Batman killing criminals. The tie-in books and comics clearly say he may be brutal but he never kills them, but the movie itself as well as Word of God explicitly contradicts this. The jury is out if Snyder's defense of Batman as "manslaughter" rather than "murder" is either hair-splitting or a more nuanced take on Batman's "no-kill" policy.
Likewise there are those who feel that Batman's motivations are explicable since he is only shown killing somebody in a moment of desperation, such as when he's trying to acquire kryptonite or rescuing Martha. It doesn't hurt/help that this Batman has already lost his Robin, if not more members of the Bat family to injury and death. Others argue that the whole point of Batman's "no-kill" rule is that he precisely doesn't let desperation, grief or righteous anger break it, and killing out of desperation or "one-bad-day" is something his villains use to justify their actions and not him.
Batman's intentions to kill Superman, invoking Not Even Human as a justification, has made some fans see him as a fantastic racist who is only marginally better than Luthor. Some even wonder what his real motivations are. The trauma of seeing his employees killed by Zod and Superman's fight, losing Robin to The Joker, and Luthor's manipulations, turning him into an angry, bitter mess? The film seems to be going for the latter, but the theatrical cut doesn't show that Batman's actions in the film are out-of-character in-universe. Likewise scenes where Batman likens his attack on Superman by citing his ancestors using the grounds as a game reserve disturbingly suggest that his motivations are that of an Egomaniac HunterHunting the Most Dangerous Game just so he can prove he's a badass.
Luthor's motivations in the movie fluctuate between those who argue that he's insane but sincere in his Beware the Superman spiel and that he's a real misotheist, while others, citing the ending and the deleted scene released by WB, propose that he was in fact a puppet for Darkseid and a traitor to the human race. Some argue that Luthor was driven insane by his contact with the Kryptonian ship, while others feel he was Evil All Along. Also, is Luthor just hyper, his mind working far faster and better than other people's, and his odd behavior is a result of this? Or does he really, really need to be on medication? Or perhaps him being a puppet for Darkseid drove him mad. Since the extended cut shows that Lex is going for the insanity defense, has he just been acting crazy to support the defense as a backup in case his plan fails?
When Knyazev has the Batmobile in the sights of his RPG, he doesn't fire when one of his mook's cars gets in between him and his shot. Was this Pragmatic Villainy on the part of him not wanting to risk anything but a direct hit on the Batmobile, or was it an Even Evil Has Standards moment?
Similarly, Superman's problems with Batman. For the most part Superman is only shown saving people rather than fighting bad guys, while Batman is shown mostly attacking and brutalizing criminals. Is Superman justified in his views of Batman being a violent brute or is he playing Holier Than Thou to one who does more good than harm?
This review takes the position that both this movie and Man of Steel make a lot more sense if one assumes that Jonathan Kent was clinically depressed.
Is Superman's Heroic Sacrifice at the end a moment of Decon-Recon Switch for his status as The Cape and renewed faith in humanity? Or is it an act of pure selfishness to only save Lois and his mother? In his speech, the way he associates the "world" with her lends credence to the idea that his feelings towards humanity haven't changed, and that Lois' (and Martha's) mere existence is Earth's only saving grace.
Despite being his mother, Martha Kent seems infinitely more adjusted about Clarks death compared to Lois. Is she just better at compartmentalization, or has she been mentally preparing for this to happen all this time?
Anvilicious: Much like its predecessor, the film made many unsubtle comparisons between Superman and Jesus, even to the point where his death scene pulled imagery from Jesus' death: he's shown dead in a Crucified Hero Shot and is wrapped up in his red cape and handed down to Lois, akin to how Mary received her Son's body. Perhaps these undertones would have been better-received if the audience themselves were able to find them, but the film was so preachy and unsubtle with this religious symbology that it comes off more annoying than ingenious.
Batman's practice of using an electronic voice modulator to conceal his identity and sound more intimidating seems to have been thrown in because so many people complained that Christian Bale's infamous "Batman voice" in The Dark Knight Trilogy sounded unintentionally ridiculous ("Batman's ongoing battle with throat cancer" as spoofed by Honest Trailers). In contrast to Bale's natural throaty growl, Affleck's Batman speaks with a deep, artificially reverberating voice that almost sounds robotic.
Probably in response to criticism about Superman indirectly killing many innocents in the final battle in Man of Steel, this movie went out of its way to ensure that it won't happen again; the fight between Batman and Superman takes place in an abandoned building, the first thing Superman does after Doomsday shows up is to punch him away from Metropolis to avoid civilian casualties, and a quick exchange between Wonder Woman and Batman informs us that the area where the final battle takes place is empty.
Jonathan Kent noting that he's proud of what his son has accomplished seems to address some of the criticisms people had with the character in the previous film—namely, that he was holding Clark back from becoming a superhero. Similarly his advice to Clark that bad things can still happen when you try to be good, was seen as a positive advice to give him since it wasn't contradictory to what was being done as well as being actual advice a superhero would need to hear.
In direct response to the critical reception the film had received, Zack Snyder assured fans that the Extended Director's Cut on home video would better flesh out the plot, as it would be around half an hour longer. Warner Bros, in an unprecedented move, even released one of the deleted scenes online after the Opening Weekend.
