Fish and Cherries Productions

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Reel Snippet – Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice


Synopsis: Most of the world sees Superman (Henry Cavill) as a gift from the heavens, but two particular people vehemently disagree: Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck), secretly Batman, who witnessed the destruction of Metropolis from Man of Steel firsthand, and Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) who finds the idea of an all-powerful god among men troubling. Similarly, Superman’s alter ego Clark Kent is galled by the idea of a masked vigilante running amok in Gotham while feeling the pressure of people’s expectations. While things are in motion, a mysterious woman, Diana Prince a.k.a. Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) is moving through the scenes with her own agenda. Everything comes together in the end with a clash of titans, first between two caped figures and then against a living doomsday weapon named Doomsday. Who will rise? Who will fall? Who will prevail?

Review: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice was an absolutely atrocious movie, if I could be charitable enough to call it a movie. The strands of logic pulling the “story” along are thin at best and seem to exist solely to string together the constant, dull action scenes. Nothing wrong with action scenes, but I need to care about the characters. And these characters are so flat and emotionless that I couldn’t care if and when some of them die. The only one that remotely held my attention was Lex Luthor, for no other reason than he is the only one who seemed to be enjoying himself. The rest of the cast is too concerned with being dour in an effort to seem important, like the archetypical broody teen who writes dark and “artistic” poetry while cutting themselves to Nickelback.

I suppose some may feel that these characters are so established in popular lore that they don’t need extensive characterization. That would hold water if they weren’t such unrecognizable perversions of their source material. Superman keeps his boner for collateral damage from the last movie. Luthor has none of the suave charm that we’ve come to know, coming off more as a babbling mental patient or what the writer thinks is autistic. But the biggest slap in the face to a pop culture legend is so galling that none of you will believe it. You may have arguments to justify Superman’s use of deadly force, but this crap is unforgivable.

Are you ready?

Are you sitting down?


Batman. Uses. A GUN. Not once or twice. Several times. Not a stun gun or electric gun like he uses in the Arkham games. One with f***ing bullets. And not as a last resort. Recreationally. And to kill on occasion. That betrays the core concept of the character of Batman — never to take a life and never to use the weapon that killed his parents — to the point that I have neither the words nor the patience to properly deconstruct the absolute wrongness of it all. This coupled with Martha Kent telling Clark that he doesn’t owe the people of Earth anything made me wish this movie was a person so I could snap its neck Man of Steel style.

Whether you love or hate this movie, it contents itself with insulting our intelligence, as if the movie was hoping that we would be so dumb as to not ask some questions about what anyone was doing or why they were doing it. How did Lex and Bruce find out that Clark was Superman? When did Lois figure out that Doomsday was kryptonian and that the kryptonite spear would work? Why is Bruce having prophetic dreams that foreshadow the upcoming Justice League movies? Why does the corpse of Martha Wayne still have a face when she took a handgun shot point-blank to said face? I’m sure if you run into David Goyer or Zack Snyder (the writer and director respectively), they’d be happy to tell you. You know, since they couldn’t find time in the movie’s two-and-a-half hour runtime to work that in.

There are also parts where they just expect us to ignore logic. After a fiasco in Africa, Superman assures Lois that he didn’t kill anyone. Bullshit, Clark. You flew a warlord through at least two walls at supersonic speed. That man’s spine and organs are liquid at best. And don’t you dare tell me to embrace “suspension of disbelief.” Suspension of disbelief allows me to accept that a man can fly because of a yellow sun, a man can dress as a bat to effectively fight crime, or a woman can block bullets with golden bracelets. It does NOT require turning my brain off and throwing all logic out the window. It is especially heinous since this movie presents itself as more rooted in gritty realism. This suggests that either the filmmakers expect the moviegoing public to be ignorant, or that Snyder and Goyer themselves don’t understand the basic concepts of physics, which is quite frankly even more terrifying.

The best part of this movie is Wonder Woman and the final fight with the trio against Doomsday. That’s not damning it with faint praise, either; that last fight could have been its own amazing short film, not to mention Wonder Woman is sufficiently badass (pretty good for her first time on the silver screen). It’s just a pity we have to go through two hours of crap to get to the gold.

As an adaptation, this film is unfaithful and disrespectful. As a story, it’s unfocused and all over the place. Finally, as an experience, it’s dull, pretentious, and overall unpleasant. I was originally going to say that at least it wasn’t Green Lantern, but that movie understood the concept of being a superhero and aspiring toward a higher purpose. This movie thinks that realism equates to being overly dark and brooding and requires everyone to be assholes, all while cribbing the worst traits of Frank Miller’s psychotic era and hitting the Superman-Jesus allegories so hard that they could legally file a restraining order.

But hey, at least it wasn’t sexist. Kudos, DC. You’re learning.

Fun Tidbit: Two big name supporting characters of the Superman mythos show up in brief cameos: Jimmy Olsen (Michael Cassidy), who is thought of as one of Superman’s best friends, and Mercy Graves (Tao Okamoto), Lex Luthor’s closest assistant who debuted in Superman: The Animated Series and was brought over to the comics due to her popularity. Both are killed unceremoniously within mere minutes of their introductions. So if you were hoping to see their potential as characters fleshed out in the DC Cinematic Universe, you will be sadly disappointed.

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