So as promised, my spoiler review of Batman v Superman. To read my impressions of this movie without spoilers and my thoughts still high on adrenaline + rants about how unfair the bad reviews are imo, click here
But this one has MAJOR SPOILERS from the movie, so stop reading right now if you still didn’t watch it!
- The editing (or as I like to call in this case, the butchering). It was terrible. I felt like they had so much material filmed they tried to put a little of everything but when you do this, some things are just too short and disconnected with the rest of the movie. There were scenes that would be better if left out instead of adding its 30 seconds version. There’s no point in going back and forth so quickly if you don’t give time to let the scene play out in an appropriate time. The cuts were too sharp without a proper transition that could make sense, some of them I felt almost dizzy.
- Lex Luthor: I get what Eisenberg tried to do and I think it was a great idea in theory. But the execution didn’t work because the character didn’t have the proper time to play out like it would happen in an exclusive Superman movie. The movie has so many characters and parallel storylines you can’t quite grasp where Lex is coming from with all his quirks and maniac aspirations, instead of escalating and getting immersed in who is this person gradually, you’re hit right in the face with everything in the first time we see him. When you don’t have time to portray a character with so many screaming details like this, he becomes annoying and distracting. I thought the trailer was misleading and he would be better in the film, but what we see in the trailers is exactly how he is, no further development or additional layers. We get a glimpse of his past (big daddy issues, apparently Luthor Senior was very abusive) and of his psyché about the duality of being a genius but still have no power, which is a cool concept for the character when you’re someone who lives among gods and all this discussion but it’s so small, they pretty much just jump straight out to megalomaniac insanity with him. But it’s a courageous approach, you can see Jesse gave his everything but it wasn’t enough, unfortunately. The only thing I really loved about the character was how he manipulated Bruce and Clark and orchestrated everything. But even this was rushed.
- Doomsday: I’m glad he was just a small part of the movie but I was disappointed the aesthetic we got in the trailer is all we get in the movie. Indeed he gets stronger and bigger as he gets hit but the crazy kinda spike rocks growing out of him every time it happened weren’t impressive enough to make his looks increase and look different from an hybrid of a ninja turtle on steroids with Hulk’s Abomination. I honestly thought the Doomsday from the trailer was a a baby Doomsday that would get bigger and meaner-looking as the battle progressed but even if this kinda happens in a small degree, he still looks dumb and plain bad.
- The exaggerated amount of trailers and tv spots we got beforehand: I wish I had watched only the first comic con trailer. The plot wasn’t spoiled, but some of the scenes were totally showed from start to finish in the trailers. Lex introducing Clark and Bruce, the first time we see Wonder Woman suited up, the first time Superman and Batman are face to face in costume when Superman rips the batmobile’s door off. The first was really cringe worthy as it was in the trailers but the other two were amazing and I still felt my heart beating wildly because they are epic moments and with the soundtrack wow, simply iconic, but I wish it was the first time I was watching them.
- One of Batman’s action sequences: the scene in question is one in which he is hallucinating he is ambushed in the desert. That whole fight was terribly choreographed, I have no idea why Snyder chose such a wide framing to shoot it, you can really tell it’s something rehearsed and it looks very slow. But that’s the only action scene that didn’t work.
- The continuity from Man of Steel: As much as I love that you can absolutely feel this is the same universe of MoS, I know this will turn off a lot of casual viewers. That’s the only reason I put it in the bad pile (but don’t worry, this is in the good pile too lol). Because personally, I loved how we start the movie with Bruce’s point of view of what happened in MoS between Clark and Zod. But I saw so many confused faces, most people clearly had no idea what was happening.
- Bruce’s parents dying again: Ok cool they brought the Comedian from Watchmen to be Bruce’s dad but how many times can we watch little Bruce losing his parents and not roll our eyes? It totally loses the emotional impact when we see it happening for the 26th time.
- No post credits scene: I already knew it wouldn’t happen and I don’t expect every superhero movie to emulate Marvel so I didn’t stay but I heard so many people that waited complaining… I wonder if that’s really the last impression you want to leave on your audience, just give them something simple and small to make them happy after waiting 10 minutes for nothing.
- Ben Affleck became my ultimate batman: He plays my favorite kind of batman, what I call B&B Batman (Brutal & Bitter). He is extremely violent, he just had enough and his motivations are very well displayed. We can see he struggles from a selfless point of view in which he worries with the destruction a powerful creature like Superman could bring among humanity but you also can see him in an almost selfish light too, what can he do when people have a godlike superhero as an option? You can feel he is struggling with becoming obsolete in some ways as much as this is not the focus of his problems with Superman, but it’s there is some degree. We get to see him using his gadgets and when he breaks in to save Martha Kent omg, what an amazing fight! It really shows what he is capable of why Batman is so badass even being a regular human being with no super powers. I was cheering so much! He looks so done 100% of the movie, which I love lol
- Superman saving the world: yes, we get to see Clark saving people from fires and floods and explosions, it’s just amazing! It’s an important thing to show us after all the destruction he participated in Man of Steel, so I’m really glad they reminded everyone who is Superman and what he does most of the time. The way people look at him in an almost worshiping way was equally satisfying and disturbing but very close to how we as human beings function with things more powerful than us, a mix of blind awe and fear.