Lex Luthor. Many people hate his portrayal since he comes across as being an Expy of The Joker without anything that made him the character of his namesake, as well as in general Jesse Eisenberg being seen as the wrong choice for the role. There are however, as many (including Sebastian Stanof all people) who enjoyed his performance and find him to be a very entertaining villain that provided a fresh take on this character, or at least well-fitted as a Hate Sink.
Doomsday's presence in the film itself has also caused some contention. Some think it's too soon to show Superman going up against his most dangerous foe and would prefer that his death be given its own film. Others are okay with it however, since Doomsday is more a plot device than an actual character.
Better on DVD: The Ultimate Edition was met with better reception than the theatrical cut, due to a clearer explaining of certain plot points, more focus on Lois and Clark as characters, and smoother pacing. Some viewers even said it was like watching a different movie.
Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The "Knightmare Sequence" and Flash's time-travel cameo is completely out-there if you don't have a basic idea of what the New Gods teases hidden in it (Darkseid's insignia and the Parademons) mean, or the general direction that Zack Snyder wanted to take his story in with subsequent movies. The scene has absolutely no context going into it (it's a random vision Batman's suddenly in a post-apocalyptic future leading a doomed resistance), Superman is evil for no discernable reason (aside from a mention of losing "his world"), and Bruce does nothing to look for Lois after being warned to do so by the Flash. Not to mention that it appears to be a dream within a dream, only for it to only be just one dream that Bruce somehow "woke up" twice from. It is never mentioned again, and although one can make a case for Batman wrongly interpreting vision of the apocalyptic future as being purely caused by Superman — and thus being more driven to kill the Last Son of Krypton — nothing else in the movie indicates that it has any significance whatsoever. It's at least remedied when the scenario is explicitly mentioned again in Zack Snyder's Justice League (though not the theatrical version), but in the context of the movie by itself, the sequence is absolutely confounding.
Cant Unhear It: Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth. His voice has just the right mixture of refinement and snarkiness that's inherent to the character.
"Common Knowledge": Batman only decided to be friends with Superman because their mothers have the same name. In context, Batman's reasons for performing a FaceHeel Turn were more complicated. First, he wasn't aware until that very moment that Superman had a human mother, which would mean he was raised on Earth and therefore had nothing to do with the Kryptonian invasion. Secondly, Batman realised that trying to kill a man who was only trying to protect his loved ones made him no better than the criminal that murdered his parents, hence his moment of hysteria.
Contested Sequel: Moreso in the sense that reception for the film was all over the place than it being a divisive situation like Man of Steel. Many saw it as an improvement over the previous movie, which either made it even better, surprisingly improved, or still average. Others saw the movie as one of the best comic book films ever made. There's also a group that thought the premise was wasted and that the movie wasn't good (but again, whether it's unwatchable or average was a dividing factor between these two groups). A small camp even saw the movie as being So Bad, It's Good. This even came through in the box office numbers, as after one of the biggest opening weekends in history, the numbers dropped almost 70% the following week.
Critical Backlash: The infamous 27% Rotten Tomatoes score, which indicated the kind of critical flogging that many believed the film didn't deserve, as they felt that there were a lot of good, even great moments.
Critical Dissonance: The film generally scored better among audiences than it did with critics, and since its release has gained a rather vocal fanbase. Of course thats not to say that it doesnt have equally vocal detractors who hated it as much as critics.
Do Not Do This Cool Thing: Borders on Broken Aesop. Batman killing people throughout the movie is meant to be a sign that he has gone off the deep end and is risking becoming the type of man he swore to fight. But the movie goes out of its way to make the damage he causes look cool, not to mention the fact that everyone he killed was an Asshole Victim. The result is that the movie has instead been heavily criticized for having Batman kill people, especially since he isn't actually called out for it.
Ending Fatigue: So after Doomsday is defeated, you would think the movie would wrap up pretty quickly... but it goes on for another ten minutes before the credits start rolling.
Jeremy Irons' portrayal of Alfred was one of the few things everyone seems to like about the movie. The main reason was because he provides humour through snarky comments, as well as being very intelligent, and even being directly involved by helping build/maintain things for Batman. It also helps he's the Only Sane Man who points out how foolish it is for Batman and Superman to even fight each other.
Laurence Fishburne as Perry White has also garnered some fan appreciation, mostly due to his over-the-top, take no bullshit attitude.
Jenet Klyburn from the Ultimate Edition cut, whose appearance was greatly anticipated since the role was revealed and who helped explain a few of the more complicated plot details. Being played by the queen of Ensemble DarkhorsesJena Malone helps too.
Gal Gadots debut as Wonder Woman was greeted with near universal positivity.
For a costume example, Batman's "Knightmare" outfit even by non-DCEU fans, thanks to how badass it looks, and it's quickly become one of the character's most iconic looks of recent years, with tons of merchandise and even being referenced in the comics.
Fan-Disliked Explanation: There was quite a backlash when Zack Snyder revealed his intent for it to be Dick Grayson who the Joker killed, not Jason Todd, meaning that it was Dick's defaced Robin costume strung up in the Batcave. Considering there is a huge demand for a Nightwing movie and people prefer Jason to be the dead Robin anywaysnote that and many fans had hoped for a Batman movie adapting Jason's resurrection as the Red Hood. this is often ignored by fans. WB themselves seems to agree, as they stated that Jason is the Robin who died.
