BATMAN v SUPERMAN

In case you’ve been living under a rock, DC Comics continued the grittiness of their cinematic universe with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice on Friday. The film became the highest opening weekend DC Comics related property ($170 million) and broke the worldwide record for any comic book adaptation film, Marvel or otherwise ($245 million). That’s the good news Warner Bros. can sit on. The bad? It’s the most maligned comic book film since Green Lantern and critics either loved it, hated it or felt indifferent about it. So, we decided as a staff to take our own individual thoughts of Batman v Superman and figure it out. Needless to say, some of our fellow comic book nerd friends thought it was “OK” but we don’t necessarily adhere to group think over here. Others, like Rascal F. Kennedy decided to go full on with the love for it.

So, did we love/hate Batman v. Superman? Read on.

Bradford Howard
I initially wanted to criticize the critics of Batman v Superman. I had SO MANY “What’s WRONG with you people?” type things to say, but I didn’t want to be as condescending to them, as they’ve been to appreciators.

Batman v Superman is brilliant. It’s beautifully assembled, albeit a bit lengthy Why lengthy? Zack Snyder, bless his heart, really did try to pack a revisit, a backstory, a prequel, and a foundation for future movies all into a near three hour runtime. Ben Affleck is superb as the Caped Crusader, donning the cape and cowl with a purpose and vengeance; Bats treats his captives like trophies, because he brands his victims. Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor teases the Joker without actually trying to BE the Joker (after all, we’ll get him this summer in Suicide Squad), and has some of the most poignant lines in the entire script. And Gal Gadot’s appearances as Wonder Woman steals the show in every scene she’s in. To say nothing of how a certain warehouse rescue scene, from the opening set-up to Bats’ fighting the baddies, is CLEARLY influenced by the Batman: Arkham game trilogy (props to those who recognize the Freeflow Combat System sequence).

Is it ambitious in scope? Absolutely. And does that ambition cause the film to drag in places? Yeah. But BvS also presents us with a great new Batman, a hardened Superman whose powerful potential is FINALLY realized in some ways, and some very real questions about idol worship in society.

Lola
This isn’t your typical Batman or Superman; a darker version where Batman kills and not only is Superman conflicted but his character in this film, one portrayed as a false God, is not the character we grew up knowing.

The film is meant to prepare us for the Justice League film while also establishing the DC Cinematic Universe and it does so by introducing all the major characters. However, the film forgets to show the actual story of Batman v Superman – which is what this film was supposed to be about. Instead, the movie builds up on the title and when its time for the actual fight – it’s so anticlimactic, resulting in an alliance against a new bad guy. That part in itself was rather disappointing.

In spite of this, the film was still rather entertaining. Good action, still watching your favorite superheroes team up and it does introduce us to the Justice League team players making us eager in anticipation for the next movie.

If you’re a comic lover, you will not appreciate how Doomsday was introduced. However, Wonder Woman did live up to the hype.

Overall, still great seeing your childhood heroes team up on the big screen against to fight against evil.

Rascal F. Kennedy
Do you believe in God? This is the question that beckons me as the excitement overtakes my body at the end of one of the best films I’ve ever seen. Thank you Zack Snyder, Christopher Nolan, and company. Thank you for finally giving us what we need in a superhero film. I’ve read many of the reviews written by top critics, they’re terrible. They don’t hit on the major points of the movie. Many of them compare the DCEU to TDK series. Sorry guys, but so far the DCEU is better, 2 films in. Man of Steel set a high bar for the DCEU, and goddamn we’re still riding high. I’m just gonna be honest, if you don’t like DCEU so far, you hate good film.

Do you believe in God? Do you believe in a savior? Horus, Jehova, Muhammad, Jesus, the list goes on of deity like beings chosen by God… What is Superman? Is he a savior? Is he what the Jews thought Jesus would become? That is literally what I saw in the film… Man of Steel began a story that’s been told for centuries. A savior comes to save humanity, and is treated as an outcast. The savior in these stories still saves mankind, and ultimately dies at the hands of mankind. This story being told by Zack Snyder is no different for the most part. The questions of Gods and Deities have been here since the beginning of mankind, they won’t go away anytime soon… What do you believe? You’ll leave the film questioning yourself if you look deep enough.

Realistically, the DCEU is what real life would be if superheroes were real. People were upset Superman destroyed buildings and snapped Zod’s neck in Man Of Steel. Guess what? That would be the reality of having superheroes in real life. There’s no more colorful hugs and kisses cumbaya bullshit from the 60s and 70s anymore. There’s pure destruction and death. Batman doesn’t have his “one rule” anymore, and Superman will do whatever it takes to save the Earth.

I’m so tired of hearing about the Superman YOU grew up with, the story YOU were told. Because guess what? In reality, it was all bullshit. This film focuses on “if they were real.” Superman has the ability to level an entire block. Batman has no guilty conscience for bad guys. Zack Snyder brings reality to the table, and I love every minute of it. The whole film is a beautiful reality. People go crazy, things blow up, and people die. The natural cycle of life.

Zack Snyder is DCs Joss Whedon, but better. The people who wrote this movie are some geniuses as well. Most people thought the previews gave the film away, and still there were twists and moments that were kept under wraps. The previews hid the gems very well. Lex Luthor turns out to be way more psychotic than we all thought. He doesn’t exactly believe in God. He believes, “If God is all powerful, he cannot be good. If God is all good, he cannot be all powerful.” This is where the God complex comes into play. Not only are there hints of Horus and Jesus, there are hints mentioned at Greek mythology. Lex forges a plan to try to prove Superman is evil for his own twisted pleasure. He also has a backup plan: Doomsday. The guys and girls who read the comics knew what that implied the minute we saw the trailer. Were we right or were we wrong? You go find out yourself. Of course, we get hints of the upcoming Justice League film. Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was amazing. She nails it from her first shot on screen to her last. The cast is amazing, the story is amazing, and it’s told beautifully. I thought I was going to hate it, and I absolutely loved it.

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Brandon Caldwell
The short of Batman v Superman is that Zach Snyder packed in so many different plots from multiple Batman/Superman/DC properties and threw them all into one single movie. What was supposed to be a sequel about three-fourths of the way through turned into a setup movie for Justice League. There are homages to The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Arkham and more. Synder not only doubled down with the God complex theory he introduced with Man Of Steel, he turned our original vision of Lex Luthor, a bald, charming, stately man of industry into a one liner diabolical scientist who figures the only playing field that should exist is him at the head and everyone else as subordinates. Lex is ruthless, killing associates and Senators to prove a single point. The problem with Batman v Superman has nothing to do with the film itself. Rather, its DC waiting almost a full decade since 2005’s Batman Begins to start creating a universe and ultimately attempting to stuff all of it into one near three-hour film.

As for the titular aspects of the film, the valid reason why Batman & Superman have issues deal with collateral damage. The idea permeates for the duration of the film and the climax to the actual fight is sort of convoluted. You grow tired of Lois Lane being more damsel in distress who command’s Superman’s full attention more than anyone else. The rest? Critical nitpicks. I want Chris Terrio & David S. Goyer’s script, only because of how layered and fascinating the dialogue was. How do you make Superman, the most all-powered, level 99 superhero interesting for a film? You argue about the Messiah complex he carries. Ben Affleck’s Batman, grizzled and more ruthless than any Bat that preceded him is a more than welcome entry into this particular universe.

Now, here’s hoping that the Justice League movie next year is all about the Flashpoint Paradox since there are already allusions to Darkseid.

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