The Thoughts I Thinkily Thunked Whilst Watching Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn Of Justice (Ultimate Edition)


Yesterday, I watched Batman Vs. Superman, Ultimate Edition.

Mistakes were made.

I have archived my thoughts here for you all to see them.

*disclaimer: if you’re the type of person who cannot grasp that sometimes people don’t like stuff you like or like stuff you hate and that makes you want to get on here and yell at me about it, spoiler warning: don’t bother*

Let us begin. There may be spoilers, if you can comprehend my gabble.

* * *

this movie’s gonna be so dark I can barely see anything, isn’t it

“There was a time above… a time before… there were perfect things… diamond absolutes. But things fall… things on earth. And what falls… is fallen. In the dream, it took me to the light. A beautiful lie.” — what the sweet hot hell does any of that mean

OH THANK GOD I never knew how Batman’s became Batman omg his parents died I HAD NO IDEA ha ha lol jk —

Seriously, though, do we need to revisit this particular point of torture porn every time we have a Batman movie. We get it. We know. And by the way, Batman needs to be more than just the death of his parents. It’s a huge event in a boy’s life, but it’s myopic to focus on this again and again and again and again. Has nothing else of value ever happened to him?

(wait, I like the conceit of the gun’s hammer breaking the pearl strand though — I know the pearls overall are Miller’s inclusion, but the hammer breaking them, is that Snyder’s? Gotta give Snyder points for style)

(also as a sidenote, we need to get miles away from Frank Miller’s view of things in comic book film and TV — let’s find some competing visions from other creators, yeah?)

oh wait we’re in africa

I’m sure this will be handled really gracefully and not at all racistly and with all the gentle aplomb of Michael Bay stuffing your grandmother full of explosives and using her to blow up an M1 Abrams tank

OH GOD IT JUST OCCURRED TO ME ZACK SNYDER IS KINDA LIKE A MORE PRETENTIOUS MICHAEL BAY — like, Bay is Budweiser, but Snyder is a super-bitter IPA that claims to be craft-brewed but it’s really just made in the same tank as the Budweiser beer

jimmy olsen is

OMG jimmy olsen just got got

that seems really cynical

LIKE HERE IS A BELOVED CHARACTER FROM SUPERMAN HISTORY ha ha ha fuck you fan-nerds I just put a bullet in his head BOOM who will I kill next OH LOOK IT’S KRYTPO AND ACE THE BAT-HOUND AND wham I just drove them over with the Batmobile motherfuckers oh it’s Aunt May from SPIDER-MAN how is she in this movie IT DON’T MATTER because I just pushed her in front of a city bus and we watched her die in super-slick 4K slow-mo

god it’s really early in this movie and I have too many thoughts

let’s move forward a bit

*clock spins, calendar pages fly off the wall*

JESUS GOD THIS MOVIE IS 47 HOURS LONG

so here are some observations

first, Snyder hates Superman

hates him — like, just detests the very idea of Superman

He treats Superman as if he’s this angry, aloof Narcissist who really doesn’t like having his actions questioned while at the same time being perfectly comfortable questioning everyone else’s actions — he’s dour-faced and full of rage and not much fun

Which is the other thing — this movie is a humorless, joy-sucking vampire

Like, there’s almost zero levity, no jokes, no light, no warmth, just the dark shine of Zack Snyder’s soul katana slicing its way across your heart and your love of these characters

Batman has already killed a buncha dudes, either directly or by proxy

And the dialogue is inflated and pompous without saying much — it’s like that opening line, There was a time above… All of it is wrought in such a way to sound dramatic and thick with theme, but it’s hollow word salad garble-dookie that actually says very little at all, and does very little for character motivations.

Why are these characters doing anything?

