Before I begin this review, I want you all to watch this clip from Man of Steel.

I remembered watching that scene from that film and actually yelling out loud how incredibly stupid and unnecessarily melodramatic that was.

That’s exactly how I felt after watching Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

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This film would have been better if they just made out right here.

MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD SO PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Before I pile onto the multitude of things that went wrong with this film, I want to at least be generous and start with what DID work:

1. Despite the naysayers convinced that he wouldn’t be able to deliver, Ben Affleck did a great turn as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Jeremy Irons as well delivered a stellar performance as a slightly younger and rougher Alfred (imagine the transition from the first Dumbledore to the second Dumbledore in the Potter films and you get an idea of what it’s like to go from Michael Caine to this version of Alfred).

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Ben Affleck & Jeremy Irons made a great dynamic duo as Bruce Wayne and Alfred

2. They didn’t give her much to do, but what Gal Gadot was able to get in during her limited screen time as Wonder Woman was good. She did a good job.

3. Holly Hunter gave a believable, grounded performance as Senator Finch, a politician who is caught between whether to support Superman or go against him.

4. We get a glimpse of the other superheroes, and whatever they did show of Aquaman, it made me incredibly intrigued for his solo movie, to the point that I wish I could leave the theater where I was watching BvS, time travel, and watch this film right now.

aquaman
The most badass looking DC superhero of them all.

And that’s about it. The hammer is about to come down because I am going to be downright ruthless with the many things that did not work for this sloppy hodge-podge of a film. I say this with a heavy heart because I really, really wanted this film to be good but that simply did not happen:

6cc1c0ca99dbd447fd8931ee0a28cc33cfecf2438b33c51bd8f44504add61c011. Jessie Einseberg’s mustache-twirling overacting — that echoes Gene Hackman and Kevin Spacey’s equally over the top acting but done in a millennial, aggressive nerdy Social Network kind of way. It may have worked in the previous Superman films where the tone was lighter, but in this uber gritty dark world that Zack Snyder is creating, it is extremely out of place and gets excessively annoying every time he is on screen.

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The Most Annoying Supervillain Ever.

2. Henry Cavill’s acting. Watching his extremely stiff and wooden performance makes me miss Christopher Reeve terribly — to the point that I would even take Brandon Routh’s take over the bland nothing that Henry does with this role.

3. The utter and complete waste of Tao Okamoto as Mercy Graves. In the comics, she is Lex Luthor’s extremely tough bodyguard and chauffeur. Here, she’s almost a featured extra (except with a few lines) where she just hangs around in the background until she is killed off without any warning. I’m extremely sad by this because she’s the only Asian person to be in the film, and this is such a thankless role that she was just downright wasted.

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What a sad waste of a great character and actress.

4. Why the heck is Ezra Miller cast as the new Flash? In the little segment that we do see, this version of the Flash is portrayed as such a hobo hipster. And for whatever reason, this is preferred over just getting the fabulous Grant Gustin?

5. Lex Luthor using General Zod’s body to turn him in to Doomsday — which looks like a rejected Michael Bay Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle but grayer and uglier.

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A face only a mother from a Michael Bay film could love.

6. The extremely melodramatic and lazy plot device of using the common name of Martha for both Batman and Superman as a way for them to get along with each other. This moment in this film had me have the same verbal outburst as the Jonathan Kent death scene in Man of Steel.

7. Everything in this film felt rushed and crammed all together as this film becomes concrete proof that they are playing catch up to Marvel Studios by desperately attempting to do a ton of world building for all the superheroes involved. By doing so, there really isn’t a plot to this film.

8. And finally, the eighth and biggest problem for this film is why Batman and Superman are even against each other in the first place. Throughout the film, they build up Batman’s dislike of Superman with one of the main problems being that Superman has caused so many unnecessary casualties from the events of the first film. However this becomes problematic to the story because Batman is responsible for the most deaths in any live screen version, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

From willfully firing on the bad guys with machine gun fire from his Batwing to his hand to hand combat scenes (which, I must say, are rather well done and perhaps the best in a live action Batman film yet) that end up becoming utterly destructive in the casualties he racks up from gunfire and grenades blowing up the bad guys. For a Batman fan, this is a problem because Batman never has casualties when he fights. For an average audience moviegoer, it is still a problem as the conflict becomes fundamentally flawed as it is rather hypocritical for Batman to criticize Superman’s actions when he himself is actually worse. Sure, some can argue that this is the grittier and darker version of Batman but for the film’s entire VERSUS storyline to be dependent on these principles? It simply does not work.