With the Marvel Cinematic Universe, because some things never change, and with Captain America: Civil War in particular. It came out the same year, and featured a clash of superheroes. Some fans took it to quite insane levels by bombarding every negative review of the film with accusations that the writer was in Marvel's pocket. Steve's reaction to hearing the name "Bucky" is often compared to Bruce heading the name "Martha" as a possible double-standard.
Many early reviews of Captain America: Civil War contained rather snide references to this movie. To say this exacerbated the fandom rivalry is a huge understatement.
With the Arrowverse and the Supergirl show because of the differences in tone applied to the same DC material - while Arrow is serious and The Flash and Supergirl less so, they were all far outdone by this and Man of Steel in terms of seriousness/darkness. Supergirl in particular was hit with this because it directly used the Super-mythos and Superman himself appears in it, albeit as a silhouette.
This ramped up a bit following the Supergirl episode "World's Finest," which aired just a few days after the movie premiered. A lot of fans turned off by the "grimdark" of the movie found that episode, in which two superheroes meet, instantly like each other, and team up to solve their respective problems, to be the perfect antidote.
Taken even further when the show introduced its own take on Superman in Season 2. Marc Guggenheim explicitly mentioned that the new Superman would be a kinder, gentler and more overtly heroic take on the character, similar to his usual depiction in the comics. It's almost like he was subtly trying to distance the TV Superman from the modern movie version. Tyler Hoechlin, the actor playing Superman, even went so far as to say that Superman doesn't have to be brooding or dark to be cool, seemingly taking a shot at the mixed reception to the DCEU version of the character.
Lex's rant to Superman that God can be either all-powerful OR good, and never both, is a reference to the problem of evil, a philosophical question which asks how evil could exist if there exists a good and all-powerful god.
Superman can't see Batman through the smoke cloud Batman creates at one point during their showdown. Earlier, when Bruce was doing his prep work, the grenades he would use for said smoke diversion before using those with Kryptonite gas had "Pb" written on them, the symbol of lead. Bruce used a lead-based gas, Superman can't see through lead.
The Walking Dead co-stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan) and Lauren Cohan (Maggie) were cast as Batman's dead parents Thomas and Martha Wayne. Considering what Jeffrey's character does (brutally beating Maggie's husband Glenn to death with a baseball bat while she is forced to watch) it's a bit harsh to see them here as a loving couple that see the other get cut down in front of them...
To make things even creepier, a couple episodes later Negan expresses interest in making Maggie one of his wives (who are basically women he's coerced into prostitution). Here, their respective actors are actually married.
Superman dying in a kamikaze attack on Doomsday, followed by his mother grieving over the fact that she's outlived her child became even more tragic a year later, when it was revealed that Zack Snyder's daughter had committed suicide. Despite this, there is a case of Heartwarming in Hindsight as following scene showing all of Metropolis united over Superman's passing mirrors the number of real people - both fan and non-fan - who expressed their condolences to the Snyder family.
Bruce's vision of Superman becoming a bloodthirsty dictator over the loss of a loved one. In Wonder Woman (2017), Diana nearly became this very monster Bruce wanted to destroy, starting a full-blown massacre after witnessing Steve Trevor's death.
Many aspects of the film, such as Bruce's vendetta being largely motivated by the death of his adopted son, Wallace Keefe losing his daughter in the attack on Metropolis and particularly Alfred's arc where he tries to pull Bruce back from his self-destruction and eventually realizes that he can't, qualify as this in light of the suicide of Zack Snyder's daughter Autumn. The entire central plot could even be said to qualify as it revolves around Bruce developing an intense and dehumanizing hatred of Superman and realizing how he's been in the wrong, reflecting the intense and often personal vitriolic hatred directed at Zack Snyder which some of his more vocal detractors became ashamed of contributing to when he shared the news of what happened.
The fight between Batman and Superman has become even harsher in light of the Arrowverse crossover Crisis on Infinite Earths. That series showed the Batman of Earth-99, who succeeded in murdering his Earth's Superman leaving that Earth without hope. Said Batman also murdered his rogues gallery and had become so disillusioned with heroics that he was convinced that no earth was worth fighting for to the point he wanted to let the multiverse die. It's a frightening take on what would have happened if the DCEU Batman hadn't been made to see Superman's humanity.
Batman becoming an emotional wreck with no family and an alcohol problem hits close to home with the reveal that Ben Affleck's personal issues were catching up to him during his time playing the character. Seeing how Batman turned out, most of his fans were relieved to see him hang up the cape so he could save himself.
In the sequence of Lois cradling Superman's body, there's a shot of Wonder Woman looking away sadly. Wonder Woman (2017) would reveal she experienced the very same thing - where her lover died in a Heroic Sacrifice to save the day. And then Wonder Woman 1984 shows she got Steve back for a while and then had to lose him all over again.
Possibly in the case of Mercy Graves. In the comics, she's an Amazon, meaning that she's significantly more durable than a standard human being — and if the DCEU follows this path, she could have survived the explosion she was caught in.Taking into account the events of Wonder Woman (2017), it's doubtful any Amazon without any other power enhancements, aside from the Godkiller herself, Diana, could have survived such an explosion point-blank.
