Dawn of Justice: Love, Labour, Lost (Spoiler Riddled Late Review)

Dawn of Justice

Ok, got it off my chest finally. This is my late review of the film Batman V Superman. Before going to this movie, I had ample share of comments from friends who had watched it. Some of them were not well versed with the DC universe so I decided not to make up my mind until I’ve seen it myself. Even paused every video review that said there were spoilers and graciously left a comment telling – would revisit after watching the movie. One thing that bugged me was the massive difference between the critics rating and the fan rating. Well, It doesn’t anymore. I see where the critics saw the fault in this movie.. Yes DC fanboys (of whom I consider myself to be one) Batman V Superman is a flawed movie and it pains me to say that. I’ll have to live with the TV shows.

Love – The movie has too little of it. There are a few promises of future goodness in the franchise but unless there is a great deal of improvement in the next installment, the justice league will have challenges winning over the moviegoers. For the most part I agree with the points made by Bobby Burns in his review video. The character development is certainly compromised. Moreover, in an attempt to reinvent the superheroes, a lot of what make these characters great, disappeared. Also as a consequence the storytelling got jumbled. Just hiding Easter eggs is not enough. For example, we see an old timey picture of Wonder woman standing next to Steve Trevor. We know its a set up for the WW standalone movie but would I be interested enough to see her origin story, now that I’ve seen her enough and didn’t get excited about her? It was a huge risk bringing her into this plot at this moment. An expensive risk.

Justice League fans know it all about the crisis story lines. Surely, Flash is a key player in any future plots but his presence in this movie just plays as a placeholder. We already have the most endearing Flash on the TV. The movie version of him looks just too strange, barely identifiable. Those were the things that could have been done differently to get me really excited as a fan. Surely, I’ll watch the successive movies. Not because of this movie gives me enough reason to but simply because I am an addict.

Labour – Some time ago, I made a public declaration to stay away from superhero movies. I broke my vow to watch Batman V Superman. Frankly, I can’t say if the long wait was worth it. By that, it doesn’t mean that the movie didn’t show the hard work that has gone into it. It packs in lot of events that should have taken a couple of more installments to fully unfold. For this Snyder has to be commended. Unlike some critics I didn’t find it tough to follow. In fact, I felt it was slow. A lot of extra time that went into highlighting certain aspects about the characters could have been saved for some more action. For instance, we all know where Bruce is coming from. We don’t need to see him continue to mourn the loss of his parents. Seriously, the repeated pearl necklace flashbacks are bit much, especially when he’s standing over Superman. Don’t beat us over the head with this. Rather, we could have been engaged in seeing him working out more as a detective.

Lex’s interactions with Bruce were unceremoniously wrapped up into a single sentence when Lex tells him that they should meet more often and maybe partner up on some project. Justice League Animated Series did a better job at bringing them together. By setting the story solely in the aftermath of the destruction in Man of Steel, the entire thing begins on a grim note and fun takes a back seat. It’s Justice League guys! Batman is the smartest one of them all. It was hard to see him stumble into Supes in a dark alley. If Bats had rather caught up to Supes in his most vulnerable moment like in the office of Daily Planet or if Lois Lane had fallen for Bruce’s charms (a la World’s Finest), my inner JL fan would have smiled. Rather, I was breathing heavily seeing her beg for the Dark Knight’s mercy to spare her “Boyfriend’s” life. How Bollywood!

Lost – One of my most favourite characters from DC is Lex Luthor. I can not comprehend the character that Jesse Eisenberg plays in this movie. He is a devious villain, a man out to play as a match fixer, a mastermind of a sinister plot but… he’s not Lex Luthor. I have good memories of Lex Luthor from 10 seasons of Smallville and I won’t give them up for this guy. His psychotic breakdown may have been due to justifiable reasons but for the audience it is premature. Well, we get it, he knows too much and playing with Gods takes it’s toll. It’s all overwhelming for a common man maybe but not for Lex! He’s utterly out of his elements. Why exactly he wants the Batman dead? What is his real problem with Supes? It doesn’t take a genius to see this plan fail. Lex is smarter than this. Lex needs more time before he looses his mind. Setting up Superman at the desert was bearable, but killing all the people at the court was unnecessary. Lex never does unnecessary. He represents what humanity could be at its most insecure state. He’s cunning and ego-maniacal. Ready to face Superman and manipulate him without threatening him. Kidnapping Martha is just weak. This Lex Luthor is a lowly criminal for doing that. Few lines of twisted logic does nothing to redeem him.

Speaking of Martha, I’ve always found it amusing that both Bruce’s and Clark’s moms have the same name but that is not particularly something that I would see as an ice breaker in this situation. Going back to the detective side of Batman, Bruce, in all likelihood would already know about Clark before getting into a fight with Superman. There’s no way that Lois Lane could figure out the secret that Bruce Wayne couldn’t. After all it has been two years since Metropolis incident. Having Batman turn out to be completely ignorant about Superman’s identity is an insult to the fans’ intelligence. In a way this Bruce Wayne is sloppy, careless and no fun. The only respite is his interactions with Alfred who is again, underutilized. I am not craving for more, I am not expecting any less but this just doesn’t feel right. Even the montages that introduce other JL members play like a boring catalog of characters meant for those who might want to go home and google who that “guy with a trident” or “guy without limbs getting electrocuted” was. Those are the things you best reveal in the post credit scenes. You’ve to give it to Marvel for doing this part right. You can’t be so arrogant to not take note of good ideas. I am pissed because this movie introduces DCU in the not so interesting manner to the uninitiated.

 

Verdict: Injustice to the fans.

 

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4 thoughts on “Dawn of Justice: Love, Labour, Lost (Spoiler Riddled Late Review)

  1. Its hard for me to move forward with this franchise knowing that Batman has no qualm about killing especially how its not addressed at all in this film. Whoever edited the film did an awful job. Great review.

    • Truth! Good point about the editing. This same movie could have been cut to make the story more coherent. Didn’t want to believe critics that renowned film makers would such fatal errors. Still, its a horror to see the characters on their own too

      • Building a cinematic universe takes time, for some reason Warner Brothers thought they didn’t have it so shoehorning in all these characters and plot lines was just too clumsy and took away from the story. Also the Lois Lane side story was pointless since the audience knew from the start that Luthor was behind it, far too much screen time dedicated to it, I would have cut it out all together.

      • Haha right. They had no reason to rush it. I get the romance bit as Supes probably goes nuts in the future with Lois Lane’s death. they are probably going for the injustice storyline from video games. There will be those familiar with it and those who’re not. Still, they don’t need to treat anyone as kids. They can go all for it. Just make it fun to watch! Let it breath a little…

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