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Saturday, 27 August 2016

Batman v Superman - Dawn of Justice. My Thoughts

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In case you have NOT watched the movie yet do NOT read this. Spoilers.



You get that there ARE spoilers, right?

Well, as noted yesterday, I went out and bought the dvd. This won't be a review because if you do not know what the film is about you won't be interested anyway.  But here is the plot synopsis.

"It's been nearly two years since Superman's (Henry Cavill) colossal battle with Zod (Michael Shannon) devastated the city of Metropolis. The loss of life and collateral damage left many feeling angry and helpless, including crime-fighting billionaire Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck). Convinced that Superman is now a threat to humanity, Batman embarks on a personal vendetta to end his reign on Earth, while the conniving Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) launches his own crusade against the Man of Steel."

The Reviews, I mean, we must mention some of the reviews:

Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill clash in a bid to launch a new superhero franchise, but Zack Snyder’s shoddy adventure never gets off the ground. 

Batman V Superman is DC's Iron Man 2 - an okay movie that prioritizes shared universe setup over developing a coherent story and layered characters.

There are moments that make the whole enterprise worthwhile, and introduces an intriguing new Batman. But it’s also cluttered and narratively wonky; a few jokes wouldn’t have gone amiss, either.
Full reviewNick de Semlyen

My reaction to these reviews would have to be: What a heap of utter crap.   Well, these people review because that's all they can do: sit on their arses and pontificate and whine.  If they were so great they'd be out making movies.

What astonishes me -should it?- is that alleged "comic fans" join in. "There are at least three story-lines jumbled together and are a mess"  Really?  I think some comic fans are just out to get a lot of attention and how do they do that? They do what they probably did at school: they join in with th bullies, the 'cool kids'.

Here is what I have noticed just from seeing what others have written.  The same thing.  Seriously, they hardly veer away from the "Three  jumbled up stories" theme.  Or criticising Ben Affleck and his acting in this film. Were I a completely cynical person I might think this was all some trick to make people go and see how 'bad' the movie is.

I sat down with a note pad and pen, ready to cut into the movie. I didn't take my eyes off the screen until the end.

I cannot believe that I'm writing this but Affleck is probably the best Bruce Wayne/Batman I've seen for years.  The last guy was okay but to be honest the character was quite shallow. Here there is reference to the "last 20 years" and how they (Bruce and Alfred -Jeremy Irons a worthy successor to Michael Gough) have seen good men in Gotham not last good for long (Harvey Dent).  There were a few other references but we are seeing an older, far more jaded Wayne and the grey hair added to that.

The fact that Affleck "buffed-up" so that he looked the chunkier and far more experienced fighter added to the feel.  Did Christian Bale ever show a hint of fear when it looked like his Batman was in a very bad spot (facing death?) -because Affleck did. His Bruce Wayne could well have been the older version of Michael Keaton's Wayne.

Affleck is Bruce Wayne/Batman.

Henry Cavill. First time I've seen him as Clark Kent/Superman. Not keen on this costume version but his Clark Kent was almost a Christopher Reeves version, but slightly more sure of himself despite all the doubts.

And that brings us the Cavill's Superman. There was that "Boy Scout" element but having to face the fact that nothing on this world stays clean and realising that for all his power he is fallible -the Congressional hearing where he knows he should have checked out the entire room and seen the bomb and saved everyone is a perfect example.

The "religious aspects" of Superman as god-like.  Well, I think this helped with his character being torn between just being "a man out to do good" and how some might try to make a cult out of -turn his presence and actions into godliness -we have seen that going on with charlatans and worse for centuries and that includes the modern age.  Look how Nelson Mandela was hailed almost as a saint and "made the Rainbow Nation" (yet black people are still poor, living in make-shift shanty towns and still oppressed and beaten in areas -just not by "white" police now. Try to point this out to some people and it is almost sacriligious. Some people saw him as an evil alien and others as godly -did he have to choose which?

That brings us also to the fact that Superman realised he could be manipulated if his loved ones are threatened -and he even tries to tell Batman what is going on.  But, of course, Batman has also been manipulated and there was the lovely touch of the downed Superman saying his mother's name -"Martha" and how that hit Batman, made him pause,  because his mother's name had been Martha.  Two orphans in capes fighting evil.  Both having been manipulated.

Gadot was more or less incidental as a character up until the big end fight.  I have only one problem with Gadot as Wonder Woman: Amazons were hardened warriors but Gadot does not have the sort of muscle-toning you might see from that life-style but that is, again, incidental since her scenes -and the battle scenes- worked. I think that it is quite obvious what was going on with her characters introduction: she has two Wonder woman films readying so "establish her".

