Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
March 23, 2016 3:35 PM - Subscribe

Fearing the actions of Superman are left unchecked, Batman takes on the man of steel, while the world wrestles with what kind of a hero it really needs. With Batman and Superman fighting each other, a new threat, Doomsday, is created by Lex Luthor. It's up to Superman and Batman to set aside their differences along with Wonder Woman to stop Lex Luthor and Doomsday from destroying Metropolis.

On the blue

Hitfix: I’m not sure how a filmmaker whose work normally speaks to me as clearly as Snyder’s does could deliver something that feels this confused, this impersonal, and this corporate. It is a confounding mess of a movie, and while there are individual sequences that I enjoyed as isolated moments, it is almost breathtakingly incoherent storytelling. Characters do what they do because the movie requires them to do it, not because they are behaving like characters at all. There’s no sense of voice to the film. I have no idea what I should think about Batman or Superman or Wonder Woman based on what I see here. They are all apparently blanks who simply exist to react without thought or purpose to whatever stimuli is presented to them. Structurally, there’s something fundamentally broken about the way this thing’s been built, and I have a feeling it’s going to take some time to really pull apart all of the mistakes that were made.

Variety: Juggling all of these strands while steadily beating the drum toward the battle promised in the title, Snyder sometimes loses track of his various allegories. Scripters Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer provide kernels of philosophical and theological quandaries throughout, while their nods toward contemporary political debates are more complex than the scattered visual gags (such as an anti-Superman protester waving an “Aliens Are Un-American” placard) might seem to imply. Yet the essential clash of ideologies promised by the central conflict — vigilante justice vs. self-sacrificing restraint, night vs. day, Dionysus vs. Apollo — never develops quite as forcefully as it should, and the life-or-death battle between the two icons ultimately comes down to a series of misunderstandings.

NYTimes: For fun there are shots of the heroes shirtless and of Lois Lane in the bath. But the point of “Batman v Superman” isn’t fun, and it isn’t thinking, either. It’s obedience. The theology is invoked not to elicit meditations on mercy, justice or sacrifice, but to buttress a spectacle of power. And in that way the film serves as a metaphor for its own aspirations. The corporations that produce movies like this one, and the ambitious hacks who sign up to make them, have no evident motive beyond their own aggrandizement. Entertainment is less the goal than the byproduct, and as the commercial reach of superpower franchises grows, their creative exhaustion becomes ever more apparent.

Not that anyone cares. (And yes, there are exceptions.) As long as we are paying attention, or at least buying tickets, the system is working to its own satisfaction. In “Batman v Superman,” the newspapers are full of controversy about the heroes, whom the fickle public alternately turns on and embraces. Batty and Supey themselves, meanwhile, perpetually mistake their narcissism for high-minded public service, and are encouraged to do so by the cynical and sanctimonious institutions that are nominally in charge of things in Gotham and Metropolis.

The Verge: Occasionally, the self-awareness is hilarious, as when secondary characters go out of their way to point out that the climactic battle is taking place in an unpopulated area. Occasionally it's graphic and horrifying, as in an early sequence showing the Superman/Zod fight from a ground's-eye view, confirming all the collateral terror it caused. But mostly, Snyder and screenwriters Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer seem to be taking advantage of the criticism to boost drama, without really comprehending the human source of it. Batman v Superman addresses Man Of Steel's problems in words without learning anything from it in tone. Instead, the new film doubles down on the grimness, the ugliness, and the indifference to human life.
posted by MoonOrb (98 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I basically loathed Man of Steel, so I was quite ambivalent about seeing this at all, but I got preview tickets and thought "what the hell, at least I'm not paying for the latest Zack Snyder crapfest" - which is pretty much what I think of his career. The one exception might be that he didn't fuck up Watchmen; he didn't make a brilliant film, he just competently shot some of the more evocative sequences in the novel and some of the casting was spot on.

So perhaps the fact my expectations were low - but also, if nothing else, it's at least half a Batman film, I quite enjoyed it. I mean, I have complaints: Zack Snyder's visual aesthetic is best described as "miseryvision" and the climactic fight scene is a CGI blur of meaningless pixels.

But apparently seeing bitter-old-angry Bruce/Batman of the Frank Miller variety is something I really wanted to see on screen. I pretty much love all the different big screen Batmen, so I really enjoyed that we got something that wasn't like Burtons or Nolans, even though they were heavily influenced by Miller, too. (I loved the detail of the Robin costume in the batcave with the Joker's message across it; nice way to introduce some backstory without having to spell it out. This Batman has seen some shit.)

I thought I'd never need to see the Thomas and Martha Wayne get shot again, but I was okay with it - especially with Thomas saying "Martha" to remind us that, yes, Bats and Supes both have mothers named Martha. I thought that was a really great way to bring those two together. (Is that something I knew consciously or did I not know? Did I once know and forget it?)

And Wonder Woman got as great an introduction as I could have expected in a Snyder film. In fact, far better than I could have hoped for, to be honest. She outsmarted Bruce Wayne. She kicked ass in that final fight. She was mysterious and competent and took no shit and gave no fucks.

This was all dropped into what's ostensibly a sequel to a Superman film that did not feel like a Superman film. Cavill's performance is just dull. Amy Adams is the worst Lois since whoever the hell the one in Superman Returns was. I just find the entire Superman ensemble of characters to be dull in the Snyder films. And did they kill off Jimmy Olsen in the opening sequence?

Kudos for them killing off Supes. I actually hope that's the end of his solo films. Bring on the Justice League and Wonder Woman and a Batfleck film.

