BEWARE OF SPOILERS! This article contains them, and now you’ve been warned. No complaining if you haven’t seen the film and read something you didn’t want to know.
So I finally saw Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, after someone whose opinion I trust and often share suggested everyone see it with an open mind and give it a chance. And the truth is, I kind of liked it. Yes, it has some major issues. No, it isn’t a great film. But it is what it is, and I enjoyed myself while watching it. I know what you’re thinking…”How can that be, Christopher J. Valin? The critics have told us we have to hate it!”
I’m fully aware that the darkness of this film is one of the major complaints of a lot of critics and fans. I’m not one of them. I love dark movies (my favorite film of all time is Blade Runner, and my favorite Star Wars film is the darkest one, The Empire Strikes Back). If I were a Superman fan, I’d probably be upset because it doesn’t feel like a Superman film. But I’m perfectly fine with it, because I’m not a Superman fan. I haven’t liked a Superman film since Superman II over thirty years ago. So I watched it as if it were a Batman movie, and as such, it was fine. Also, I think characters have to change with the times, including Superman. I liked what Perry White said about, “Maybe if it was 1938…”, and what Superman himself said about Superman being the dream of a Kansas farmer. I think they’re right.
Also, let me get this out of the way: I agree with many of the criticisms, but I’m not going to repeat what’s already been said ad nauseum, except for one other thing. I hated Lex Luthor. And not for the reasons I’m supposed to hate him. I think Jesse Eisenberg was the wrong choice for the part (by a long shot), but I don’t blame him for my hating the character. I think they wrote Lex a certain way, and Eisenberg probably played the character just like he was supposed to (unless he pulled a Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Carribean, and as far as I know, he didn’t).
Luthor isn’t an evil psychopath. He’s an egomaniacal genius who thinks he’s a hero for protecting the world from a powerful alien who could become a tyrant or destroy the world. How they could possibly have another Lex Luthor along the lines of the Kevin Spacey version after seeing what a complete failure that was just boggles my mind. There are a lot of stories about how they almost chose Bryan Cranston for Lex. Can you imagine?
Here are ten reasons I enjoyed the movie Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
(1) Batman kicked Superman’s ass. He really did. In fact, he was literally about to kill him, and very well could have. I’m glad he didn’t, and I don’t think he should have. But he could have. As a huge Batman fan, I’m constantly asked how I could think Batman could possibly beat Superman in a fight. From now on, I’m going to just tell people to watch this movie.
(2) Wonder Woman was awesome. I wasn’t familiar with Gal Godot, but she did a great job, and I think they made her a cool character. I just wish she was in it more.
(3) Jeremy Irons rocked the part of Alfred. Alfred is an important character in any Batman story. And Jeremy Irons was excellent. This was an Alfred I recognized from the comics, and more along the lines of Alfred from the Gotham TV series. Michael Caine is a great actor, but when I saw him, I just thought, “That’s Michael Caine.” Not so with Irons.
(4) Ben Affleck was a suprisingly good Bruce Wayne/Batman. Yeah, I’ll admit it. I was one of those whiners who complained when they chose Affleck to play Batman. I mean, it took over ten years and a damn good Netflix series for Daredevil to recover his good name after the fiasco that was the 2003 film. Bale and Keaton were fine, but I felt like this really was the character from the comic books I grew up with. Speaking of which…
(5) It had some cool stuff from The Dark Knight Returns. TDKR is my favorite comic/graphic novel of all time. And, even though it didn’t completely follow Frank Miller’s story line, they did pick out some good moments, as well as the armor. It kind of makes me wish they had just made that story.
(6) It had some cool stuff from Injustice: Gods Among Us. Injustice is one of my favorite video games (yeah, I know it was a comic also), and has a great story that goes with it. There are questions about whether or not Bruce Wayne was dreaming (it’s known as the “Knightmare” sequence), or whether the Flash traveled back in time, and what Bruce saw was the future. Personally, I think it would make for a great movie later on.
(7) The Batmobile. The Nolan Batmobile was pretty cool, and very realistic (I’ve even seen one up close), but it definitely wasn’t the car from the comics. I liked this version a lot because it still looked like it was powerful and built like a tank, but it had that Batman style to it as well.
(8) They weren’t afraid to kill off characters. And I’m not talking about Superman, because we all know he’s going to be back. It’s usually a sign of a good story when characters aren’t safe. And at least two pretty major characters were killed in this film. Mercy, Lex Luthor’s bodyguard/secretary, and–I’m not sure how many people actually realize this–Jimmy Olsen. When I first saw the photographer that was with Lois, I assumed it was Jimmy, but then when he was shot in the head for being a CIA agent, I figured it wasn’t (they never actually said his name). But, sure enough, it turns out Zack Snyder had decided the DC Universe was too crowded already, and that killing off a beloved sidekick would make a strong statement.
(9) Batman’s Gotham By Gaslight costume. Gotham By Gaslight is one of the best Elseworlds comics, and the suit from the Knightmare sequence is pretty damn close to the Steampunk costume Bruce wore in that story. I mean, c’mon, who doesn’t love goggles?
(10) The scene where Batman saves Martha Kent at the warehouse. This was my favorite scene from the movie, and again showed the Batman I grew up loving in the comics.
And that’s not even a complete list. If you haven’t seen the film, I suggest you go in with an open mind. Not high expectations, mind you, but an open mind. Maybe you’ll enjoy it, too.