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Batman vs Superman

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I went to see this towards the end of its run in cinemas and I understood why it’s been negatively reviewed by so many.

The Good

  • The scene of Superman’s hearing. It was very well set-up with Lex Luthor’s and Senator Finch’s three conversations prior, and then having Finch catch sight of the jar of “Grandma’s Peach Tea” sitting in front of her just as she begins her opening speech. It was shot and edited excellently, and produced the most suspense and tension in the entire movie because you really couldn’t tell what was coming although you knew for sure that something was going to happen. Sadly, this was the only thing that I found outstanding about the movie.
  • Diana Prince/Wonder Woman had some really beautiful dresses?
  • Lex Luthor shows actual brains when he notes that the quickest route to Superman is through Lois Lane and he pushes her off the top of the tower.

The Bad

  • It’s as gloomy as Man of Steel. Even the colour grading was depressing. At times I felt they should’ve just shot it in black and white, since there hardly seemed to be any colour in the first place. How do you make Superman look uninspiring? Give him an outfit in more desaturated tones and then drain more colour out of it in post-production, plus add a bluish grey cast to all the images.
  • The whole issue with Bruce Wayne’s mother being named Martha felt really contrived, and her name was shoved in our faces from the very beginning so I can hardly imagine anyone not expecting that to come into play again later. I don’t think knowing about it beforehand ruined anything for me, though many people would consider it a spoiler.
  • The dialogue at the crucial scene between Batman and Superman was terrible. If your mother, who is named Martha, is in danger, you say, “Help my mom,” not “Help Martha.” Who refers to their parent by their name in that sort of scenario? Given that Superman actually says “Save Martha” twice, I think it could’ve just as easily been replaced with “Save my mom. Her name’s… Martha.” And why, when Batman demands to know why he’s saying the name Martha, does Superman not just tell him she’s his mother?! Why wait until Lois Lane runs in to dramatically declare that it’s his mother’s name? It was ridiculous.
  • There were a lot of weird loopholes. Everyone in the movie picked on Superman for surviving the blast at the courtroom, but no one asked why Lex Luthor was not there either himself? He was clearly supposed to be there since there was a seat with his name on it and he’d even sent his assistant in. The blast was massive, so if he survived it without a scratch, wouldn’t that mean that he’d gotten himself far away in time to escape it? No one questioned that. And how did he find out Superman’s true identity? Heck, how did he find out about all the rest of them?
  • Superman really didn’t have to die. Did anyone in the audience seriously think he was dead? We all know a Justice League movie is coming and that can’t happen without Superman unless DC is going to do something that odd and risky. He could’ve just been severely injured and you could have come round to a similar conclusion. But I suppose they were trying to emphasise Superman’s godlike status. Speaking of which…
  • I did not like the silly iconography with Superman perpetually hovering in the air and staring down at people before he lands. Did he have to float there like that? I get that they wanted to make it a point that people were seeing Superman as a godly figure but it happened far too many times and it got irritating after the second instance because it started to feel contrived (like so many other things in the movie) and it made Superman look kind of stupid.
  • Superman as a character is problematic here. He’s entirely too moody and too obsessed with Lois Lane. Ok, probably all screen versions of Superman have always been particularly fixated on Lois but it felt like in this current version, he’s too willing to drop everything and run off to save Lois. He doesn’t have the same feeling of needing to help and protect humanity at large – something that other screen versions of the character did seem to have.

In a nutshell, not a great movie. It takes itself way too seriously, and tries too hard to be not-Marvel. It’s making the whole idea of superheroes – which are a fantasy in the first place – too realistic and depressing and uninspiring.

Rating: ★★

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