There are so many problems with BvS, I think I will just focus on what I like and hope that the following films are good enough. I just wish Zack Snyder wasn't the director behind this franchise.
posted by crossoverman at 3:27 AM on March 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

Okay, I probably should have known there might be spoilers (and, to be fair, it's not an unexpected spoiler given Doomsday and all - and I really don't care, so no one should feel bad) but I was just popping in while the thread was new to take the pulse of the film, and maybe see how much Diana and Arthur are in it.

I erred.

For a film I have no interest in seeing until it's on video, because Batfleck interests me.

And did they kill off Jimmy Olsen in the opening sequence?

James is alive and well in PROPER Superman, on TV. With Supergirl.

Kudos for them killing off Supes. I actually hope that's the end of his solo films.

To quote Blue Beetle and Booster Gold:
posted by Mezentian at 4:21 AM on March 24, 2016 [6 favorites]

So I don't think Supes is dead. The end of the film - and my human brain - makes that clear. I just hope Superman is just part of the Justice League movies now. No more solo Cavill Superman movies, please.
posted by crossoverman at 5:56 AM on March 24, 2016

To quote Blue Beetle and Booster Gold

Can't we just fire Zack Snyder, drop the big name DC heroes, and give the next $250 million to five directors to make five smaller DC movies, one of them being Blue Beetle and Booster Gold?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:54 AM on March 24, 2016 [5 favorites]

TJ Miller as Booster Gold. Tell me you wouldn't go see that.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:05 AM on March 24, 2016 [4 favorites]

"One punch".
posted by Mezentian at 7:12 AM on March 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Affleck could sell the heck out of Batman getting more and more annoyed until he finally clocks Guy.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:36 AM on March 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

DC is probably hard at work figuring how to make a grimdark Legion of Superheroes. Matter-Eater Lad eating a busload of schoolchildren and whatnot.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:43 AM on March 24, 2016 [4 favorites]

Color Kid is really boring in the new LoSH script, though, because he only does dark grey.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:47 AM on March 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

Batty and Supey

this is not okay
posted by phearlez at 12:07 PM on March 24, 2016 [3 favorites]

Wait, they killed off Supes? How'd that happen?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:42 PM on March 24, 2016

God if the next movie is the Death of Superman arc I will be impressed.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 5:46 PM on March 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Well they already made Steel...
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:05 PM on March 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

How would they make Eradicator the brutal, merciless one? Have him laser-eye a puppy?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:54 PM on March 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

I hope Bloodwynd turns up.
posted by Mezentian at 8:01 PM on March 24, 2016

Wait, they killed off Supes? How'd that happen?!


God if the next movie is the Death of Superman arc I will be impressed.

Well, after Wonder Woman, the next planned movie is Justice League, Part I. That might consist of some Death of Superman material.
posted by crossoverman at 10:05 PM on March 24, 2016

"Well, after Wonder Woman, the next planned movie is Justice League, Part I. That might consist of some Death of Superman material."
A Superman-less Justice League? Maybe like... JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL!
posted by charred husk at 7:47 AM on March 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

It's funny, I just stopped watching the Timm/Dini JLA cartoon (specifically the one with Aquaman and Cthulu) top arrive into Man of Steel.

I was an early fan of MOS (check my posting history) until I saw it, and in the last 20 minutes I have been reminded why,

I went from the hilarity of Flash's 'Shaggin' Wagon' and suggestions of him an Jon Stewart being 'Hard Travelling Heroes' (Did I laugh? OH YES) to Solomon Grundy as Hulk (Magic man? Bird Nose) and somehow, I ended at SEARS.

Man Of Steel sucks. The acting isn't bad, but, fuck: the film is.

The good thing is, I have more JL DVDs.
posted by Mezentian at 8:12 AM on March 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

DirtyOldTown, you beat me to it. Sad Affleck is sad. Kinda feel bad for the guy right now.
posted by Gaz Errant at 10:12 AM on March 25, 2016

The Sound of Silence overlay made me laugh out loud just now.

But you have to imagine that Affleck suffered (to the extent you can suffer, I guess) during this entire process. He had to know this was terrible while it was being made, right? There are all kinds of reasons to hate on Affleck, but the guy has been part of creating a number of very, very good movies, so it would be surprising to me that he couldn't see this coming.

I suppose he can go cry himself to sleep on a pillow made of hundred dollar bills or something, though.
posted by MoonOrb at 10:29 AM on March 25, 2016

Let me get this straight, Batman has precognitive dream of a future battle between DC heroes and Darkseid (though it's fairly vague).

Batman is a frigging precog in Snyder's movie, ? Because there's no reason Bruce Wayne should know about all these other superpowered people, is that correct?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:01 AM on March 25, 2016

No, he's given that vision by The Flash who comes from the future to warn him... And the vision only includes himself and Superman/Superman's army.

How anyone who doesn't know the DC universe possibly understands this, I'll never know.
posted by crossoverman at 5:47 PM on March 25, 2016 [3 favorites]

Batman v Superman Fails In All the Ways That Man of Steel Succeeded "Batman v. Superman is as boring as watching compost break down?" - Charlie-Jane was a fan of MOS but not this.

Says a lot.

The reviews have been so poor, I'm seriously re-thinking my half-arsed plan to see the Justice League movie.