Oof, that was rough to write. I had my doubts with this film but like I said in the beginning, I secretly hoped that Zack Snyder would prove me wrong and that this would be, at the very least, a good film to start the DC world-building superheroes franchise, but if this is going to be the standard, then I will be extremely pessimistic about the other films coming up in Warner Brothers’ slate. To end this review, I’ll leave you all with a parody poster of the film I would at least be more entertained by:

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That’s more like it.
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15 thoughts on “The Epic Failure of Batman v Superman

    1. That’s because it’s the same actor. What, you thought he was just CGI? That poor guy gets typecast so much it’s not even funny anymore. He was great as the Cave Troll, and as Raphael in TMNT, but here he’s not really given anything interesting to do. Hopefully his next role as Ariel in the live action Little Mermaid movie will finally give him a real chance to shine.

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    1. They shoulda re-cast Antje Traue who played SubCommander Faora Ul in Man of Steel. Now, she woulda been a BADASS Wonder Woman!

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  1. Um, is that last poster for real? It looks so “bromantic.” I’m not down with that for Batman and Superman. Is this some sort of Gay subtext?
    P.S.
    Jason Momoa is gonna make a GREAT Namor, and I cannot wait to see the new Aquaman, but they can keep Batman v. Superman. PASS.
    P.P.S.
    In the Age of the Booty, they mis-cast Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. She’s no Amazonian Princess. PASS.

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  2. Sad to hear about Mercy, though. She was one of the best things in the cartoons. I loved her in those. Here, she sounds like just a “sexy lamp”.

    Still not getting past Ben Affleck though. I just can’t.

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    1. There’s a zeitgeist here that’s bigger than ‘critics vs. fans’. Since it’s already made so much money it doesn’t need more of mine.

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  3. .” Throughout the film, they build up Batman’s dislike of Superman with one of the main problems being that Superman has caused so many unnecessary casualties from the events of the first film. However this becomes problematic to the story because Batman is responsible for the most deaths in any live screen version, whether intentionally or unintentionally.”

    point 8. You neglected to point out that Batman was killing Criminals whilst Superman’s Man of steel actions resulted in a lot of Civilian deaths. Batman s distrust stems from this as well as his unchecked power. He doesn’t trust Superman as far as he can throw him. This Batman is straight TDKR Batman. Unrelenting, Brutal Powerhouse who is smashing through his opponents. …And is clearly haunted by Robins death. That has clearly affected him and the dead robin suit is right next to where his bat-suit is. So he sees that every night before he leaves. that is a reminder for him to show no mercy. But it was deliberately highlighted throughout the film. I think they were setting up for Afflecks stand alone film by constantly showing us him killing. kinda like how we saw the MOS destruction and said that it was too excessive, but we now know it was deliberate to set up this film. So perhaps all that killing by Batman will set up his Red Hood (please let it be) film.

    ” Everything in this film felt rushed and crammed all together as this film becomes concrete proof that they are playing catch up to Marvel Studios by desperately attempting to do a ton of world building for all the superheroes involved. By doing so, there really isn’t a plot to this film.”

    Point 7, yes i agree, it did feel a little crammed. but i wouldn’t say rushed. The movie DID have a plot. And there is a plot to this film which was good. the reason most people dont like the plot is that it revolved around /]Jesse Einsenberg playing the puppet master role. And we dont like his lex luthor. But overall they gave a justified reason for: why Superman had to fight Batman.
    Why Batman fights Superman.
    Why Wonder Woman is lurking around.
    How darkseid/Apokolips related stuff turns up.
    How Batman knows about the rest of the JLA and why they need to unite.
    Why Superman is massively distrusted. (the whole courtroom thing and the disabled man)

    This movies marvel equivalent would be Age of Ultron. A movie that has set up Civil war nicely.(along with winter soldier ofc)

    “The extremely melodramatic and lazy plot device of using the common name of Martha for both Batman and Superman as a way for them to get along with each other. This moment in this film had me have the same verbal outburst as the Jonathan Kent death scene in Man of Steel.”