Jesse Eisenberg I was unsure of but then the character developed.  If you have ever known a VERY high IQ person you'll know most can be a little..."odd" and the final touch of cutting his hair so we have the bald Luthor.  Nice.

And the "Meta Human" footage/references....

If you have ever read a comic book then you should be able to see what is going on here. This was like reading a comic and the reference to other Meta Humans established, through short clips, that they existed -we are shown that Superman and Batman are not the only crime fighters in the DC Universe and this works perfectly.

Now, those dreams and why Bruce feels "We'll need to fight".  Oh come on...really? The Flash in his appearance and with his dialogue made it very clear.  These were not dreams in the usual sense. Tachyon transmissions.  No?  Not big movie buffs are we?  Okay the biggest clue I can give you is John Carpenter's 1987 movie, the excellent Prince of Darkness. That's my theory based on what I saw.

Mixing up Miller's Dark Knight and The Death of Superman story-lines worked.

It's rare that I do this but tonight I intend to watch the movie again. I really enjoyed it. Some say it was "over long" but here is the thing: when it ended I actually thought "Isn't this supposed to be a long film?"  I had been that engrossed in it.  Which is a bit weird.

We have here the same situation as with Avengers: Age Of Ultron which had similar criticisms about mixed up and convoluted plots/story-lines.  Yet it was structured well and did what was intended: it established previously unseen characters and set the wheels rolling for Captain America Civil War.  It established a lot.  Batman v Superman - Dawn of Justice has done this for the DC movie universe.

So, either it was all too much for people to take it and I'd suggest they sit down and watch the movie again because if after watching at home they still think there are "three jumbled up story-lines" maybe the Western High Noon will be too much for them (I would sincerely suggest that they NEVER try to watch Orson Welles' Citizen Kane because their brains will melt and ooze out of their nose and ears).

It's a very "linear" movie into which "tid-bits" are placed that should register in the viewers heads.

To put it at its simplest: if you have ever read a comic this should be all familiar to you. We see all of this in Crisis On Infinite Earths as well as Watchmen and, allow me an exaggeration here: a gazillion other comic book series.  Those reviewers probably just wanted to bitch since that seems to be what they do these days and my opinion of Kermode has dropped about 50%.  I just don't think these people were watching, are uncomfortable with cape films or have never read a comic. IQs aren't that high.

Zack Snyder has not put together "a mess". In fact, he surprised me somewhat.  I do not think Affleck hated making the film under Snyder -check out the behind-the-scenes footage (official and unofficial) and he seems to be having a lot of fun -as is Cavill and Gadot.

All that internet and press bad talk? Ignore it. Just more "negativity for attention".  And me? I totally apologise for falling for the crap.  Makes me wonder whether Suicide Squad is really a bad film.

This is a film for comic fans who want comic book movies.  Ten out of ten.

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  1. LOL I was having a wee laugh at you comment to my reply in your last post - I don't "hate" you (tongue in cheek I know) and glad you liked the film - I thought it was ok certainly not as bad as the critics (I tend to ignore them anyway) but I did find it a tad meandering in places. As a big JLA fan I was probably more disappointed that the clips of the other heroes was so small (then again as you say how else would they introduce them) but I saw this at the movies with my girlfriend (not a comic fan) and she had no idea what that was about. I did really like Ben Affleck as Batman. I really liked Wonder Woman (and not just because she was a stunning looking woman) I thought she felt (to me at least) more like what WW should be. And the fight scene at the end was exciting - Suicide Squad I will probably wait till this comes out on DVD a friend watched this ( who thought Superman V Batman n was ok) and loved it, then again he loves todays DC comics *lol) Anyway enjoy your second viewing

  2. I think what a lot of people missed was that title clue: Dawn of Justice! Having to introduce characters to a movie audience is the big problem -its why I say with a TV DCU WHY did they just not move those to the movie since all are internationally known shows. I think your girl friend was justified because, if I knew nothing of the comics I would be stumped! Its why I say its a comic fan film and that is why I guess the critics didn't understand. Suicide Squad I was not interested in but, like you, I'll wait for the DVD. We fans need our Comic Crack!

  3. I enjoyed it....way waaaaaay better than Watchmen, which the carlisle mess which was minicon, I was informed that I was the only person a customer had heard say they disliked the Watchmen graphic novel.....maybe they don't get out much.

  4. My question would be: Are they the secret spy arm of the movie industry? What business is it of theirs what movies you like/dislike? Ahh. But you were mocking the word of God Moore!