Does The Flash have mystical vision-giving powers now?
posted by Mezentian at 7:44 PM on March 25, 2016

I'm gonna go ahead and say Speed Force.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:56 PM on March 25, 2016 [4 favorites]

"That's not how the Speed Force works!"
posted by Mezentian at 7:58 PM on March 25, 2016 [13 favorites]

We're about five minutes from grimdark Ambush Bug, aren't we?
posted by Mezentian at 2:55 AM on March 26, 2016 [2 favorites]

Just saw this. I recommend it, but I recommend bringing a big bag of popcorn and showing up an hour and 10 minutes late. Trust me, you won't miss a thing.
posted by mmoncur at 3:07 AM on March 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

What We Liked and Hated (Mostly Hated) About Batman v Superman)

That Martha Kent thing? That can't be true. It's not possible.

And the spear thing.
If that actually happens.... ugh.
posted by Mezentian at 4:10 AM on March 26, 2016

showing up an hour and 10 minutes late.

Heh. The first half of the film is the best half of the film.
posted by crossoverman at 5:48 AM on March 26, 2016

Huh. Just this morning, I finally read the last arc of Grant Morrison's Batman run (shamefully late, I know), and now I'm wondering if Snyder read that, or more likely had it summarized to him, and decided to lift Batman's prophetic dreams of a dark future from it without anything approaching context.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:25 AM on March 26, 2016

That Martha Kent thing? That can't be true. It's not possible.

New rule for superhero fights, ask the other person what the name of their parents are. If one is the same as one of your parents, then you can't fight, you have to become friends.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:53 AM on March 26, 2016 [5 favorites]

New rule for superhero fights, ask the other person what the name of their parents are. If one is the same as one of your parents, then you can't fight, you have to become friends.

I've seen enough referenced to believe that was you just hinted at might be actually a thing.

I'm a guy who liked 300, Watchmen *and* Sucker Punch, and I even posted to the Blue about Man Of Steel when the trailer came out.

I (and to be fair I have just finished a string of episodes of Justice League, which included Superman dying and included Martian Manhunter stroking Streaky at Christmas - neither of which should have even twinged at my heart muscles) believe I might be vibrating with anger).

And I am more Marvel than DC.
But if Warner Brothers allowed that to happen... I'm pretty much going to refuse to see Wonder Woman and Suicide Squad.

I don't want to be 'that guy' but, I have seen the best DC can do, and if Snyder and co are so bad as to...


Honestly, I have seen more adult stories in the cartoons. I should not be this angry.

I need to walk away now. I am even more angry than when I saw Transformers or Fantastic Four.
posted by Mezentian at 8:09 AM on March 26, 2016

I saw it last night and I'm just angry that this movie exists. From the incoherent plot to the complete lack of respect for developing interesting characters for this franchise, I'm just disgusted with this movie. Even the last 30 minutes of the movie, which is the only part even resembling fun, was ruined because all I could see was a dark blurry mess.
posted by Dr. Zira at 3:56 PM on March 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

Also, was there not a single person on set who could point out that that's not how pearls work? Or warheads?
posted by Dr. Zira at 3:58 PM on March 26, 2016

I actually thought, for some reason, there might be some reasonable discussion here. Like, there are definitely problems with the film and it's a mess in some fundamental ways, but I'd love a discussion about what went right and what went wrong. But apparently discussion in this thread can be dominated by people who haven't even seen it and the ones who have are having conniptions on HOW FUCKING PEARLS WORK. What the fuck does that even mean?

*remove from activity*
posted by crossoverman at 4:23 PM on March 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

Dude, you gotta get pearls right or its not a movie.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:45 PM on March 26, 2016 [3 favorites]

crossoverman: I apologize if my comment offended you, and I'm really glad you had a far more fulfilling experience with this movie than I did, so, if you want to make an argument for the elements of this movie that worked, I'm really open to hearing them.

The reason the details I noted above are significant to me is that as a viewer of a comic book adaptation, I'm by definition willing to check a certain level of reality at the door. But when you root sci-fi in a gritty, dark reality, the cost of getting me to buy into your hyperreality, is that you have to make sure your reality canvas and internal logic works. In other words: if you're going to rely upon reality as the back drop to tell your comic book story (which, I would argue, is why I love Frank Miller's work) you have to show me that you have credibility to portray a realistic universe before I buy into the fantastic universe that you're selling. Otherwise you end up insulting me as a viewer (I'm looking a you, The Walking Dead.)

So, for example, I'm willing to buy into the prospect that the POTUS of the DC universe will use a realistic convention such as ICBMs to defeat Kryptonians (as opposed to, I dunno, magic ten megawatt lasers), so long as you know how ICBMs work. Likewise, if you want me to buy into the fact that Bruce Wayne, after decades of crime fighting, is having an existential crisis haunted by memories of his parents being killed by a desperate common gunman holding up a wealthy couple to steal, among other things, his wealthy mother's strand of pearls, you better fucking know how fancy things like this work, namely, that expensive pearls aren't strung together like a fruit loop necklace: real pearls are knotted in between each pearl to keep them from rubbing against each other.

Again, as a viewer, I'm willing to forgive a helluva lot. But if I'm presented with a plot that's based on a premise that Batman hates Superman, and all I'm given to figure out, e.g. why the fuck Scoot McNairy is pissed off with a dude who just fucking saved civilization, and all I'm being given to figure that out is a mysterious altercation in a desert and some hallucinations by Bruce Wayne, I can't be generous because the screenwriters and director aren't given me anything, and I'm stuck waiting for two hours until Wonder Woman shows up and the explosions start to be interested again.