Why is Lex Luthor doing any of this?

oh god he’s annoying

oh hey it’s Wonder Woman

oh hey she’s gone again

I’M ON HOUR 52 PLEASE SEND LIQUOR AND HOAGIES

this actually really reminds me of the Transformers movies — it takes a beloved geek fan property and does a lot of smashy-smashy action while pretending it’s about these BIG HEAVY IDEAS and while simultaneously milking any of the actual fun out of it because if it feels fun then it’s not GRR HMM SERIOUS BUSINESS

hey remember how much fun Guardians of the Galaxy was

or any of the original Superman movies

I mean jesus this movie makes WINTER SOLDIER look like ANT-MAN. Winter Soldier is full of sturm and drang and yet the characters get to have character moments and be funny and tell jokes and even in the middle of fighting each other they shine brightly whereas these superheroes are mostly just dull clods of hard dirt thrown at one another again and again

this movie is just a series of scenes

I’m not sure they really connect

They lead into one another but they don’t have narrative chain of consequence — they’re more like dominoes falling than storytelling

I mean, there’s a plot, but that’s all, it’s just a sequence of events

And my, what an incomprehensible sequence it is

WHAT IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING

I’m trying to figure that out again and again — I’m sitting here thinking, what is happening, why is it happening, why are these characters doing the things they’re doing, and I got nothin

tired

so tired

ON HOUR 67 PLEASE SEND SUCCOR IN THE FORM OF A SMOTHERING PILLOW

okay, I’m being over dramatic — I’ll say this for Snyder — first, he’s stylish as a motherfucker, and if he were simply directing it rather than actually imprinting himself upon it, this movie might work with a different script — second, he actually does all right by Batman. In fact, I’d argue he really never wanted to make a Superman movie and was just doing that so he could sneak his way into the Batman canon. He handles Batman well, and Affleck is actually a rock-fucking-solid Bats. (I’d also argue that wossname is a very good Superman, too, were he given a better, cooler, funnier, more noble superman to play.)

That scene in the capitol is pretty cool, if grim

why am I doing this

wait is that the flash

what did he even say

okay he’s gone again? is this a flashpoint thing?

how does lex luthor know all this shit

he knows everything, he knows who these characters are, he knows everything there is to know about Zod and the Kryptonian ship — he knows everything, and yet the one thing I don’t know is why he’s doing any of this

It’s like Luthor is filling a trope — I AM VILLAIN AND SO I WILL DO VILLAINY IN THE FORM OF AN INCOMPREHENSIBLE AND WILDLY OVER-COMPLICATED SCHEME

I mean seriously, his whole plot is — what? I can’t even talk it out, because I feel like it makes no sense. He wants Batman and Superman to fight. So he spends limitless resources and pulls a thousand puppet strings to make that happen, but couldn’t he have done that faster? His whole end goal is STEAL SUPERMAN’S MOM AND THREATEN SUPERMAN WITH HER DEATH TO GET HIM TO DO WHAT HE WANTS. So do that, instead, dum-dum. But the larger point is, why? Why does he have a hate-boner for Superman? Does he hate Batman, too? What is the end game? What is the motivation? How does he know anything at all about Doomsday? Why would he even unleash Doomsday? I need a clear line of thought between his scheme and how the result benefits him — this film has no interest in letting me know the stakes or the motivations, it’s mostly just a 179-hour excuse to get Superman and Batman to punch each other

and can we talk about that

can we talk about how even that was an epic letdown

LET’S SEE HERE, uhh, Batman has a MECHA SUIT (cool) and Kryptonite canisters and a fucking Kryptonite spear — and his opening move is like, machine guns and sonic waves? And Superman’s opening move is a hard shove? Superman could easily oh I dunno, wrap a girder around Batman’s suit and be like, “Now we talk,” and Batman’s opening move should be like HEY HAVE SOME KRYPTO GAS AND NOW A SPEAR IN YOUR CHEST except why is he trying to kill superman? Like, murder him? What’s the logic there? Superman is a god-like figure, but mostly does good in the world — like, he’s not flying around squeezing kittens to death. Why is Batman’s response to MURDER HIM? Not trap him, not stop him — but straight up impale him? Batman is a fucking psycho. (And by the way, the whole SUPERMAN MAY HAVE KILLED THAT AFRICAN VILLAGE conceit is completely toothless. It is unconvincing that anyone would buy it or that there is any evidence at all — further, it barely matters if people believe it, as it doesn’t really affect Lex’s scheme in the first damn place.)

