THREE GUYS AND… A MOVIE
series created by Marvin Mercer and Nick Stephenson
“BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE”
written by Dominick Cappello
The world has already put BvS in the backburner and is getting psyched for “Captain America: Civil War” (2016), but due to circumstances beyond my control, I’m just now getting the chance to post this follow up BvS article even though I saw the film for a second time over two weeks ago. I’m pretty far behind Dr. Jelly and Dr. Frisbee, but will still add my two cents to the discussion about this polarizing film.
I would just like to remind all those who gripe about Superman settling too many problems with his fists in the DCEU, that every action set piece in “Superman Returns” (2006) revolved around him using his powers to save people. He never used his abilities in an aggressive manner and all I heard at the time was “Man, did Superman even throw a punch in that movie? Lame. What a wimp. That’s so boring.” It actually became a punch-line. The movie where Superman didn’t punch. But, now he’s apparently punching too much? Anti-Zach Snyder fans are contemplating their ideal Superman movie and are basically describing “Superman Returns”. Well, where the heck were you people ten years ago? Where was the love for “Superman Returns” at the time?
You just can’t win some arguments.
Okay, enough about the hypocrisies of film criticism, which I’m sure I’ve been guilty of in the past. Let’s talk about BvS. Allegedly, Zach Snyder’s first cut of the film was over four hours long, so a lot was nixed besides just Jena Malone as Barbara Gordon (if that’s who she is playing). Some people have been stumped by Lex Luthor’s motivation. They’ve said that Jesse Eisenberg was more like The Joker or The Riddler. Just because he’s not the Lex Luthor that you’re use to isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There was enough in Jesse Eisenberg’s performance that led me to believe that he was a malicious individual, whose heart was filled with hate. Sympathetic villains need a reason to hate, but Lex Luthor isn’t too sympathetic. At least I don’t find him too sympathetic. Still, I would like the over three hour long director’s cut which will be available on Blu-ray in a few months to clarify what the relationship exactly is between Lex and Darkseid or between Lex and any other unearthly DC villains who will combat the Justice League in the not too distant future.
I agreed with Dr. Jelly when he said that this film faltered when trying to walk that fine line of entertaining both comic book aficionados and your average movie goer. Being a comic book fan, but not a fanatic, I don’t really mind that Batman killed in this movie. I’m not in anyway offended. I was introduced to Batman in 1989 with Michael Keaton’s performance. His Batman killed, so I never thought much of it. Heroes kill villains, especially nameless henchmen, in action movies all the time. Batman refuses to take life in the comic books, but this a movie. A different outlet for storytelling. This is the age of “The book was better than the movie,” so people have trouble accepting an adaptation which varies from its source material. You know what else varied from its source material? “Jaws” (1975). If a classic like “Jaws” was released today, it would be polarizing because it deviated from the novel. Try to remember that the next time you hear someone say the book was better. Trolls would go and tweet that “Jaws” was a #EpicFail. Also, most James Bond films only pay lip service to the work of Ian Fleming. FYI… Batman has broken his no killing rule more than once in the comics. I do know that much. Ben Affleck’s Batman, just like Michael Keaton’s Batman, kills in the heat of battle. There’s a big difference between that and cold blooded murder.
Let me clarify that I’m not knocking Marvel fans because I like Marvel even though I grew up more on DC characters – Superman and Batman specifically – and am more emotionally invested in them than I’ll ever be in Hawkeye or whatever the heck that guy with the bow and arrow’s name is. (C’mon, he’s nobody’s favorite.) But, I’ve heard lots of people mocking and poking fun at BvS for the intense animosity between the two protagonists. Sorry, but I didn’t want to see The Rock and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin eating Shawarma at WrestleMania XVII. I wanted them pissed the fuck off at each other and ready to beat the ever living shit out of each other because that what happens when men in tights fight!!!
Well, I guess that the whole “they stopped fighting because their mom’s are both named Martha” issue isn’t going to be settled here. We’re cynical people and that’s too sappy for most of us. I think that Batman just needed a trigger to remind him of his humanity and that’s what the filmmakers chose. Was it the best choice? No, I guess not. Maybe he could have been reminded of something inspirational that Alfred told him when he was younger or some words of wisdom or a lesson he tried to teach to Dick Grayson / Robin years prior (before he was snuffed by The Joker)? As far as Batman tossing away the Kryptonite spear, it may not have been too smart of the part of the world’s greatest detective, but he truly hated himself in that moment. Disgusted that he was consumed with cruelty as Alfred feared he would be. He’s not infallible. None of the characters in this film are and that was a conscious choice on the part of the filmmakers. I know that disappointed a lot of people and I’m genuinely sorry that they didn’t enjoy their movie going experience.
If only Batman had spared Superman’s life because they both loved Shawarma, then this film would have scored 1,000,000,000% on Rotten Tomatoes. Hopefully, the director’s cut will answer some unanswered questions and help win over some fans who were disappointed the first time around. DCEU enthusiasts now have “Suicide Squad” (2016) to look forward to later this summer. My favorite track from the BvS soundtrack by Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL is “Is She With You?” which is from the moment in the film when Wonder Woman joins the battle against Doomsday. I’d propose to Gal Gadot the way that Dr. Frisbee has been proposing to starlets in his articles, but Gal Gadot is already married. Shucks. Oh, and if you think I’m an emotionally scarred DC fanboy who’s going to give “Captain America: Civil War” a bad review so to avenge BvS… Relax, I’ve already declared my allegiance to #TeamIronMan on Twitter.
– Dr. Rochester