So, that's the best articulation I can make of my experience. I'm open to suggestions on how to rewatch the movie to have a better experience. In the meantime, I would also respectfully ask you to consider how hurtful it is to be the subject of derision simply because I attempted to articulate my frustration with a couple of details that took me completely out of the movie, one detail of which is a detail that I noticed in no small part because because I am a human female. Perhaps you can understand how, when this happens, as a female, it feels a bit misogynistic? Just a teeny bit? Not saying that's the way things are, I'm just articulating how it feels to me, and again, I'm open to ways to interpret that experience in a more positive way.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:29 PM on March 26, 2016 [7 favorites]

Crossoverman has a point (not about the pearls, I've seen that criticism elsewhere) and as someone who won't be seeing the film for some time (it's not even open here as far as I know) I'll remove myself from the discussion, since it's going to be some months before it is out on DVD.

[Of course I am going to see it: Ben Affleck as Batman, Batgirl in the deleted scenes, Wonder Woman, and Superman, with Flash and Aquaman? I can't not].
posted by Mezentian at 7:08 PM on March 26, 2016

So I actually liked this movie. I was all prepared to hate it given the reviews but if you accept that it's going to be Zack Snyder joint, then it's actually pretty fun. Cavill is still pretty bland but I liked most of the other performances and while Snyder is still not my favorite director, he still stages action better than Nolan and at least there was a minimum of that speed-ramping thing that he normally does.
posted by octothorpe at 8:39 PM on March 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

I feel conflicted about this movie. Feels like it was rushed. The speed at which Batman had a change of heart was jarring. Does Luthor know everyones secret identity now? If so, why would he invite Diana, Clark & Bruce to the same party. I didn't see a folder on Batman (but he would not be listed under meta human anyways). Does Luthor know of Darkseid as well ( & was his pinging at the end that of the motherbox)? Though the movie did get me very excited as well at times. I was half hoping for Aquaman to save Lois and retrieve the spear. What was that box like thingy that was used on cyborg?
posted by asra at 9:27 PM on March 26, 2016

I think that was supposed to be a Mother Box, but I only think that from so many DCAU cartoons. They never mention Darkseid per se but the flying monkey creatures fit in with what para-demons
look like in the most recent DC re-incarnation.
posted by kittensofthenight at 12:20 AM on March 27, 2016

To be fair, this film didn't make much less sense than the last Avengers film. Which I guess is faint praise but it's definitely a problem with all this films that they want to stuff so many characters and situations into one script that none of it holds together very well.
posted by octothorpe at 5:21 AM on March 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

An interesting review from The Quietus: Zack's The Way To Screw It: Batman V Superman Dawn Of Justice Reviewed:

The result is an incoherent masterpiece that brings the Superhero action film as close to the avant-garde as it has ever been or will ever go again. A genuine Outsider Blockbuster. Snyder went to film school, so one presumes he knows what editing is for and how it works. His previous films, Watchmen, 300 etc, although not good, at least hung together in a way that suggested that someone somewhere understood the basics of how to advance a plot. Dawn Of Justice, having practically no plot whatsoever, is free to throw this so-called sophistication out of the window.
posted by sapagan at 12:43 PM on March 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

I loved Wonder Woman a lot, and I totally bought Ben Affleck as both Bruce Wayne & Batman. Henry Cavill managed to look smug even while unconscious, so I guess that's a skill of sorts.

There were a lot of things I didn't like, and some boring bits, but overall, not as bad as I'd feared.

Oh, and Jesse Eisenberg's performance was great ... it just wasn't Lex Luthor.

(Thought my 12-year old did observe, "I'm surprised Deus Ex Machina didn't get a writing credit".)
posted by dotgirl at 3:19 PM on March 27, 2016 [6 favorites]

Incoherent is the perfect word. Batfleck was great, though.

As soon as I saw the guy with the M-60 I knew the "I believe you" line was coming.
posted by entropicamericana at 4:52 PM on March 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

I thought perhaps because since I lowered my expectations to sub-basement level and because I'm not a comic book fan, that I wouldn't be as in much danger of thinking the movie wasn't very good.

Well, no.

My main impression is that what I saw was recognizable as a movie because many of the same actors and actresses appeared over and over again as the same characters in a series of scenes, all of which seemed to be somehow related, although I can't really say how. I did infer that Batman was really angry at Superman because Superman flew into one of the Wayne buildings when he was fighting aliens or something, and that Batman was also just really angry in general, because he was going around the city acting as a vigilante. I was also able to pick up that Batman wasn't alone in this anger--Lex Luthor didn't like Superman, either, and neither did a lot of protestors, although some people really liked Superman, maybe, like the editorial board of the Daily Planet.

Then there was something to do with a complicated plot involving making the public angry at Superman by killing people in Africa, as if Americans cared about this, but they must have, because there were Congressional hearings (?). Also, no one told Batman that a security guard was returning his checks and scrawling creepy messages on them. I could ascertain that Batman wanted to figure out what Lex Luthor was up to, and that this was a way for injecting Wonder Woman into the story, and that also that Batman was visited in a dream (or maybe not during a dream?) by some other superhero, and after that all happened he was doubly certain to kill Superman, so he used old school weight training methods in his futuristic underground lair in order to prepare for a battle; once Lex Luthor succeeded in pitting the two of them against one another, Batman had a change of heart due to the coincidence of his mother and Superman's mother having the same first name, and then there was a dark and tedious action sequence during which the exact harm that caused Batman and everyone else to be angry at Superman in the first place came to pass, when Superman's presence led to an apocalyptic battle that destroyed a lot of buildings.

