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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • 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 Jason Todd, 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 Hunter Hunting 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 Clark’s death compared to Lois. Is she just better at compartmentalization, or has she been mentally preparing for this to happen all this time?
  • Americans Hate Tingle: Apparently, China really hates the film, with a decrease in 82 percent in box office during the second weekend (compare to 69 in domestic box office) and harsh criticism from Chinese websites, something that is unheard of in China for superhero movies ever since X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
  • Angst Aversion: By far one of the most common criticisms of the film is that its Darker and Edgier depiction of Superman, Batman and the world they live in is so absurdly depressing and bleak that it either makes the whole thing feel ridiculous and stupid due to how relentless it is, undermines the sympathetic qualities of Batman.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • 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 Saga 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 goes 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.
    • While many previous Batman films had been well-received, Batman’s detective skills were often put on the back burner in favor of fighting skill and gadgets. In this movie, Bruce spends a great deal of his screen time investigating who or what the White Portuguese is.
  • Anvilicious: Much like its predecessor, the film makes 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 is so preachy and unsubtle with this religious ideology that it comes off more annoying than ingenious.
  • Awesome Music: See here.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • 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 Stan of all people) who enjoyed his performance and find him to be a very entertaining villain, 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 more warmly received 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. The reception to the Ultimate cut has been so positive, that a few people actually went on Twitter to apologize to Zack Snyder for all the negative things they said about the film.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • The final shot of the dirt on Superman's coffin rising was retroactively made into one when the method of his coming back in Justice League has nothing to do with it.
    • The "Knightmare Sequence" and Flash's time-travel cameo was already confusing in the context of the film, and on initial release (since it has nothing to do with the rest of the film, and it has no influence on Batman's motives and actions) but Justice League (2017) made that into an Aborted Arc. Zack Snyder improvised that entire sequence (it wasn't in the original script) mid-production as a set-up for his original plans for Justice League, and now the sequence just works as a self-contained short film and live-action Injustice: Gods Among Us cutscene.
  • Contested Sequel: Moreso in the sense that reception for the film is all over the place than it being a divisive situation like Man of Steel. Many see it as an improvement over the previous movie, which either makes it even better, surprisingly improved, or still average. Others see the movie as one of the best comic book films ever made. There's also a group that thinks the premise was wasted and that the movie isn't good (but again, whether it's unwatchable or average is a dividing factor between these two groups). A small camp even sees 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 indicates 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 has significantly better scores among audiences than it has with critics. It has also gained a vocal fanbase that aims to prove it didn't deserve so much hate — some of it genuinely proclaims it to be one of the best comic book/superhero movies ever made.
  • Critic-Proof: Zig-Zagged. BvS opened with an expected, although below Avengers-level, blockbuster box office of $166m despite the critical thrashing (27% approval rating compiled by Rotten Tomatoes), leading to WB execs boasting in press releases how the audiences embraced the film. However, the poor word-of-mouth seemingly echoed the critical sentiments, as the film dropped off alarmingly by 69% in its second weekend despite a relative lack of new releases; even international grosses were not spared as the burgeoning China market saw a second-weekend dip over 80% for the film. Although still very profitable, there is no question that the film ultimately fell short of Warner Brothers' expectations and the $1 billion benchmark that seemed like a formality going in was never reached, as it made a total of $872 million.
  • 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.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Jeremy Irons' portrayal of Alfred is one of the few things everyone seems to like about the movie. The main reason is 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 Darkhorses Jena Malone helps too.
    • Gal Gadot’s debut as Wonder Woman was greeted with near universal positivity.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Mercy Graves. Every shot we see her in she's dressed to kill and she struts like a catwalk model.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop:
    • Martha Kent's line that just because you have great power or the ability to do good doesn't mean you should ever feel obligated to do so, especially if doing so puts you at great risk or everyone is completely ungrateful towards you for it. She isn't saying don't help people, but to make sure it's really your own decision and you aren't just doing it because you feel pressured by society. After "Comes Great Responsibility" has been brow-beat into audiences for so long, it's nice to see an alternate viewpoint of the concept.
    • Likewise, the advice from Jonathan Kent about how bad things can happen to others even when you try to do good is an important lesson for Superman to learn, since he's still grieving about the people he wasn't able to save despite his best efforts.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • 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 take it to quite insane levels by bombarding every negative review of the film with accusations that the writer is in Marvel's pocket.
      • 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're all far outdone by this and Man of Steel in terms of seriousness/darkness. Supergirl in particular is hit with this because it directly uses 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.
  • Genius Bonus: 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.
  • Ham and Cheese: Jesse Eisenberg is clearly having a lot of fun playing Lex Luthor.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • 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...
      • It gets even worse in light of an alternate version of the scene leaking where Maggie is the one Negan kills https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3hI8BumTpQ.