The resultant fight between the two superheroes is so brutal and bestial — it’s these two titans throwing each other through things instead of trying to end the fight. Then when Batman is triumphant, he drags Superman around torturously. Batman hates Superman. Snyder hates Superman. OMG ZACK SNYDER IS BATMAN

so back to doomsday

spoiler warning: doomsday is just one of the cave trolls from LORD OF THE RINGS

it’s like Snyder just downloaded a Cave Troll Program and was like, “boom, doomsday, done”

maybe they ran out of money

ugh the women in this movie are mostly just props

Lois starts out strong but really does nothing and affects little and is a hostage in the end

Martha has mom lessons to grant but says nothing and does nothing and is a hostage in the end

Wonder Woman is cool — aaaaaand utterly devoid of anything resembling character or agency — she just shows up to be cool with her sword and that’s literally it. No sense of who she is at all. She is the epitome of the Strong Female Character — OH SHE’S SEXY AND HAS A SWORD AND CAN FIGHT SUPER-RAD AND SHE’S COOL AND ALOOF AND

oh did we mention she’s totally secondary to the men?

the movie is over now

superman is dead-ish

but he probably didn’t have to die?

like, couldn’t he have just given that spear to Wonder Woman instead of being a sacrificial martyr — like, “HEY, WONDER WOMAN, YOU SEEM REALLY STRONG AND AWESOME HERE CAN YOU DELIVER THIS SPEAR INTO THAT CAVE TROLL’S RUBBERY CGI BODY, COOL, ME AND BATS ARE GONNA BE BACK HERE SIPPING SOME HERBAL TEA”

okay hey it’s a funeral now

batman is all like, I FAILED MY GOOD FRIEND SPIDERMAN and wonder woman is like HIS NAME WAS SUPERMAN and Batman is like SHUT UP WHO ASKED YOU HIS NAME IS CLERK KORNT AND HE IS SPIDERMAN AND I FAILED THIS GUY WHO IS MY FRIEND EVEN THOUGH I HATE HIM AND TRIED TO KILL HIM BUT IT’S COOL BECAUSE OUR MOMS HAVE THE SAME NAME AND SO NOW MARTHA IS OUR SAFEWORD WHEN WE SEXPLAY

and then they’re like, NOW WE FORM THE JUSTICE LEAGUE BECAUSE I DUNNO, WHO FUCKING CARES, IT’S IN THE SCRIPT, CALL ZAN AND JAYNA AND THAT FUCKING PURPLE MONKEY IT’S TIME TO GRIMDARK THE WONDER FRIENDS — ZAN IS A FASCIST AND JAYNA IS A HEROIN ADDICTED SUPERMODEL AND THE MONKEY HAS A ZOMBIE VIRUS and wonder woman just roooooolls her eyes

Batman says: “Men are still good. We fight, we kill, we betray one another, but we can rebuild. We can do better. We will. We have to” which is a lot different from when he said “I bet your parents taught you that you mean something, that you’re here for a reason. My parents taught me a different lesson, dying in the gutter for no reason at all… They taught me the world only makes sense if you force it to” and also when he said “Twenty years in Gotham, Alfred; we’ve seen what promises are worth. How many good guys are left? How many stayed that way?”

so earlier he’s a cynical jerk and somehow now he has hope for mankind and the good in all men but that transition literally has no cause or reason

earlier he also says: “You’re not brave… men are brave. You say that you want to help people, but you can’t feel their pain… their mortality… it’s time you learn what it means to be a man.” wait is Bats an MRA –

BATMANPAIN

ugh jesus why did I do this to myself

the movie is over

I really don’t know what happened

I want to describe it to you — like, not the plot, but the WHYs of the plot

and every time I try, a line of blood creeps out of my nose

It’s not that the movie was bad? It sounds bad. But parts of it are interesting and hang together well, and Snyder has a directorial style that I actually like — but he always seems to hang it on movies that are just utter shitpants. I mean, SUCKER PUNCH may very well be my least favorite movie of all time? And yet, his DAWN OF THE DEAD reboot is masterful. But this one, B VS S, it’s about a thousand hours too long. It’s not fun, it’s not funny, it seems to actively hate the characters or at least have a huge erection for MAKING SUPERHEROES SERIOUS. It’s sound and fury but signifies nothing. I can’t tell you who these characters are, or what they want, or why they are who they are. Everybody is intractable and ego-driven and nobody has a conversation — in Winter Soldier, at least the characters spoke to one another. Conflict came out of those conversations. Here I don’t even know where the conflict originates.

