To follow up on my previous essay, I saw Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice last night. During the film I jotted down some notes, listed below. Obviously, some spoilers are involved.
As far as a review goes, I might or might not bother. There are some good visuals, some good performances, a couple of good action sequences, and a terrific score. There are also some terrible, terrible performances; something I could only call a script if I was feeling obscenely charitable; plot holes big enough to swallow a planet; and a complete failure to understand superheroes in general (and these three in particular). I guess on a classic 1-10 scale I’d give it a 4, maybe a 5.
More — including spoilers — after the break.
≡ “Based on the DC Comics Characters.” Yeah, that should say “Based Very Loosely…”.
≡ During the flashback to the Battle of Metropolis (as seen in Man of Steel), Bruce Wayne is running toward the Wayne Foundation building when it collapses. He is promptly engulfed in a wall of white dust deliberately reminiscent of the fall of the World Trade Center on September 11.
≡ Well, it certainly doesn’t waste any time showing us what a bleak, horrible world this is.
≡ What the hell is with the awful gimmicky surround sound crap?
≡ Okay, Batman has done some questionable shit over the years, but branding people?!
≡ Wait, Zuckerberg is a second generation Luthor? God, I despise this portrayal — he’s not an evil Willy Wonka for pity’s sake.
≡ So all you have to do to go from Metropolis to Gotham City is “hop the harbor”? That’s utterly ridiculous. So Batman — excuse me, “the Bat of Gotham” — has been operating for 20 years across the harbor from Metropolis and Superman is just now noticing? Too busy shtupping Lois to care, Clark?
≡ There’s a shot of a family trapped on a roof during a flood. They’ve painted the S symbol on the roof, with “Save us Superman”. So now we have a Katrina reference and a 9/11 reference.
≡ Why does Doomsday have to start out looking like a cave troll from Fellowship of the Ring?
≡ Okay, it’s a half-second pan, but I could swear that in the big BvS indoor battle I saw “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes” spray painted on one of the pillars. It made me laugh, so I’ll give Snyder credit for that.
≡ Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman is pretty much my favorite thing in this movie. She may not have the, er, physical appearance of the classic Princess Diana, but she has the grace and ferocity required.
≡ Zack, look, I know you like the whole Superman = Jesus thing; I’ve seen Man of Steel. You probably even think you are the first person to make that comparison. Still, c’mon, son. Wonder Woman and Batman kneeling around Superman’s body while the background includes three silhouetted crosses made from bent girders? Golgotha much? I physically cringed.
One last thought. At one point someone says this to Superman: “You could stand for something if it was 1938, but it’s not.” That sums up everything that’s wrong with Snyder’s vision of superheroes: they don’t — can’t — stand for anything.