    I kinda fanboyed at that moment loool. It was something I never actually paid attention too. But I think it worked well enough especially within the context of that scene. It was a moment he realised Superman could not be as out of control and evil as he thought. And it was the moment he realised Luthor had plans to eliminate Superman so he couldn’t have been all that bad if he turned up in Luthors bad books. And ofc it was his own mothers name, and we know batman gets tetchy bout that. so it wasn’t melodramatic imo. it was well executed. And another point is that batman had a chance to save a kind loving mother called Martha. something a 10 year old him couldn’t do. that played a part in that moment they found common ground.

    “Lex Luthor using General Zod’s body to turn him in to Doomsday — which looks like a rejected Michael Bay Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle but grayer and uglier.”

    This was Luthors plan to eliminate Superman (after he lost the kryptonite I think, or it was a plan all along. either way he was experimenting on Zod). And didn’t Doomsday get those bones protruding from his body after each hit he took? He never quite got to looking like Doomsday Doomsday, but it worked for me tbh.

    ” Why the heck is Ezra Miller cast as the new Flash? In the little segment that we do see, this version of the Flash is portrayed as such a hobo hipster. And for whatever reason, this is preferred over just getting the fabulous Grant Gustin?”

    Ben Affleck as Batman was met with similar cynicism. How we were wrong. For now i give Ezra the BOD. but out of all the current casting of the JLA members, Ezra, from just looks alone, does appear, i repeat APPEAR to be the weakest casting at this time (shazaam and the Laterns are still uncast I think). Grant cant do Flash due to the Universes being separate.

    “The utter and complete waste of Tao Okamoto as Mercy Graves. In the comics, she is Lex Luthor’s extremely tough bodyguard and chauffeur. Here, she’s almost a featured extra (except with a few lines) where she just hangs around in the background until she is killed off without any warning. I’m extremely sad by this because she’s the only Asian person to be in the film, and this is such a thankless role that she was just downright wasted.”

    yeaaaaaaaah. me too man. I was a big fan of the original Justice league cartoons and the Superman Cartoons prior to it. Mercy was a significant character. was a little angry she was killed off just to show off how ruthless Lex is. there was enough death in that room (the wheelchair guy, senator Fich and the other senator) who we saw enough of to know as individual charachters to be killed off and show how dark Luthor is. Her death was over the top imo. guess they didnt see her as important. (PS hope katana in SS lives)

    “Henry Cavill’s acting. Watching his extremely stiff and wooden performance makes me miss Christopher Reeve terribly — to the point that I would even take Brandon Routh’s take over the bland nothing that Henry does with this role.”
    Cavills acting wasn’t that bad. I agree that I would like to see him get some more deeper and better dialogue, but having said that, he acted a conflicted and doubted Superman really well. I think what we hate is that he isnt acting as the real proper Superman yet. But he has said in interviews that this Superman inst the final version Superman. we ll hopefully see that in JL. till then he has acted the doubtful Superman role very well imo. He shows the vulnerability and weakness quite well when necessary.

    “Jessie Einseberg’s mustache-twirling overacting — that echoes Gene Hackman and Kevin Spacey’s equally over the top acting but done in a millennial, aggressive nerdy Social Network kind of way. It may have worked in the previous Superman films where the tone was lighter, but in this uber gritty dark world that Zack Snyder is creating, it is extremely out of place and gets excessively annoying every time he is on screen.”

    No. Thats air tight buddy loool.

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  4. I agree. Why “meta-human” Wonder Woman was lurking about being all mysterious made no sense to me at all.

    Henry Cavill is a good-looking guy and makes for a great image in terms of Superman, but they guy is not that charismatic on screen

    Ben Affleck, to me was just a BIG BLAH. Christian Bale was way better, even Michael Keaton. The only incarnation of the Bat Man that Affleck is better than is the dismal portrayal by George Clooney. (RANK AWFUL!)

    Jesse Eisenberg made fro a bad Lex Luthor. His performance was way, way way over the top.

    Mercy Graves was basically Asian furniture. Glad to see her on screen but not in such a thankless role. I agree.

    The Guy playing The Flash is a joke

    Yeah, I guess I hate watched this movie.

    Only bright spot was Jason Momoa as “Aquaman,” but the way they rolled out these “meta humans” was so inartful.

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