Previously on “The Best and Worst of Batman V Superman”: The Cast.
This Time: The Strongest… and Weakest… Scenes!
It’s time again to look at the good and the bad. Because there is good in Batman v Superman yet.
There are SPOILERS ahead for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (unlike my Spoiler Free Review), so be warned!
Best: Artistic Take on the Wayne MurderMy initial review was glowing when it came to the style in which Director Zack Snyder filmed the Wayne Murder. I don’t want to rehash my review too much, so let’s keep this brief.
The Wayne Murder has never been presented in such a visually stunning manner, from choices like breaking Martha Wayne’s Pearl Necklace with the hammer of the gun, to the overall color/look of the scene. And featuring Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Comedian in Snyder’s Watchmen) playing Thomas Wayne… well, that’s a slam dunk!
… if you have to show the damn scene again…
Worst: The Wayne Murder Happens Again… Again… AgainThe problem is that this scene never needed to be in the movie! We all know Jesus died on the Cross, Peter Parker let Uncle Ben get shot (basically), and Thomas and Martha Wayne died in Crime Alley following a showing of The Mark of Zorro.
And we don’t just see the scene at the beginning of BvS, oh no! Snyder cuts back to the retread of a retread of a retread of the scene later in the film to drive home a point (“Martha…”).
Warner Brothers, please don’t show us the death of the Lego Waynes in next year’s The Lego Batman Movie!
Best: Batman Superman (Finally) FightThe title promises one thing; Batman (Ben Affleck) will fight Superman (Henry Cavill), as ridiculous a premise as that sounds (A Man Vs a “God?”… okay… maybe the trailers and have covered that issue already).
Surprisingly, in a movie called Batman V Superman, the title players only physically fight once… and it’s not until the 3 rd act. While it was wise to save the climatic fight for what should have been the end of the movie (more on that later), I’m surprised there wasn’t a 2nd, less climatic clash earlier in the movie like every other superhero movie (likely even Captain America: Civil War). There was Batman’s “Knightmare” which doesn’t count because it was a dream(vision?) with Batman only fighting Superman’s Soldiers… before Superman ripped out his heart. The only other in costume encounter was the stern warning from Superman to Batman not to go to the Bat Signal when it was next turned on. The two heroes didn’t fight in that scene either. Sure, Superman crashed the Batmobile, but he did it by just standing there…By the time we do get to the long awaited fight it is as glorious as the trailer teased. In fact, it’s one of the more wonderful scenes in an otherwise surprisingly action-lite two and a half hour film. The visuals are still astounding (that Frank Miller inspired “Iron” Batsuit sure looks pretty in the rain) and the strategies The Dark Knight employs against The Man of Steel are entertaining; making you believe Batman really could beat Superman as a brilliant strategist… and with some weaponized Kryptonite gas… and spear!
It’s an extremely entertaining scene from the moment Superman lands to the final moment: “Martha.”
Worst: Why Batman and Superman FightBatman and Superman fighting over ideologies is enough! Writers Zack Snyder and Chris Terrio go overboard with unnecessary pressure pushing DC’s two biggest characters to brawl.
Bruce Wayne doesn’t trust Superman because the latter is all powerful. Clark Kent does not approve of the (murderous) Batman’s methods and “reign of terror.” Superman even warns Batman midway through the film that next time the Bat Signal is turned on he should stay home. So, when Batman prepares for battle and shines the Bat Signal in the sky to attract Superman’s attention, that should be enough!
Why does Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) have to kidnap Martha Kent and order Superman to kill the Bat?
Answer: He doesn’t. But none of Luthor’s plans make sense in Batman V Superman. His characters complete lack of logic is one of the most frustrating parts of the film.
Best: Battle of Metropolis I (Zod)Everyone’s least favorite part about Man of Steel has become my favorite scene in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. I also covered this scene in my initial review, so I will again be brief.
For the first time ever, we’re given Bruce Wayne: True Action Hero. He drives a Jeep between collapsing buildings, witnesses Wayne Finances collapse with his “family” inside, and runs into the 9/11-esque all-encompassing ash to help the surviving victims.
The destruction is on a whole new scale from Bruce Wayne’s point of view, both in the amount of destruction we witness and the bigger focus on loss of life. It’s really cool to see odd Spaceships without needing any sort of exposition as to why they are there and what each one does; Man of Steel covered that. Most importantly, this event is all Bruce Wayne really needed to decide to declare war on Superman.
Worst: Battle of Metropolis II (Doomsday)Just as boring and overblown as the Battle of Metropolis was at the end of Man of Steel (not to be confused with the Bruce Wayne’s POV version in BvS), the finale to Batman V Superman is so bad it is mostly responsible for making what could have been a great Batman film into a measly 6 out of 10.
Everything is wrong with this scene. Even the visuals take a massive dip from what is otherwise a beautiful film. Really, the movie is a 0 out of 10 following the actual fight between Batman and Superman, with the notable exception of the amazing Bat Combat we see in the Warehouse scene when Batman rescues Martha Kent.
Doomsday looks like an Orc. The landscape is simply fire… burning rubble everywhere with no discernible landmarks. Yet we’re assured multiple times by cutaways to the military that everywhere Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) fight Doomsday is uninhabited; a severe overreaction to the destructive finale of Man of Steel.Gone is the “realism” (as much as could be expected at least) present in Batman and Superman’s fight and other action scenes. Instead, we have characters like Wonder Woman launching themselves across the battlefield (it’s hard to tell how far when everything is on fire…) in what looks like a video game… or a half-assed scene tacked on an otherwise polished movie.
One of the scene’s biggest crimes? Not giving Batman anything to do but distract Doomsday and run, unlike the Avengers films which give even mortals like Hawkeye and Black Widow something to contribute. Sure, there’s the obligatory final moment when all three heroes must work in unison to kill Doomsday, not unlike the first Fantastic Four film (a comparison you do not want). Wonder Woman on the lasso, Superman with the Kryptonite Spear, and Batman’s last Kryptonite Gas bomb! VICTORY (Sort of…)
Awful final fight. Really ruins an otherwise decent film.
I can write about Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice for days. And I just might do so!
Until Next Time…