I finally watched Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice this weekend.

In all seriousness: it was worse than I expected. It was a hot mess of seemingly random, nonsensical scenes that I felt often contradicted each other, much less the previous movie.

I’d read reviews and spoiled it without remorse, and given my opinion of Synder and MoS, my expectations were pretty low. That I found the film even poorer than those expectations was genuinely surprising. Even my wife — who is not a comic book person — was pausing the film pretty frequently with “Huh? WTF?”

And yes, on top of all this I did not care for these takes on Bats and Supes. My wife was also aghast at the glimpses we got of the Flash. (She generally enjoys the WB version.)

As for Wonder Woman, she was okay. But, let me say that, based on what we see here, I do not feel confident that Gal Godot can carry a movie by herself. Forget the silly argument about whether she’s too skinny; how about whether she can act?

So, yeah, this is probably what folks were expecting from me. Just consider this a confirmation.

10 thoughts on “I finally watched Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice this weekend.

  1. My brother tells me the extended edition fixes plot holes in the film, improving at least the storytelling to some degree. However, if you don’t care for the characters, it won’t do much else for you.

    It’s impressive that you took the plunge and watched the film. It’s long, and it takes a lot out of someone to invest time in something that they already think they will not enjoy. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get around to watching the film. Heck, I haven’t even made it through all of Man of Steel. (Just the back half while flipping channels at someone else’s house.)

  2. Thoughts in bullet form:

    * I mean yeah, it’s a hot mess. It isn’t a “good” movie.

    * Snyder is pretty obviously an impressionistic director. He cares about moments, not narrative. So that’s how I watched it. It’s not easy! But the through-lines are almost always nonsensical and exist only to set up those moments.

    * I really liked how Wayne and Kent were portrayed actually. I’m very much on the side of wanting to see new interpretations, and I get kind of bored by reverence in these matters. Hyperviolent vigilante killer Batman? Yup okay, seems like the Batman of today. (He also had some legit good dialogue: you’re not brave, you’re not even a man. Only men can be brave. I thought that was sharp.) Alienated Superman just this side of checking out, Dr Manhattan style? Nice!

    * Nothing involving Lois Lane makes any bit of sense ever. Guess she needs to be there to ground Kent, but all her running around and investigating was baffling. Other than to get herself rescued again and again. Not awesome but I’m a huge Amy Adams fanboy.

    * I like that the Supes/Zod battle has been reframed in 9/11 survivor terms. I like how Wayne is radicalized by the events. I like the larger social context, even though it feels lifted from Marvel.

    *Given Snyder’s limits as a storyteller, I like Luthor! I think the actor did a lot with very little material: twitchy, manic, overweening arrogance. Better physical performance that I expected, and good thing because most of his dialogue is nonsense.

    * Wonder Woman: totally underused (oho, autocorrect gave me underdressed, on point autocorrect!) and unexplained, no explanation of her motives and she even contradicts her own storyline stuff, but I’m sold on the actress. I thought she projected a really exciting enthusiasm for fighting that monster, as compared to Batman being legit scared and Superman being grimly determined. The monster fight told me things about the characters, which is all it had to do. Anyway: she’s supernatural, she doesn’t have to be beefy (which helps Batfleck stand out as just-a-dude), and I thought she pulled off both her cover role and her demigod role.

    So basically I put the movie in the “interesting failures” category, along with literally everything else Snyder has ever done.

  3. you’re not brave, you’re not even a man. Only men can be brave. I thought that was sharp.) Alienated Superman just this side of checking out, Dr Manhattan style? Nice! * Nothing involving Lois Lane makes any bit of sense ever. Guess she needs to be there to ground Kent, but all her running around and investigating was baffling. Other than to get herself rescued again and again. Not awesome but I’m a huge Amy Adams fanboy. * I like that the Supes/Zod battle has been reframed in 9/11 survivor terms. I like how Wayne is radicalized by the events. I like the larger social context, even though it feels lifted from Marvel. *Given Snyder’s limits as a storyteller, I like Luthor! I think the actor did a lot with very little material: twitchy, manic, overweening arrogance. Better physical performance that I expected, and good thing because most of his dialogue is nonsense. * Wonder Woman: totally underused (oho, autocorrect gave me underdressed, on point autocorrect!) and unexplained, no explanation of her motives and she even contradicts her own storyline stuff, but I’m sold on the actress. I thought she projected a really exciting enthusiasm for fighting that monster, as compared to Batman being legit scared and Superman being grimly determined. The monster fight told me things about the characters, which is all it had to do. Anyway: she’s supernatural, she doesn’t have to be beefy (which helps Batfleck stand out as just-a-dude), and I thought she pulled off both her cover role and her demigod role. So basically I put the movie in the “interesting failures” category, along with literally everything else Snyder has ever done.]]>

  4. The Wayne radicalization was terrific. Probably my favorite part. And it leads him to bad thinking. He adopts the 1% doctrine of the neocons and it’s horrible and sad.

    That’s part of why it feels good when they finally get on the same side.

    And I loved Luthor! What a great version of that character. I liked especially that moment where he’s trying to give a talk to a bunch of people and doesn’t know how to talk like a rich guy. The whole room gets uncomfortable and the camera wanders away.

  5. Paul Beakley Well, I’m glad you got some enjoyment out of your viewing, even if I disagree with every positive thing you said. 🙂

    The one thing I’ll concede is that “Supes/Zod battle has been reframed in 9/11” is an interesting idea, but I don’t think Snyder ever figured out what to do with it.

    Also: Amy Adams and Holly Hunter are totally wasted in this film. Hunter’s interview with Charlie Rose felt like it was written by monkeys stabbing at typewriters.

  6. Watching the reaction to this film has been fascinating. Most people find it at best flawed, but in nearly all other venues a cadre of outraged fans would have shown up by now to berate this post and its writer personally and make accusations of conspiratorial intent. There’s some loud and angry people who hate that few others love this movie.