I left writing my thoughts on Batman VS Superman because frankly, I wanted to let it sit with my for a while. I had really high hopes for Batman VS Superman. From the outset I knew it was going to be very difficult to top Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight franchise and the standard was set really high. The only thing to have cast doubt on my mind was The Man of Steel. It was a big let down and although it’s direction and take on Superman was interesting, it’s plot was badly made. I don’t think it was too dark, in fact I welcome in the grittier DC take on heroes. Man of Steel wasn’t terrible, neither was it great. It was simply a mediocre film you might see again on Television. In that light, Batman VS Superman could have gone either way. From my viewing of it, it is clear that is went neither way, it was mediocre.
The best thing about the film was Ben Affleck’s Batman. I still can’t forgive him for 2003’s Gigli, so if Affleck screwed Batman up as bad as Clooney, his previous works like The Town and Good Will Hunting would have been lost on me. Thankfully he played a good batman. That is as far as I am willing to go when it comes to praising Batman VS Superman, because everything else about the film didn’t make sense.
Firstly, what was up with Lex Luthor? When I picture Lex Luthor I would never have pictured Jesse Eisenberg. His motives make no sense, he is two-dimensional. He wants to kill Superman because ‘reasons’. His intentions come down to seeing Superman as a competitor for world control and by destroying him, he destroys his opposition. To achieve his goal he goads Batman into a showdown with Superman, which is elaborate and stupid. Lex could have easily made a kryptonite weapon and killed Superman. His backup plan makes even less sense. He creates Doomsday as the unkillable weapon to strike down Superman. Hypothetically speaking, if Doomsday had succeeded in Killing Superman, then what？Doomsday would be free to do what he wanted, nothing could stop him destroying worlds. Surely an enemy that can be reasoned with or manipulated like Superman is better than an enemy that only wants to destroy.
Superman’s dislike for Batman comes from Batman’s punishment of criminals, who he would rather punish than rehabilitate. Superman comes off as being naive, as his Boy Scout tactics would never work in the slums of Gotham. His tactics are brute force that can’t police everything. Batman’s tactics work because he is the thought in the back of the head of every criminal. He hits the gangs and mobs where it hurts and even though he is a hero, not a superhero, he is extremely effective. Superman is too naive to understand that Batman’s tactics, although brutal, are effective in curbing crime. Of course, Batman also doesn’t make a whole lot of sense either.
Batman killed a lot of people. In this DC Universe, he doesn’t care about killing. He was even willing to kill superman. Batman’s motivation also makes nearly no sense. He states that even if there is just a 1% chance Superman is bad, they still need to act on it. I’m sorry, but 1% is a ridiculous number, maybe if he said 50% I would say you have a point Batsy, but 1% makes him sound like a complete lunatic who is not using logic to decide on the best course of action. Batman is suppose to be the smart guy. It is the reason he is able to defeat Superman, he doesn’t rely on brute force, he relies on his ability to judge a situation and come at it sideways and not full throttle force forward like Superman. I get that Lex Lutor is suppose to be the mastermind behind influencing Batman, but he doesn’t come off as being the mastermind of anything.
Finally Wonder Woman. What was the point? She isn’t integral to the plot and is put in simply because they are trying to build a DC Universe. It was cheap and didn’t add anything to the movie. By the end of it, Batman tells Wonder Woman they need to find others that are superheroes and create a group to defend Earth because ‘reasons’. She added nothing to the overall plot and was there simply to be there. But watching this movie, everything that was there was there to be there, there was no other logic behind what was going on. It was a mess of a film that had some high points, but these high points are overshadowed by a lack logical planning and reasoning for characters.
I could write an entire thesis on the problems with this film, but that is the bones of the problems in this film. Though, I disagree with the reviews. It is probably because I went in watching Batman VS Superman with low expectations and subsequently I wasn’t let down. It had it’s problems, but it was a mediocre superhero film, much like Man of Steel. It wasn’t anything special or too terrible. It was just terribly mediocre which is why I think it was given such a barrage of hatred. People were excited about it, the hype was huge and with Ben Affleck as Batman, the build-up was made even worse. With so much hype invested into the film, it was either going to deliver more than expected or be nothing like the hype promised. Thankfully I didn’t pay attention to the hype and could enjoy the film for what it should have been, a 50% on Rotten Tomatoes.
So what could have been done differently? I think they should have avoided Batman VS Superman, and focused on Ben Affleck’s Batman in a solo project to help us understand his bitterness. It is obvious he has lived through some very dark times and that he has come out the other end more less willing to compromise. This should have been explored more. They could have even taken this opportunity to introduce Lex Luthor as some kind of hidden antagonist to Batman, thus giving us some relationship between the two by the time Batman VS Superman comes around.
Superman should have also been given a Man of Steel sequel to help grow his character. Man of Steel was also a terribly mediocre film that didn’t make a whole lot of sense either. If Snyder took his time to develop this trio of Batman, Superman and Luthor before he set them on the big screen for Batman VS Superman, we might have gotten the film we wanted to see. However, DC wants a Universe like Marvel and in there lies the problem. DC is catching up to Marvel, and despite the Dark Knight trilogy being so successful, they want a universe, and not solo superhero projects. This is where the problem is, instead of having all the villains and superheroes come together with a sense of fluidity, they all seem to be solo projects glued and stitched together badly. Snyder should have focused on solo projects then added them together to form a universe, once the characters were far more established. Marvel’s Avengers had solo projects for Ironman, Thor, The Hulk and Captain America before they even dared make the Avengers. The character were established, understood and could be brought together with conflict and cooperation that felt genuine. Batman VS Superman didn’t feel genuine enough.
I still have high hopes for the DC Universe. With the Suicide Squad coming out soon, it may lend a helpful boost to the universe. Maybe the villains of the DC Universe will be the heroes the fans have been waiting for to save this already dying Universe before it has even taken off the ground. I disagree that the DC Universe needs humour to offset the seriousness. I argue the grittiness of DC is what differentiates it from Marvel. I would rather have something original from DC, rather than a mere bad copy of Marvel. Time will only tell if DC has a reputable Universe and I am hopeful they will.
Make sure to check out That Mossy Guy Facebook page and give me a like if you enjoy my blog.