Review of Batman v Superman: A Darker Look Into the Superhero Psyche

WARNING: This movie review contains spoilers.

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Before you read any further, be warned that this review contains spoilers. If you haven’t seen the film and you don’t want to know what happens, but you would still like to read up on how “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” fared, I suggest reading this spoiler-free review of the film.

I’m gonna go right off the bat (pun intended), and go right into it. The movie felt three hours long but it was worth every minute. While critics have panned the movie, this may be a more biased review because “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice” was undoubtedly a fan-service film.

This movie had Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns (TDKR) written all over it. While it truly is an original premise, you can’t miss the visual style and story elements all over the movie. Right on the outset, the opening scene, while all too familiar, was done in the style of TDKR. Notable elements include: the Dark Knight Returns cover shot, the Michael-Jackson-Thriller-corpse-like Superman after the nuke hit, and (although roles were reversed) the apparent death of Superman. But one of the most important TDKR influence was the way Batman was portrayed.

Batman v Superman Character Review

“Batfleck” and The Superman

Critics, fans, and viewers alike have had much to say about Affleck’s Batman. We’ve certainly been convinced that this is not the Nolan-verse Batman nor a non-lethal one at that. But that doesn’t make the “Batfleck” a bad one.  After twenty years of crime-fighting, Bruce Wayne has become a more “war-weary” and brutal Batman. These superheroes, after going through a crucible, can take on a different and darker facet than what we’ve become used to. Although it would have helped if we had a bit more background on what happened to him (Batman standalone movie, I guess?). Instead of the usual colorful and witty superheroes we’re being served with (I’m looking at you Marvel), we get a darker, grittier, and deeper superhero psyche. Think Watchmen. (Another wholly underappreciated comic book movie.)

8 Comic Book Characters We Cannot Wait to See on the Big Screen Ben Affleck Batman

What some people seem to miss is that this Batman, much like Man of Steel’s Superman, should be treated without the bias of previous films or the comics. With the many movies that have portrayed these guys, BvS certainly wanted to bring in a different perspective. Which is also maybe why Superman isn’t the charismatic big blue boy scout he usually is. This is a world where he is both revered and hated. A plot element that is given more attention. He constantly saves people, only to be perceived mainly as a threat by most. Like his mother said, “You don’t owe this world a thing”. He may not be the Superman we’ve been shown again and again, but he certainly still has heart.

Damsel Under Stress: Lois Lane

They definitely played the damsel in distress card with her one too many times. Yes, she’s made to be a hard-hitting courageous journalist who goes off on her righteous crusades. But she is also ironically a weakened female character who needs Superman to save her every time she does something, forgive me, stupid. It’s like Wonder Woman’s presence (albeit a short one, but that bad-ass final fight scene, though) as a new herald for a generation of strong female characters in the DCU films, was glossed over by Lois Lane.

Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor

While I did not question the choice of personality changes of key characters, his looks like a bad choice. We see a more unhinged Lex Luthor. A genius, true, but one who seems to be struggling to contain his psychotic tendencies. He was more of a manic, fidgeting, rambling remnant of the annoying Facebook guy. He was noteworthy in some parts: his scene with the senator and his evil plan speeches with Superman. You can just feel his murderous megalomaniac streak seeping through him, but then we lose him again in the rest of the movie. He went full bat-dope crazy. Close enough to run with the Joker. And not in a good way.

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Batman vs. Superman Storyline and Direction

Now going over the story, continuing from Man of Steel, the destruction wrought by Zod & co. and well, Superman, has taken the world into a new era. The film takes on the political and social repercussions of Superman’s existence which is effectively used to set the stage for the movie and its characters.

The storyline is not without fault. It is at times, disjointed. Which can be chalked up to bad editing. Leaving you with a sense of bewilderment. Confusing dream sequences seem to dominate this film. This was also certainly used as a springboard for the DCU films they’re planning, albeit a bit too much. Especially with that lazy introduction to future superheroes coming in to join the fray. That part could have made for a great mid- or post-credit scene. But then again that would be too Marvel.

"Batman v Superman" Special Block Screening at Resorts World Manila Official Trailer Wonder Woman DC Movie PMCM

Even though some parts were made to excite, sadly, only die-hard fans could actually understand them. The out-of-place apocalyptic sequence, with the huge omega symbol, the parademons. They all reek of Darkseid. Add in Luthor mentioning that “He’s coming.” Flash’s speed force warning cameo also leaves the average viewer nonplussed. The entire vision and warning sequence leaves the fans with a taste of an Injustice-like/Darkseid apocalyptic universe. They may definitely be a glimpse of what is to come in future films.

Lastly, I think the score deserves special mention. Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL provided kick-ass music for the film. Most especially, my personal favorite, Wonder Woman’s theme when she shows up for the final battle.

The Verdict

Overall, Batman v Superman, was undeniably one for the fans. While it left a bad taste for most, even for some DC fans, this film in my opinion is one for the books. DC/WB had a lot of balls to go in this direction. We’ll see how long they can keep this up and if they plan to go this dark in each of their films. Watch out for Batman next in Suicide Squad coming out later this year!

The special screening event of “Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice” at Resorts World Manila was made possible by PMCM Events Management and WheninManila.com.

The event was sponsored by Kettle Korn, You C1000, Gluta-C, Morringa-O Malunggay, Lotus Biscoff, Hygienix, Yoshinoya, Pepero and Rockport.

"Batman v Superman" Special Block Screening at Resorts World Manila Official Trailer Wonder Woman DC Movie PMCM

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