A Batman v. Superman in-depth spoiler review.
By Josh Krubner
As I always do, I planned to write two reviews- one from the perspective of an “unbiased movie reviewer with no knowledge of comics or anything besides Man of Steel” and one “as a fan of the comics”. I’m changing the script a bit this time around. Much like Rick sharing a table and having a drink in Casablanca, precedents are about to be forever broken.
You can read my MOS review here: http://uruniverse.weebly.com/reviews/rewind-review-man-of-steel
and that’s the last time I will openly share it, unless it is ever directly requested. This movie proves there is nothing left to “fight” about or for concerning this DC universe… there never was.
I don’t owe these people anything, and I never did. There is nothing more to be gained, nothing more to be lost, there’s just….nothing.
My BVS reviews will speak entirely for themselves as well.
That’s precedent one; broken.
"If there's even a 1% chance this movie will suck, we can't afford to take that chance and should all go see Zootopia or watch Daredevil instead."
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, is the latest schlock-buster beat em up comic book super hero movie from visual director Zack Snyder, and a direct followup to 2013’s Man of Steel. It’s a disjointed mess that suffers from studio intervention, multiple cuts- my guess the extended ended up being much more coherent than the theatrical much like Snyder’s 2009 film of the same predicament, Watchmen.
“Justice” or “Bvs” as it has been playfully marketed, is loud, it’s dark, it’s sprawling. It meanders quite often despite a POUNDING score and a nearly three hour punishing run-time. “Visual director” says it best, as the entire “Experience” is much like living a very loud, often-times pretty “video game”. The writing leaves more to be desired, and the plot, if it actually had one is all over the place. The actors portraying the characters do the best with what they were given, and are able to cross the finish line to the reveal that this has all been more “Set up” and “universe building” for an as of yet unseen foe.
If a loud visual experience sounds like a good Friday night, seeing “Justice” in IMAX might just be worth it, though I’d hold out for the director’s extended cut dvd.
I’ll give the theatrical cut of “BVS” a C-.
In the past, here is where I would pop open my button down, toss the glasses (on a contact free day) and reveal my fandom – a blazing bright s-hield adorning the red, blue, and yellow t-shirt I had been wearing underneath… but we’re breaking precedent, and it’s time for the second one to be broken.
In the past, I’d clarify my quick phone booth change as “the perspective of a comics fan..." and you know what, there are plenty of “comic fans” who have read five books or less that would vehemently argue me into all hours of the night that I was “WRONG.”
Today I say, they’re absolutely right. Because, after seeing this movie, the reactions to it, and the perspective of the fans who love it, I can no longer call myself a “comic book fan”. I’ve barely even bought a non pull-list book in five years now. It’s time to stop living a lie, because I’m not a “comic book fan” or a “comic book movie fan”. I am a Pre-Crisis fan, one of the last of the Old Guard… and if those words don’t mean anything to you, we have nothing else to talk about. I’m glad you enjoyed the movie. I’m interested in your thoughts if you’d like to share them, but nothing I’m about to write as a PC fan, or addressing PC fans, applies to you, so please don’t take it personally at all. Seriously, I get it. New fans, current fans love this movie. That’s great! It will make billions of dollars, and you’ll get 18 more just like it. You can enjoy all of them, or none of them. No one can take that away from you. I don’t judge you for you it. I do however, judge the shit out of the Pre Crisis fan, who condones ANY of the decisions in this movie that weren’t just “expertly done Arkham style Batman moves”
As a “PC” fan through and through, I have some thoughts. We break our third and final precedent as I offer up a <gasp>…third review! nah I need more “PC cred” than just <gasp>… I’ll throw in a <sob> and a <choke> as I serve up, this “Imaginary Tale”
"What was I supposed to do? Make a hopeful and inspiring movie about Truth, Justice, and the American Way?" "I dunno...maybe"
- An HONEST review by a “PC” fan for “PC” fans.
“Tell me, does your box office bleed?"
Somewhere between the scene where Cav-El trucks a terrorist through a wall, and has depressing sex with his girlfriend in a clawfoot bathtub, and the scene where Batman shoots at the cops, or just shoots at everyone…it clicked. I got it- hell, I got “Man of Steel”.
As the notes in my little Daily Star press pad show, this is a FANTASTIC second part of an origin story for an Ultraman Elseworlds- from a certain point of view. He’s not necessarily evil, and the Crime syndicate hasn’t quite formed yet, but he has a number of choices to make, based on experiences past and present.