OH WELL

fartman versus spooperman dawn of just-ass ha ha ha am I right

*sob*

I heard the Ultimate Edition made the movie better

maybe it did

oh god what was it before

I should’ve listened to my own damn advice

I’m gonna go build a time machine to get those four years of my life back

bye now

*crawls inside a cardboard box*


52 responses to “The Thoughts I Thinkily Thunked Whilst Watching Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn Of Justice (Ultimate Edition)”

  1. The fun comes watching the interviews and promo for Justice League, where execs are going out of their way to say, “We have a story! Look, there’s humor! We’re not murdering everyone!”

  2. “IT JUST OCCURRED TO ME ZACK SNYDER IS KINDA LIKE A MORE PRETENTIOUS MICHAEL BAY”

    Best. Summation. Ever.

    I watched the theatrical cut and hated it. And everyone was like, “OH, THE ULTIMATE CUT WILL BE SO MUCH BETTER BECAUSE IT’S RATED R AND IT’S THREE HUNDRED HOURS LONG AND EVERYTHING WILL MAKE SENSE NOW!”

    And it doesn’t.

    Nothing makes sense.

    I don’t know why Batman wants to kill Superman. I don’t know why Eisenberg plays Lex Luthor like a bizarre cross between Jim Carrey’s Riddler and Heath Ledger’s Joker but with worse hair on both counts. I don’t know why Snyder thought it would be “fun” to put a bullet in Jimmy Olsen’s head. I don’t know why Perry White despises journalists who do the jobs he’s paying them to do. I don’t know why Nairobi is suddenly Nairomi. I don’t know why there are charred fucking corpses in a Superman movie. I don’t know why Superman has a problem with Batman’s brutality when Superman casually liquefies people by slamming them through a series of brick walls at superhuman speed. I don’t know why Batman is supposedly the world’s greatest detective and yet can’t figure out that he’s being manipulated by Luthor. I don’t know why people think Superman killed everyone in Africa for literally no reason. I don’t know why Lex Luthor knows that Batman is Bruce Wayne and Superman is Clark Kent. I don’t know why the big fight ends with something so contrived that it made Geoff Johns go, “FINALLY people can get off my ass about Superboy-Prime’s punch.”

    I don’t know why Zack Snyder hates Superman. I don’t know why he hates superheroes. I don’t know why he hates proper lighting. I don’t know why he hates fun.

    And I have no idea how Warner Bros looked at THIS guy’s filmography and said, “Yeah, that guy who directed a violent zombie flick and a style-over-substance version of one of the grimmest comic books ever and also whatever-the-hell-Sucker-Punch-was and who said a really mature Batman movie would involve Batman being prison-raped…THAT’S the guy who would be perfect for Superman.”

    Superman: The Movie made me hopeful. It still makes me hopeful even though I’ve seen it a few million times. Batman v Superman makes me want to crawl into a bottle of scotch and weep.

  3. Without going into the many ways I agree with your synopsis of the aforementioned “pile”, I will just leave this: you are spot on good sir. I watched said “pile” a week ago and will never get back that time. As I read you descriptions, I found myself wondering if you had somehow invaded my mind at the time I was watching the pain marathon. Thank you for your insights but making me relive the destruction of my childhood was not nice. I tried to forget … I tried. Now more sessions of intense therapy are needed to rid myself of that … ahem … master-“piece”.

  4. There were bits of scenes taken whole-cloth from Dark Knight Rises and just pasted into this film because they looked good. Stylish, but completely unconnected. Bereft of even the bits of meaning that Miller gave them. The overall pastiche did kinda work for me. I didn’t think the film was horrible as a piece of popcorn entertainment. There was something in Wayne’s fever dreams of the fascist possibilities of unlimited power that harkened back to the Reagan-era politics that spawned DKR that might have been interesting. And I’ll be interested to see what Patty Jenkins will do at the director helm of Wonder Woman next year.

  5. The “Ultimate” edition was much better than the original release. It contained scenes that helped explained certain parts of the plot better. I still don’t understand why he cut some of those scenes in the first place when there were other, less important ones that could have been done away with. Yes this movies fails in comparison to what Marvel has been able to put out recently but I blame this on the fact that DC feels rushed to throw the Justice League together in a few years while Marvel has been assembling their Avengers for almost a decade.