Many fans hoped that the CIA spook we see die was just using the real Jimmy Olsen's name as part of his cover, and that the real version will show up in another movie.
Back in 2005, David Goyer derided the idea of a Batman vs. Superman movie as a terrible idea, calling it an admission that the franchise was on its last gasp. A decade later, he ended up as one of the writers on this film.
When Henry Cavill in full Super-suit took on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, the first bucket of water turned his hair into something resembling a spit-curl. Amusing, considering that his portrayal of the character has notably not had that part of the character design.
When the film is released, Henry Cavill will have fought both Batman and Daredevil twice. Besides Affleck, he fought the Daredevil show's Charlie Cox in Stardust. Armie Hammer, who fights (and allies with) Cavill in The Man From UNCLE, was cast as Batman in George Miller's canceled-at-the-last-minute 2008 film Justice League: Mortal.
The backlash to Gal Gadot being cast as Wonder Woman, with most of the complaints being leveled at how such a glamorous model could convincingly pull off an AmazonianAction Girl role, are pretty humorous when you remember that Gadot served in the IDF as a soldier before her acting/modeling career, just like all other Israeli citizens. It's made more ironic given she ends up being one of the highest praised aspects of the film.
A parody of Batman where he is killing criminals, oblivious to the fact that he's breaking his one rule manages to become funnier after this movie.
In the Mexican Spanish dub, Batman's VA also voiced Vegeta, whose biggest rival Goku is frequently noted for his similarities to Superman.
Thomas and Martha Wayne being portrayed by Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Lauren Cohan respectively becomes this when one considers the history between the two characters both actors play on The Walking Dead.
To say nothing of their roles in Supernatural, where Morgan plays the father of the protagonists and Cohan's character has a degree of sexual tension with each.
Lex Luthor's claim that "devils come from the sky" turned out to be true once it was revealed that Ares was kicked out of Olympus. It was validated again when Justice League (2017) showed Steppenwolf dropping from the sky.
In the Rifftrax for Ben Affleck's Daredevil movie, they make a joke about how Matt Murdock wanted to be called "Batman" before Bruce Wayne sued him.
People once complained the movie is too similar to Watchmen, thanks to Zack Snyder. Thanks to DC Rebirth, Watchmen is an integrated part of DC stories now.
Luthor, played by Jesse Eisenberg, is called to publicly testify before Congress (but doesn't, of course). In 2018 Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, had to come before Congress to answer questions. (Zuckerberg also refused to testify before the UK and Canadian Parliaments.) Eisenberg played Zuckerberg in the 2010 film The Social Network.
Senator Finch will not be the only "Junebug" around.
In Joker (2019), another Batman-related movie released a couple years later (though in another continuity), the Joker's real name is Arthur Fleck, or "A. Fleck".
Idiot Plot: A major criticism of the film is this, as it depicts multiple characters coming to very rash, stupid conclusions without much evidence, usually just to drive the plot forward. Moments such as Superman not just telling Batman his mom is in danger, and Louis throwing away the spear at the end all just happen, and the film makes no attempt to explain why most of the characters make their decisions. Lex Luthor's entire motivation is often singled out as an example of this; he just hates Superman and does things that are not explained very well, and the film doesn't give him a solid motivation for his actions. While the Extended Edition helped with some minor issues, the core film still suffers from a plot that seems to just make the characters act like idiots to further the plot, rather than allow it to develop naturally.
It Was His Sled: Unless you know next to nothing about Doomsday or expected Zack Snyder to throw a curveball, Superman and Doomsday killing each other will not be a shocker.
One problem for fans is that this version of Lex Luthor is similar to Gene Hackman's and Kevin Spacey's despite being a Corrupt Corporate Executive. Like them, he lacks the comics Lex's skill as a scientific genius and inventor and merely hijacks Kryptonian technology rather than come up with his own. To his credit, he was shown performing an autopsy on General Zod and surgically removing his fingerprints, so this version of Lex has some aptitudes outside of business. They just don't seem as extensive as they are in the comics.
A common complaint about the movie is that it is too similar to the previous movie Man of Steel in tone, if not darker due to the abundance of night settings. Since the movie has the same tone and feel, it left some people questioning if anyone involved even listened to criticism of the previous film's tone.
Jerkass Woobie: Batman/Bruce Wayne. While his plan to destroy Superman is horribly misguided, it isn't hard to see where he's coming from considering that he fought crime in Gotham for the greater part of twenty years, only for it to come at the cost of his sidekick dying and Gotham still having a significant criminal presence in spite of everything he's done. His envy of Superman - who has managed to not only make a substantial difference in his city and the world in a mere two years - is more than understandable, especially when taking into account of how powerless he was to do anything during Metropolis's razing.
Even fans that weren't happy with Man of Steel say that they will see the movie just because it might have Batman and Superman trading blows and teaming up.
Some fans also express interest in wanting to see Wonder Woman, Cyborg, the Flash, and Aquaman (among others) on film for either the first time in years or the first time overall. In fact, in Wonder Woman's case, 88% of audiences polled by Fandango said that they went to the film to see her debut.
Some of Batman's most... intense fanboys take some of his quotes against Superman ("You're not brave. Men are brave.") at face value, not realizing they are meant to show that Batman has lost sight of his ideals and is very close to becoming the very thing he swore to fight.
