Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Batman v. Superman review

I enjoyed the Man of Steel, even though there were parts that I thought were stupid. But when I heard of this one, well, right off the bat (ha ha) it did not sound promising. And as time went by details gradually emerged that more often than not only served to lower my expectations. It just didn't sound like DC knew what they wanted to do with this film; other than that they somehow wanted their own billion-dollar-grossing Avengers movie but didn't know how to get there. The early teasers only reinforced my negative predictions, I avoided the trailers, but I got the impression that at least some people were optimistic about it. I was not.

Well, I saw the Batman-Superman movie (or "the B.S. movie", as I thing we should start calling it...), and it was somehow worse than I had expected. Strangely enough it was better than I expected in some areas while being terrible in ways I hadn't anticipated. The overall effect was to leave me not angry or upset or disappointed, but actually depressed. Somehow the very fact that this movie exists depresses me, and I don't quite know why.

I suspect the reason why I found it so depressing comes down to the fact that Superman and Batman are, in some ways, two of the most fundamental superheroes there are, so it's kind of important (well, to me at least) that they be written well. Many heroes have interesting stories, but these two embody two of the most central ideas of the superhero mythos. Superman is possibly the oldest, most well known, and most obvious character embodying the power-fantasy aspect of superhero comics. Meanwhile Batman is probably the most popular character representing the idea of every man's capacity to rise above his surroundings and do great things through hard work and determination. In my mind they represent the two opposite ends of a spectrum that encapsulates the entire superhero genre.

I believe that people are often drawn more to one character or the other depending on what they enjoy or what they are looking for in their fiction; if you like the idea of waking up one day with the power to do anything you want, you probably like reading stories about characters like Superman, especially origin stories. If you're not a fan of people being born with "unfair advantages" and you wish life was fair, that people were rewarded for what they've earned through hard work rather than just luck of birth, then you probably want to see Batman beat Superman's fat smug face into the ground.

To be clear I don't mean that people can only like one or the other, but I think the fact that these two are in some ways polar opposites (well, in at least one way; if you really look at them they are far more alike than you might realise) representing two different realities makes the question of "who would win" (as if virtue was measured by combat ability, but that's another topic I think) a more compelling one than it is for, say, Thor and the Hulk. Personally I suspect that at the end of the day most people want Batman to win, but some people are more willing to believe it's "possible" (within the context of a fictional universe) than others.

So I see the appeal of matching the two against each other, but I never believed that it was a good idea to base a movie on that one conflict between two "good guys". Or rather, I didn't think that DC could make a good movie about such an idea within the framework that they created in the Man of Steel movie. Perhaps if they'd started from scratch, but the Man of Steel established a world where Kryptonians were insanely powerful and Earth just didn't have the magic or technology to act as a sufficient equalizer for Batman, especially with the strange way that they treated Kryptonite (it was just something in the air of their spaceship or something?) seemingly taking it out of the equation.

Plus, you know, the writing in Man of Steel and Dark Knight Rises did not lead me to believe that DC would be able to handle the real issues at stake in such a conflict, namely the fundamental fairness of the universe itself. Especially not when their primary concern seemed to be introducing a bunch of different heroes in order to set up the Justice League movie. Some surprising casting decisions did not inspire confidence either.

In case it isn't obvious at this point, I was not looking forwards to this one. However my friends wanted to watch it and when I checked IMDB the day before it had something like a 9.2 rating (it's down to 7.5 now, I wonder how far it will go...), so I tried to abandon my preconceived notions and went in to the cinema with as open a mind as I could muster.

Five minutes in I was turned off, by then ten minute mark I felt exhausted. I found the whole movie so oppressive that several times during the show I considered leaving the theater under the pretense of using the washroom, even if it was just for a few minutes so I could get catch my breath. The only thing that stopped me was that I felt so drained that I couldn't even muster up the energy to escape. By the time the credits rolled I just felt empty; I was just glad it was finally over.

Be warned, the next two paragraphs contain descriptions of events occurring during the first ten or fifteen minutes of the movie. Personally I reckon it's far less spoileriffic than the average trailer for the film, and I feel it's worth reading to help understand my complaints. Your choice (obviously).

Right from the very start, every single scene was trying so hard to impress on us that EVERYTHING IS SO IMPORTANT!!!! The dialogue, the music, the cinematography, it's all so heavy. We start off by seeing the death of Bruce's parents yet again, the entire scene not only shot in SUPER DRAMATIC SLOW MOTION ULTRA CLOSEUP!!!!, but also interspersed with scenes of little Bruce at his parents' funeral, falling down a deep hole... AT THE SAME TIME AS HIS MOTHER'S PEARLS FALLING ACROSS THE STREET!!!!, only to be surrounded by bats and... levitated bodily out of the hole and into a bright light? Yeah, it was a dream. They actually cut back and forth between his parent's death and a stupid dream. A dream that served no purpose that I could discern except to create DRAMA!!!!11!!1!!!!!. And possibly to start hitting us with the Jesus imagery I guess.