    The movie is also very dark both in presentation and in mood. But so was Man of Steel. I like the seriousness of the characters but wouldn’t mind a few jokes to here and there. From what I’ve read recently, that may come when the Flash is officially introduced to the team. I also agree with the empty dialogue. They really need to take some tips from Winter Solider and Civil War, those two movies contain some of the best writing I’ve seen in superhero movies. But even with that. the real issue comes down to acting. Rob Dow embodies Tony Stark like Chris Evans embodies Cap. Henry Cavill and Ben Af come across as very stale on uninspiring in their portrayals of Bats and Sup. I would suggest that they speak with DC’s animation team and voice actors, they always get the characters right.

    Next up is Suicide Squad. BATMANPAIN (ha! you gave him a funny name) is suppose to show up in this movie as well, hopefully this will flesh out his character more (that’s hoping that Joker Leto is one of his previous Robins…fingers crossed).

    Great article by the way.

  6. MARTHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    No, seriously.

    Anyway, I would pay to see this:

    “and then they’re like, NOW WE FORM THE JUSTICE LEAGUE BECAUSE I DUNNO, WHO FUCKING CARES, IT’S IN THE SCRIPT, CALL ZAN AND JAYNA AND THAT FUCKING PURPLE MONKEY IT’S TIME TO GRIMDARK THE WONDER FRIENDS — ZAN IS A FASCIST AND JAYNA IS A HEROIN ADDICTED SUPERMODEL AND THE MONKEY HAS A ZOMBIE VIRUS and wonder woman just roooooolls her eyes”

    Especially if we can get it as a recurrent ’90s teen soap opera on the WB, and maybe Creed to do the opening theme.

  7. “SO NOW MARTHA IS OUR SAFEWORD WHEN WE SEXPLAY”

    I have coffee in my sinuses now because of this line.

    Best. Review (Of this movie). Ever.

  8. So, my favorite review of Batman V Superman…

    “Batman Versus Superman. Not really a lot of Batman Versus Superman.”

    This was from my 11-year old daughter.

    Wise, she is.

    This movie had good intentions…but the script was a dog’s breakfast.

  9. One word: Marvel. Well, okay, another word: Deadpool. I’ve not been fond of DC’s movies since after Keaton/Nicholson totally nailed Batman. (Wasn’t that Tim Burton who directed?) Since then…meh. Haven’t seen any of the new DC movies. I take that back, I did see the Heath Ledger one, but only because I’d heard so much about his performance and I wanted to watch THAT, not the movie so much. He was a great Joker, absolutely.

  10. These new Superman movies are like if my teenage goth self were assigned them as a project. “Well, I’m just going to make him GOTH LIKE ME and give him POETIC FEELS LIKE ME.” Then I’d copy and paste (literally, as this was the 90s/early 2000s) bits of my sad, sad journal into a collage; insert some superviolence; and finally light the whole thing on fire and film it as “performance art.” I’d hand in a VHS of the burning into my teachers and somehow get an A. Mostly because they were confused.

  11. I went into the cinema for this film on a free ticket, expecting a steaming pile of shit based on reviews and all the promotional material. I came out of the film having enjoyed Batfleck and Jesse Eisenberg’s Luthor Jr (up until he went full Renfield).

    The best summation I could come up for it was “Remember pre-MCU, when you’d go to a comic book movie and it would have almost no relation to the comic books, but you’d been conditioned by years of shit superhero movies and you just wanted to love the film regardless of how much they needlessly changed (and how angry that made you)? This is a pretty decent one of those”.

    Of course now that we’ve got Marvel making their own movies and we’ve been shown that a comic movie can be both a good film AND faithful to the material, the DC “murderverse” is downright disappointing. And insulting.

    I maintain that Caville would be a pretty great Superman, just look at his persona in The Man from UNCLE – he nails the wry, good-natured ego that I’ve always read in Superman. It’s just a shame that Snyder hasn’t actually let him play Superman in two whole films with that character in the title.

  12. Thank you, you just listed all of my own complaints. I have one more to add. WW…just no. She’s beautiful, she’s tall (maybe?) she is not an Amazon. She seems indestructible, so why didn’t she get bashed around like the guys? It’s not fair! Equal opportunity I say…she could take it. Oh, and as far as humor, I was so desperate for it, I would have accepted Bruce or Clark biting that damn apple then saying something witty, but noooo!!!

  13. Cheers Chuck for preventing me from wasting eleventeen hundred hours of my one and only life on this, apparent, Dogs Breakfast of a Movie. The only down side is that I have just spent half an hour reading your stuff when I should have been writing my own stuff…. But ‘My Bad’. ….Love that phrase, got to be one of my fav Americanisms.