Part of it is down to the fact that the movie itself doesn't know. In some scenes, Batman's brutality is portrayed as him having lost his way after Robin's death. However, we see him about to brand Lex after supposedly being "himself" again, and again doesn't restrict himself to nonlethal tactics when rescuing Martha. Finally, there's Zack Snyder's comments over it all, where he basically says the problem is the viewers thinking Batman should be like, well, Batman, that we should "wake the fuck up" and get out of our "dream world." It's hard to say what is or isn't "misaimed" when the work itself doesn't know if Batman was once more heroic and this is the place he's fallen to, or if only idiots living in a dream world don't realize that this is how he should be, and changes its mind from scene to scene.
Misblamed: Warner Bros. and Zack Snyder taking heat for an R-rated extended cut blu-ray, mostly due to talks about R-rated superhero movies becoming cash-grabs thanks to Deadpool. This is despite the fact that the announcement came from the MPAA via a quarterly report (so not even a formal press release), which was made available on the internet mere weeks after Deadpool premiered. Snyder even went on record, when prompted by Hollywood Reporter, about the rating; he didn't expect the rating for the initial cut. He hadn't realized that the deleted sequences were too intense for a PG-13, so he happily opted to include them in a Re-Cut. The R isn't even a "hard" R like Deadpool's—it's a soft R just for intense violent sequences. Not for blood, not for gore, not for profanity (except for one use of "fuck" being used), and not for nudity. This still hasn't stopped a few people from asserting that the alternate cut owes its existence toDeadpool and Deadpool alone, even though something similar happened with the extended cut for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, a movie that Warner Bros. also produced.
Moral Event Horizon: Lex Luthor blows up the Capitol while Superman is present, while simultaneously sending Bruce several taunting letters allegedly from the bomber. Even worse, many of the people he killed were fellow Superman-skeptics and one was his personal assistant and most likely the only person besides his mother who actually liked him.
Mythology Gag: The exchange between Batman and Superman: "Is she with you?" "I thought she was with you." In the DC Universe Animated Original Movies series (based on the comics), Superman and Wonder Woman date for a while; in the theatrical version on Justice League, there is an attraction undertone between Bruce and Diana.
The scene where Clark slips fully clothed into a bathtub with Lois while she's holding a flower. Although it feels cliche, it shows that Lois can bring out Superman's frisky side; additionally, it reinforces the traditional Superman/Lois romance that certain viewers feared wouldn't exist.
When Bruce is musing in his Batcave, he glances at the old Robin costume, which has "Ha ha! Joke's on you, Batman!" spray-painted on it. It's jarring and out of place given the seriousness of the scene, but that just makes Robin's supposed death even sadder, as the Joker has stripped the poor boy of his dignity.
For some people, Lex Luthor's over-the-top portrayal is one of the movie's saving graces; providing an entertainingly evil villain who at the same time provides levity to the movie's general Darkest and Grittiest tone.
People who are more forgiving of the oft-mocked "Martha" scene argue that there's a lot more to it than the trope most obviously at play — namely, that it causes Batman to realize that he would be no better than Joe Chill if he killed an innocent man in cold blood and that it establishes that Superman is fundamentally an innocent man after all, especially with the arrival of Lois.
Nightmare Retardant: Its very hard to take Lex Luthor seriously as a villain. The combination of Jesse Eisenbergs over the top and whiney portrayal alongside the characters bizarrely comical dialogue can ruin every moment where hes meant to be intimidating.
Doomsday's appearance has drawn frequent comparisons to the Abomination from The Incredible Hulk, when actually the latter looked a lot more like the former instead of its proper comics version (mainly green with fins and scales), so it's recursive.
This isn't the first time Lex Luthor's been depicted with long red hair. Most versions of Luthor have him start out with a full head of hair only to lose it under various circumstances (Luthor here gets his head shaved after being taken to prison). He also had a large mane in the Post-Crisis 90s while posing as his own son. In fact, the movie version is directly inspired by the look he has in Superman: Birthright as a teen.
It's also been pointed out that Lex's cocky, jokey behavior in the movie is very similar to his more comedic portrayal of Lex Luthor by Gene Hackman in the Richard Donner Superman films. Kevin Spacey's performance in Superman Returns was also no differentnote Largely because Hackman and Spacey's Luthors are supposed to be the same person and the only real difference between Hackman, Spacey and Eisenberg's performances are their ages. He was also willing to put the safety of the Earth at risk for his own advantage in many storylines, including Superman/Batman: Public Enemies.
This isn't the first time Lex Luthor's really named Lex Luthor Junior, due to the above 90s circumstances.
Batman wore goggles and a longcoat over his normal suit in the ElseworldsJSA: The Liberty Files.
A Batman who kills is nothing new. MichaelKeaton's Bat almost gleefully offed criminals, and other alternate versions have no problem with also doing so, such as the Batman of Earth-51 and Crazy Steve (the fan nickname for the Batman in All-Star Batman and Robin). Even when he makes it clear that he considers killing beneath him he'll still resort to it (Batman Forever and The Dark Knight). The mainstream Bats himself was perfectly willing to use lethal force in his very first year.
Doomsday's being created from Kryptonian DNA on Earth was also in Justice League.