Neither the melodrama nor the Jesus imagery ended there. The next thing we see is Bruce racing into Metropolis while dramatically yelling over the phone at some guy we don't know. Then they guy dies in the wake of Superman's fight with Zod. We don't know who this guy is or what his relationship is to Bruce other than the fact that he's an employee, and we're supposed to care about his death? We're supposed to feel for Bruce and understand why he's so angry because some guy who's name he knew died? The movie is two and a half hours long and yet they didn't have time to spend setting up Batman's motivation properly?

That might actually be the biggest problem with this movie; it's all style over substance. There's a whole lot of very impressive visual imagery which has so little impact because it feels so empty. I genuinely believe that the whole production was driven, not from a desire to tell a strong story, but from a desire to show dramatic imagery, and I think that's why it all falls flat: the things we see lack a strong foundation. At least that's how it feels to me.

Let's start by talking about Superman. I suspect it's the writing more than anything else, but I can't quite seem to see Henry Cavill as Superman. It's probably just because he spends the whole movie pouting and brooding. He never really seems to want to be Superman; or perhaps I should say that Superman never seems to really want to be a superhero in this movie (I'm not sure he did in the last one either). He never seems to take joy or satisfaction from what he's doing, never seems to have any real conviction that he's doing the right thing, he never even seems to have any personal desire to be a hero. The only time he mentions why he's doing it, he indicates that it's just what his father wanted. I just... I feel like Superman should at least want to help people, even if he has doubts. This version is just too sullen.

Also, he does a whole lot of hovering around above people, staring down at them, instead of just flying over and saving them. I think it's that whole "Jesus" thing again. It just felt really weird to see him posturing like that, it really didn't jive with how I think of the big blue boy-scout (and I'm one of the people who was OK with the whole neck-snap in the Man of Steel, so I'm not exactly the most ardent Superman purist).

When I heard that Ben Affleck was being cast as Batman I just couldn't see it. I just feel that Affleck has a bit of a goofy smile, which works great for a lot of characters but doesn't quite fit the Dark Knight in my mind. Well, I guess that wasn't going to be a problem since it's not like Batman was ever going to be doing much smiling in this movie. But I jest. To be honest, I think Ben Affleck did a great job as an older, angry and bitter Batman. No, Ben isn't the problem.

So I've talked before about how Batman is called "The World's Greatest Detective", right? The point is he's supposed to be kind of smart. Well, I didn't see it here. Without going in to too much detail, I didn't see much intelligence in the way he fought any of his fights, but what's worse is that I felt his motivation for the whole feud was just very stupid. OK, he came up with a passable justification (by a very very "us or them" type of logic) for fighting Superman later, but his real reasons for fighting were, well, not something that I would expect from and intelligent and logic human being. OK, Batman dresses up in a bat costume and picks fistfights with large groups of armed men, so maybe objectively he's not the most well-adjusted fella around, but it still just doesn't fit with the Batman that I know.

Neither does the fact that he straight up kills people in this film. Oh, it more or less happens off-camera, but I'm fairly certain no-one in that car that he blew up survived. Do I really need to talk about how out-of-character it is for Batman to run around killing people? Yes, I know, he's based on the "Frank Miller Batman". Look, I've seen Batman in many shades, from Adam West to the Dark Knight. Frank Miller's Batman was grittier and rougher around the edges than most, but he was neither a psychopath nor an idiot. Zach Snyder's Batman, in my eyes at least, is both.

Another casting decision that I didn't agree with was Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. And yes, "Lex" has always been short for "Alexander", this isn't supposed to be someone else, this is just a different take on good old Lex. And once I warmed up to the idea of this different, arguably more modern version of the evil businessman, I realised that Jesse was a great casting decision. I reckon he perfectly captures the character as written.

The problem is that I think the "character as written" just isn't as intimidating as the classic "cool and in control" Luthor. Even though he's much better as a criminal mastermind than the version from Superman Returns, he's just not scary. So while I don't inherently object to the attempt at a different take on Luthor, I think it doesn't quite work overall. Especially since I felt his motivations were not really clear; he isn't trying to take over the world, he doesn't have any personal history with Superman, and he doesn't seem to be inherently opposed to super-powered beings he has no control over running around the planet (well, the film is a little contradictory on this point at any rate)... I dunno, maybe I missed something. Having said that, his verbal sparring with Senator Finch was one of the few entertaining parts of the movie.