So, for actual fans of Batman and/or Superman, what parts of the movie were pleasing and satisfying in any kind of way? Is it really the kind of hot mess I tried to recount above? Or is it just a somewhat messy retelling of a lot of DC Comic canon that an outsider like me can't make sense of but insiders enjoy?
posted by MoonOrb at 6:47 PM on March 27, 2016 [5 favorites]

That was not any Superman I've ever seen in a comic book, but I enjoyed the Batman. I think Batman works best as a lone vigilante and I loved The Dark Knight Returns, which Snyder cops from freely, but it also felt dirty to see so much of Miller's work blatantly lifted and used out of context. Didn't care for the Batmobile scene, though.

Anyone else spot the "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes" graffiti?
posted by entropicamericana at 6:56 PM on March 27, 2016

"Thought my 12-year old did observe, "I'm surprised Deus Ex Machina didn't get a writing credit"."

That is some beautiful snark right there. You're raising your kid just right.
posted by Molesome at 5:02 AM on March 28, 2016 [6 favorites]

so he used old school weight training methods in his futuristic underground lair in order to prepare for a battle

Clearly this does not make sense, so there must be another reason. The most obvious one is to indicate Bruce's obsessive nature, not only does he have a bat fetish but also a tyre fetish, he tries to think of as many ways as he can to use tyres for gym equipment. If you are paying attention later on there is a close of scene where Alfred is talking to a video feed of Batman and it seems like Batman's armoured forearm almost looks like it is made of a section of tyre. Clearly this is Snyder blowing off all those who think he can't do character development.

I also don't think there has been enough love in this thread for the generic CGI monster. The generic CGI monster union works hard to keep generic CGI monsters on our screens and the least we can do is offer a word of thanks.
posted by biffa at 6:48 AM on March 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

Watch the joy drain out of Ben Affleck's soul as he learns, live during a press junket interview, precisely how bad the reviews for this movie are.

"You can actually pinpoint the second when his heart rips in half."
posted by kirkaracha at 7:14 AM on March 29, 2016 [4 favorites]

I thought that Affleck's performance was one of the best parts of the movie. He certainly did a better job than Cavill who barely registered or Eisenberg who seemed to be playing in different film than everyone else.
posted by octothorpe at 7:20 AM on March 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

> Jesse Eisenberg's performance was great

What? No. He was god awful. He needed adderall to stop him, not superman.
posted by anti social order at 4:06 PM on March 29, 2016 [3 favorites]

I'm going to blame Snyder for Luthor, it was Godawful but i assume Eisenberg was asked to play it like that, awful decision.

What was Luthor's actual plan? What was he planning to do the day after trying to get Barman and Superman to kill each other/releasing a planet destroying monster?

Why exactly did Lois drop the spear in an old swimming pool?
posted by biffa at 5:24 PM on March 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yeah, it's probably wrong for me to blame Eisenberg; I'm sure that he had no more idea what the hell was going on than the audience does.
posted by octothorpe at 5:40 PM on March 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

I assume they told Eisenberg "Act like a cross between Mark Zuckerberg and Brad Pitt's character in 12 Monkeys." And he nailed it.
posted by mmoncur at 8:45 PM on March 29, 2016 [6 favorites]

They were pretty much all let down by a script with crass and awful dialogue piled on a plot that made no sense.
posted by biffa at 3:31 AM on March 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

What We Liked and Hated (Mostly Hated) About Batman v Superman)

This movie is what happens when meatheads decide they’re going to wave the nerd flag.

posted by numaner at 12:32 PM on March 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

is a worthy read.

I'm stuck on one single point of contrast between the Christopher Reeve Superman and the Snyder one: how they land. It's a half-second that expresses the contrast perfectly.

One alights. The other one smashes.
posted by Shepherd at 8:54 AM on March 31, 2016 [5 favorites]

My film review summed up in one simple conversation:

SUPERMAN: On the count of three, say your mom's name.
BATMAN: Did we just become best friends?
posted by Fizz at 4:32 PM on March 31, 2016 [7 favorites]

I still maintain that scene would have been better if Superman had replied "I was starting to call you a motherfucker," and Batman lanced him with the kryptonite.
posted by MoonOrb at 5:22 PM on March 31, 2016

I don't really like Batman or Superman all that much, and I quite liked this movie. Mostly because the meta-entertainment of watching the gnashing and wailing of fanboys and critics alike. 2016 has delivered us Trump in superhero movie form, and this is one vote that will only cost you a dozen dollars, instead of the fate of an entire republic.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:06 PM on March 31, 2016

I honestly do not get the ire thrown at this movie. I thought it was 100 pounds of awesome. This was a fantastic spectacle.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:29 AM on April 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

Stuff blowed up real adequately.
posted by entropicamericana at 7:09 AM on April 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

This movie: sucked.
A lot.
posted by Mezentian at 11:13 AM on April 2, 2016

Having had time to recover:
I didn't hate this as much as Fantastic Four or Man of Steel, and it was nowhere near Transformers bad.

Affleck and Irons were great, and I would see a Batman film with them, but this was not Batman.
Gal Gadot was a good Wonder Woman, but a terrible Diana Prince.

The first 20 minutes is awful, so much so I had to walk away for a bit when they killed Jimmy. But that first 20 minutes was so awful I was kind of "oh course" when the "Martha" moment hit, and then Doomsday turned up and I cared very little indeed.

It seems to be 29% on Rotten Tomatoes, which seems fair.
posted by Mezentian at 7:31 PM on April 2, 2016

I was expecting this to be terrible based on the reviews, but I enjoyed it. I'm not a main dude of comics though. Yeah there were some parts that didn't make sense and weren't very fun to watch, but overall I felt it was entertaining. I'm confused about how nobody realizes Clark Kent is Superman though. Also, I thought I had perhaps missed a previous film when that guy from the future showed up and shouted about Lois Lane. That was very odd.
posted by A Bad Catholic at 3:29 PM on April 3, 2016

From a WashPo article about Joe Medicine Chief, the war chief who passed away recently:

Plains Indians won honor by counting “coups,” or acts of bravery in battle. The most illustrious coup was to touch an enemy and escape unharmed — something that Medicine Crow wasn’t intending to do when he helped raid a German village. But then he (literally) bumped into a German soldier while scouting in an alley.