It was also a plot point in the comics, on the anniversary (in-universe and out) of Superman's first fight with Doomsday. Lex Luthor used Kryptonian DNA to resurrect it and unleash it on a major American city.
While many fans were shocked by Lex nonchalantly killing Mercy, it happened before in Superman: Doomsday.
Jimmy Olsen being an intelligence operative without Lois knowing, and then getting killed at the beginning, happened before in Flashpoint.
According to Screen Junkies, many things from this film have already been done in Watchmen, a previous entry by Zack Snyder. Such as rain, sex, Jesus allegories, dreams of apocalyptic disasters, the destruction of a massive metropolis, and even two characters who despise each other until they find out that they have the same name.
Thomas and Martha Wayne only appear in the opening for obvious reasons, but leave an impact all the same. Tellingly, post-release and following the ill-fated Flashpoint film announcement, there was no shortage of Flashpoint fan art representing this comics' version of Batman as Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Thomas and this comics' version of The Joker as Lauren Cohan's Martha.
Early on, there were concerns that the other Justice League members aside from Wonder Woman would be featured prominently and would distract from the overall narrative itself. Those fears were alleviated with the implementation of this trope, which merely teased their appearances instead. The Flash makes his mark in a cameo appearance during the Knightmare and once more later on in the film. Similarly, Aquaman and Cyborg get small-yet-striking cameos late into the film.
Likewise, the cameo Jonathan Kent makes in Superman's dream is also pretty memorable, not least because it allows him some measure of redemption after Man of Steel left the impression he would have disapproved of Clark becoming a superhero.
Presumed Flop: The movie not cracking a billion at the box office is often turned into "Box Office Bomb" in some discourses, with some exaggeration about its breaking even point. While it had a huge drop (from a huge opening) on its second weekend and didn't reach Warner Bros.' (quite lofty) expectations, it still ended up in profit territory.
The scene where Jimmy Olsen shows up to be killed in anticlimactic fashion is one for the film's detractors, due to how brutal and pointless his death was, and said death of one of Superman's iconic supporting characters is brought up as another example of everything wrong with the DCEU.
The "Save Martha" scene, for both fans and detractors.
Batman's warehouse fight.
The "Knightmare" sequence.
The Trinity uniting against Doomsday.
So Okay, It's Average: Going by audience ratings, the movie scores between 60 and 70 percent with most reviewing websites. Now that the dust has settled, most people (on social networks, at least) agree that it's a solid action flick that's held back by a few very detrimental flaws. Most people there seem to think the 64% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes is a fair indicator of the movie's overall quality, which is also supported by the movie's average critical rating of 4.9/10note which is not immediately obvious on first glance, due to the Tomatometer rating being the most visible representation of a movie's reception, the Tomatometer only represents the percentage of positive reviews in the total number of reviews.
Due to the film's dark, deconstructive take on what many people consider to be the archetypal heroes of comic books, this is probably the closest we'll get to a film adaptation of Squadron Supreme or Supreme Power.
The "Knightmare" sequence is basically a live-action version of Injustice: Gods Among Us complete with Superman as a tyrant and black-cloaked soldiers bearing his insignia. Snyder has even confirmed that it was a deliberate homage to the games.
In addition to the Knightmare sequence, Batman's paranoia is more or less the whole reason behind why his Expy in Irredeemable was paranoid the Superman Substitute of his world would turn against humanity.
Squick: The jar full of urine just before the Capitol explosion. Did Luthor really pee in a jar?
Jesse Eisenberg being cast as Lex Luthor was controversial from the get-go, but it intensified after fans got their first look at his portrayal in the SDCC trailer. Many felt their fears about the casting had been confirmed, i.e. that he looked too young, wasn't intimidating, and/or generally played the character as too campy. By contrast, footage of Affleck and Gadot from the same trailer actually managed to win over some of their detractors. This only intensified after the second trailer.
Many fans of the comic and animated versions of Mercy Graves were shocked to see her killed off so nonchalantly by Lex, especially since there could have been many potential plotlines involving her.
Fans learning that Lois's cameraman (who only appears for a minute or two before being executed by Knyazev) was Jimmy Olsen, and Zack Snyder admitting he did it because it'd be fun to shock the audience by so casually killing off an iconic character who he felt had no place in his film (even though most likely the majority of viewers didn't even realize the cameraman was Jimmy), despite making him a CIA spook who could have had a different and more interesting relation with Clark. His screen time is slightly longer in the Ultimate Edition.
Even those who did like the film believe that Superman, despite being a titular character, was unfairly sidelined in focus by Batman and Wonder Woman. Superman is practically Demoted to Extra in what should have been his movie, and it took the release of the Ultimate cut to really show that he was supposed to be more important than the film gave audicenes.
This video argues that the film would work better if instead of creating Doomsday, Lex had created Bizarro, noting that not only would it make Batman feel more useful in the fight, since he had prepared to deal with a evil Superman (which is essentially what Bizarro is), but Bizarro's origin is always tied to Lex Luthor - granted, there's the issue of Bizarro being vulnerable to blue kryptonite (which isn't in the film), but that could easily be Adapted Out, or explained away as a case of Early Installment Weirdness if Lex decided to create another Bizarro.