- Strong insight in what means to be Superman: For the first time I connected with Clark in his cinematographic version. You can really feel how he is the most lonely creature in the world. You can feel how he wants to do good, how much it costs him, how much it hurts him to receive injustice and ungratefulness in return and still not blame us. It’s really strong and a very emotional anchor in the movie, I was speechless about how much a felt for him and very pleased with Henry Cavill’s portray of the character. I just wanted to hug Clark, I still want to dig his body out of his grave to do it. If I had to choose I’d say I’m totally team Superman and I never imagined saying this before this movie
- Lois and Clark: I never cared much about them as a couple, but I won’t lie, they were super cute and strong together. The chemistry was there and Lois humanizes him so much and you don’t feel an unbalance in the relationship, as much as a powerful creature Clark is, Lois is the one to anchor him and give him something he desperately needs: a sense of home and belong and he does reckless things for her (how human of him) so she holds more power than him in some ways.
- Lois Lane being a journalist: I’m so glad she wasn’t doing military/astronaut work in some alien ship like in MoS because it was ridiculous. There’s nothing wrong with being a regular human being so I loved to watch her doing high risk journalism and being nosy and going after what she wants. Even if something backfires, she still gets power and knowledge that is game changer for the plot just by doing her job and being good at it, it’s refreshing tbh.
- Alfred: every minute Alfred has screen time, it’s a blessing. He sass the shit out of Bruce and you just want to kiss him for it. I never thought I would say Alfred is hot. But it’s the Jeremy Irons effect, there’s nothing we can do about it, just embrace the feel.
- Wonder Woman: She was flawless. I’m so hyped for her solo movie now. I don’t agree with people who say she should have had more scenes. I’d love to see more of her, but I think this should’ve been exactly what it was: an introduction to leave us wanting more. She is mysterious, badass, takes no shit from our little boys and she’s absolutely amazing! Seriously, the first time she shows all suited up and her score starts to play, you’ll get goosebumps, your heart will threat to beat out of your chest. It’s everything I dreamed, we get to see her using her shield, sword, bracelets and lasso. I love her chemistry with Bruce too and how she cradles Clark’s body in her arms with so much tenderness for such a powerful creature like she is. Ugh I could talk about her all day, I simply love her and Gal Gadot did a great job with the material she got.
- The soundtrack: two of my favorites, Hans Zimmer (Inception, The Dark Night) and Junkie XL (Mad Max: Fury Road) so I was expecting awesomeness and I was not disappointed. It’s a somber score with some exceptions like WW’s song that’s more wild but it’s a heavy movie so it was something expected.
- The tone: yes it’s dark and gritty but a film that contemplates the philosophical questions this one does, even if not in dept, there isn’t many other aesthetic options. I like how DC is so different from Marvel, I love both and it would be super boring if they looked the same. I’m not sure if I’ll take my kids to watch this one, because even being PG13 it’s very adult in its themes and more of a political drama than an action flick, but I’m glad we have this more grown up version too.
- The cinematography: the only thing I expect from director Zack Snyder is great visuals because it’s his forte (maybe his only one) and he didn’t disappoint with cool concepts and beautiful shots. It looks epic and large-scale. I’m also glad his directing is a little more tamed when it comes to the excess he often chooses. I’m imagining Affleck as a more grounded director gave him some advise maybe?
- The Justice League introduction: this is one of the most polarizing questions, but I particularly love how quick it was handled. I was afraid they would put too much of each new character and it’d become a pre justice league movie instead of a batman v superman one. I’m relieved to say this did not happened. It was quick, objective and even if not an epic choice to introduce this characters, it gets the job done. I don’t agree with some people saying it was shoehorned. It’d be bad if these characters would just have more exposure in the next Justice League film, but each one of them will have their own solo movie, so no need to ruin the impact and reveal too much about them beforehand. We (and the other characters) only needed to know they exist, which was accomplished.
- The continuity from Man of Steel: See, this is in the good pile too! As I said, I love that you can absolutely feel this is the same universe of MoS. Even if MoS is not a movie that I love, continuity is a blessing. And as much as the regular audience will feel confused, I loved all the nods for the more hardcore fans. They hint at Darkseid too and I can’t wait!!!