      • 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.
  • He's Just Hiding!: 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 hope 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.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • 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.
    • I Am Legend predicted this movie's existence 6 years before it was announced. In fact, Warner Bros. wanted to do a Batman/Superman movie before Superman Returns and Batman Begins were made, so the concept has been Saved from Development Hell. The nod in I Am Legend was from screenwriter Akiva Goldsman, who also wrote the script for that Batman/Superman movie.
    • Ben Affleck played Superman - or rather, the actor that played Superman - in the film Hollywoodland. And now he's playing Batman. And it's was pointed out on Conan O'Brien that Diane Lane was also in that film... and had a bedroom scene with Affleck. Perhaps that explains why Batman and Superman are fighting. As well, his public statement after the flop of Daredevil that there was no way he'd ever play a superhero again. Made even better by Kevin Smith saying that Affleck took on the role because it was the closest he'd ever get to playing Batman.
    • 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.
    • The senator who prosecutes Superman is played by Holly Hunter, who was previously on the receiving end of an anti-superhero law.
    • 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 glamorous model could convincingly pull off an Amazonian Action 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.
    • If you knew anything about how DC Comics produced stories back in The Silver Age of Comic Books, Perry White's method of assigning sections and headlines to his reporters would be hilariously all too familiar.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • A number of trivia card games had a question asking which actor HAS NOT played Batman: Adam West, George Clooney, Michael Keaton, Christian Bale or Ben Affleck. The intention was to throw people off as Affleck was known for Daredevil at the time, but now the trivia card is obsolete.
    • 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.
  • Idiot Plot: The theatrical cut falls into this, as it depicts multiple characters coming to very rash, stupid conclusions without much evidence, usually just to drive the plot forward. The big one is that a large section of the plot revolves around people being outraged over Superman supposedly murdering a bunch of African terrorists. The terrorists were all killed with guns, and nobody stops to ask why Superman, a guy who is publicly known to possess heat vision and super strength, would need firearms to kill someone.
  • Internet Backdraft: Despite being a polarizing movie, fans can agree that introducing Jimmy Olsen only to kill him off moments later was a choice that should have not been in the movie because it wastes a good character.
  • 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.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!:
    • One problem for fans is that this version of Lex Luthor is Not So Different from 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 extreme at best, 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.
    • Lex Luthor counts as well. He's a despicable character, no question about it, but it's clear his abusive childhood really did a number on his psyche.
  • Just Here for Godzilla:
    • 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 Batman: Arkham Series fans watched the film just to see the warehouse fight scene.

    L-Z 
  • LGBT Fanbase: A dedicated section of this films fan-base sympathize with Superman's isolation and public controversy, comparing it to what they experience.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: People were skeptical that they would kill off Superman before the Justice League movie, even with Doomsday involved. While he actually does die, it's only temporary, like in the Death Of Superman comics.
  • Memetic Mutation: Has its own page.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Some of Batman's most... intense fanboys take some of 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.
  • 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, and not for nudity. This still hasn't stopped a few people from asserting that the alternate cut owes its existence to Deadpool 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.
  • Money-Making Shot: The third trailer has the biggest one you could imagine: Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman standing side by side, ready to face the enemy. Very simple, but nothing else is really needed.
  • 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.
  • Narm: Has its own page.
  • Narm Charm:
    • 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.
  • Never Live It Down: See here.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • Regarding Wonder Woman wearing high heels, she did have those before Crisis on Infinite Earths, particularly her Golden Age version, until from Crisis onward where she wears flat-soled boots. Her DCAU version also wear high heels which is lampshaded in the Justice League episode "The Once and Future Thing Part 1" where Batman teases that "you fight crime in high heels" to which she responds, "high heels that fit."
    • 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 portrayal in Birthright, which in turn was partially based on the 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 different 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 Elseworlds JSA: The Liberty Files.
    • A Batman who kills is nothing new. Michael Keaton'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.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Thomas and Martha Wayne only appear in the opening for obvious reasons, but leave an impact all the same.
    • 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.
  • Scapegoat Creator: Zack Snyder received the brunt of negativity once the film came out. While the Ultimate Edition did partially redirect the blame from him towards Warner Bros., who cut out several key scenes, many of the film's detractors still blame him for the major creative choices like the confusing Knightmare sequence (which would have been explained later down the line in Justice League as it was originally planned, Joss Whedon rendered it an Aborted Arc) and the killing of Jimmy Olsen.
  • Signature Line:
    • "Tell me, do you bleed?"
    • To a lesser extent, the exchange "Martha." "Why did you say that name?!" is also this for the movie's detractors.
  • Signature Scene:
    • 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.
  • Snark Bait: Here.
  • 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 .
  • Spiritual Adaptation:
  • Squick: The jar full of urine just before the Capitol explosion. Did Luthor really pee in a jar?