The main driving force of the early part of the movie is people questioning if Superman can be trusted after the previous film, as well as deconstructing Hero Insurance after Superman and Zod's fight caused many people to die. This is one of the few plot points setup in the previous film that actually gets used here to any effect, and serves as the major divide between Superman and Batman. Save for the actual fight between Batman and Superman, it fits the story pretty well, and yet this plot line is just dropped later into the film without any resolution. In fact, the whole plot line really feels like a reason to motivate Batman to fight Superman for real, rather than give Superman any character development, which is fine for Batman but doesn't work beyond that. Crackedsummed up the general view on the matter:
There are plenty of great movies out there that don't take sides on deep issues like how we must handle the consolidation of power given its corrosive nature. One such movie is Rocky. Another is The Little Mermaid. While those movies have some differences, they do have one big thing in common: They don't spend their first 30 minutes underlining, bolding, and italicizing the question "Can you be moral and all-powerful?" only to end with, "Well, we sure killed that monster that came from out of nowhere. Please enjoy all eight of our spinoffs/sequels."
Superman's death and the apparent confirmation he'll be resurrected happened far too soon, with the DC Cinematic Universe barely being set up yet and therefore robbing most of the impact of Superman's death which could have been done better if handled in its own future film. It became especially obvious with Justice League (2017) that this was a weak foundation for a Shared Universe since the event in question distracts from the pantheon-forming earth-shaking event that the formation of the League should be. It also loses much of it's impact because this is the second movie with Superman in it, which leaves next to no emotional attachment for a good number of viewers, since if it had occurred in another film, audiences could have felt it was a big moment.
Really, the basic premise of the film would've been enough to make an engaging movie: "an older, cynical Batman, finds his humanity again, because of a younger, more optimistic, Superman". If the film really needed a central antagonist (though that in itself is debatable), then that should've been Lex Luthor, manipulating both heroes into fighting each other without Doomsday. The actual movie is so crammed full of plot-threads, sub-plots, and teasers, that even with a 3-hour runtime it just turns into a barely-functioning mess with most of the more interesting ideas severely underdeveloped.
Which is a major sin of this film, actually. A lot of great comics storylines were used up. "A Death in the Family" becomes reduced to a suit in a case, referencing a storyline casual fans won't even know about, robbing us of a full story where Batman loses Robin. "The Death of Superman" was the biggest Wham Episode of the DC universe since Crisis on Infinite Earths, and "Reign of the Supermen" was an amazing follow-up. Superman dies in the last two minutes of this movie having never become to the world or to the viewer what he meant to everyone in those stories so there's zero impact, and the seeds of his resurrection were sown two minutes later, denying us the chance of seeing anything real come from Superman's death and rebirth. Even the main text of this movie falls into this area. The idea of Batman losing his way and returning to heroism might make a good storyline, but this movie was too busy saying "Look how edgy our Batman is, you won't see that at Marvel!" to properly show what Batman was like before, establish that this indeed isn't how Batman is or should be, or make his journey back amount to more than "Martha!" "Ok, we're buddies now!"
Particularly in the extended cut of the movie, Lois has a significant subplot where she tries to figure out who framed Superman for the deaths in Nairomi, and why. However, to the viewers it's obvious right from the start that Luthor is behind it, so the scenes with Lois' investigation don't really work as Detective Drama. If Lois would've used her knowledge as a leverage against Luthor, either by confronting him herself or giving the information to Superman, that would've provided a satisfying conclusion to her arc. But as it happens, Luthor confesses what he's done to Lois and Supes before either of them can confront him with the fact.. The information Lois uncovered probably helps to get Luthor convicted at the end of the movie, but even that isn't made clear onscreen, so her subplot has no dramatic conclusion and gets pretty much forgotten once the big brawls in the finale begin.
Instead of having Wonder Woman wander through the film in her own self-contained sub-plot before arriving in the finale, it would have been interesting if she was secretly upholding the masquerade to hide other superbeings by working in the shadows, and that she infiltrated Luthor's party to suppress the videos he found. Gal Gadot herself noted that the film's take on Diana — that she turned her back on mankind — was a mistake, and this change could have seeded in the Worldbuilding for other heroes and villains more organically, and likewise diminish some of the weird issues about Wonder Woman participating in World War I but sitting out for World War IInote Wonder Woman seems to retcon this, as she is not shown turning her back on the world, as this film claims she did . It would also give Superman's unmasking and The Reveal of superpowered beings on Earth, a major theme of the DCEU, a bigger scope, context, and depth.
With just a few minutes of footage, the opening scene in Metropolis perfectly demonstrates why some people might distrust Superman and see him as a threat to humanity, even though he was just trying to protect innocent people. But when we meet Lex Luthor (Superman's nemesis), that proves to be incidental to his characterization and motivation, and we never even get to see his reaction to Superman's battle with Zod—even though he lives in Metropolis, and was presumably there to witness it. At the very least, the movie could have shown how Luthor exploited other people's understandable reasons for distrusting Superman.
The co-protagonist Bruce Wayne and the main antagonist Lex Luthor are both billionaire corporate CEOs with a deeply personal hatred of Superman. Yet the movie never really makes an effort to present them as Foils, even in spots where it could have made their dynamic a lot more interesting. In fact, Bruce and Lex only meet each other twice in the film, and both are so short that there isn't time to give the characters a chance to debate the topic.