It seems a lot of people weren't sold on Gal Gadot being cast as Wonder Woman. I have to admit I was one of them; the thing is that Wonder Woman is an Amazonian warrior: tall, strong, and a skilled fighter. Personally I had thought that they should have cast Gina Carano; she's a large, strong-looking woman who has proven she can shoot a fight scene. Honestly though, I don't think it would have made a big difference; the only fight scene she was in was just a load of fast-paced quick-cut CGI anyway. I will say that she didn't sound like I normally expect Wonder Woman to (based on the cartoons and stuff), but that's my fault for expecting a Themysciran to sound like an American. I'm not saying that Gal's accent was Greek, and I'm not saying that it wasn't; I'm just going to say that I can't complain about Wonder Woman having an accent, and I can't complain about how Gal handled the role, even if I still don't think she was the best choice.

I can't really say much else about Wonder Woman since she really didn't matter at all. She showed up a few times during the movie, but none of these scenes served the overall plot or told us anything much about the character or anything; she was just there to be there, and you could have completely cut her from the entire movie without making any difference. She did handle herself very well in the one action scene she got, which I thought was a big deal since Wonder Woman often gets the short end of the straw in this sort of thing in the comics.

I did not realise that Jeremy Irons had been cast as Alfred. It was a pleasant surprise; while he played the character a little differently than usual, I enjoyed his performance to the extent that think this is my favourite Alfred ever. I just wish he'd been given a bigger role; Alfred really doesn't do much more than provide a few jokes and a bit of exposition here, while in the Nolan movies for example he's a much more central character.

I've talked about how most of the characters were quite different from what I recognize as the "traditional" (dare I say "correct"?) versions, but one character who much more closely matched previous appearances was Lois Lane. Which is unfortunate, because she is so often poorly written. Mild spoiler warning: she needs to be saved by Superman not less than three times this movie, and basically doesn't actually contribute in any real way - in fact I maintain that she actively makes things worse at times. Although I guess the only times Superman manages even a small smile is when he's looking at her, so there is that. The sad thing is I thought she was much better written in Man of Steel.

In case it isn't obvious by now, I didn't think that the plot worked very well; most of the characters' motivations were either vague or didn't really make much sense to me, and there wasn't really any depth to the story despite how hard the cinematography tried to convince you otherwise. Oh, the cinematography was really nice though; Zack Snyder does shoot a pretty picture, that's for sure (well, as pretty as something can be with so little colour).

I feel as if there was less action than I might have expected, but none of the action scenes were bad. Batman's fights were much better than anything he did in the third Nolan movie, though obviously not nearly as impressive as something out of the Raid or Man of Tai-Chi - but then I don't think that was really ever on the cards to begin with. Superman really only had one big fight, and while it was pretty good if you like entirely CG battles, it was nowhere near as impressive as the fights in Man of Steel. Overall I can't complain about the action, but I wasn't impressed by it; there was nothing new or smart or particularly impressive or skillful going on.

The thing that I remember most from watching the movie is just a sense of tiredness and depression. The fact is, this movie is dark. Not just at the start or at the end, but the whole way through. There's just no sense of optimism or positivity at all. I don't know, it was all just too gloomy for me.

The plot is bleak, the characters felt wrong (it's not just that they weren't the heroes I know, it's that they didn't really feel like heroes at all), and the movie has an over-inflated sense of it's own importance. Having said that, it has good acting, decent action, and great cinematography. I'm going to give it 5/10: if the idea of Batman killing people doesn't feel wrong to you and you like watching desaturated CGI characters hitting other desaturated CGI characters in dark gritty desaturated urban environments for no good reason, then yeah, enjoy.


Most superhero movies end on some sort of a note of triumph. The B.S. Movie starts on a scene of tragedy, is mostly full of insane people trying to kill each other, and ends with a funeral. It's just dark and gloomy, start to end. Which makes me wonder: is Zach Snyder feeling suicidal? Obviously I hope not, I just have to wonder. Maybe they're just playing the long game; like this is supposed to be the "Empire Strikes Back" of the Superman movies, and the next one is going to be the Return of the Jedi and end with everyone throwing a big party? I guess I could buy that, however Empire didn't leave me feeling drained and depressed.

Did anyone notice that the characters had access to info in dreams that they shouldn't have had? Like Pa Kent's story, or Lois Lane's name (Batman didn't know that Lois was important to Superman; if he did he probably would have known about Martha, right)? Although I think that dream with Lois' name was not a dream and is actually foreshadowing something they have planned for the sequels, but if so it doesn't seem to fit in since Batman never saved Lois or anything. Perhaps she's going to die in the sequels and Superman will turn bad unless they go back in time and stop it, but that doesn't quite make sense since we've already seen the dream, meaning that they've already gone back in time and tried to stop it, so if they failed this time then that's it, right? Or it is just another meaningless dream that's just there to look good and make the movie feel important? Maybe they're trying to emulate the Marvel trick of filling their movies with little easter-eggs that only the real comic book fans will pick up on? I kinda feel like they should probably concentrate on making their main characters recognizable to the real comic book fans first, you know?