  14. Hmmmm.the trailers that I’ve seen for this movie pretty much convinced me that it was going to be an idiotic, waste of my time and money, anger inducing, rage provoking piece of stupidity with nary a humorous moment or bit of levity to be found anywhere in the entire film. Your review put the last nail in the coffin of the last teensy weensy, tiny, itty bitty bit of intrest I might have harboured way, way down in that dark part of the soul that prods you to embrace punishment for some unknown transgression that you’ve committed in this or some other previous life. Thanks.

  15. I get it. You and your sycophants – followers-no, Fellow Travelers – didnt like the movie. That’s fine, but it really has the feel of someone dragging out a bazooka to blow away an annoying mosquito.
    Way, way way too much vitriol. This is probably before your time, but you and the people who follow your thoughts used to be called Marvel Zombies. Marvel has done a great job, but DC and Superman and Batman and Wonder Woman are the original giants and it’s probably to early to be shoveling dirt on their faces as Losers. AS the old saying goes, it’s not over till the Fat Lady sings.

    • Stop trying to turn everything into a Marvel/DC fight. Even if Marvel had never put out a single movie, this would still be horrible.

      Yes, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman are the original giants. But that doesn’t mean it’s not possible for movies or even stories featuring them to be awful. By your logic, we should be praising Batman & Robin and Superman IV: The Quest For Peace.

      And I’m far from a Marvel Zombie. I love the Marvel films, but I also love DC Comics and I think DC is absolutely killing it on TV with Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow. I think DC’s animated movies are some of the best comic book adaptations ever. And the DCAU is one of the greatest things ever.

      So no, this is not a case of Marvel fans illogically hating on DC. It’s a case of people hating on an objectively awful movie.

  16. Just googled Jimmy Olsen dying, because his name was never mentioned in the original release and I was shocked when I found out it was him this past weekend, and I came across this article about how Jessie Eisenberg was suppose to play his character until Synder and his wife decided he should be Lex.

    I love this description of Lex. I wish that Snyder has expanded upon this more:

    “This Lex is a spoiled brat, a millennial intern who happens to be the billionaire boss, an adult who still tantrums like a child, and a boy so horrifically abused by his father that the only way to release his torment is to unleash it on the world. He despises both Batman and Superman.

    No heroes ever came to his rescue. He is determined to turn them against each other. If the world ends, so be it. Lex wants for nothing. Literally – nothing sounds pretty good to him, and that suicidal impulse manifests itself as a desire to see the whole world annihilated, too.”

    source: http://www.ew.com/article/2016/03/25/batman-v-superman-jimmy-olsen

  17. “OH GOD IT JUST OCCURRED TO ME ZACK SNYDER IS KINDA LIKE A MORE PRETENTIOUS MICHAEL BAY — like, Bay is Budweiser, but Snyder is a super-bitter IPA that claims to be craft-brewed but it’s really just made in the same tank as the Budweiser beer”

    ROTFLMAO! Oh, SO goddamn much this!

    “Which is the other thing — this movie is a humorless, joy-sucking vampire”

    Thank you for watching this steaming pile of offal so I don’t have to. I do not have a fellow geek friend, nor an imaginary Internet Friend who liked this movie. Except for Wonder Woman.

    “OMG ZACK SNYDER IS BATMAN”

    It sounds like Zack Snyder needs some joy in his life. Does anybody have any Purple Kush? Or hey, WONDER WOMAN! No, seriously, apparently a MJ strain is named that! Oh! And there’s one called Girl Scout Cookies. Mmmmm…Girl Scout Cookies.

    But I digress.

    I suspect your review of the movie has entertained me more than the movie would. I will continue to vehemently not see it, and ponder the reality of how fucking SICK I am of Grim and Gritty. WE GET IT! SRS BZNSS! Please give us back lighthearted entertainment now!

    Heather

  18. When the first announcements were made, with the earliest, dark-grey images of Affleck’s Batman, I dubbed the film ANGRY ORPHAN BILLIONAIRE VS SAD MURDER GOD: THE DEATH OF JOY.

    Nailed it.

    Thanks for taking the hit to confirm that for me.

