Why I Loved Batman vs Superman
Where to begin! So much has been said about this film since critics gave their less than favorable reviews. When the general public saw it, the opinion swayed to a more positive outlook and now it’s practically a choice between either loving it or hating it. No joke, having a civil discussion about the pros and cons about the film is similar to a Bernie Sanders supporter talking with a Trump supporter.
Let’s jump right in and talk about the aspects I enjoyed.
The world Zack Snyder has built is dark and gritty. Depression and death are constant themes which feels appropriate since super powered beings often do battle and cause an immense amount of destruction in the process. I personally would hate to live in the DC world because of everything horrible that happens that is not caught on camera. I appreciated the amount of death featured in Man of Steel because it felt real. In order to save the world, thousands had to perish and the world had a mixed reaction to it. They praised Superman with his own statue for saving the world but others work to undermine him and have him answer for his involvement.
When threats rise, they aren’t so simple that can be stopped with diplomacy or subdueing the target, it often leads to death. If Batman is in a room filled of people who want to kill him, he does what he must to survive. If Lois has a gun to her head, Superman destroys whoever is holding the gun to ensure she survives. It feels as though this would be the real outcome of powered figures living in a world of regular humans. It’s a nice break from the more casual settings.
Major events such as the death of Robin, Cyborg being created, and the Flash being a hero have already occured and need no origin story. When we see them in Justice League it’ll be a good jump into the action which is a nice break from having to suffer through origin stories and the wait for the real action to begin in future installments.
Director, Zack Synder’s rendition of Batman(Ben Affleck) is the best Batman we have seen on screen in along time. In every Batman film we see him lurk in the shadows of Gotham, taking out criminals with his many gadgets before slipping into the night. In Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, they take it a few steps further by showing his detective side. He can be found behind his computer investigating information he has collected or going to a location to extract data needed to solve whatever mystery he is working on. It’s an aspect of Batman that is often overlooked despite him having the title of “The World’s Greatest Detective”. In the film he really did seem to have more answers and solutions than many others because of his cunning intellect.
Batman’s combat scenes were another part that I enjoyed. As with the rest of the world, his fights were always dark and gritty. He might be in an advanced suit but at the end of the day he is still just a man fighting off various thugs with automatic weapons. So to compensate he plays dirty by using another person’s gun to fire at his allies, fire on vehicles from turrets from his batmobile, shooting a flamethrower tank which causes it to explode and so on. The way they handled those scenes were fantastic as they kept to the old fashion “Batman doesn’t kill” and “Batman doesn’t use guns” to a certain extent. Batman never directly kills anyone, he might injury them or put them in situations where they accidentally drop their own grenade and it explodes but again how is Batman supposed to do the impossible task of keeping everyone alive with just his gadgets and martial arts? I thought it fit the realistic setting they were trying to portray. As for the Batman doesn’t use guns, he uses guns but never to inflict harm, every time he fires, it’s to damage vehicles or shooting at objects that might indirectly harm others. There is a scene where a gun wielding thug fires and batman does a quick one two combo before redirecting his fire to others. Again, technically he didn’t pull the trigger and just twisted the already firing assailant.
For his personality, it was spot on what a normal man’s reaction would be to having lived through so much death and destruction and not being able to stop it. He loathes Superman because of all the chaos he brought to the world and believes he should have some weakness to put him in check if needed. He works nonstop on his projects and throws himself into the worst situations for the sake of helping others. This is a Batman that I could see in real life who does what he has to to accomplish his goals without sacrificing his personal beliefs.
In Dawn of Justice we saw a more realistic Clark Kent(Henry Cavill). Who, despite helping out as many people as he could from certain death of past battles and new ones, can not catch a break
from the government who wants to have him answer for his crimes. It causes a severe depression in him that almost matches Batman levels of brooding. We’ve all had moments in our lives where no matter what we did, it couldn’t make up for whatever mistake we made in the past and I could relate to his pain. I believe the scene that hits the hardest is when he attends the trial finally, and is caught in the middle of an explosion that takes the lives of everyone in the room. In the fire and flames he stands for a moment to look around him knowing that his one step forward just put him a mile back. It’s a side of Superman I actually enjoyed seeing because it’s a side that is rarely talked about.
For combat, they kept it as realistic as in Man of Steel where he wrecks everything he touches. When something stands against him and refuses to back down he unleashes a small portion of his strength that dominates his opponents. He doesn’t use any advanced techniques, just a series of haymakers which is appropriate being raised in Kansas and never needing to learn anything other than a regular punch or kick. All the while Superman does his best to protect others when able from a natural disaster in North America to a fire in Mexico, he dashes to every scene to help.
At Superman’s core, he is a good person but doesn’t understand how to fit in a world of ants. The knowledge of being able to do what he wants, when he wants without anyone stopping him taunts him constantly throughout the film and every time he resists temptation, he grows more and more frustrated. He finally finds a target of his frustration which is the Bat of Gotham who roughs up thugs before branding them. He bullies Batman in their first interaction out of his pent up annoyance at the world which felt real to me.
Lex(Jesse Eisenberg) has a unique personality in this film that was rather refreshing. In previous renditions of Lex Luthor he is always calm, cool, and collected, however in a film where both Batman and Superman were brooding about the troubles of the world, having an erratic character with laughing fits and twitches balanced things out. He is introduced as both rich and wicked smart which is a constant theme throughout the film. He outplays the heroes time and again with his schemes that he justifies by saying it will save the world if he can bring down Superman. One thing I loved about Lex Luthor is he brings a not so radical idea to the table which is to prepare a weapon to use against Superman if he ever decides to go rogue. With the amount of destruction he has caused, it’s natural for people to be afraid of his awesome might.
Lex, in true super villain fashion, never lifts a finger to fight anyone himself. Instead he hires soldiers, plots a series of events that causes the heroes to fight one another, and creates deadly weapons to do his bidding. His vast intellect and lack of ethics makes him a formidable enemy despite his rivals having advanced technology and incredible might. His plan almost works as he locks Superman into an impossible situation not once but twice, the second event causes a vast amount of damage to the heroes and the city ultimately claiming Superman’s life.
Woman Woman(Gal Gadot) was fucking fantastic.
For the issues of the film I’d recommend checking out another Geek Lyfe writer’s video on Batman V Superman!
I personally loved Batman v Superman and am excited to see what comes next for the DC Cinematic Universe. This film isn’t without flaws but it’s far better than many other DC films. DC fans and newcomers to the DC universe will enjoy the film even more once future films come out because of all the set up it created. I am interested in your thoughts though! Go ahead and write them in the comments below about what you loved or hated.