Speaking of old man Kent's story, did Clark already know the story - in which case the way it was told was weird (was it supposed to be a memory or something? Because it didn't start off like one!) - or did he just... make it up in his own head? Also, WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT? What the hell was the point of that story? OK, so he felt guilty over the negative consequences of a well-meaning action, that's fine, it happens, it's good to talk about it. So what was the solution, what ultimately eased his suffering conscience? Learning to accept that we as humans have limitations? Learning to forgive himself? Why no silly, women! Ugh, look, I get that love is a great thing, but it really isn't an instant solution to every problem in life. A better message here would be to tell him that nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes and we just have to learn to accept ourselves, learn from our mistakes and keep moving forwards, rather than getting stuck and dwelling on the past. Or something like that.

Instead we get this stupid and meaningless "lesson", and the worst part is that the movie doesn't seem to realize how meaningless it was. It makes me sad to think that something so shallow and devoid of understanding could take itself so seriously. On the other hand, since it's all just a dream (it was a dream, right? We aren't supposed to believe that daddy Kent's ghost visited Superman just to impart that nugget of stupidity, right?), perhaps the point was to show how shallow and stupid Superman is? Not that that would have been much better.

And while we're on the topic of dreams, was the point of those bizarre bat-filled nightmares to show us that Batman was psychologically tortured, or to establish that he was actually insane? Because I'm leaning towards actually insane. I wouldn't have hated them so much if they didn't seem so meaningless. I realise that I might have just misunderstood them, if so then I apologize, but... I dunno, I'm just not seeing it.

The first one has Bruce levitating up to a white light (coughIAMJESUScough) that he describes as a lie while surrounded by a swarm of bats; meaning what? Was the light the catharsis of dressing up in a batsuit and hitting people, and it was a lie because it didn't actually make him feel any better? The second one has a giant bat creature jumping out of his parents' graves to attack him. I guess that means his parents' deaths created a monster that is consuming him; a madness that compels him to dress up as a bat? See, all I'm getting is "Batman is insane and needs to stop dressing up as a bat". Which I can't really argue with, at least not the way he behaves in this movie, but then he doesn't actually stop does he? OK, the last dream was pretty much a straight-up nightmare about a future that he fears might occur if Superman is not stopped (and there's some flying dudes who might be bat-themed attacking him, so again a generally negativity associated with bats), which is fair enough, although it does lead to a bizarre time-travel thingy that comes out of nowhere and really doesn't fit in.

Actually, the more I think about that last dream, the more I think the whole double-dream sequence might be my favourite part of the movie. It's a hint at a different, strangely alien world, followed by this jarringly surreal and out-of-place moment. Plus it has probably the best action sequence in the movie. I think it would almost work better as a short film divorced from the rest of the movie, then it wouldn't be dragged down by the film's baggage.

Let's talk motivations in more depth now that we can discuss specifics. What was Luthor's motivation? He's not trying to take over the world. He mentions something like he learned from his father that power makes people evil or something, so... Superman must be evil? Does that mean we're supposed to believe that he's trying to save the world from what he believes is an evil alien? Well, he's clearly not; otherwise he wouldn't have gone ahead and created an even more powerful, more evil, and more uncontrollable alien without any contingency plan for how to stop it.

By that same token the other potential motivation - that he has an unexplained problem of some sort with any super-powered being, as evidenced by the way he's collecting info on them - is clearly not the case, else he wouldn't have created the powerful, evil, uncontrollable monster. Also, he seemed unnaturally attached to Zod's dead body, so clearly he isn't exactly repulsed by Kryptonians. So... yeah, I dunno.

What we do see is Luthor acting progressively more insane. Which is a terrible motivation and still doesn't actually explain very much; even the Joker usually gives us a reason for what he's doing, even if that reason is just "for fun". And Luthor is not the Joker, or at least he's not supposed to be. And he shouldn't be, if only because we already have a Joker: he's called the Joker. We don't need Superman's nemesis to just be Batman's nemesis again. Although we shouldn't really be surprised since the Superman movies have been borrowing so heavily from the Batman movies that they've basically just turned Superman into Batman with powers (seriously, watch the Nostalgia Critic review of Man of Steel).

Don't get me wrong, I can certainly come up with a bunch of reasons why Lex would want Superman dead if I wanted to, but the point is we're not given any of those reasons in this movie! We're not clearly given any reason, at least none that I was able to understand. Am I just stupid? Is Zack Snyder just operating on a whole other level than me? Honestly, I really don't think so.

