It’s nuts that Zac Snyder was given control of the DC Universe and planted his flag squarely in the Superman franchise. It just doesn’t seem like a property that is well suited to the Snyder aesthetic. So unsurprisingly I found Man of Steel not very good. In fact I thought it was quite bad and mostly because it was a version of Superman that seemed to not know anything about Superman. Despite this, it is less surprising that Snyder hopped on Batman v Superman for another go around. Put Superman second and get down and dirty with Batman. That certainly seems within his wheelhouse. Get giant Ben Affleck to lift some tires with his giant torso. This makes much more sense… but apparently that didn’t make for a better movie cause this one ended up qualifying for BMT. Let’s go!
As we saw in Man of Steel, Superman fucked up Metropolis and now everyone is sad. Batman most notably, but also Lex Luther, now being played as a smarmy techbro. Meanwhile Superman is loving life as Clark Kent straight smooching Lois Lane. So when Lois gets in trouble tracking down a warlord in a war torn country, Superman swoops in to save the day. Or did he? Looks like someone is trying to make him look like an asshole cause they are saying he killed a bunch of people. That someone is Lex Luthor who is also trying to create weapons to battle Superman. Batman is a bit suspicious so he steals all the info from Lex’s harddrive. Eventually he finds out that Lex has been researching all kinds of metahumans, including Wonder Woman, and he starts to get an idea… maybe to kill Superman. Superman agrees to meet with Congress to try to clear his name, but Lex smuggles in a bomb and sets it off. This makes Superman look like an even bigger asshole. Superman is sad, so he leaves, but has to come back when Lex kidnaps his mom. Lex lays out his plan: he must battle Batman or else his mom will die. He’s like “OK” like an idiot and they battle for a while until they realize that both their moms were named Martha. Coooool. So now they fight together. They free Martha, but Lex got a backup plan: a big ol’ monster made from Kryptonian technology. Wonder Woman joins for a giant CGIfest battle which ends with the death of the monster, but also the death of Superman. Everyone is pretty sad about that and decide they have to get a team together to help save the world without Superman. THE END.
I think… I think I liked this more than Man of Steel. It seems impossible because there are several giant mistakes made. The version of Lex Luthor they present? One giant, extended mistake that may very well be the prime reason this film qualified for BMT… that and the fact that nothing makes sense and the whole thing is extremely confusing (even though we watched the Extended Cut which is apparently less confusing than the theatrical version). At one point we do a double dream sequence where Batman dreams he’s in an apocalyptic future and like seven different things happen that only someone heavily invested in the DC comics could possibly understand. Oh and the film opens on a scene that is purposefully evocative of 9/11… which was interesting, but also made me a little uncomfortable. Oh and it ends on a Morbius style CGI battle sequence that made my eyes bleed. So yeah, it seems impossible that I could like this more than Man of Steel but I did… because Snyder should just do Batman and not Superman because he clearly doesn’t even like Superman.
Hot Take Clam Bake! They really need to stop making Superman movies. The real problem is that DC is real “coooool.” I’m kind of making fun of them, but it’s true. It’s the disease you get from spawning a rebirth of superhero movies not just once, but twice at the hands of auteurs. But guess what those auteurs were producing: Batman movies. So why does Snyder decide to focus on Superman? It’s hubris. Everyone wants to do Superman because he’s the OG. So what is James Gunn doing now that he’s taken over? Superman. But why, Jame Gunn? It could be good, but it doesn’t feel right. Do you know what would feel right? Steven Spielberg. And who does Batman? Scorcese. And who does Batman v Superman? Both of them. Hot Take Temperature: The Crush.
‘Ello everyone! Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice? You think you can just have a v floating there without a period and everyone will be cool with it. Not on our watch Zach Snyder. Let’s go!
- How do I put this … this film was a downer? Like an ultra downer. Right? I’m not wrong about this. The film has the color palette of “brown” and both Superman and Batman are kind of trash people. To be clear: I’m talking about the two heroes of the film. Not the villain. And boy howdy will we be talking about the various villains of the film.
- They kind of play right into the idea that Superman is this alien disconnected from humanity who can’t seem to get across to people that he’s a literal God who can save us from super villains and ourselves. Instead he likes to get himself into situations where people ambiguously think he killed a bunch of people and make out with Amy Adams in a bath. Boom roasted. Next!
- Oh good, Batman, you’re always chill right? … WRONG. You are branding people and getting them killed in prison. Because what every Batman loves is the loophole of “well I didn’t technically kill that guy … I just marked him for death and sent him to his death. Cleaning up the streetz!” He’s a bad guy and a bad detective and he almost killed Superman because he’s also a dummy. Boom roasted. Next!
- Lex Luthor? What a weird character. The mannerisms of what I can only forever assume Mark Zuckerberg has, and yet people meet him and are like “hmmmm, you seem totally normal. Although I do wish you would stop talking about angels and demons and Nazis and muttering about how smart people should have absolute power … but outside of that you seem normal and I think you should write our anti-Superman legislation and have unfettered access to an alien spaceship”. Boom roasted. Next!
- Wonder Woman? Actually … she wasn’t bad. The only odd bit was that they were very obviously trying to get you to think she could be Selena Kyle (aka Catwoman) but that headfake makes no sense since she’s in the trailer and also they had already announced the Wonder Woman film at this point. Makes the film seem weird. Condition: not roasted.
- I think I’ll finish with Zach Snyder. I don’t begrudge his fans their taste in cinema. His color palette is grays and browns and there’s a tonally confusing ultra-violence to everything he does. But he doesn’t make action films. He makes Zach Snyder films. And they are somehow different and I don’t like them and that is that. They are unpleasant to watch. Half-hearted boom roasted. I’m getting tired, guys.
- The movie is weird. It is all over the place. It has a garbage pile of CGI as the ultimate villain in … Destructo? I literally can’t remember what he’s called. Like … Dementor? Did it have a name?
- And then they just have like four teaser trailers for the upcoming standalone films (two of which didn’t even happen!).
- And then everyone cries a bunch even though Superman is obviously not dead. How dumb.
- Product Placement (What?) exists, although the only one that obviously springs to mind is a shot of Olay body wash in the tub scene at the beginning. Funny Setting as a Character (Where?) for both Metropolis and Gotham, one of which apparently is in Delaware, although that is hardly canonical. This movie is closest to Bad, it is weird and unpleasant and then too long to even be rewatchable, I didn’t like it.
Read about my sequel DC’s Wonder in the Quiz. Cheerios,