While everyone is talking about Captain America: Civil War, I’d like to take the time to discuss DC Comics’ latest attempt at matching Marvel Comics’ Cinematic Universe. Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice promises audiences something similar to the Avengers series with various superheroes, each with their own respective franchise, duking it out on the big screen. Batman Vs. Superman was especially hyped considering that the Caped Crusader and the Last (or is he?) Kryptonian are some of the oldest and most iconic superheroes in comics and are probably the first ones to come to mind when the word “superhero” is uttered.
One has to note however, that the film didn’t really perform as well as expected. Truth be told, while Batman and Superman have been more popular throughout the decades they’ve been put to comics, it’s sad to note that they were easily overshadowed by the ever-patriotic Captain America and his latest film. However, that’s not to say that Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice was not without its merits which I will soon be discussing here.
So here are the pros and cons of the film and my own opinion of why the film didn’t do as well as its Marvel counterparts:
Improved Fight Scenes
Truth be told, I was very impressed with the fights in the film were portrayed. While the Dark Knight trilogy certainly remains the best Batman movie adaptation to date, there’s little to contest that Batman Vs. Superman had better fight scenes. While yes, it may seem less realistic than the combat seen in the Dark Knight series, it nonetheless makes it much more awesome. From common thugs being thrown around by the sheer force of Batman’s blows, the Caped Crusader’s helmet deflecting a bullet to Superman delivering a coup de grace to iconic villain Doomsday, Batman Vs. Superman shines on with outstanding visuals and awesome scenes that can leave you breathless.
Awesome Side Characters
One thing I hate about local movies is how, more often than not, side characters including the sidekick of protagonists are made to look like total idiots who just serve as comic reliefs for the film or show. Well, in Batman Vs. Superman, this is clearly not the case. With Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth and Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, whatever criticisms were leveled against the protagonists, it has been said that some of the side characters more than make up for it.
Alfred Pennyworth, loyal retainer and father figure to the Caped Crusader is portrayed by Jeremy Irons and plays the character superbly complete with British stuffiness and being a sort of “conscience” to the volatile vigilante. This can be seen in the way that he tries to convince the distraught and cynical Bruce Wayne that Superman was not their enemy and that there was the possibility that he was being manipulated by an external force. Also, his constant supply of snarky advice as well as the explanation for the “bat-voice” was also a decent touch.
Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, Clark Kent’s editor in the Daily Planet was another nice addition even if the latter character received a “race lift” as he was clearly a Caucasian in the comic. Truth is, the grayness of his character was quite welcome as, while he was certainly a kind man at heart, he is still depicted as a man who places making money as a priority. While his character may seem like a jerk at times, his dedication to his work and its prosperity makes him a little more relatable to the audience than similar characters in other films.
Wonder Woman. Just Wonder Woman. No other words necessary.
Character Derailment And Inconsistency
Perhaps the biggest complaint about the film is the character derailment or the inconsistency of the characters’ behaviors. The thing is, it would be slightly more acceptable if, say, the only inconsistencies were artistic changes to the characters from the comics. After all, everyone does that as even the MCU is loaded with many artistic changes.
Unfortunately, Batman Vs. Superman comes out as a disappointment as there are a lot of inconsistencies within the film itself. It’s like some characters become completely different people later on in the movie. I mean sure, people do change but they don’t exactly change in just the course of a few minutes.
Here are the biggest highlights of character derailment and inconsistency in the film:
- Batman’s willingness to kill
- Lex Luthor with a personality akin to the Joker
- Batman suddenly changing his mind about Superman when the latter says his mother’s name
- Lois Lane suddenly knowing that Doomsday can be killed by a kryptonite spear
- Mercy Graves (who was a superhuman in the comics) is betrayed and killed by her boss, Lex Luthor
- The corpse of general Zodd becomes Doomsday, a puppet monster of Lex Luthor
- Lex Luthor WITH HAIR
Another complaint is the fact that all the characters just seem too dark and unpleasant to like. Truth be told, people found Superman’s holier-than-thou attitude towards Batman a little off-putting while some found Batman’s vigilante justice and willingness to kill as a mangling of the character proper. Of course, both characters certainly have a point. For instance, Superman simply didn’t trust Batman’s brand of “justice” as he only targeted criminals who were usually just pushed by their circumstances into criminality. Batman, on the other hand, disliked the kind of “worship” Superman was getting just as, perhaps, I disdain people who worship public figures.
Unfortunately, the characters are played as just all too “emo” for their own good. Indeed, if both characters could just think past their egos, perhaps a lot of the more disastrous incidents in the film could have been averted. Of course, their enmity towards one another creates conflict, their brooding and self-righteousness is taken to ridiculous levels that, at the most, seems like a cheap way to add more hours and dramatic scenes to the movie.
As a suggestion, they could have just expanded Wonder Woman’s role and her influence on the characters in the film.
Aquaman. Just Aquaman. No other words necessary.
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