The next note I had was that Ultraman is flat out asked by Lois if he killed the entire village. He doesn’t actively deny it, and she claims not to care. He kills without reason, without care. She thinks he doesn’t love her, and I agree. We can all see she’s beneath him.
Jason Todd- this one-
"If Man of Steel can't destroy everyone's favorite superhero, the SEQUEL WILL DO IT!"
As the scenes played out, right down to Diana Prince- this universe’s Superwoman, no doubt, being a master thief who uses sexuality as a weapon, I couldn’t believe how I didn’t see it in Man of Steel… and I couldn’t believe I wasn’t able to read this Elseworlds graphic novel! The story was writing itself!
It would make NO sense for Superman to let a murdering Batman just walk away with a threat, or let an entire court house die without so much as a gust of super breath or a burst or super speed to try and contain the explosion. Ultraman’s character is truly tested, and his “Come to Jesus” moment of needing to be the “Ultra”man we all know he is and die while anonymously saving a city that hated and feared him, was just the spark the Crime Syndicate needed to fully form.
Ultraman Begins: the sequel still has narrative and editing issues, but there’s an ULTRA violent extended director’s cut coming, where we’ll likely see the entire Crime Syndicate.
The movie is awesome, and every single thing that happened across both movies makes perfect sense.
Ultraman Begins (part two) gets a well-deserved B+.
"Maybe it's the silver age DC fan in me, but we've had enough of movies dressed with frowns!"
The brutal honesty
If you want to read my “awakening”, it’s really long, and not terribly interesting to comic book fans. We’ll put it up on the site sometime this week. Or possibly edit the link into this spot of the review in the near future.
I had so MANY angry thoughts, I was exhausted, I was drained, I reviewed the “experience”- as Batman v Superman, is not a “movie” but yet another “Experience”- and that’s exactly how I reviewed it on Rotten Tomatoes.
In the spirit of Zack Snyder, we decided to put out an additional “Extended Cut” review. Look for that as well sometime this week.
I In my extended cut, where we post our thoughts, some pics and my entire Clark Kent inspired press-pad notebook (which was essentially a feature length written and sometimes spoken commentary of the “Experience”) you can see our in the moment “Raw reactions” and true feelings, which I understand are all the rage these days.
I’m not angry anymore. I don’t need to argue. I don’t need to present a case. I don’t have to show that a Justice League movie shouldn’t have Batman or Superman as founders, because they were NOT the founders. New 52 and Comic book movie fans, the REAL fans have told me they are unquestionably the founders.
These same “fans” who have no idea what the actual plot of the movie is –truly no fault of their own as it’s never explained in the actual movie itself- think it was about Batman vs Superman… or something, and despite this “fight” not making ANY sense – looking at it any way from tonally, to premise, to execution, to ending based on mutual admiration for a woman’s name… these “fans” miss the point that “Lex” essentially wanted them to fight because…there was nothing good on cable? And could have easily killed Cav-el/Clark Kent/Ultraman when he shook his hand stabbing him with the kryptonite or something, but no, Batman and “Superman” had to “fight” because the trailers said so! Now “lex” is the plot… but we’ll get to that…or maybe, I don’t need to get to that. The “Fans” get it. Right?
I don’t need to tell anyone about the 35 plus years of mashed up canon and elseworlds tonally shifting segmented stories that were violently brutalized and reassembled on the assembly line of the Michael Bay transformers movies. Which I didn’t keep this checklist of to illustrate the complete lack of awareness or effort:
“Now let's forget about Man of Steel and look at just BVS...
Man of Steel as a foundation
Dark Knight Over Metropolis- from 1986-1990
Injustice Gods Among Us/Justice Lords- an elseworlds from 5 yrs ago/a video game
Dark Knight Returns- an elseworlds written by Frank Miller in 1986 set in 2020ish in the canon history of a friendship now dissolved between Batman and Superman. In this story, all the "happy times" still happened, and they knew each other for 50 yrs.
Superman Earth One- an elseworlds
Smallville- as several not so subtle digs at the fans of that show
Death of Superman- a story from 1993 that most fans have an unfavorable view of
Justice League Origin- a modern day origin telling of the JL and Darkseid circa new 52
Flashpoint- an "elseworlds" canon event where the universe was wrong from 2011
and I can't even believe it:
Crisis on Infinite Earths- the best thing in comics/DC comics, a multiverse ending event that closed out the old guard golden age from 1938, closed out the 50s silver age and launched directly into the bronze age 1986.
