By Jake Taylor (Phoenix, AZ)
I would like to start this off stating I’ve never written a movie review before, but seeing as I’m a huge a DC fan and the reviews for the new BvS movie have been criminally awful I figured I’d give it a shot. SPOILERS AHEAD
I’m sure most of you have either read or heard the main selling points for why BvS was bad. “Inconsistent storyline, lack of character development, etc.” But as I watched the movie myself, I couldn’t help but feel that the greater part of the movie had been laid out right before my eyes to fully examine and all I had to do was pay attention. Which leads to my first argument, critics’ misconception about who the characters were supposed to be. I recently read a review by a critic whose name I’ll keep concealed that discussed Batman’s misguided quest to stop Superman, along with Superman’s internal struggle of how to properly adapt to a world that partially blames him for the events from MoS.
He had complained about how left field and illogical it was for Batman to be planning to kill Superman, when if you look at both movies for what they are, it’s pretty easy to see where Batman’s justification comes from. One of the opening scenes from BvS is a shot where Bruce Wayne watches Superman literally bulldozing Zod through building after building without any consideration of the civilians trapped inside those buildings. Not to mention it’s indicated that while Superman may have helped out with some of the disaster relief, he also didn’t help many of the citizens during the crisis itself, which ultimately lead to more deaths on top of the ones he’d already directly caused himself.
So taking into account the fact Bruce saw Superman quite literally killing innocents, along with this version of Bruce Wayne/Batman directly being pulled from Frank Miller’s comics which depicted a murderous, slightly insane Batman already, it’s not hard to see where Batman draws the line and finds the justification he needs. Now with Superman, a lot of critics and fans alike haven’t responded well to this newer interpretation of Superman. The general consensus is that he’s either too dark or just much darker than usual, adding a gritty realism that no one wanted in the first place. While everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I understand where general audiences are coming from, I personally find this new interpretation of Superman refreshing. I personally like the realism of a super powered alien having to constantly adjust to human life. I like the internal struggle he has to either live the rest of life virtually unknown and gain nothing, or live the rest of his life trying to be a symbol of hope and risk losing it all. I also like how this version of Superman was forced to kill Zod because it’s caused him to appreciate a human life that much more. Knowing he was able to and had to kill an opponent as strong as himself, he now must consider what destruction other meta beings (himself included) could cause if left unchecked or allowed to wreak havoc.
Now in terms of the storyline, it was pretty cut and dry for me. There were a few instances where I got a little lost but that’s only because I’d stopped paying attention which isn’t inherently the movie’s fault. Sure, if you’re not familiar with the comics at all (most importantly the ones this movie is directly drawing from) then, yes, there are going to be instances where you’re not going to know exactly what’s happening or not entirely understand the significance of the situation, but in all honesty, I got a little bored of the story and not for reasons you might think. There were moments where I got bored because of how predictable the movie was having been familiar with the comics. There were a few things here and there that threw me through a loop but in a good way.
I don’t know if the general population has become so introverted that it can’t even pay attention to a fairly entertaining movie anymore, but I felt this movie was pretty easy to follow despite everyone’s complaints about it being a jumbled mess that didn’t know what it was doing with itself. Lex Luthor wants to control Superman, Superman wants to stop Batman, Batman wants to stop Superman, Batman finds evidence of other meta-humans while searching for kryptonite and confronts Wonder Woman about it which ultimately gives her the opportunity to reveal herself, Lex hatches a messed up scheme to either control Superman or have him killed by Batman, Batman sees both humanity and humility in Superman which causes them to join forces against Lex who unleashes Doomsday as a last resort to kill Superman and Batman. Pretty simple. Yes, there were a few other Easter eggs that hinted at sequels but as you can see, the main plot was pretty easy to follow.
Another pretty substantial complaint that’s been made is how much the movie tried to shove in, causing it to lose its own point. Another complaint I feel was a little unjustifiable. For example, the hero cameos everyone complained was forced and ruined the pace of the movie because of trying to fit too much in… Three minutes long. For the Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman. Their combined cameo was at tops maybe three minutes long in a two and a half hour long movie. And it was actually the sequence that opened up Wonder Woman to joining Batman because he’d already learned her identity. So the sequence actually helped the story progress while adding Easter eggs at the same time.
There have been plenty more complaints, but the last one I’ll touch on is the overall movie being too bleak and depressing. I’m sorry, but this one is just pure ignorance. Not only was this movie based off of some of the darkest interpretations of the classic heroes, but the director had been saying since early production that this movie was going to be much darker than anyone was akin to seeing on the big screen. Zack Snyder directed 300 and Watchmen. What exactly did you expect from him? Another run of the mill Disney movie?
I especially find it amusing to see people complaining about Batman’s darker incarnation, despite it being relatively calm compared to Frank Miller’s version from the comics. Snyder’s Batman killed a few thugs to save Superman’s mom and set her up for a fairly funny joke. Miller’s Batman locked Robin in the batcave for a month without any provisions to learn how to survive in a harsh environment and when the month was over Batman beat the snot out of him basically just to toughen him up along with other torturous exercises, all while Robin was still a child. Yeah, BvS is way too dark…BEST QUOTES