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Article – What Went Wrong With Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice?


Posted April 17, 2016 by

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What Went Wrong With Batman V Superman

This Movie was supposed to be the greatest, most mind blowing thing that I had ever seen in my life! This better be the greatest movie ever made, I said to my self as I walked into the cinema, but it wasn’t. To be honest I’m not quite sure what it was, it’s not all bad, and it’s not all good. It’s just a far too debatable movie. It’s received a critical bashing, not least from reviewers on this very site, “bad on so many levels” one of them said. But what I really want to know is, where did it all go wrong? Recently Warner Brothers have begun reshoots on their next big DC blockbuster, Suicide Squad, presumably to try and avoid another critical panning. I realise now that word of mouth amongst main stream general audiences is a very powerful force. People need to hear good things said about films round the water cooler at work in order to be compelled to see them. We must now turn our attention to the rather awkward question of where or whom upon do we place the blame.

It would be easy to simple blame Zack Snyder for everything. No doubt some will, and have, he is a very visual director, so much so, sometimes it’s at the expense of everything else. The visuals are very glorious to look at, and film is a visual art, so technically he did his job. So I propose we critic others involved, we must turn our critical eyes to the writers, who have clearly and literally lost the films plot. The very mention of Batman and Superman in the same film at the same time, was likely thought to be more than enough to make it the biggest epic smack down in all cinema history. But again, no, it turns out that you need a very good reason to get two legends in the ring together.

It’s a very good reason indeed that the years other big epic blockbuster, Captain America: Civil War does have. With a storyline adapted from the comic’s rather than just made up, it’s what fans want, good reasons for things. I had previously thought that having political sub plots in superhero films was a waste of time, completely not needed, it’s good vs. evil right, what more do you need? Although it seems now, that if you get the right political sub plot in your superhero movie, then you’re on to a winner. I should say at this point, I am actively trying to avoid spoilers, even though I just told you both of this years big superhero blockbusters have political subplots, if that information ruins the films for you, then I apologies, silly me.

A long time ago, before Batman V Superman had moved forward in terms of production, there had been riots in the streets, after Ben Affleck was cast as Batman. I know this to be true, because I started one of those metaphorical riots in the cyber streets that we all live in these days; yes it’s true, I was not happy. It took some time to sink in, I will still never agree that he was ideal for the roll in anyway, that said, he could have been worse; he did give a reasonable performance in the end. So much so, it seems he’s being allowed to direct and star in his own solo Batman film. Hard to except considering one of the few things Snyder got right was Batman’s action scenes. Why does no one at Warner Brothers or DC seem to know what works and what does not?

The general consensus is that Batman V Superman will not make Warner Brothers the desired amount of money they wished for. Would it kill them to let some fans in, maybe get some ideas from them, or better yet, get some new writers. Another major critical weak spot was the films lack of humour, its main star’s moping around, doing there best to say meaningful, important things, with the exception of a lively Jesse Eisenberg, whom we’re unsure if we’ll see again. While we’re on this subject, Wonder Women was great, although her solo film has a lot of explaining to do, now that I think about it, all of the future films in this cinematic universe have a lot of explaining to do.

You may consider this article a kind of non spoiler review if you like; honestly I could have spoiled a fair bit because you’re not missing much. In fact, please go and watch it, then return and tell me what the plot or story is, because it eclipsed me. Of course we see Eisenberg’s Luthor getting up to no good, but we’re never clear on why, and he’s not the only character with hazy motives, it seems only Jeremy Iron’s Alfred is clear on what he must do, be an appropriate guiding father figure to a very stubborn Bruce Wayne.

Perhaps its best not to think about it to much, just let the eclectic brooding mess wash over you, and if you can do that, there’s plenty to be enjoyed. Although don’t think the actual fight itself will be enough to entertain you, it takes up little time in the two and a half hour movie, and even less time in the over three hour long R rated cut. That’s not to say you won’t get your money’s worth, because you will, Warner Brothers spent so much money to make the film, that despite everything, it’s worth it. Even if you don’t like it in the end, but I think their will be parts of it that you will like. More importantly I’d like Warner Brothers and DC to keep going, keep trying, their nearly there, the ultimate goal, that all important Justice League movie is the one that really matters, keep the good stuff, chuck the bad stuff. Too often are things rebooted and too long does it take, I want my hero’s now Warner Brothers, and if you need help, then just ask.

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Written by:


Michael Fraser
Work Experience Contributor

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One Comment


    I think a lot of the ‘disappointment’ comes from the naivety of the uninitiated audience and critics with which I suppose the film should have aimed to appease more. With Marvel dominating the summer blockbuster season and the superhero genre with different heroes but generic and similar story lines/arcs, the casual movie-goers are wary about which films they go and see and why. People don’t know the story-lines behind the characters so are perplexed by the fact that Batman could beat Superman in a fight as proven by the comic story-lines and because of word of mouth, people aren’t convinced of the film itself when they go and see it because they’re already sceptical and already have a predisposition about it, so therefore are unwilling to conform to what Warner Bros. are trying to do with the superhero genre. This also stems from the critics wanting to see more ‘fun’ in the film, missing the point of what DC Comics actually do, providing darker heroes with darker stories. If Snyder had made the film ‘fun’ it wouldn’t have been much different from the Marvel films which is what audiences are trying to avoid in the first place. His stylistic vision and creative casting choices also divide this film from Marvel and they’re also not conforming to the standard ‘cinematic universe’ map laid out by the Marvel films. Snyder has said that Man of Steel, Batman v Superman and The Justice League Part 1 is more like a trilogy, this is different from the Marvel model which comes in their ‘phases’, it’s effective but blocky whereas DC aren’t doing that. Batman v Superman was not a Man of Steel sequel, nor was it a Batman film, it was a DC film, a film contributing to this darker, stylised universe being created to represent the darker side of the comic book world and arguably, this is one of the most comic book accurate superhero films that has ever been released, setting aside the stylistic changes to make it different from all the other generic superhero films. What this film is above anything however and the main reason why it should be seen by the masses, is because it’s cinematic history.

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