None of these things mesh, go together, or carry the same tone. “
No one needs to know that the origin of the Joker,- a zany chemist who decided to one day steal a million dollars, dress up in a red hood, and voluntarily swim through chemicals -wasn’t a deranged serial killer. Or how Silver Age Batman, who I do love, was a complete dick to everyone, and rubs it in the Joker’s face how he knew all along.
Jim wanted me to talk about Crisis… google says:
“A crisis (from the Greek κρίσις - krisis; plural: "crises"; adjectival form: "critical") is any event that is, or is expected to lead to, an unstable and dangerous situation affecting an individual, group, community, or whole society.”
Neat! I guess, that’s all we need to know about that. Because this wasn’t Crisis… even though it was. No one got it, not a single person. I’ve seen everything on the internet from “who was that masked man in the iron man costume…anyway?” to “that was a possible timeline” or my favorite “that was a dream”.
No, I’ll quote spaceballs for you. That was now. Where was the Ezra Miller Flash? Then. When is he showing up? Soon.
See in the masterful story, I don’t need to tell the real fans about, that the above picture is based on, The Flash- Barry Allen, one of my biggest heroes and role models- sacrifices himself to stop a universe ending event that will destroy the known universe(s). Flash is moving faster than he ever has previously, and is ripped out of his physical being, existing impossibly at multiple points in time- like when Doc Brown helped himself with the “weather experiment”, or the ending of Time Cop. And what the real fans might not know is that… it was completely fucking wasted and useless in this movie. Angry rants aside, THIS was the scene/the moment that broke me. Like the vision itself, I knew what it was months before I saw it.
“Flash shows up as a cameo in a dream from the future appearing to Batman”.
My heart sank. “Flash and Batman. Warning… there’s only ONE thing that could be” I told myself. And sure enough. Why was it wasted and useless? Well that, is the entire plot of the “experience”, that has yet to be revealed/wasn’t actually revealed to the audience. Oh believe me… we’ll get there.
What else can I say about this “experience”? The guy underwater looked really cool. I don’t know who he is, but maybe he will show up next “experience”.
I don’t need to talk about the “experience” called Batman v Superman, as these are not characters I would know or recognize by those names, and if they were, they’d never fight one another. That’s just really..absurd. This was their first meeting. Sure it was updated and retold over the years, but they are always friends, and of course wouldn’t kill anyone.
Maybe some of you thought I’d mention how they directly quoted Superman III, a movie the Snyder-verse fans…oh right sorry, the “comic book fans”- gotta get used to that one- HATED, even if they haven’t ever actually seen it. They just know it’s BAD through Osmosis. Someone on instafinder or youtwitter told them obviously. And I think Jim wanted me to mention how they made a direct commentary making fun of the fans of the Donner movies… Don’t worry, I’m not gonna. No one wants to hear about those things. Smallville isn’t even on TV anymore! And we have a new relatable to the FANS superman now! I actually tested this theory. It’s not just a snarky sarcastic bitter claim as you might have thought. Someone told me the “treatment” of Death of Superman was “faithful to the comics” because he “died” in the movie… this person then admitted as a comic book fan and definitely a comic book MOVIE fan, that they themselves had NEVER read an an actual comic, not even the one being discussed as absolutely gospel fact.
Oh shit… speaking of Gospel… If you thought the Jesus parallels were abundant in Man of Steel, Watchmen, 300, or any interview Snyder ever did where he told everyone how he was the Great Creator, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
Somewhere between the awesome fucking painting in Lex’s house – always loved religious renassiance style artwork of warring angels and demons, but hey im a weird dude- and the “invasive pounding score that only brought up memories of the assembly line scene with rocky and mugsy in Looney Tunes cartoons 90% of the “Fans” of this movie have never seen/weren’t born yet to ever possibly see” Snyder’s God-dialog, non subtle Jesus imagery got to the point where other people in the audience were saying “Oh Jesus H. Christ dude, WE GET IT!” – and the guy behind us, actually fell asleep.
I’m not gonna question Snyder’s or anyone’s religious views- or lack there of for that matter- but I will say that every time he goes over the top with the doom and gloom… this is all I can think, and I’m not sure if Zack is standing in for JC, or the misguided batshit crazy pastor.
See a “Vs” (standing for “versus”) movie is typically written out as:
Freddy Vs. Jason
Or Ballistic: Ecks VS Sever
Much like however in the case of:
The People v. OJ Simpson
A “V.” implies a court case. So we the “people” mused this would be a three hour court-room drama about Batman and Superman arguing civil liberties in a court of law… and by God, we were almost right, with not one; not two; but THREE courtroom scenes. This next idea is gonna sound crazy, given a prequel trilogy that shit the bed, but there’s a reason Game of Thrones is popular besides titties and dragons. When politics are PROPERLY EXPLAINED (looking at you Phantom Menace) and they make sense, they can be downright interesting! Hell, wars are fought over this shit. You know who takes an interest in political issues, polarizing stances, and the objective definition of what is “good” or “Fair”? The people.
