Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Failure


By Michael Younkin, Commentary Editor

  Fans of Batman and Superman alike will have their hopes dashed and money wasted if they go to see Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice in theaters. This movie is a true abomination in the world of DC Comics.

  Admittedly, Ben Affleck did a very good job of playing his new role of Batman. Henry Cavill did a brilliant job playing Superman, as he did in Man of Steel. The actors were all great. The issue was the composition.

  For one, half of the exposition was shown in the form of various dreams. The death of Batman’s parents was shown in a dream. A terrible representation of Flash using the speed force to warn Batman was shown in a dream (I’ll come back to that later). The foreshadowing of Darkseid took place in a dream.

  If we file hallucinations in the dream category, we can include a couple appearances of Superman’s foster father.

  The point is, it began to seem like half of the movie was in the form of a dream, with reality and dream world flipping between each other with no real warning and no indication that we have flipped to dream world until they wake up, or they show that nothing is there. While dreams and flashbacks have a purpose in cinematography and literature, the extensive use of them drastically degraded the quality of the movie.

  (Spoiler Alert) Moving beyond this was a fundamental crime against the entire concept of Batman. Batman has two rules: No killing, and no guns. There has only been one occasion in the DC comic universe that I know of that he has broken this rule, and that is in the Batman Returns timeline when he finally kills the Joker. Yes, in the movie Batman Begins Christian Bale’s Batman let Raz Al Ghul die, but as he said in the movie, he didn’t kill him – he just didn’t have to save him.

  In this movie, however, we had an entire dream scene where he was slaughtering people left and right with guns, and in the climax of the movie, he used a gun to blow up a flamethrower, killing the man using the flamethrower. This is a blatant breaking of Batman’s character, and to break the rules of a main character is inexcusable.

  Next were the cameos. Admittedly, they did a decent job on the Aquaman cameo, as well as the Cyborg cameo. While not particularly satisfying, it did its job of introducing a glimpse of the character. The Flash appeared twice in the movie, once in the dream I mentioned before, where he was only marginally recognizable, and once in the same scene we saw Aquaman and Cyborg. Hopefully, they are avoiding showing him as much because they are hoping to get the actor from the TV show, but with the amount of red tape that involves, it is likely a futile hope.

  In his first appearance, he appeared in a disk of lighting in some strange armor that limited our ability to even register that it was the Flash. He shouted a barely legible warning to Batman, and then he vanished. There were multiple issues with this scene, some of which are shared with the scene in which the movie foreshadowed the coming of Darkseid.

  For one, the human mind can only dream of faces it has seen. Because Batman had never seen Flash’s face before this scene, he could not have had him in his dream without either a temporal disturbance or the explanation that Batman has premonitory powers. While a temporal disturbance is a possible explanation, as he saw him coming through the speed force in a time rift, the usage of a dream to show this is a poor decision as it discredits it. This theory is further discredited by the fact that we never have anything else in the movie to confirm that it actually did happen.

  If we want to believe it is simply Batman’s premonitory powers, it is yet another sin against the characterization of Batman. Batman has never had powers (with the exception of a brief stint as a member of the Sinestro Corp. when he wielded a yellow power ring) in the DC comic universe, nor should he. It is one of his greatest traits. He is just a human. An admittedly very rich, well-trained, and brilliant human, but at the core, he is a human. He most definitely does not have the ability to see the future, as he apparently did with the scene where they hinted at Darkseid and the scene with the Flash.

  Moving past Batman, we can take a shot at Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor. In the comic books, Lex was known for occasional bouts of insanity. Eisenberg  took this concept and ran with it, perhaps a bit too much. Lex is known as a brilliant, but evil, mastermind. He could almost be compared to Dr. Doom from the Marvel universe, just without the powers. Yes, he is insane, but he was nearly always in control, except for occasional fits of insane rage. For him to entirely unhinge at the end, with his ringy dingy fit in the jail cell, was completely out of character, and more reminiscent of the Joker, someone Lex is known to hold in contempt.

  Going on to the final battle,  Doomsday was actually decent. He had perhaps a little too much General Zod in his face, but other than that, they did a good job. The team up went well, and, while Batman did little to nothing, the grand reveal of Wonder Woman was excellent.

  Wonder Woman’s costume balanced the classic costume with the New 52 costumes, while bringing in her Roman roots. Gal Gadot did a very good job of capturing her essence as well.

  Overall, as I said before, to see it in theatres is to burn good money. If you want to know the winner between Batman and Superman, well, the real winner is the person that waits for it to come out of theatres, where they can watch it on their own TV with far cheaper popcorn.

Feather-Rate-1Michael Younkin