Super Fun Blog: Batman v Superman Review (Very Light Spoilers)

Batman v Superman Mystery Mini

Hey, we’re a toy store, so even without a glowing (it doesn’t glow) review we do have a couple of Batman v Superman tie in toys today. The BvS Mystery Minis, as usual, are super cute and cool. Also, we have a limited supply of Batman Superman 30th Anniversary figures (free shipping) from The Dark Knight Returns the (much better) Frank Miller classic that partially inspired BvS. Buy one! Tell your friends to buy one! We’re two (2) toys sold away from donating a Superman plush to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.  

The review follows:

Man, do you want to love Batman v Superman. You just do, because it’s Batman… v… Superman! Since we’re all geeks now, it’s a worldwide nerd party. My wife, Lindsey, and I (viewing the movie from entirely different reference points) came out of the movie echoing how much we wanted to love it. Man, we wanted to love Batman v Superman because, dude, it could have been good.

Zack Snyder (Director: Batman v Superman) has said that he made Dawn of Justice (here forward: BvS) for comic book fans with a comic book esthetic.  His idea would be awesome, if the frenetic, over the top, panel to panel esthetic of comic books translated well to the big screen.  It doesn’t.

Super hard core (like, one core level above me) fans and even the cast seem to have reacted to the overwhelmingly negative press for BvS by coalescing around this sentiment: “Hey, if you don’t get it, then the movie wasn’t meant for you.” Unfortunately, I did get it, all of it, every super insider nerd reference in the movie.

For example (very slightly spoilerly): The Flash uses the Speed Force to time travel. You will get mailed a cookie if you can explain that back to me in English in the comments section. I understand what that sentence means, but guess what? In BvS, it doesn’t make any sense at all.

I’ll say right now that I don’t regret the $11.00 I spent to watch the moments of good in the movie. Those moments were worth seeing on the big screen. Unfortunately, those moments never quite turned into scenes that carried a plot that told a story that made a good movie. Multiple incongruous plot points, bad editing, and commercially forced foreshadowing interrupted every potential high point of BvS. The constant whiplash story telling isn’t helped by the relentlessly downbeat theme.

 It’s simply difficult to enjoy a movie where you’re visually chasing plot points around like squirrels and feel like every character, in every scene, for the whole movie really needs a hug. Seriously, though, I wonder if they test paneled Anti-Depressants v Anti-Psychotics: For the Win as an alternative movie title.

If you’ve seen the trailers, there aren’t any spoilers ahead. Here some of those good moments and how they got screwed up.

I liked the beginning of the movie, except not the very beginning, because where the movie could have opened with Bruce Wayne’s view of the Man of Steel climax, instead, it opens with the death of Thomas and Martha Wayne, for no good reason, with a needless stylistic take because it needed to be, paradoxically, original.

 I liked where Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince meet for the first time, except the plot hole of reason for them to meet is so deep that I couldn’t simply enjoy the chemistry of the characters without thinking “Why is this happening?”

 I liked Batman vs Superman. The fight is brutal, visceral, and the only point where the comic book esthetic and the actual movie pair well together. Except, the fight sequence gets interrupted by bad editing of commercially forced foreshadowing.

I liked the introduction of Wonder Woman, except for the fact that her theme music made me think about putting ice picks in my ear drums.

 In fact, Wonder Woman (if you could get rid of the theme music) might have been the highlight of the movie. Girl power! Too bad DC didn’t make that movie first, because then Wonder Woman being in the movie probably would have made a lot more sense.

The movie, not to let it off the hook completely, also had completely bad moments. Going into detail will give away some spoilers, so there won’t be a lot of detail. Lex Luther was awful. Lindsey best summed it up (paraphrasing), “I felt like Lex Luther was the Joker. But not a very good Joker.  Are these movies not going to have Joker in them? That would make a little more sense from him to be like that”. Word, sister.

Also, any part that had to do with the reason that Dawn of Justice was added to the movie title, gawdawful. I don’t know if that is on Zack Snyder or the suits at DC Entertainment. That whole bit was solely responsible for dumbing down or wiping out emotional heft at multiple points in the movie left unexplained because of spoilers. If those scenes in the movie intended to jazz me up for future DC Comics movies, including Justice League, epic fail.

A friend asked me, “Le movie, le sucked?” I couldn’t honestly answer, “Oui, le sucked.”  I did say, “Le movie, le disappointing.” Upon reflection, disappointing might be worse than plain bad. If you’re a big DC comics fan, you should see the movie. Zack Snyder clearly read a lot of DC Comics before making this movie. There’s a lot of fan service. I maintain it doesn’t help the plot, but you might overlook that. If you’re a big Superman or Batman fan, go see the movie. They fight and most of the fight is really cool.

 If you’re on the peripheral of those two fan categories, maybe wait for streaming or disc or Captain America: Civil War. Lindsey made me smile as we walked out of the theater with her final thought, “I couldn’t help at the end of the movie thinking Star Wars was so much better.”

God bless Disney.

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