I’m not gonna put on my Marvel fanboy hat- as I’m pretty much down with the MCU lite- but by God, Daredevil season 2 needed just ONE scene to become a perfect microcosm of our real life current political climate, and they dropped it in gangbusters!
“I believe Frank Castle is right!” “He’s wrong, you can’t take the law into your own hands.” “We need more people like Frank!”
Sorry Zackie boy… stop motion slow mo distorted filter hero worship bullshit of messiah God Superman out of touch with the people as he hovers above a flooding village as they cry out “Save us!” and he whispers back “No!” is NOT going to cut it or bring the same message because a few extras were holding signs that said “Superman took er jerbs! He needs ta…git out!”
But I mean who can blame him right? It’s not like he was making the SECOND movie about the fictional equivalent of the New York Times, and could have the foresight/common sense to realize “well holy shit… Sooperman is an reporters. Peoples reed da papeuhs. And he is the aliens. What if he told his story via his relatable and humble human half to show that maybe the batman is da bad guise?” no, that thought would NEVER occur to Zack Snyder. Why would it?
I even had this notion I pulled out of my notebook, but it’s not worth discussing either:
“- Perry White shoots down Batman editorial… but why the fuck would he do that? These people [Lois , Clark, Perry, etc] are… supposed to be journalists. While the DC side was always blind praise and worship, Jameson made a career and a character out of suspecting Spidey… which is comic Lex’s entire arc. Just look at Superman: Under a Yellow Sun – one of the only readable articles/comic books “Written” by Clark Kent. Clark and Lois go undercover on exposes and shit all the time. They have since the 30s! Perry is ready to run headlines branding superman a villain, but when his star reporter WANTS to write an expose on exposing Batman as a killer, a fraud, a criminal, when in this world he FUCKING IS… why would Perry shit on that?
“No one cares about Clark Kent taking on the Batman” might be a subtle/clever line for the sweaties … but yes, the ACTUAL REAL PEOPLE OF THIS FICTIONAL FUCKING CITY WOULD CARE THEY WOULD CARE A LOT… Imagine the SMART dichotomy of the real life events of even the current political landscape, and this fictional conflict from the perspective of both the civilians of Metropolotham, and those in the audience! This is LITERALLY how Karen fucking Page closed out season 2 of Daredevil, writing the truth about Castle and whoever the fuck Clancy Brown played… holy fuck I need a drink!
- I down one of the mini dewars. One [bottle] left…shit “
I don’t need to talk about the fact that NO ONE knows what the subplot involving Lois Lane was, because she didn’t even know. I don’t need to mention how they killed Jimmy Olsen- in a deliberate jab to Smallvil…you know what forget that, they KILLED JIMMY OLSEN without even having the balls to mention his name, because it will be on the extended cut dvd “Experience”, and no one likes Jimmy Olsen anyway.
There’s no need to argue the absurdity of the “plot” because an “experience” doesn’t need a plot. No one realizes that Lex was controlled by [this version of] Darkseid the entire time, because no one said “Darkseid” and only FUCKING NERDS would know that name. No one is gonna run out and pick up Jack Kirby’s New Gods, because Jack Kirby is dead, and those books are OLD AS FUCK! There’s a new 52 Darkseid, and to learn about him, all the REAL FANS have to do is watch the bluray “experience” for Justice League: WAR!!! But since you already know, I might as well mention it. The entire plot of the movie is revealed at the end when Lex says “gods from beyond the stars…. Ping ping ping ping”
Never EXPLAINED or revealed in the movie, Lex has become a herald of Darkseid, and because yet again they ripped off Smallville, as this is NOT how Darkseid works – the man typically likes to drink wine, subjugate people and watch porn.
Like Jar-Jar before her- sorry Jay Bauman, Jim and I hit on this point first. It’s in the notebook- “Lois was the key to all this…because she’s a funnier character than we’ve had before…etc etc”
Lois didn’t die, and Lois wasn’t saved. Much like the last movie, she was just kinda “there”.
