Jonny's Initial Thoughts on

Batman v Superman:
Dawn of Justice

I just got out of BvS with my little sister and it's time to write down my thoughts on the film. Before we start I want to remind you that these are my full thoughts on the film so SPOILER ALERT! If you want to see the film, don't read this post. Also, I'm going to assume you did see it so I won't bother describing the story too much and just go straight into the stuff I wanna say. And again, these are my ”initial” thoughts, so if I ramble I'm sorry. That being said, let's move on to the (not so) greatest fight of the century: The Last Son of Krypton vs The Bat of Gotham (and Wonder Woman and Doomsday and the US Government and Mark Zuckerberg and......)

Opening Thoughts and Story

So, it's been a couple of days since the film's been out, and that means you've probably already seen the reviews aaaaannnnnnddddd.......they were not kind. It currently has a 37% on Rotten Tomatoes and do I think it deserves that? No. Do I think it's great? No. Like it's predecessor Man of Steel (which by the way, I enjoyed), it's a very disjointed film. It has great moments and ideas that together don't work. BvS is has much better visuals and fighting and character interactions, but it's more all over the place. Man of Steel, though flawed, felt liked a complete story and tone.
BvS feels like 4 or 5 really great movie ideas smushed into one movie, where they aren't given the time they need. There's a Man of Steel sequel where Superman has to take responsibility for the damage to Metropolis in the first one as well as contemplating if he's actually doing any good. There's a Dark Knight Returns adaptation with an aged Bruce Wayne coming back from retirement to kill Superman because he thinks he's too dangerous. There's a fight between Superman and Batman (which should've been the whole movie). There's Wonder Woman and a very forced and unnecessary set up to The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg. And probably the most controversial move, Doomsday and the Death of Superman. More on Doomsday later, but let's first talk about the cast.

The Cast and Portrayals

Henry Cavill plays the big blue boyscout Superman. To be honest, I like Cavill as Superman and might be one of my favorite people to play him, at least top 10. He doesn't come too close to me top Supes, being Tim Sale from the DCAU 90's show Superman: The Animated Series and Christopher Reeve from the '78 Superman. Cavill definitely doesn't have much to work with. I think he's giving more to the table then some have said, but he hasn't hit the warmth and understanding that the other Supermans have. Maybe if he had a Man of Steel sequel before BvS, he could have reached that level. He's not the definitive character like Marvel has with their's, but he works for me.
Amy Adams is also good as Lois Lane. She's not as assertive and wise-cracking as the animated version played by Dana Delany, but she does have good enough chemistry with Cavill and the parts where the both discuss the politics and ramifications of Superman's actions where some the best scenes in my opinion. I don't think the romance between the to is strong enough though. This is something the '78 Christopher Revee movie did better. I think I might prefer that version of Lois to Adams' version, but like almost everything DC related, my favorite is animated version. Neither live action Lois have the spunk or sass or reckless narcissism of the animated Lois that made her such a fun character and one I wanted to see over and over again. Amy has her assertive moments, but like the rest of the film, it lacks any real fun. I still think Amy could do a near perfect Lois if she takes note from Superman: The Animated Series or Lois & Clark: The Adventures of Superman.
Speaking of which, one of the best things about this movie, which everyone seems to be in agreement, is Ben Affleck as Batman. It is silly to think back to 2014 when everyone joked and criticized this choice. To be fair, everyone joked about Captain America, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Ant-Man. And like those, Affleck turned out to be great. Previous live action Batmen Micheal Keaton and Christian Bale worked for the tone they were in, but none of them were as brutal, ruthless, and legitimately pants-shittingly frightening as Affleck, which works since he is a more jaded older version of Bruce Wayne.
Jeremy Irons is amazing as Batman's right-hand man Alfred Pennyworth. This is the most active Alfred yet. He actually helps build the Bat Amour to fight Superman and aids Batman through the Batcomputer. He's also very funny by getting a few one-liners under his breath.
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman worked enough. There isn't enough of her for me to have a solid opinion, but when she's going toe to toe with Doomsday it does make me excited to see her in the Wonder Woman movie next year, but I'll still be cautious.
Along with Affleck, Jessie Eisenberg as Lex Luther worried a lot of fans and honestly those worries are pretty sound. He just doesn't pull it of. To be fair, he isn't wooden. He acts like he means every word. It's just.....HE'S NOT LEX LUTHER! He's the dorky, twitchy, out-of-control young genius from The Social Network. This is more an issue with the writers then Eisneberg, but he doesn't help anything. They wrote this Joker-type mad scientist instead of Luther. Like I said, I'm a big fan of the DC Animated Universe and do all my criticisms of DC related things in comparison to it. As well, the animated Luther not only is my personal favorite version, but he's also in my top list of favorite TV villains, so I'm a little biased when it comes to different interpretations of Superman's arch rival. The animated Luther was calm, smart, and ruthless. He knew he owned Metropolis and was always two steps ahead of everyone. Eisneberg doesn't have that. I think the idea is that this is a younger Lex and he's more energetic and less focused, but it just doesn't work for me. If Batman and Wonder Woman can already be established in this world, why couldn't Luther? The story allows him to be more cruel to Superman by kidnapping his mom, but he's way too goofy.
And finally...ugh.....Doomsday. This, undoubtly, is the worst aspect of the film for many reasons. One, he doesn't even really look like like Doomsday. Doomsday should be covered in boney spikes but the movie version only has a couple. He looks like a bad mix of a skinny Hulk and those creepy Micheal Bay Turtle's. His lazer beams are hard on the eyes as well. Most of the movie is slightly dark blues and greens (which is also a problem), but his beams are VERY bright red and as times hurt my eyes. His build up was also not well thought out and felt a little forced. I'll get to the changes and what this could have been after I talk about the fighting.