In the previous film, Superman's split-second decision to kill General Zod was clearly depicted as a traumatic experience that shook him to his core, and Superman still clearly considers it one of the biggest mistakes that he ever made. This film coincidentally ends with Superman fighting a mutated, reanimated Zod. Despite the obvious potential for drama in that scenario, the movie never really explores the fact that Superman is fighting the reanimated corpse of the only person that he ever killed; Superman just treats Doomsday as a mindless monster, and doesn't seem to have any reservations about killing Zod all over again.
In fact, the whole idea of Zod being Doomsday. Imagine if instead of a mindless monster, it had turned out that Zod was still in there. Round two with the only well-liked DCEU villain up to that point, now adding the ability to develop immunity to any attack used against him to his already formidable Kryptonian strength, as well as Superman facing having once made the decision to kill, and being faced with the need to perhaps do it again, finishing off the guy he still feels he failed to save last time? Instead Doomsday is just a big hulking monster that lacks any personality.
Visual Effects of Awesome: No matter what your opinion on film was, it's hard to deny that Snyder's flair for engaging imagery shines through as usual in the film. It also help that unlike with Man of Steel, this film saw Snyder reuniting with his usual DP Larry Fong. Fong is responsible for creating the highly bright Color contrast imagery, one thinks of when they think of a Zack Snyder film.
Martha's situation becomes worse once you take to mind that after years of learning how to live without her husband, she now has to face a life without her son. To the entire world her son is dead. Even though we know Superman will return in Justice League, with Clark also counted as a casualty of the Doomsday battle, it's safe to say that we might never see Superman revert to that identity again. And while the world may have Superman once more, she will never really have her son ever again.
Lois Lane goes through some trying moments as well. Following the incident in Nairomi, she has to deal with not only the love of her life being framed, but also her journalistic integrity being questioned multiple times. In attempting to clear both her and Superman's name she has to deal with red tape courtesy of Lex Luthor and the power he has over folks in the government, that and folks won't let her forget that at the end of the day they see her more as Superman's girlfriend than as a reputable journalist. By the time she's finally able to clear both her and Superman's name, Superman has already sacrificed himself to kill Doomsday. And to add to this, it's at his funeral that she finds out that he was planning on proposing to her.
Ben Affleck as Batman was probably the most controversial Bat-casting since Michael Keaton, with many criticizing his acting skills, while others resented him for replacing Christian Bale as Batman (despite Bale showing no sign that he wants to return, and the Nolanverse firmly being over). Ben himself even pointed out the internet reactions. However, when the film came out, critics pointed to Affleck's portrayal as one of the film's strongest points. Even those who disliked the film saw Affleck's performance as a positive aspect.
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, with fans decrying the fact that a little-known actress was chosen to play the most iconic female superhero in her live-action film debut. Some fans have also complained about Gadot's lack of physical resemblance to the comic book version, specifically that she has a 'fashion model' build (ie. slender, flat chested and narrow shouldered) as opposed to a more muscular and physically imposing build like Gina Carano's (with some accusing WB/DC of not considering her due to her past romantic history with Henry Cavill). Some fans were also vocal about their preference for Jaimie Alexander (Sif in the Thor films), and prior to the announcement Alexander herself seemed to be interested — though she has a similar build to Gadot, so the backlash based on Gadot's appearance seems a little hypocritical if one also rooted for Alexander. As it turned out, similarly to Affleck as Batman, Gadot's Wonder Woman ended up one of the film's most highly praised aspects and the backlash is now a distant memory.
Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. A common criticism of the casting choice was that he is way too young looking to really fit the idea of Lex Luthor, on top being a bit infamous for playing the same type of character in most films (awkward, nervous nerdy types). While Eisenberg is about the same age as Henry Cavill, the film makes him look and act like he's a teenager rather than adult, which makes it harder to take him seriously and believable as a villain. His overly hammy and manic take on the character in the final product is often singled out as the weakest casting choice in the film, and while he does his best to seem intimidating, the number of Narm scenes he's involved in lead to a number of people to say he doesn't fit as Lex Luthor. His height and build don't help either - canonically, Luthor is a tall, muscular and well built man the same height as Batman at 6'2", with Superman just slightly taller at 6'3". Eisenberg is only 5'7" or so and pretty scrawny - he simply lacks physical presence when matched up against the brawny Cavill (6'1") and Affleck (6'3") - this makes it hard to take him seriously in the role.
Superman's French VA: Adrien Antoine. While he is a good actor and is pretty good with his lines, he's also been Batman 's French VA since 2004 (The Dark Knight trilogy excluded).
While many think Batman's desert getup with trenchcoat and goggles is cool, many others think it is goofy.
Lex Luthor's shoulder-length red hair has caused its fair share of raised eyebrows. Not to mention his pimp coat.
Barry Allen's long hair (with high ponytail, in civilian dress) and mustache has had the same effect. He has cut his hair short for Justice League however.
Superman's unflattering, severely swept back hair has also been a target of scorn for making it look like he's prematurely balding, especially since Cavill has on multiple occasions been seen with more Superman-esque hair, naturally, including at the premiere of Justice League. The addition of the Man of Steel costume in Injustice: Gods Among Us further exposed the flaws of the look.