After about 3 years of building up hype for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the movie just didn’t live up to it. As is the case with most Zack Snyder films, the casting was great, the CGI was fantastic, and the action sequences were awesome. Everything else was a total train wreck. It not only ruined this movie, but also put the entire DC Expanded Universe in danger as the film may not break even.
If you’re a fan of the comics, or of high budget action movies (like Transformers) please give this movie a view with an open mind. If you don’t care particularly about the characters and prefer a well written story to well done explosions, don’t bother. The reviews have absolutely destroyed this movie, and rightfully so. We so wanted to like this movie, really badly. But even by comic book standards, the plot points were unbelievable and the characters were over the top. The entire movie felt like Snyder believes that if you put enough slow motion, high definition shots of people jumping, and guns firing randomly that you’ll make a good movie. Obviously that thought is just simply not true.
OK, you get that the movie sucks, but you want to know why. Well here are the 10 things that were wrong with Batman vs. Superman. This article will contain MAJOR spoilers. You’ve been warned.
10. Lex Luthor
Snyder must have spent a few hours looking at Lex Luthor’s standard character bio. He must have read about Luthor being an evil manipulative genius. He had to know that jealousy is the reason he hates Superman. Then he must have thought, “Nah, the Joker’s cooler.” There is no other reason he could have possibly chosen to make Luthor speak in schizophrenic babbles and have his final goal to simply incite chaos by pitting the heroes against each other. Luthor shouldn’t care about causing chaos. If anything he demands more order. Snyder got the genius part right, but missed on the calm and collected character traits that makes Luthor so scary. I feel for Jesse Eisenberg for having to play this role because it wasn’t his fault that the writers and director failed on every level. He really was a very good Joker, just a terrible Lex Luthor.
9. Cameos Didn’t Live Up To The Hype
Zack Snyder has been teasing the cameos of Aquaman, Cyborg, and Flash for over a year now. He leaked photos of their costumes, even though most movies aren’t scheduled to be released for 3 more years. This is what we got? Aquaman punching a drone, Ezra Miller stopping a mugger at a convenience store, and a grainy view of Cyborg’s origin story (how did Dr. Stone get a Mother Box exactly?). Fans may have hoped to see the heroes in their costumes because, well, Snyder teased us that it could happen. It didn’t happen. It was a lot of build up with little satisfaction. Funny, that describes this entire movie.
8. No comic relief
For a comic book movie, there was a serious lack of the comic part. Alfred wasn’t a sarcastic butler like we’ve seen in the past, Jimmy Olsen was barely in the movie, and it wasn’t like Wally West or Hal Jordan dropped in to cut the tension at all. The film was super dark, people were being killed left and right, but viewers were given no levity. Comic books are known for adding lighter characters to balance dark storylines, it’s a trope you can find in almost any good movie adaptation. A joke here and there would have been greatly appreciated, but Snyder made sure we didn’t get any.
7. Why So Many Dreams?
Batman had like five 15-minute long dream sequences throughout the movie. We still don’t know why. None of them advanced the plot, or clarified his character, or even really delved into his backstory. The worst was the random scene where he dreams that he goes to the desert and gets swarmed by giant bug-men (who look reminiscent of Darkseid’s minions). Then he wakes up and there’s some man in the Batcave surrounded by lightning telling Batman that Lois Lane is the key. Then Batman wakes up from that dream (yea a dream within a dream, Snyder got his Nolan movies mixed up) and never mentions this moment again for the rest of the movie. What did it mean? Is it going to be important later? Was that man supposed to be The Flash as many believe? How is Lois Lane the key to anything? Who knows!? More importantly, who cares? It was a huge waste of time in a movie that was already too long and had too many dream sequences.
6. Continuity Errors
There were a ton of errors in regards to continuity. People going somewhere and being somewhere else in the next camera shot. At one point Martha Wayne got shot in the face, and the following shot shows her laying on the ground, head and face perfectly in tact. Perhaps the most egregious point was the “34-minute” countdown. Luthor gives Superman an hour to kill Batman to save his mother, then (apparently) spends 26 minutes monologuing. We only know this because WE SEE THE TIMER! In that 34 minutes Superman tells Lois his plan, flies to Gotham, fights Batman, and then teams up with Batman. Yea it’s ridiculous, but he’s Superman so we’ll let that part go. Lois Lane however is able to cross the entire city of Metropolis, get a helicopter, fly to Gotham, stop Batman from killing her boyfriend, and hide a kryptonite spear. Why show the audience the timer at all? Why force Martha Wayne to be shot in the face if you were gonna show her after? How does Lois Lane just appaear across the city? Why are there so many unanswered questions?