The Fighting and Visuals

Zack Synder might not but perfect with drama or writing, but he is at top game whn it comes to action. Like the last movie, all the Superman action feels very anime influenced and over-the-top. It's fast and big, but it's not like Micheal Bay's shakey-boring Transfomers movies. Everything that should be in the shot is and it switches enough between moving moments and still scenes, so that the action never feels stale and over exposed like Bay. (that's the third time I've roasted Micheal Bay. Maybe I'll stop riffing him once he makes a good movie.)
Batman's action scenes are take straight form the Arkham games, which is an awesome thing. However, the thing that might be jarring to everyone, fans and newbies alike, is that Batman does use guns, and it's not just the dream sequences. He doesn't care them, but he does use the one's the thugs have to scare the others and even disarm some. He also has guns on the Batmobile and Batwing. Secondly, I'm not too sure this Batman cares if criminals die. Batman causes a lot of damage to the bad guys that could and did kill them, and Batman seems to be aware of it.
This is especially strange as I thought one of the main reasons Batman is going up against Superman is because he thinks the Man of Steel is too destructive. Yes, the fight with Zod did level much of the city, but most of that damage was Zod's fault. I watch a lot of internet reviewers and one of the jokes that still goes on even after three years is the “Superman destroyed Metropolis” joke, which I personally hate. If you look at the fight, Superman is either getting thrown into buildings or doing his best just to survive. I don't want to get into this now but basically I'm saying that while Superman should take some responsibility in the damage, he didn't actively seek destruction. Batman does in this movie, and that scares me more. Again this is an aged Wayne and this could make for great commentary in a possible DCCU solo Batman movie. But I don't know why Superman gets so much shit for Man of Steel when Batman does something I feel is philosophically worse in this film.

The Ending and Final Thoughts

In the end while I had fun and overall enjoyed the main cast, BvS is just too disjointed and rushed for me to call it a great film. The thing that worries me the most is what this film could have been and what it means for the future of DC's films.
Because this movie has to set up the Justice League storylines it missed the opportunity to just be about Batman fighting Superman in both ideology and strength. The final fight should have been just them. Or maybe Bizzaro. Or Metallo. Or fucking Marvin the Martian. Just ANYTHING but shoehorning Doomsday in this.
Assuming you've seen the movie, you know Superman “dies” by Doomsday. We see both Superman's and Clark Kent's funerals. And Batman and Wonder Woman go of to find Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg. So basically, the entirety of the Death of Superman storyline only gets 15-20 minutes in the ENTIRE DC MOVIE UNIVERSE!!! This should have been it's own movie somewhere down the line. Maybe after the Justice League movie. Maybe they could've even had Superman stay dead, seeing as how the movies don't have to follow the status quo like the comics. Having Death be this shamefully put in is honestly an insult to Superman fans.
If Man of Steel was a warning shot for DC, BvS is the point of no return. DC needs to rethink their strategy or else they most certainly will not beat Marvel. DC has to accept the fact that Marvel beat them to the punch and just slow down. Avengers 3 will probably come out before their movie and they have to stop acting like that's a bad thing. Sure we'd like to see a Justice League movie and shared universe, but I'd rather see it done right then done now. But seeing has how Suicide Squad is coming out later this year and Wonder Woman and Aquaman are already well into production, it may be too late. It might change in the coming years, but I feel safer with Marvel's movie right now. We'll see in May if Marvel does the superhero vs. superhero concept better.

Overall it'd say BvS is 5/10.

Did you like the movie? Did you hate it? Comment below on your thoughts of DC's beautiful mess of a fight. And remember to have a SUPER day!

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