“I swung my rifle to knock his rifle off his hands,” he told filmmaker Ken Burns for the documentary “The War.” “All I had to do was pull the trigger.”

Instead, Medicine Crow dropped his own weapon and “tore into” the other man. After a moment’s tussle, he grabbed the man’s neck. “I was ready to kill him,” he said.

And then the German yelled, “Mama.”

“That word ‘Mama,’ opened my ears. I let him go.”

Family is a universal trait that binds us to our humanity. It's not so unbelievable that Bruce Wayne could be shaken out of a murderous bloodlust by being reminded by it, especially the invocation was of someone so personal to him.
posted by Apocryphon at 9:31 AM on April 4, 2016 [2 favorites]

I had no intention of seeing this because I hated/was bored by Man of Steel (only reason I saw it was being stuck on a planet), but then I had to go see it for someone's birthday.

Well, I don't hate it as much as Man of Steel, so that's....something. Mostly just super dark and badly done and ridiculous in a lot of ways and rather exhausting to watch even though I was in the best theater ever with comfy recliner chairs. My mom was dragged into this too and she normally falls asleep every time she sits still in the dark, but she was mostly awake for this. Which is probably a shame since she really has no idea on superhero movies.

I don't really care if Batman or Superman have to kill bad guys--look, sometimes you can't stop someone or put them in prison--but branding? He just carries around a hot branding iron on his tool belt at all times during fights and never accidentally brands himself by mistake?

Lex is Lex Luthor as portrayed by the Joker. Oh brother.

Oh well, I guess this is apparently the only way to do a movie with Wonder Woman in it now.

Still prefer Marvel's Avengers.

" I'm confused about how nobody realizes Clark Kent is Superman though. "

It boils down to: you should assume people in superhero movies are really, really, really stupid.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:32 PM on April 4, 2016 [2 favorites]

I had no intention of seeing this because I hated/was bored by Man of Steel (only reason I saw it was being stuck on a planet),

Aren't we all.
posted by phearlez at 12:42 PM on April 4, 2016 [6 favorites]

" I'm confused about how nobody realizes Clark Kent is Superman though. "

In an age where Facebook can correctly pick me out of a crowd from a twenty year old scanned picture, it's pretty silly that no one can identify either Batman or Superman.
posted by octothorpe at 1:19 PM on April 4, 2016 [5 favorites]

I saw it yesterday with my father. I understand disappointment, but I don't quite get the level of hate that seems directed to it, unless it's the "for $250 million it should have EFFING BEEN BETTER." Yeah, it probably should have been better. But it wasn't terrible, and it was a lot better than Man of Steel and in fact it did yoeman's work retroactively making MoS not quite so bad itself.

MoS seemed entirely unaware that it was 9-11ing its 9-11 9-11 with a 9-11. BvS actually fixes that and gives us to understand that yeah, the Supes-Zod battle was horribly traumatic and broke the world in major ways. Unlike a lot of people I found BvS pretty easy to follow. It was stuffed with events and didn't have enough time left for character development but I thought it made sense, while the characters weren't deeply drawn they at least weren't self-contradictory, I was in fact able to follow the story despite not being a comics nerd, and FTW best portrayal of Wonder Woman ever.

Considering what a major improvement this was over MoS, it will be a shame if its flopness puts the kibosh on another try.

DC's biggest problem is that they do not have Marvel's sense of self-deprecation and the basic understanding that it's a comic book movie. The Avengers are constantly snarking and there are little bits of humor and in jokes in almost every scene, even when very bad and dark things are happening. MoS and BvS are by contrast grim, dark, dark, grim, and utterly, completely humorless. There are only a couple of funny lines in the entire movie. (Yes, there were a couple of funny lines. Supes to Bats: "Is she with you?" Bats to Supes: "I thought she was with you.") And of course the way Gal Gadot plays Diana ups the bar. Each time the big bad nearly kicks the shit out of her she rises up and looks out as if she is thinking, "I haven't had a challenge this good in thousands of years." And she totally sells it.
posted by Bringer Tom at 7:19 PM on April 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

Hopefully the edits to Suicide Squad will do the trick. Snyder's DC movies are far too self-serious grimdark, but Disney's Marvel films and their self-too-clever-by-half snark is wearying me out as well. This year we saw that FOX's Deadpool bridge the two effectively.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:10 AM on April 5, 2016

The pearls thing didn't bother me because a major TV show made the same mistake a season or two ago and its largely female audience--which should've known better--barely blinked. I've chalked it up to one of those "only on TV or in movies" things you're just supposed to accept.

What did annoy me about BvS was all the religious imagery. For example, the scene where Lois is cradling Superman's dead body, while Batman and Wonder Woman gaze upon them, and with what resembles two crosses in the background particularly galled me. Who was supposed to be impressed by such evocative staging, especially since it's an easy assumption that Superman will be resurrected for a future film? As far as I'm concerned, the only sins Superman died for in this movie are Zack Snyder's.