I mean, I understand Batman's motivation: some guys he kinda knew died while Superman was saving the whole planet. Clearly this means Superman deserves to die, right? Hmm, perhaps I should clarify: I understand what Zack Snyder is trying to say that Batman's motivation is, unfortunately it only makes sense if you believe that Batman is a moron and/or insane. An no, I refuse to believe that Batman is somehow unaware of the fact that Superman saved the planet; Lois Lane was RIGHT THERE the whole time, she knows the whole story, and she's a damned reporter: it is an established fact that that Superman saved the planet, as evidenced by the way they built a monument for him in the middle of Metropolis and they worship him and stuff.

Oh, he talks later about how "if we believe there's even one percent chance of Superman going bad, then we have to kill him now", or something like that, but that's clearly a justification for his actions and not what's driving them; if it really was his motivation then it would have been fleshed out more. What we did see fleshed out was his horror at the damage caused by the fight with Zod. I might argue that we also get a glimpse of his own feeling of helplessness during that fight, which could have been another motivating factor, but again this wasn't developed (except I suppose briefly in that one abstract dream sequence) so I'm not going to count it. I admit that it's a more sensible reason for his hatred, but I still wouldn't accept it as being enough to drive Batman to want to murder an innocent man; at least not the Batman I know and not any Batman that I want to watch movies about.

In theory we're already supposed to know Superman's motivations since we already had a whole movie about it. But then this movie has him question why he's trying to be a superhero, and then no-one ever really answers the question. I mean, one minute he seems to have decided not to be a superhero anymore and traveled up north, then he has a dream where his father tells him that Lois will cure what ails him, and suddenly he's back in Metropolis. Even then, he's fighting because he's being forced to, in order to save those he loves. In fact if he hadn't played superhero to begin with they would never have been in danger, so... I dunno, as far as I can tell the question of why wear the cape is never answered.

I think for that narrative arc to be concluded satisfactorily, they really needed for Superman to make the decision at some point to do what was right because it was right - that's kind of the essence of Superman's character, isn't it? But I don't really feel like that's what actually happened in the end; instead he fought Luthor because his women had been kidnapped: he did it for his own personal benefit, not because it was the right thing to do.

OK, you can argue that fighting Doomsday wasn't personal, but... well, what was the alternative? Sit back and let him trash the planet? It doesn't really sound like the kind of thing you can realistically choose to ignore. Besides, some people are stubborn; once they start a fight they see it through, doesn't necessarily mean that they are doing it for good reasons. Yes, you could say that he chose to sacrifice himself at the end, but, well, he'd already been stabbed through the heart, I think he knew he was dead either way and just chose to redouble his efforts to make sure he took Doomsday with him. I mean, when he flew in with the spear he was attacking a tied-up and weakened-by-kryptonite Doomsday who'd already lost a hand. Yes, attacking while weakened was a risky and difficult thing to do, but there was really no reason for him to believe that he was actually committing kamikaze.

About the only real thing he did that I would categorize as making a difficult decision to do what was right, was saving Luthor from Doomsday. Which was the correct "Supermanian" thing to do, but the moment lacked the gravitas to signify that it was a big decision for him, that it was representative of the direction he had chosen to take his life in or anything like that.

But to be honest, one of the things that bothered me the most about the writing for Superman was why he got so obsessed with Batman. He's in the middle of an existential crises, questioning his own actions and motivations, then suddenly he's like "look, there's some guy risking his life to stop crime, but he doesn't always obey the letter of the law while doing it? HE MUST BE STOPPED!". Nevermind all the wars and genocides and crap happening every damned day, nevermind the mass starvation, rampant terrorism, drug, gun, and slave trade that is alive and well in many parts of the world; STOP THE DO-GOODER IN THE BAT SUIT!

Fair enough, right? No-one should break even the tiniest law, right? Like, say... flying without a pilot's license and approved flight plan? Or how about flying across country borders without going through passport control? Or, I don't know, invading people's privacy with x-ray vision and super-hearing, or all the other little laws I'm pretty sure Superman just conveniently ignores when he's running about playing hero. I mean, is it even legal to run into a burning building that the authorities have cordoned off while the fire department is trying to extinguish the flames and evacuate the occupants? I'm just saying, while Superman is currently being accused of acting without oversight and potentially killing a whole bunch of terrorists (which apparently Americans are unhappy about? Really?), he's angry at some other guy who's accused of sometimes breaking the law to do good? Glass houses much? Yes, hypocrisy is a real thing, but still, the hostility he felt towards Batman just felt like it came out of nowhere and didn't really make sense to me.

Wonder Woman's motivation never really comes up, but we see that she fought in World War II (I think), and when Doomsday shows up she appears to fight, so I guess it's safe to infer that she's a warrior who sees it as her duty to fight evil / protect the innocent. Which is kinda why superheros are supposed to fight, and is therefore arguably the least stupid motivation of any of the main characters in this film. Kinda sad that the characters with the least development have the clearest and most sensible motivations.

