Batman Wins Every Time
I promise you that’s not a spoiler.
Superheroes are cemented firmly in the mainstream media. The ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’ dominates the movie industry, while shows like Daredevil, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Jessica Jones keep us entertained in our homes. Seriously, even Disney jumped on the bandwagon with the 2014 release of Big Hero 6, and Lego already rake in profits from their video-games. The 2017 release of The Lego Batman Movie will probably do the same. In short, we all love a good superhero… and Lego.
Anyway, I’ve been trying to guess the fall of the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’ for a while. What? Can I not be a pessimist? I first tried with Guardians of the Galaxy which I ended up reviewing with a rather generous “full marks”. Then I watched The Avengers a week before the release of Age of Ultron and gave that film praise too. I finally passed off Ant-Man as “jumping the shark”, yet Marvel shut me up once more (literally, I didn’t even bother to review it).
I’m going to have a long wait before Marvel slips up, so now I’m chowing down on the second-pickings: the ‘DC Extended Universe’. I hope you’re ready for some of my razor-sharp quips at DC‘s latest attempt at scrambling to the heights of the behemoth Marvel.
Quick warning: spoilers for the film Man of Steel lie ahead.
THE PLOT: Turns out, not many people were too pleased with Superman throwing bits of buildings through other buildings, especially Bruce Wayne, Gotham’s vigilante Batman. While they butt heads, Lex Luthor is hatching a plan to control both the superheroes. Like in a battle of some sort, y’know? Why does he do this? I don’t know, world domination or something…
So that is a very lack-luster plot synopsis, but I have my reasons. Firstly, BvS glues the story together as if using Blu Tack: it doesn’t keep heavy stuff together and it makes a mess if you push it too hard into the fabric. The film contains so many elements and character story-lines that it becomes a jumbled mess. There are also a bunch of dream, vision, and imagination sequences, to which I couldn’t work out whether stuff in the film actually happened or not. Come on, DC, I’m still trying to get my head around what Kryptonite is.
The characters vary in quality. The villain Doomsday is an unsubtle plot-device (a waste of an excellent character); Wonder Woman was good, but really didn’t need to be in the film; Lois Lane was… um… there; and Lex Luther was the perfect scary psychopath (hats off to Jesse Eisenberg) but did beg the question how none of his business partners have run for the hills. The word ‘eccentric’ here is an understatement.
And then we have to come to the titular characters Batman and Superman. And guess what? This is the part I’m going to say something good! Ben Affleck was absolutely perfect as the Bat! His portrayal of the Dark Knight was gritty, had an intriguing and mysterious backstory, and distinct motives and reasons for his often controversial actions.
I could not care less about Superman.
There wasn’t any development to his character. I know what you’re going to say: “Superman had Man of Steel as character development.” The thing is, it didn’t. Man of Steel had a mixed response on-release, and only dealt with Superman’s origin, not his alienated feelings on Earth. I wanted to know more on what Clark thought about his controversial alter-ego. All of Clark’s worries were directed at shredding light onto Batman’s questionable methods of vigilantism. Oh, the irony.
I’m fairly sure I was meant to be rooting for Superman in the final showdown. I was disappointed by the fight overall: the action was slow, and the fighting strategies by both parties were illogical, but surely I was meant to be identifying with Superman’s plight? I should have felt remorse that Superman was forced into the battle, not waiting for the two heroes to mash each other into bloody pulps. The fight itself was like watching golf, and after every shot they all sit down and take a ten-minute break. Does that sound exciting to you?
It might have become apparent I dislike the film. Below is a list (let me make that clear, I can make a whole list) of things I found wrong in the movie. Just scroll down; you’ll get my point. In conclusion, the plot had too much going on, the action is shoehorned into crazy vision scenes, the CGI is overbearing and honestly, I was bored. I wish I had inverted heat-vision while watching that movie.
I can’t help but look at BvS as mad dash to catch up with Marvel’s monopoly; that’s where DC is having its problem. Marvel have made twelve films before the release of Captain America: Civil War and Iron Man even had two movies before all the Avengers assembled. DC need to seriously pull out their ‘A’ game before they can even become close to touching the behemoth Marvel. They lack the iconic gravitas seen in The Avengers, the passion and confidence to play with their source material, unlike Deadpool, nor the patience to think over every detail like Guardians of the Galaxy. For DC to continue making profitable movies like Marvel, they have to start making films like Marvel.
Also, Batman needs his own movie. Enough said.
Perry White: Nobody cares about Clark Kent taking on the Batman.
PROBLEMS THAT ANNOY ME (SPOILERS BELOW)
- Why wasn’t the wheelchair bomb detected? Yeah, Lex is a clever guy, but was that ever explained?
- Why isn’t it clear when someone is having a dream, vision, or just an imaginative thought? All it does is confuse the narrative.
- Why does Batman even bother using non-Kryptonite weapons against Superman? He should have had the spear on him the whole time, and the battle would have been over in a minute.
- Why is there almost no exposition on Batman’s past? What’s happened? Why does he kill people now? Who has he had to fight during his twenty year career?
- Why doesn’t Finch demand for Zod’s body to be returned immediately after she refuses Lex from having rights to import Kryptonite?
- Why does Diana Prince put her trust in Bruce Wayne to decrypt the data from Lex? She’s literally just seen him steal from Lex, and trusts Bruce won’t blackmail her?
- How did Lex Luther find all these superheros and their identities? The NSA should hire this guy.
- Why did Lois throw away the Kryptonite spear? Seems like something someone should keep that locked up.
- Why is there no safeguard on the ship to stop Lex from reanimating General Zod? He just says the council is dead and the computer just complies.
- Why does Perry not jump at the chance for Clark to report on Batman? Because Gotham accept vigilante Batman with no questions asked while everyone is up-in-arms against Superman? That is exactly the kind of story you want in your paper!
- Why does everyone get annoyed at Superman rather than the guy who bombed the congressional hearing? Because Superman is humanity’s babysitter now?
- How did Lex ever think he could control Doomsday? Even after looking through the data of the Krypton ship, Lex doesn’t anticipate the scenario waiting to happen.
- Can someone explain how Batman’s suit works? He gets two gunshots to the back of the head in the unarmoured suit and then immediately gets stabbed in the shoulder.
- Why does Batman feel the need to assemble the metahumans? Because a crazy Lex told you that there might be an attack? Oh sure, that’s a reliable source.
- Why does Superman do nothing when he hears Bruce Wayne’s hidden radio chatter with Alfred?
- Why does Lex even bother pitting Batman and Superman together? He should have just resurrected Zod in the first place. When he realises his plan has been foiled, the resurrection seems like a ‘plan B’ instead of another part of his original plan.