5. The Script Was Bad
The movie suffered in the same way Avatar did; beautiful scenery, terrible plot and script. Much of the dialogue was pulled directly from comic books, including pretty much every word uttered by Callan Mulvey’s Anatoli (aka KGBeast, something they never mentioned in the movie). However, the dialogue didn’t exactly translate well to the big screen. There were a lot of clichéd phrases as dialogue from the 80s is no longer interesting and has been heard time and time again. It was apparent that any funding for scriptwriters was probably spent on CGI, and the plot and characters suffered from it. The script felt like it was written as a CW show, not as a massive blockbuster.
4. Superman’s Selective Hearing
Superman can hear Lois get kidnapped in the Middle East from Metropolis. He can hear her scream in Metropolis from the Fortress of Solitude. How the hell did he not hear his mother scream when she got kidnapped? Does he not care about her all that much? He can be in the middle of a fight with Doomsday surrounded by action, and he can hear Lois underwater, but when he’s talking with Lex Luthor alone on a building he can’t hear his mother kidnapped and crying in a nearby warehouse? We’ve heard of selective hearing, but this is ridiculous.
3. Everyone Just Knew Stuff
Characters in this movie just had the inherent ability to know important plot developments. Superman just happened to know Batman was Bruce Wayne, they never explained how. Also Batman just knew that Superman was weak to Kryptonite, even though Lex Luthor had just discovered that at the beginning of the movie.
The worst moments all happened in the final scene of the movie. Batman just happened to know that Lois threw his Kryptonite Spear into a random flooded building, and knew he could kill Doomsday with it. Wonder Woman just knew Batman took the fight to Gotham when reports said otherwise. And Superman knew Batman was going to get the kryptonite spear even though he had been passed out in outer space when Batman came up with the plan. Then at the very end, Lois Lane walks out of the rubble and Wonder Woman knows to console this stranger because she has some random knowledge of Superman and Lois’s relationship. People don’t just know these things.
2. Batman Kills
Did Snyder ever read a Batman comic? Or watch a Batman movie? Or just Google Batman? Any 5-year-old knows that Batman doesn’t kill. Yet, Batman blatantly murders people in this movie. He goes on a tirade about how Superman is killing people and must be stopped, then in the next scene he brutally kills about 20 goons with the Batmobile. He even uses a car that he destroyed (with people in it) to kill more people. That is literally like beating someone to death with a dead body. Not to mention that he uses a gun – well, a lot of guns. BATMAN DOES NOT USE GUNS. Creative liberty is one thing, but it’s another thing completely to take the most important facet of a character and toss it out the window because it might look kind of cool (it didn’t).
1. You Need To Have Extensive Comic Book Knowledge
If you didn’t already know everything about the characters from the comic books, you have a good chance at walking out not understanding what you just watched. There are a ton of heavy-handed references to Joker, Robin, Riddler, Two-Face, and Jimmy Olsen, but those could all be Easter eggs. It’s the characters that really suffer if you don’t already know everything about them. In Man of Steel we are introduced to Clark Kent and Lois Lane’s budding romance. In BvS they are living together and madly in love. How have they gotten to this stage? Who knows – it’s never explained. But at least we are treated to the beginning in the last movie; Alfred and Bruce Wayne’s relationship isn’t even touched on. If you didn’t know the details before hand, it’ll feel like some old dude just lives with Bruce.
Wonder Woman’s backstory isn’t discussed at all. Fans outwardly were worried that Snyder would just have her arrive in the final fight with no explanation as to who she is, which is 100% what happens. After seeing the movie I heard an audience member ask their movie going partner why she used glowing string (which was a significant part of the climax…).
Then there are a number of other unexplained portions that people who don’t know the origins off hand won’t understand. Why isn’t Bruce Wayne living in Wayne Manor? Why is there a giant light with a bat symbol? Why is there a random chunk of Kryptonite in the ocean? A movie shouldn’t leave viewers with more questions than they started with. The movie relied so heavily on the fact that there are more movies scheduled that it chose to leave viewers in the dark assuming that each of them will pay the money for a ticket to EVERY upcoming movie just to understand what happened in this one.