Luthor seems to be claiming that it was his plan to get B&S to fight each other so B would kill S? So how exactly did he get the two to hate each other? Or is he just trying to claim credit for something that he didn't do? If he deliberately allowed Batman to learn of the Kryptonite and get his hands on it, then why? Isn't Lex the kind of guy who would have wanted to kill Superman himself? Perhaps it was for plausible deniability, to keep his hands clean, but he was doing a pretty crappy job of that if Lois Lane was so easily able to figure out what he was up to. Also, when Superman saved her and dropped her off right outside Lex's building, Lex didn't seem to make any effort to try to recover her despite the fact that she knew everything and he had even admitted stuff to her face. So I just don't feel as if he was trying that hard to keep his involvement low key.

Plus of course he kinda went and created a bloody Doomsday monster; I don't think anyone would have had any difficulty figuring out that was him. Besides, he did it before knowing whether Batman would succeed in killing Superman or not. So what if Batman had pulled it off, what then? "Oh, hey, guess I don't need this monster after all"? I mean, he'd given away the Kryptonite, the only thing he had that might have been able to stop the monster. Let's face it, his plan was a complete mess.

By the way, how did Luthor know Superman's secret identity? I'm not saying that he shouldn't have know, I just don't understand how come he knew and Batman didn't, despite Batman studying Superman for two years. Also, how did Luthor know Batman's secret identity? I feel like Batman is supposed to be smart enough to keep that kind of a thing a secret. Either way, these kind of details might have been worth showing? Ah, hell, Luthor just knew a whole lot of stuff Batman didn't, guess Batman wasn't supposed to be very smart this movie; actually, that was pretty obvious.

Wonder Woman was so pointless in this movie, she basically just gets forced into the scenes without contributing anything or doing anything that helps the plot or establishes her character or motivation or anything; she's just there to be there, then she joins in the big fight at the end. We don't know who she is,  why she's there, what she wants or why she does... whatever she does. At least she handled herself very well in the fight, so that's something.

By the way, why the hell was Wonder Woman even getting on a plane? SHE CAN FLY! Besides, I don't think there's planes to Themyscira, so where was she even going? I mean, she was leaving to escape Luthor and/or the world finding out about her, right? So where would you go to escape that? Back home to Themyscira, right? Maybe she was just going to Mexico or Hawaii or something. Also, was she in economy class? The way she was prouncing around Luthor's party, I figured she was rich or something - she still is a princess, right? What kind of princess travels economy?

The fight between Batman and Superman was terrible. They were both SO VERY STUPID, and it was slow and plodding and I hated it. I guess Batman's plan was to control the fight to lead Superman to where he had left the spear? So he stands there in the open and waits for Superman to get the drop on him rather than setting up a situation that he knows Superman will respond to where he can ambush him. Then he screws around a bunch with weapons he knows won't work, finally gassing Superman with a Kryptonite grenade. And after he spent so long being stupid that Superman started to recover, and he just manages to gas him a second time (which I reckon Superman should have been able to avoid since he knew about the gas now), he STILL took his time tying a rope to his leg and dragging him around, in a really slow setup for a stupid "spinning him on a rope" attack that was not worth the time they spent setting it up. I just hated the whole thing.

And I have to ask: why not just keep the spear on him and use it the first time he managed to gas Superman and weaken him? I guess you could argue that he though Superman might know that it could hurt him and not get close, but then why not shoot him with Kryptonite bullets since Superman wasn't dodging anything anyway - his plan was to hit him with a Kryptonite gas grenade, so why not bullets, which are smaller and faster and easier to carry? Or how about some kind of remote controlled bat-gadget that would bring the spear to him, like having his remotely controlled bat-plane bring it to him when he was ready for it? Planning to move the fight to where he left the spear is just so stupid; how could he possibly guarantee that he could control the fight against someone who outclasses him so severely? It's worth mentioning that the only way his plan had any chance of success was for Superman to be actively avoiding trying to kill him, which makes his argument that "Superman must be stopped" even stupider.

So Batman won? Yeah, it's what the fans wanted, but let's take a look at this "victory" shall we? He spent two years preparing for the fight, while Superman was told five minutes ago "go fight that guy" - a guy who he could have taken down earlier with the utmost of ease if he had wanted to. Batman had intended to kill Superman right from the start; he continued to attack Superman despite the fact that Superman was trying to talk rather than fight. And of course, Batman basically sucker-punched Superman with a weapon that he didn't know existed. If Superman had been there to fight he simply could have incinerated Batman before he even got close enough for the Bat to know he was there (telescopic vision, x-ray vision, heat vision) or killed him with the first blow he landed (which was intended as a warning blow). So sure, Batman won the fight, but Superman was the moral victor by far. Still, I admit it was cathartic watching Batman punch Superman's smug face into the ground.