  19. Yeah, I think Snyder was trying to make a backdoor Batman movie where Lex Luthor was his Joker stand-in. There is no other reason for a human being to act that way and not be a psychotic clown dressed in purple.

    Also Lex Luthor motivations are seem boring and textbook at first glance, but upon closer inspection…

    1. I hate Superman because he makes me feel small and infinitesimal. Check.
    2. I’m going to best Superman to prove I’m not small and infinitesimal. Check.
    3. I kinda think I’m an atheist, because–really–what good has God done for man? Check.
    4. Oh, I’m just kidding. The really real reason I was doing all of this is to garner the attention of another larger-than-life God-like alien, and bring him to Earth so we can be the OTP.

    Yep. In spite of all Luthor’s “God Sucks!” talk, what he really wants is some of that sweet, sweet, Darkseid D. Excuse me, I’m going to take care of this migraine and nosebleed.

      • It’s supposed to have been Steppenwolf — Darkseid’s uncle. Though Steppenwolf has never looked like a hammerhead shark before so I don’t know what is up with that.

        I like the notion that Batman has a sense of optimism about him at the end and that he’s the guy to bring everyone together…I just wish the character transition made any sort of sense what-so-ever.

  20. You are far braver than I to watch the uncut edition. Although I cannot give you back the hours of life you wasted by watching it, I can say I was entertained by reading of your torment while you did so. Thanks for being the canary!

  21. *applause*

    After reading this, I would pay money to read your thoughts on Independence Day: Resurgence.

  22. Thank you for sparing me from an unhealthy curiosity about the Ultimate Edition. I sat through the theatrical version (we got a 2 for 1 deal on tickets) wishing that I had more beer, that the punching would start already, trying not to yell at the screen during that thing with Wonder Woman that almost looked like plot but was really just the most awkward setup for Justice League that they possibly could have come up with.

    Dictionary websites should just like the word “shoehorn” to a collection of Wonder Woman’s clips in B vs S.

  23. This is one of the best movie reviews I have read in a long time. Awesome.

    I am also a Zack Snyder fan, and am excited about Suicide Squad. Snyder really sucks when he can’t make a technicolor cartoon using people. Personally, I love the trip-tank of Snyder when he revels in excess and just doesn’t give a frack about gravitas.

    Guardians of the Galaxy is also a personal fav. Loved it!!! Action-Comedy is so much better than played out “EPIC” hero films with backstories and quests and Joseph Campbell and blah blah blah. Only 180 hours to find out every single detail you never wanted to know about your favorite characters because, oh, I don’t know, they are FICTION. If you have to watch Superman take a deuce market that behemoth a documentary and send it straight to Netflix.

    • A friend wrote “BvS” in an email to me last week, and I spent three days thinking she meant Buffy and just hadn’t cap’d the V, and really confused by the context. LOL.

  24. So glad I read this. Hubby wants to go and see this. Hoping this will be a film he and my step-son can go to. However, if hubby wants to see this I’ll go, but I can’t guarantee I won’t be scrunched down in my seat doing ArtRage, Autodesk Sketchbook, Painter or Story Planner.

    Fabulous review and I’ve enjoyed reading all the comments as well.

  25. I have to confess that I chose not to read this piece based purely on the headline. I might come back to revisit it once I reconcile that choice of words in my head. Might take therapy.

  26. What puzzles me about Batman vs Superman is the difference between people who get the story and the character’s motivations and those that don’t. As you wrote, you didn’t understand why things were happening, which is a very common complaint. Yet I and many others did. I came out of the film completely baffled as to what the problem was. Everything in a story sense was clear for me. And that really puzzles me.

    Sure there are issues of taste and preference in peoples dislike/like of the film, but that’s not what interests me. Instead it’s the question of what is it about the storytelling that seems to obscure itself from some viewers and yet is clear for others. Any thoughts?