- The Batman v Superman duel is more dramatic and political than actual action: and I see this is one of the reasons most people are disappointed, but I love how they had so much building up until their confront, which happens only after 1 and a half hour into the movie and is not overly long. These characters are not like Tony Stark and Steve Rogers, who already have an emotional connection and background. So to Clark and Bruce go to blows and mean something beyond “fuck yeah cool fight” it has to have something behind it, something that justify how it escalates, something to make it more than two angry men beating each other in some dark alley. And all the political and philosophical questions were amazing to fill this need. I see some reviewers say that the movie has outdated notions of deity and obedience but excuse my french, it’s bullshit. The point of the movie is not to defend this concept but to show how we as flawed human beings convert everything into this because it’s a pattern we understand and seek since we lived in caves. And we still can’t let go of it, no matter how evolved and civilized
we think we are. When senator Finch is getting interviewed and is asked: “Do we need a Superman?” and she simply answers: “We have one.” it’s absolutely brilliant and so powerful, it’s one of the moments a movie reaches something way deeper that it even is trying to be and you just wish you could have a little more of that.
- The trinity: Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman fighting together was a breathtaking moment and even if it was more of a tease than a full on battle, I loved every second of it. It’s a dream came true and the “is she with you?” “I though she was with you” exchange didn’t ruin anything, it was actually quite cute and it helped me breathe while I laughed because I was so overwhelmed with the emotion of seeing them lining ready to fight together, wow, I needed some levity to handle it in a non embarrassing way while in public, so I’m grateful
- Clark’s motivations to fight Batman: I can’t stress this enough: I love how Clark was forced to fight Batman. At first you’d think it’s a cheap excuse but it’s not, any other excuse to have Clark beating the shit out of Bruce even to defend himself would be stupid and out of character. Having his mother, his only pure connection with who he is as Clark Kent and not just Kal-El, to be the catalyst to his confront with Bruce was very smart and respectful to the character. It also added a lot of emotion to the whole sequence, Clark is spiraling in a kaleidoscope of emotions which breaks our heart to watch but add a lot to the character. He clearly doesn’t want to do this but resigned himself that nothing can stays good forever, omg I felt stabbed in the heart and I loved it.
- The Marthas: Nothing makes me more happy when a movie gives proper importance to the moms. These are boys deeply changed for the presence/absence of their motherly figures. Martha Kent and Martha Wayne being what finally snap both out of their stupidity and put them to work together made me smile from ear to ear, I had to shove a handful of popcorn in my mouth to stop me from squealing loudly in the theater. And when Martha Kent says she figured Batman was a friend of her son because of the cape, man, that’s one of my favorite moments in comic book films of all time and I’ll never forget it.
- Granny’s Peach Tea: enough said, it was such a fabulous twist!
- The death: Ok last but not least, from the moment Clark grabs the kryptonite spear from the moment the end credits rolled up, I was a mess. I started crying right at the moment Lois started to beg him not to do it, and you can clearly see he is going to do it because if not him, who else? When Bruce wrapped Clark’s dead body in his cape to let him slide into Wonder Woman and Lois Lane’s arms, omg, what a powerful scene! I don’t care about how in superhero movies nobody really dies, fuck it, I felt, I felt every bit of it, and I still can’t believe I felt so many emotions in such intensity watching a Zack Snyder film. How iconic was too watch both funerals? One is the spectacular burial of Superman, god, alien, resource, mysterious creature, criticized and hated by most in life but an admired hero by everybody in death. As they say, the perfect heroes are the dead ones because they can’t disappoint us. The other one was the burial of Clark Kent, son, boyfriend, protector, friend, a good man. A very small ceremony at his home, the home that embraced him as a person and not a commodity. I was floored with feelings and the little hint that he’ll return didn’t ruin the impact of the brave choice the script made in killing him off, because it’s expected that he won’t stay dead and kids would leave the theater in tears if they didn’t at least hinted at it.
- “If you seek his monument, look around you”: The quote from architect Christopher Wren’s tomb is so powerful and perfect in this context, I love how they used it for Superman, wow!
CONCLUSION: Yesterday I said I enjoyed BvS very much. Today after a whole night and day to digest it better I can even say that I loved it. It’s those kind of movies that has so much going on and goes against everything you were expecting that you need some hours or days to digest and let it settle in your heart and mind and accept how great it was for what it tried to be and not for what you thought it would be. You have to let go of your speculations and expectations and be free of all this to really embrace this movie, because it’s absolutely the opposite of what everybody predicted and this is a good thing. I’m even more excited now for Justice League and Wonder Woman than I was before. Go see for yourself instead of just following the critics that don’t have the same background as us fans, specially if you love comic book movies!