Ugh, Superman and Batman's mothers have the same name? That's actually kind of stupid. You know, rather than make a big deal of that, I would have done the opposite, since it's, well, kinda stupid. Oh, and the fact that Superman's mother has the same name as Batman's mother just takes all the wind out of his sails, and he does an instant 180 on his previous hardline "kill Superman" stance? Or did thinking about his mother temporarily cure his insanity or something? Bleh, whatever.

So Kryptonite is back as the green glowing crystal? Cos in the last movie it was, like, a property of the gas on the spaceship or something. Also, why did the brightness with which it would glow keep changing? Was the spear energizing the Kryptonite tip or something? I get so sick of Kryptonite in the comics that I actually liked the Man of Steel version, but I can't complain about the 180 seeing as it is such a major part of the Superman mythos.

I cannot accept the idea that the government just gave Luthor the body of an alien and full, unrestricted, unsupervised access to an alien ship, which they just left in the middle of the city. That makes not one whit of sense. The only thing I can think of is that the scene where he forces the senator to eat the sweet is supposed to indicate that he has some sort of leverage over the him and, by extension, others as well? But having influence over some senators doesn't mean the entire government bends to his will! Seriously, no-one in the military said "Hey, I'm not happy about this?".

Let me get this straight: people genuinely thought that Superman flew in and killed a bunch of people USING BULLETS? These guys were terrorists or rebels or something anyway, is it so hard to believe that some else killed them with guns? Why the hell did the mercenaries use such unique bullets anyway? That's just pure stupidity; when real people want to go somewhere and kill people without being traced, they don't use highly unique bullets that can only come from a single source.

"It sounded like the sky had split open!" What, you've never heard thunder before? Cos that's what it sounded like. Thunder. It didn't even go on for that long. Stupid melodrama. Luthor probably paid her off I guess.

So that guy who took Lois hostage for a couple of seconds, Superman killed him, right? You don't expect me to believe that he tackled him with his whole body so quickly that he didn't have time to pull the trigger and shoved him through two brick walls without killing him, do you?

By the way, it was a bit too convenient how Superman always showed up just in time to save Lois. OK, maybe the first time he knew she was going to Africa so flew around nearby, I can accept that (although personally I think this is something that should have been explained, but whatever), the second time he was supposed to be on the north pole or something, then suddenly he's just there when she screams? I'm not saying that he couldn't have been somewhere nearby, I'm just saying it's annoying that he's always there without any explanation, whether she's in Metropolis or Africa. OK, yes, the third time he was right there, fine, I'll give them that one.

So the super-advanced alien ship was fooled by Luthor's stupid dissected fingertip nonsense? Really? Fine, but what the hell was up with it just offering him command like that? Lois Lane finds her way into a Kryptonian ship early in Man of Steel and it tries to kill her, Luthor does it and it's all like "Hi stranger, would you like to be the captain?". What the hell?

The ship says it has knowledge from "a hundred thousand worlds"? Really, the Kryptonians had knowledge from that many worlds yet they completely died out when just one planet exploded? Let me guess; those "hundred thousand worlds" were all planets like Mars and Mercury. The "knowledge" was basically "that one is hot, that one is cold", etc. Besides, I would expect a computer to be more specific than "a hundred thousand", since I sincerely doubt it was exactly 100,000 planets. Wouldn't it make more sense to say something like "knowledge from ninety-eight thousand, four hundred and seventy one worlds"? Oh, but that lacks the gravitas that this whole movie is so intent on beating us to death with.

Wait, so mixing a Kryptonian corpse with human DNA in... whatever that chamber was supposed to be or do, creates a monstrosity, and the Kryptonians knew about it? Quite apart from the question of why the hell would that be a thing to begin with, my question is how the hell would they know about it? Did they mix human DNA with Kryptonian in the past? How? Why? Or does Kryptonian DNA just do that when mixed with any DNA? Does this mean that Clark and Lois' child will be a monstrous abomination? Cos we know now that's what happens when you mix these two types of genetic material, right?

And when the ship tells him that this is forbidden, he just says that the dudes who forbid it are dead, and the ship is like "OK"? Is that how computers work on Krypton? Cos it isn't on Earth. Why the hell was that even Luthor's plan? Ugh, "put blood in Kryptonian ship and let it do the work" is a little too close to the last Luthor's plan of "throw Kryptonian crystal into the water and let it do all the work". Look, Luthor is supposed to be smart, having alien tech do all the work for him with minimal effort on his part is just not impressive and does not making him a menacing or interesting villain.

