone is a fan of Superman, seeing as though he DID tear up the entire city during his fight with Zod, kinda sorta accidentally killing a bunch of people during said fight, and may have been responsible for kinda sorta accidentally killing some more people in an African village while trying to rescue Lois Lane (Amy Adams) from getting her head blown off. After a hearing questioning Superman’s actions ends up in an explosion that kills hundreds of innocent people, Superman decides that he’s over it, and temporarily hangs up his red cape.

Jesse Einsenberg as Lex Luthor in "Batman v. Superman"

Jesse Einsenberg as Lex Luthor

To sum up the film’s climax, Batman, serving Iron Man realness, nearly succeeds in killing Superman until he realizes that Superman’s mom has been abducted, and decides to work through his own mommy issues by saving Superman’s. After a quick change, he teams up with both Superman and Wonder Woman to defeat Luthor, and later Doomsday, the latter of which seemingly kills Superman at the film’s end. Ya’ll know they can’t really kill Superman, so of course we get a hint right before the credits roll that he’ll be back in whatever sequel comes out of this.

Did you get all that? Good. I’ve got some serious questions:

  1. You mean to tell me that a handsome alien with God-like abilities wants to use his power for good, and you’re mad? Go home Bruce. You’re drunk.
  2. Lex Luthor…who sent him? Why is Superman the object of his rage? Who did his quick weave?
  3. Was I the only one really confused by Holly Hunter’s character, Senator Finch? Was she good or nah?
  4. When did Alfred develop swag? I apparently missed that creative meeting.
Jeremy Irons as Alfred in Batman v. Superman.

Jeremy Irons as Alfred

Now I consider myself pretty knowledgeable of the mythology behind both Batman and Superman, and the antagonism that the two characters share. Batman’s idea that Superman’s potential for going bad is a valid fear to keep in the back of his mind, just as is Superman’s summation that Batman’s actions border dangerously on the illegal side. These are conflicts that are present in the comic book versions of the characters, and played upon extremely well in the video game, Injustice: Gods Among Us in which a power-hungry Superman turns the world into a dictatorship, confirming all of Batman’s fears. However, in the film, Batman’s actions seem unjustifiably motivated by insecurity and jealousy, rather than a genuine concern for humanity. Instead of being the fully developed, convoluted, and multifaceted character that Bruce Wayne/Batman is, the character suffers lackluster writing, and a questionable performance by Affleck, who really lacked the sustenance and duality that makes the Caped Crusader who he is. It all left me wondering why the Batman plot was marketed to be as important as it was, when in reality the conflict was a subplot within Superman’s story as opposed to an even balance between the two characters.

As far as remaining true to the origin of Superman, I did find the constant religious allusions interesting, as well as the very 9/11 esque cinematography shown in the film’s opening scene. The inclusion of Doomsday should make any true Superman fan especially entertained during the final battle of the film, however, a weak nemesis in Luthor left much to the imagination.

Wonder Woman comes to save the day...and snatch my edges.

Wonder Woman comes to save the day…and snatch my edges.

Final verdict: While there were a couple of “yasssssss” moments, such as the scene in which Wonder Woman comes to save Batman from being burnt to a crisp, and a cameo from Jason Momoa as Aquaman (my vagina wasn’t ready), it’s safe to say that the film was marred by way too many plots, and not enough reasons for the audience to care for them all. Call me when the Wonder Woman and Justice League movies are out

Grade:
45/97

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