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Spoiler Alert: Batman vs. Superman: Spoiler Alert

March 27, 2016

Don’t read this if you haven’t already wasted $20+ watching Batman vs. Superman; Dawn of Justice (what did this movie have to do with the dawn of justice?). I know it’s the weekend it came out, making this a bit early, but really, SPOILERS follow about the SPOILED movie. You’ve been warned.

First, I’m guessing the movie I was bored to tears by yesterday is not the movie that was shot. If that’s not the case, Snyder wins worst director of all time. In case you don’t know, sometimes a movie is shot to a different script, then at the last moment, the studio says (in this case, I’m guessing), “Wait, you can’t use Jack Kirby’s Sandman because that will confuse the audience for our future movie about Gaiman’s Sandman. And you can’t make the dreams be interactive, because we’ll get sued by Inception.” So Snyder had to recut the film so Brute became Doomsday, most of the ad nausea dreams had to be cut, and Doomsday needed to be added. I’m guessing that the Psycho Pirate was the original villain deemed too confusing for audiences.

Either that, or Zack Snyder really blows as a storyteller.

There isn’t a single laugh in the movie (okay, maybe one, and it didn’t even make sense. Wonder Woman WAS with Batman). The pace is leaden. It is SLOWWWWWW. The first dream isn’t identified until the end in a retelling of Batman’s origin (AGAIN? IS THERE ANYONE WHO DOESN’T KNOW THIS?)  From there, much of the action of the first act (what there is of action) are dreams. Or are they? It got confusing fast.

In the last dream, Jack Kirby’s Sandman warns Bruce at the end of dream to beware Superman! This was the one cool moment of the film; it got me interested (finally), and then it was never touched on again. ?????

OK, I admit that I’m, like, one of five people in Orlando who knows who the Sandman is (not the Endless version, or the Golden Age version who put people to sleep with his gas gun, but the one who lives in the dream dimension fighting nightmares and continually getting hoodwinked by bad people and bad henchmen, one of whom is Brute, who looks a lot like the early version of Doomsday in this movie). I admit, the story I think was the original would be tres confusing, but this one wasn’t?

Note to directors. Dreams are boring because they have no stakes; you always wake up at the end. Don’t use them unless there are stakes. (Consider for a moment that if Batman had dreams of super feats, but damage done to him affected his sleeping body, THEN you have something interesting).  Also, ridiculous over the top fight scenes of wanton destruction get boring fast.

The Bruce Wayne portions should have had a James Bond feel and pace, or even a Mission Impossible feel and pace. Instead, Bruce sleep walks through a heist that anyone could have stopped (and, in fact, Mercy does stop him, then walks off to let him plant his device). Lex doesn’t have any security at all?  Just anyone can walk down to his server farm beside the kitchen? Bruce should have had to defeat elaborate security while fencing with Diana Prince (think Zorro chemistry).

Clark Kent and Superman should have had the frenetic pace of a dynamic newsroom and power personified. Instead he was overly serious and brooding. Cavil is a good actor, but his brooding is comical.

Lois Lane and Martha Kent were good, buttttt…. If your boyfriend or son is Superman, I think fear would be the last thing you feel. Martha’s simpering at the end was out of character. Lois should be formidable without Superman; the whole point of the modern story is that she is just as strong as Superman in her own way. When she gets pitched out a window, she should be unflappable.

Really, every actor with the exception of Lex Luther did a great job, but the director failed them.

All right, let’s look at Lex for a moment. This Lex was more like Joker than the monomaniacal Luthor. We never saw his motivation… we had to see Bat’s origin again, but no reason why Lex hated Superman? Why would Superman cave to him so quickly? Was there no history between them yet? Crazy people who aren’t the Joker aren’t menacing.

So Bruce Wayne had a legitimate beef with the threat Superman represents; the same one I had at the Superman movie. The wanton destruction was horrific and very unSuperman-ish.  And Clark had a legitimate beef with Batman, the mass murderer. Bat’s killed a dozen people trying to steal the Kryptonite. Why didn’t Supes take him in? And since when does Batman kill? We’re talking more than twenty bad guys in this flick?

Then, suit or no suit, when Bats is thrown through concrete walls, the inertia didn’t kill him, or not a single blow through his open face plate going through a wall face first didn’t kill him?

The positive thing about the movie was Wonder Woman and the quick look at the Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg.  Gal nailed Wonder Woman and Diana Prince. She should have had more screen time, but you know she worked because the audience cheered when she arrived on the scene. We saw files of the other three. Flash is Hispanic, not the kid from the TV show. Eh. OK.  Aquaman is a tattooed brunette (the video clip showed why long hair doesn’t work for swimmers, and you know, blonde hair actually matters for Aquaman’s origin story). Cyborg’s origin video looked great.

Back to the fighting. Batman learns Superman’s mother’s name is Martha, same as his mom’s. This makes them friends. So much for Batman being the world’s greatest detective. He thinks Superman is a menace, but doesn’t figure out he’s Clark Kent? What was it about that name that made Superman his bosom buddy? The flip was so fast it was confusing.

Alright, let’s look at the positive. Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne worked, as did Jeremy Irons as Alfred. I love the suit and the cowl was fantastic.  The dream in the desert with the cowl and a trench coat worked really well. With a good director, this team and look could turn in a great movie.

I am not a fan of the Superman outfit. It seems over worked and the silver belt accent and buckle look tacked on. The iconic gold belt would be better. Henry Cavil make a fine Clark Kent and Superman, as does Lois. This team should make a good movie, but they didn’t in their last go ‘round and they didn’t here.

Gal Gadot makes a terrific Wonder Woman and the photo that hints at her own movie looks like a lot of fun. The problem is, I’ve lost faith in DC’s ability to make good movies if Nolan isn’t making them. Suicide Squad may be better…

Wait for the cheap theaters for this one, or see it on NetFlix. It isn’t worth your money.

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