  • Tainted by the Preview:
    • The first new picture of Cavill in the Supersuit drew mixed reactions for its similar dark and gloomy tone (though if he's in Gotham City, which will be in the film, the dour mood is justified). The first picture of Gadot in the Wonder Woman costume also drew mixed reactions for its muted colors.
    • 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.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • 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.
    • 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. Much like Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit Trilogy, Superman is practically Demoted to Extra in what should have been his movie.
      • However, said complaints minimized, once the Ultimate cut of the film was released. In the Ultimate cut, we not only see previously cut scenes that were solely centered on Superman and Lois Lane, but said scenes also helped provide a new found focus on Superman's place in the story line. As one critic said, "after the I saw the Ultimate cut, what was once a Batman movie that featured Superman, turned into the Superman/Batman two-hander we were promised."
    • 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.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The main driving force of the early part of the movie is people questioning if Superman can be trusted, as well as deconstructing Hero Insurance after Superman and Zod's fight. This plot line sets up the most interesting part of the movie save for the actual fight between Batman and Superman, yet this plot line is never fully developed beyond forced drama. In fact, the whole plot line really feels like a reason to motivate Batman to fight Superman for real. Cracked summed 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."
    • Some fans felt 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.
    • Really, the basic premise of the film would've been enough to make an interesting 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 weighted down by sub-plots and teasers, that they handicap a perfectly functioning plot.
    • 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 World Building 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 . 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 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.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: Henry Cavill is clearly sidelined in focus by Ben Affleck, but it's clear he does his best with what he's given. Affleck, Gal Gadot, and Jeremy Irons all received heavy praise for their performances. Jesse Eisenberg, however, was not so fortunate.
  • Tough Act to Follow:
    • Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot averted it because they acquitted themselves well enough. However, Jesse Eisenberg had this hurdle since Gene Hackman's, Michael Rosenbaum's, and even Kevin Spacey's wildly different versions of Lex Luthor are highly regarded by their respective fans, while Eisenberg's performance was one of the most negatively received aspects of the movie.
    • For the film itself, it faced this not from Man of Steel, but rather, the animated adaptation of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, which was the main influence for Batman's portrayal in this film. While there is a Broken Base regarding an edit in the first part of the animated movie, and the quality of the second part overall, the movie was still very well-received in comparison to BvS.
  • Unexpected Character:
    • In the nightmare, Parademons are shown, and Darkseid's presence is strongly hinted at with the giant Omega symbol.
    • Some might have called it from rumors but most people didn't expect KGBeast to show up since he's a lesser Batman villain. Many thought that Mulvey would play John Corben/Metallo, a Superman villain better-known (and more relevant) than the former because of his Kryptonite heart.
    • Doomsday's existence wasn't hinted atnote  until the December 2015 trailer.
    • Nobody expected an obscure character from the 1970's and 80's Superman comics like Jenet Flyburn to make an appearance.
  • 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.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: Batman insists he has to treat Superman as a threat to the world, even if there's only a 1% chance he turns into a bad guy. You suppose this is saying something about terrorism? In any case, it's in line with Batman making contingency plans against fellow heroes out of paranoia, as seen in Justice League of America: Tower of Babel and its Animated Adaptation, Justice League: Doom.
  • The Woobie:
    • Both Clark and Martha Kent take a lot of punishment in the final act.
      • Just before the final act begins, there's "No one stays good in this world."
      • 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 both 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 then 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.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?:
    • Ben Affleck as Batman, probably the most controversial Bat-casting since Michael Keaton. Many say he doesn't have enough acting skills, while others resent him for replacing Christian Bale as Batman (despite Bale showing no sign that he wants to return, and the Nolanverse firmly being its own thing). 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 was chosen to play 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 against a more muscular, physically larger actress like Lucy Lawless (a popular fan-casting choice during her Xena days). 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 turns out, similar to Affleck as Batman, Gadot's Wonder Woman is one of the film's most highly praised aspects.
    • Jesse Eisenberg has been cast as Lex Luthor. Common criticisms being that he is way too young and for the fact the role was not given to Bryan Cranston, a fan favorite because of his role as Heisenberg in Breaking Bad. Eisenberg is actually about the same age as Henry Cavill since both were born in 1983, and in some versions Luthor and Superman are about the same age, but people are saying that he looks too young. The other criticisms are that, while Eisenberg is certainly a fine actor, he has somewhat limited range and tends to play nerdy, awkward types (though many who saw The Double changed their tune). His performance in the actual film ended up being divisive; some appreciated his manic, awkward, hammy take to the role, while others felt he was annoying and lacking the Magnificent Bastard-elements associated with the comics version's Villain with Good Publicity.
    • 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 for the past ten years (The Dark Knight trilogy excluded).
  • WTH, Costuming Department?:
    • 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.
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