I am looking forward to the Wonder Woman movie though. I thought her introduction was great.
posted by fuse theorem at 7:11 PM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

I like how whenever they destroyed a building, a character would say, "Thank goodness nobody was in there."
posted by RobotHero at 8:15 AM on April 7, 2016 [3 favorites]

only reason I saw it was being stuck on a planet

I suspect this is a typo, but it is my favourite one for quite some time, especially as in some ways it is the reason Superman is Superman, and does all the things he does.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 10:48 AM on April 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yeah, it was. Sadly, the dead opposite happened IRL....but "stuck on a planet watching the sequel" applies.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:08 PM on April 9, 2016

I enjoyed it. It was completely stupid and bereft of any character development at all. It was basically a golden age comic with a modern age aesthetic.
posted by P.o.B. at 5:21 AM on April 17, 2016 [3 favorites]

I liked it and honestly appreciated the dourness after the recent string of light and quippy Marvel flicks.
posted by Small Dollar at 6:53 PM on May 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Geoff Johns and Jon Berg to head new DC Films unit, promises “hope and optimism.”
“I think people make a mistake when they say, ‘Superman’s not relatable because he’s so powerful,’” he said. “I’m like, ‘Are you kidding me? He’s a farmboy from Kansas who moves to the city and just wants to do the best he can with what he’s got.’ That’s the most relatable character in the world.”
I wonder how long it will be before Zack Snyder is off of the Justice League film.posted by 1970s Antihero at 1:12 PM on May 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

It's already filming, so difficult to remove him without it being embarrassingly public and an admission of failure. I wouldn't bet on him getting final cut, though.
posted by tavella at 1:32 PM on May 19, 2016

Geoff "Cape Rape" Johns, face of hope and optimism!
posted by phearlez at 2:30 PM on May 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

No, see, those were hopeful and optimistic scenes of people getting their arms torn off on-camera.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:51 PM on May 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

I wasn't gonna see it, but it hit the dollar theatre and I thought, what the heck, I've heard all about the bad parts already, so it might be fun to see a few good action scenes.

I was so wrong. This movie is sooooo slow, soooo serious, sooooo boring. So many slow, portentous shots of grim people making grim faces while the music is VERY PORTENOUS.

And the action scenes were terrible. Batman moves with zero grace; even when he's not in that clunky battlesuit he moves like a tank. Superman doesn't use his speed at all after that first scene where he kills the guy threatening Lois. Isn't he fast enough to have saved even one person from the bomb in the Senate instead of just standing there like an idiot? And of course he's in no hurry in the Batman fight, doesn't just rip Wayne out of his battlesuit first thing, just stands there for an eternity watching Batman chamber another kryptonite round and letting Batman raise his gun and shoot him with kryptonite a second time.

I also liked how Superman was actually successfully taking Doomsday completely away from the planet and looked all set to knock the monster to where it could do not harm until the US govt nuked them.

I really didn't need to see polaroids of Ma Kent gagged with tears running down her face.

And hurray for Pa Kent with the inspiring story about how he tried to help someone and accidentally drowned a bunch of horses. That's the small-town hope and optimism Geoff Johns is talking about.

And wow Batman sure did kill a whole bunch of guys who were committing the crime of driving / guarding a truck for Lex Luthor.

I spent most of the movie feeling sorry for the kids in the theater. They seemed soooo bored.
posted by straight at 10:48 PM on May 29, 2016

I feel like the rest of the movie is the price we pay to see five minutes of a shirtless Batffleck doing a Crossfit workout.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:49 PM on May 30, 2016

Wow, they must've cut savagely to get it down to three hours. The version I saw was at least 5 1/2 hours, maybe closer to 6.
posted by straight at 8:38 PM on June 2, 2016 [4 favorites]

Finally got this on loan from the library because I sure wasn't going to pay any money to see it. I came away with two questions:

1.) Why was Keefe (legless guy) so mad at Bruce Wayne again? I mean he was a Wayne employee, right, and then Bruce helped rescue him from the rubble and then ... uh ... maybe I wasn't paying attention but next thing I know he's rejecting his assistance checks and writing mean notes.

2.) In the credits most actors were listed as playing characters with full names like Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent and Lex Luthor but Amy Adams was credited only as one word: Lois. Why is that? I'm pretty sure at some point Luthor even said her last name, so it's not like the filmmakers just forgot who she was.

Oh hey here's a bonus! I've traveled from the future of one year from now to bring you my review of the movie, based on how much of it I remember and care about:

posted by komara at 1:06 PM on August 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

Okay, so I'm a year late, but I believed the reviews, so I didn't bother in the theaters, and then last night I was just skipping around HBO On Demand because my spouse was teaching a late class and the baby was asleep, so I had a few hours to kill, so.

Later, I tried to explain to my spouse why the movie sucked, and here's what I came up with: It was three movies, all the worst versions of themselves.

"Hey, let's make a Dark Knight Returns movie!"
"Great idea!"
"But let's make it mainly from Superman's POV!"
"Wait, what?"
"And let's make a Death of Superman movie!"
"Um, sure..."
"But it should be just the Doomsday part, not the four Supermans part."
"Hang on, that wasn't really a whole movie worth of--"
"Oh, and it should be from Lex Luthor's POV."
"Wait, he wasn't even in--"
"And we should make a Justice League origin movie!"
"Okay, I guess..."
"Except it'll be, like, the first half of the first book of a four-issue miniseries."
"Wait, these are all sounding like horrible movies."
"No, you missed the best part -- it's all the same movie!"
"Oh goddammit."
posted by Etrigan at 11:22 AM on February 15, 2017 [5 favorites]

It's like the Bizarro version of Dark Knight Rises, which was also three movies but managed to be the entertaining kind of reach-exceeding-the-screenwriter's-grasp nonsense.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:35 AM on February 16, 2017

Etrigan, I think that's about right, except that it's an adaptation of Dark Knight Returns, Death of Superman, and the origin of the Justice League done by someone who has only had the premises of those stories summarized by someone else and thought, "Hmm, I know how to fix that stuff to make a kickass movie."
posted by straight at 9:47 PM on February 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

finally I'm watching this, mostly for completion because I'm seeing Justice League later today. I'm surprised nobody commented yet on how the Wayne parents are Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Lauren Cohen, who are enemies on The Walking Dead, and that was a funny bit to me.