This implies, in the future, Lois will die, by Batman’s hand or due to his inaction, Ultraman will turn evil……er and Darkseid will inherit the earth. I don’t fault anyone for not knowing this, because unlike anything the MCU, The X-Men, or even the Arrowverse ever did, it was “reverse setup”… as if the unexplained blue guy at the end of Days of Future Past had caused the plot of that entire movie, instead of being the focus of the sequel. It was a bad decision and the general consensus is “NO ONE KNOWS WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED, OR THAT WAS A MOTHERBOX THAT TURNED CYBORG WHICH MEANS LEX HAD IT FIRST AND THAT MOTHERBOXES ONLY COME FROM/WITH BOOMTUBES!”
I don’t need to make any kind of comparison points about the spot on review/commentarody that Max Landis did on “Death of Superman”, cause EVERYONE HATES MAX LANDIS! He’s A MARVEL FANBOY!
More notes from my commentary notebook:
“Knowing Snyder and his 7yr old mindset, i think he feels that rush-job killing him in the last 15 mins in a monster fight is "gravitas"
and everyone will be like We love this superman.
when someone doesnt get the emotional impact of such a schlock beat-em-up as Superman fucking 75...
and he still missed the entire message”
Cause this fight is fucking AWESOME! Right?
It’s not even appropriate to say that what is an on paper kids movie, has a bizarre “What Lies Beneath meets Fatal Attraction” sex scene in it, or that batman shoots at cops while leaving Chinese minors sold into the sex trade locked in a cage below. ONLY FUCKING MARVEL FANBOYS WOULD BRING UP THOSE THINGS!
It’s not worth mentioning the relationship between lois and clark, how it SHOULD be:
The world we live in is scary. One where a fan wrote into Collider’s Mailbag to say “I don’t think you guys should post a spoiler review because not everyone has seen the movie.”
There’s a reason we have signs that say “Coffee: HOT” or “smoking kills” or “PLEASE DON’T FEED THE FUCKING DUCKS!”
This is a world when the internet rioted because a white guy was cast to play a white comic character, because obviously they should have cast an Asian actor to play a martial artist! That’s what’s FUCKING REALISTIC!
Zack Snyder is a visual director, and he gave us the visions in his head. If you don’t get it, you just don’t like comics, or their fans. And it’s true, this movie made me hate comics, and their fans. So I enter into my pocket universe longing for Chris or George, or other old dead people that the REAL FANS don’t care about! I’m no longer a comic book fan, or a comic book movie fan. THE REAL FANS have made it quite clear what I am, a jaded miserable throwback who isn’t willing to change with the times. Batman needs to kill people. It’s realistic. Zod should turn into a creature called Doomsday. That was a thing that happened in comics and DVDs kinda… but no one read them, so the details don’t matter. FUCK YOU NERD!
No one wants to read “inspirational” shit like this:
““A man named Metron is guiding my image which can sense your individual energies we face a great disaster impossible as it sounds the universe is dying. I need you all of you to combat this threat. The cause is eating its way back through time. Some of you are more powerful than others, some of you have no powers, some of you I’ve barely met. Nevertheless I implore you to help.” - Superman
And did you see Wonder Woman? She gets her own “experience” real soon!
I think Zack Snyder’s vision for the Justice League “experience part one” will be very “BLASH”
Enjoy the movies guys, and the comics. Every now and then a great one of either will come out, but don’t worry, even those get rebooted and retconned and redone inside of ten years. Continuity isn’t a word you’ll ever have to worry about though, cause everything is accessible.
What was that word I wrote? You mean “BLASH”? IT was the sound Matrix Supergirl’s head made in the comics as Doomsday exploded it. That’s what happened to my head having this “experience”. But you don’t need to worry about that. It’s from OLD COMICS, so it’s not relatable, and it never was.
As a former “comic book fan” who has seen the error of his ways, admitted defeat, and forever become a “Pre Crisis fan” I give this “experience” the following score…. Oh right, only FUCKING NERD MARVEL FANBOYS DO SCORES… I NEED TO DO A REACTION! That’s REALISTIC AND RELATABLE!
I give the “Experience” the following reaction:
BATMAN 1939-2009*; 3/24/2016
Special SUPER Jim Note
Okay, maybe that was a bit over the top. I'm emotional, darn it! What I mean to say is he (or whoever is making the decisions... for it's possible none of it is Snyder) is taking these LONG storied and established characters and either offing them or changing them for what seems to be no reason.
Second, in a clip released earlier today, we find a cut scene featuring Lex and who seems to be Steppenwolf. For those who don't know who that is, go and google it. I will say he's directly tied to The New Gods, Apokalips, Darkseid, and all that jazz. We get a motherbox, Lex looking possessed, and a bunch of soldiers who we never see again.
What the shit is this 3 hour movie going to look like? At this rate, Lex is going to turn into a tree.