      • I’ve only seen the theatrical version, so don’t know what’s been added back in, but what I saw was a film whose theme was Man and God.
        Superman now had to face the consequences of choosing (in Man of Steel) to become a god basically. So he’s faced with a world who now see him as a saviour or a existential threat, as seen in the African incident, news pieces and the Holly Hunter character & Senate hearings. This confuses, angers, and upsets him, hence why the introversion and doubt and not the positivism we expect from Superman.
        Bruce saw his ‘family’ of a sort, die before his eyes again. This God like figure caused it, and his grief and rage blinds him to see it any other way and makes him feel impotent again. This causes him to lash out and lose his sense of right and wrong, as seen in the escalating violence he doles out to criminals and his incorrect belief that Superman poses an existential threat. As Alfred says to him at one point “That’s how it starts, sir. The fever, the rage, the feeling of powerlessness that turns good men… cruel”. Killing Superman seems the only answer in this rage affected state – to bring power back to Man.
        From Lex’s opening scene, he talks about his father in a way that suggests there was something wrong in the relationship. In pretty much every subsequent scene of his, he talks either of his father or talks about abuses of power and where it comes from (think of the scene with Holly Hunter and the biblical painting). And then in the confrontation with Superman, we get it laid out for us. Lex’s father abused him. The father figure – which is synonymous with the God father figure – abused his power. So Lex, like other abused people, wants to reclaim that power, and he believes that he can do that by showing that God is a fraud and that man is better: “No man in the sky intervened when I was a boy to deliver me from daddy’s fist and abominations. I figured out way back if God is all-powerful, He cannot be all good. And if He is all good, then He cannot be all-powerful. And neither can you be”. So he wants to prove to God(Superman), himself, and the world that God is bad. Hence the African setup, the Senate bombing. All attempts to turn the people against Superman. And the denouement is to prove man is more powerful than God by getting man (Batman) to kill God: “Fight night! The greatest gladiator match in the history of the the world. God vs Man” and also, “And now God bends to my will.” Which explains why Lex has been subtly manipulating Batman, fueling his already existing rage.
        We then get the fight and the infamous Martha scene, which for me was the crux of the film really. The Martha scene is the moment when Bruce realises that this god is a man. It’s the moment that humanises Superman to Bruce. Just before, when he’s standing over him with his foot on his throat he says, “You were never a god. You were never even a man!” By Superman crying out for his mother it makes Bruce flashback to what happened to his mother, which is why it was vital to have the Waynes killing scene in this film. To give this scene it’s emotional background. And it is after this realisation that we see Bruce change his ways. Note how when he’s saving Martha (which he takes responsibility for so as to symbolically save his own Martha) he now fights like the Batman we know – non-lethal. The rage has gone.

        Lex’s subsequent creation of Doomsday is the harnessing of the power of the gods (the Kryptonians) In a sense it’s just a backup plan but is still loaded with meaning when he says ‘If man won’t kill God, the Devil will do it!”

        So that’s the film as I saw it. And I loved it for that thematic depth as well as the usual cool superhero stuff. And I don’t think I’m pulling this out of thin air, as I subsequently saw interviews with Snyder and it’s clear the God/Man theme is something he was going for.

        Anyway, I hope what I wrote provides something to ponder.

        • Thank you for writing this. I haven’t seen it and wasn’t going to (based on reviews and the reports of pretty much everyone I know), but I may rent it now that I’ve read this.

          • You’re welcome. If I can suggest one thing about how to approach watching this film, is to try and put any ideas about what the main characters of Batman, Superman, Lex ‘should’ be like. They are flexible and resilient enough to play around with and try different approaches, which is what I feel Snyder tries to do.

    • It’s not the what that’s baffling. We kinda know what happens. It’s the how and why – which this movie doesn’t even bother explaining.

      How does Lex Luthor know his actions will garner the attention of Darkseid. Why – if he hates Superman so much – does he WANT to get the attention of ANOTHER god-like alien? Superman’s very existence is offensive to him. He spends an entire movie telling us so. Why is Darkseid appealing?

      It would be one thing if messing around with Kryptonian tech managed to expose him to some form of mind control, but the movie doesn’t tell us that. That’s ME doing that mental work to make the movie coherent. That’s the mark of negligent storytelling at best.

      • I didn’t get any sense in the film that he was trying to contact Darkseid in anyway. The jail scene at the end suggest there is now a connection – maybe since being in the Kryptonian ship – but that’s different than him wanting it.

  27. I know, we all need to write about something, but the anguish this film generated amuses me to no end. That it is still going on long after the film headed to DVD land (yep, I still rent plastic–my local store rents new releases for half the cost of streaming via dsl). It is $3.79, the price of a shitty fast food burger. And we’re expecting high art? Guys where pajamas and shit blows up. Who the hell isn’t trolling match.com and thumbing through Instagram on their iPad while they’re watching at home, anyway?

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