- It took time but Cavill and Adams eventually grew on me as a believable couple. Maybe their chemistry works better in times of danger than everyday life.
- I don't like Luthor as an insane techbro... although maybe I don't like Eisenberg for it... also maybe both.
- Laurence Fishburne should have all the roles.
- Why is every other scene so damn dark? Like, I don't care about realism or whatever, I'm already suspending my belief, I don't care that it's brighter than it should be so I can actually see what's happening.
- Did they just put Wilhelm Scream with a car?
- Ok the build up wasn't bad, but yeah that was a dumb way for them to start fighting. Like "I'm going to try to convince him!" by immediately start pushing him around. Yeah he started attacking first, but you're freaking Superman.
- Doomsday was done well. I liked it.
- I didn't hate Affleck as Batman as much as I thought I would.
- I wanna know what the authorities found for proof of Superman's death. Like there's no body for them...
posted by numaner at 12:27 PM on November 16, 2017

oh yeah this happened so early in the movie that i forgot to comment on it by the end: wtf was that with Jimmy Olsen? Like way to use an established name for an offshoot character that dies in the beginning.

Also, all the deaths, like... holy shit I thought Man of Steel had a lot of deaths. I dunno if I'm complaining or not, but maybe it feels out of place for that many deaths in a superhero film?
posted by numaner at 12:37 PM on November 16, 2017

I actually sorta liked Batfleck. And I honestly don't mind Cavill as Supes, although I'm less thrilled with how Supes is getting written these days. I don't know what was added for the extended director's cut, but 3 hours was at least a half hour too long, I was sort of unclear about the whole B plot with the Kryptonite, there were at least a few plot pertinent decisions that only would make sense to the true believers, and a whole lotta idiotball passing to make the plot proceed.

I think they did a good job of making both Supes and Batfleck feel the other was unaccountable and going too far, so that was nice.

I kind of want to get drunk and watch Justice League again, now that I have the "Supes is dead" from this to help make it make sense.
posted by Kyol at 6:48 AM on January 24, 2019

Just watched this so I could understand the conversation over the justice league Snyder cut.

I loved it! I watched it and fell asleep to it over the course of three evenings. Great way to relax. I quite enjoyed the slow shots, lingering on faces to set up complex moods and feelings - layers of bad feeling, frustration, confusion, fear, and anxiety.

The Captain America / Avengers series is cut much differently, throwing a ton of action and story information at the viewer. This gave me a much better relationship with the characters, by not worrying too much about story.

I hope Justice League is the same!
posted by rebent at 4:38 PM on March 22, 2021

So, I finally get around to seeing this after five years and a wee bit of change, because I can do so on HBO Max for free, and... well, it sure is a thing. This io9 post from the thread on the blue sums up most of the dumbth pretty well. Like that reviewer, there were a few parts that I liked; the ground-eye view of the devastation in Metropolis in Man of Steel was pretty obviously intended to evoke 9/11, there are some of the quieter moments between Lois and Clark that work very well, and the neighbors bringing casseroles for Clark's country funeral was a nice touch. Of course, right after that, they show Clark's coffin being pulled by two horses through a field to the cemetery, which... no. I'm not sure if Zach Snyder thought that plain, simple country folk still do things like that, or he just thought that it would be cool and went, fuck it, it goes in. A lot of the rest of the movie is like that. Oh, and Gal Gadot's scenes were pretty good; if you didn't know that she was Wonder Woman, then it would be kind of neat to see this mystery lady periodically show up and wonder (heh) if she was a spy or something. And her part of the big final fight scene was deserving of the praise that it was given at the time.

But the rest of the movie was just a hash, and not a good one. Speaking of fight scenes, for someone who's done a lot of them, Snyder isn't particularly good at them; people get thrown through buildings and there's a lot of smoke and flame and whatnot, but they're oddly stiff and jerky. I started getting bored during Batman's big hostage rescue fight. Superman has about the dumbest death ever; Batman insists on dragging Doomsday back to Metropolis because the kryptonite spear is there, without explaining why he couldn't just get the spear and bring it to the conveniently abandoned island where Doomsday has landed, so... the guy who was so mad at Superman for the destruction of part of Metropolis helps bring the even more destructive guy back to Metropolis. And then Superman has to deliver the spear, which is harmful for him to even be near, instead of say Wonder Woman doing so while Supes and Bats distract him. Jesse Eisenberg's Luthor is awful, maybe even worse than Jared Leto's Joker in Suicide Squad. The movie cribs unashamedly from the comics The Dark Knight Returns and The Death of Superman without once improving on the source material, which itself hasn't aged particularly well, and in general Batfleck's introduction isn't much of a much; the best part of it is Jeremy Irons' Alfred, who seems pre-embarrassed by the spectacle about to come.

Oh, and this is the three-hour version of this movie, so that's seven hours of Snyder that I've watched recently, and I try not to think of, say, the episodes of Halt and Catch Fire that I could have been watching instead... but then Scoot McNairy is in this, too. Le sigh.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:30 PM on April 29, 2021

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