Oh God, that stupid "He's coming!" rant from Luthor at the end. That was terrible and completely out of place. Why the hell would he start ranting about... whoever, Darkseid probably. When did he ever make contact with him? Let me guess; it's something he found out about from the ship somehow. How would the ship even know that? Why the hell did he care about Superman if he knew about whatever it is that was on it's way? Bleh, again, B.S Movie is full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

If Batman was so concerned about the Kryptonian punch-up happening in Metropolis at the start, why did he drive over in a car as Bruce Wayne instead of fly over as Batman? Oh, I know: it was daytime. Batman only ever comes out at night, right? Sigh.

As much as I enjoyed Alfred, I did think he was a little too passive concerning Bruce going insane and planning to murder someone who didn't deserve to die. Like, you'd think he'd protest a bit more strongly, wouldn't you? Alfred is supposed to be a bit of a trusted advisor to Bruce, isn't he?

At one point Superman calls Batman "Bruce". I assume he used his x-ray vision to peek under the mask. I do find it rather interesting that they imply Superman is using his x-ray vision at times, but never show it.

So what was that weapon Batman used against Superman that actually hurt him? Was it just a pair of giant speakers? Can we build a bigger set and use them against Kryptonians and/or Doomsdayians?

Of course the movie had to have Doomsday. Of course. Sigh. Doomsday is just not a very interesting villain, but I guess there aren't many others people remember who can really fight Superman on an equal level.

Did Doomsday really need orange lightning energy pulses? I guess they though it would look cool on-screen or something. They were wrong. It just felt to me like they were ripping off the last Godzilla movie.

"The spear is the only thing that can kill it"? Hmm, bit of an assumption, also one that I would argue was proven untrue; we saw Wonder Woman cut it's arm off, sure that means that she could with luck and skill and a good opening cut it's head off. Don't tell me it would survive that. Well, I guess the other two didn't know that at the time.

Of course Lois threw the spear away, making it harder to find. She's a woman after all, and we all know (by "we" I mean people who read my blog, all 2 of you) what DC thinks of women.

So when Superman shoved the spear all the way through Doomsday's body, wouldn't that just mean that it's going to kill him more slowly since the Kryptonite is no longer in his body?

Why did Superman not dodge the nuke? He clearly saw it coming. I thought nukes were designed to hit continents, not small fast-moving targets in the upper atmosphere. Nevermind the fact that nukes these days don't have just one big warhead. Maybe it was built specifically for that purpose, to be used against Kryptonians? Makes sense, but clashes with the idea of the government simply ignoring the existence of the Kryptonite. If they've been looking into anti-Kryptonian weaponry (which is pretty much a given really), then I have to believe they would have swept in and grabbed the Kryptonite as soon as they learned of it's existence. Yes, it was kind of stupid of them to shoot at Superman when he was clearly well on his way to tossing Doomsday into the cold dark void of space, but it's the kind of thing I can believe panicked commanders doing at the spur of the moment. It still annoyed me though, because I was pretty sick of everyone in the movie acting stupid by that point.

Doomsday was standing on an abandoned island. He had just been hit by a nuke in the upper atmosphere then fallen back to crash in to the ground; someone in Batman's position would probably conclude that there was at least a chance that he would take a minute to recover before doing anything dustructive. The spear that could kill him was in Gotham. So what does Batman do? Rather than fly off to get the spear then come right back, Batman LURED DOOMSDAY TO THE CITY? WHAT THE HELL? Yes, the docks may be deserted, but that doesn't mean the whole city is! You've seen the destructive power of a Kryptonian rumble, why lead him back to the city? To YOUR city, Gotham? Assuming you even make it back, which seems unlikely when being chased by a creature that can hold it's own against Superman. Seriously, just how stupid is this Batman?

Hell, Batman wasn't even actively looking for the spear once he got there! He very clearly wasn't looking around whenever we saw him. Shouldn't he have had some kind of tracking device embedded in it, or some way of tracking the radiation, or something? Just saying, that's the sort of thing Batman usually has.

So when Batman hit Doomsday with the weakening Kryptonite gas, why didn't Wonder Woman just fly up and cut it's head off while it was weak? Pfft.

God, I SO wish Lois had just pushed Luthor off the roof. She knew that he had murdered a whole heap of people to frame Superman, he had just kidnapped her, and he was standing right in front of her at the edge of the building. Just push him off! Plus the longer he spoke the more obvious it was the he was about to push her off in order to lure Superman there; couldn't she see that? She didn't even make any real effort to defend herself when he walked behind, her, moved in, then pushed her off. I feel like the "Man of Steel" Lois would have been less pathetic in that scene.

How did Luthor even know that Superman would show up only after Lois had been brought to the building? What if she had screamed when they first kidnapped her and Superman had popped in to save her right there? How would he have his little conversation with him then?

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