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Reviews Comments: It takes skill to fail so thoroughly Batman V Superman Dawn Of Justice film/book review by GREGOLE

I am one of the people who enjoyed \'Man of Steel\'. When I first saw the previous movie, I was reasonably satisfied. We all know Superman as a paragon of compassion, but we also live in a more cynical world. So it seems only natural that the start of Superman\'s saga would be gloomy and grim. Clark fights his way through a cynical world to rise up above it as a beacon of hope.

Even the neck-snap didn\'t bother me. Superman\'s refusal to ever kill is an important part of his character, so I figured this would be the origin of that trait. In this version he sees firsthand what it is to take a life and vows never to do so again. He vows never to kill again, because he feels he has too much power to allow that of himself. Because it\'s an offering of peace to a frightened world. Cool. A little edgy, but that\'s what I prepared myself for.

That is not the story I was given. Bv S is not interested in rising above its darkness. Bv S revels in it. Characters do not go through redemption, do not overcome their mistakes, do not reach the light at the end of the tunnel, because Bv S is a story written by a nihilist who doesn\'t believe in compassion or hope or human decency. Bv S is the sort of story I could see present-day Frank Miller writing, except I imagine even he would balk at the prospect of having Superman kill AGAIN in the first twenty minutes.

Superman kills one man, and Batman kills at least a dozen. Batman tortures with his bat-brand, and spends most of the movie plotting to run Clark through with a kryptonite spear because he might be a threat - no kryptonite nugget on his person as insurance. No plan to neutralize him, should he ever go rogue. It is a straight-up murder plot.

I could go on and on about the film\'s lack of humor, lack of levity, its refusal to even entertain the ideals of hope, decency and the human spirit that both characters are founded on, but I\'m already two-thirds of the way through my word-limit, so I\'ll move on to the technical side of writing.

The plot is a damned one-wheeled truck with a busted muffler. It\'s big, it\'s loud, and it\'s belching smoke every which way, but it aint getting anywhere.

The first hour or so hovers around the question of \"Can Superman be trusted, or is he more powerful than any one man should be?\" And that\'s a reasonably interesting plot... premise. Very little is actually done with this question. It meanders about in a frightened world for an hour, and nothing is really done. Lex Luthor\'s portrayal didn\'t bother me until I realized I had no idea what his motivation was. Doomsday had no buildup, so I had no investment in his scenes. Batman\'s fight with Superman was far too long - though I\'d argue including at all is far too long.

Really, I could devote a novel to how much this movie just failed utterly at, but with 3,000 characters, I\'ll leave you with this: BVS was literally the worst superhero movie ever made.

Yes, even worse than THAT one.

Comments

  • Rotide
  • 5th Apr 16
I was with you for most of your review, but I have to say calling this worse than (What I presume to be) Fant4stic is a little harsh, isn\'t it? This at least has something resembling a plot, and actual humour, albeit in small, scattered doses.
  • DoctorSleep
  • 6th Apr 16
I agree with Rotide. The big difference between Bv S and Fant4stic is that the latter blatantly didn\'t care about its source material, while the former did but just couldn\'t strike a chord.
  • GREGOLE
  • 6th Apr 16
I will concede that the (lack of)quality between BVS and Fant4stic may be closer than I initially suggested, but I\'m sticking to my guns here on the grounds that truly comparing the two films would require me to watch both of them again.
  • GrigorII
  • 10th Apr 16
What makes you think that the \"worst superhero movie ever made\", even beyond this one, is Fant4stic? Three words: Batman Credit Card.
  • SpectralTime
  • 10th Apr 16
I had most of the same problems you did, but... I suppose I was a bit more forgiving. I see all the same flaws, but in the end the film still entertained me.

And that's just a matter of personal taste, so... agree to disagree, I suppose. Thanks for discussing why certain artistic choices don't work though. Ranting about how much something sucks so much you don't bother mentioning *why* it sucks is a common problem around here.
  • GrigorII
  • 10th Apr 16
Besides, they have commited all and each one of the mistakes of a Genre-Killer film... except this one.
  • GreeneMachine92
  • 21st Apr 16
So is Catwoman not in the running for worst superhero movie anymore?
  • CainandAble
  • 2nd Jun 16
B v S reached for the sky, sorta…it just failed. There are kernels of a good, thought-provoking plotline in there, though.

And hey. At least it wasn\'t a forgettable 2-hour long CGI-and-one-liners-with-a-cut-and-paste-villain movie (AKA most recent MCU films). Even if it\'s bad, it won\'t be forgotten.
  • Nyame
  • 2nd Jun 16
I heartily disagree. This was far more forgettable than the most recent MCU films (barring, perhaps, Age of Ultron and Thor: The Dark World) - literally speaking, the only memorable thing about this movie is Wonder Woman. Everything else...yeah. That being said, it wasn\'t completely terrible, it was just kind of meh. And it\'s still loads better than Fant4stic.

The DCCU is lagging behind the MCU so much it\'s not even funny. Unless Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman deliver, that\'s not changing anytime soon.
  • rjung
  • 27th Jul 16
I have to agree with Nyame here — say what you will about MCU movies with their one-dimensional villains and quick-tongued heroes, but at least at the end of most Marvel movies you were entertained for your time and you left the theater feeling uplifted about the human condition (yes, even Captain America: Civil War pulled off a relatively upbeat ending).

Batman v Superman, however, doesn't even offer that. The first 90 minutes is a plodding mess of sour-faced characters I couldn't care about, vague mutterings about godlike super-beings, and people running around doing things without any clear motivation (I'm still trying to figure out why Batman was out to flat-out kill Supes in the first place, instead of talking to him or imprisoning him or anything less extreme). And then the last part is... well, it's pretty darn bad, and makes Ang Lee's Hulk a masterpiece by comparison.

And yes, you can argue that "Even if it's bad, it won't be forgotten." But I'm not sure if DC Comics wants their two most iconic characters to spend the next decade being the punchline of various cinematic jokes...
  • willyolio
  • 14th Jan 17
wait, i thought you were talking about the Green Lantern movie. Was fant4stic worse than green lantern?
  • GREGOLE
  • 1st Mar 17
I confess, when I said \"Yes, even THAT one\" I was deliberately vague because there\'s a lot of stiff competition for title of \"worst superhero film ever made\" and figured everyone would have a different idea of what I was referring to. Did NOT expect everyone to just unanimously agree I was talking about Fant4stic.
  • marcellX
  • 1st Mar 17
@GREGOLE it was the most recent to reach that low level of quality, so it\'s the one that\'s gonna pop into most people\'s minds.

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