The Problem(s) with Batman V Superman


Batman V Superman needs to, and is desperately trying, to generate interest in the DC side of superhero films in a post Christopher Nolan world. Marvel’s most comparable film, Captain America: Civil War, simply needs to show up to be an almost guaranteed success due to Marvel’s meticulous planning with their characters years and years ahead of release. It’s an uphill battle with DC settling on having a single film in their new cinematic universe preceding this match up and introducing their Justice League while Marvel instead had 5 movies to get things in place giving me the impression that DC is definitely in a hurry. The fact that the solo Wonder Woman movie will be a prequel to her appearance in Batman V Superman just seems odd. Why didn’t DC just make a Wonder Woman movie before her appearing in Batman V Superman? The whole thing just seems a little sloppy.

doomsdayBatman V Superman seems like that relative with a substance abuse problem that takes things “day by day”. No real plan for tomorrow, mostly just being reactive rather than proactive. Batman V Superman is trying to show that it’s still cool and reliable but every once in a while it has a ‘slip’ that causes all sorts of backlash and doubt. The most recent mishap, during the holidays no less, is when the film officially revealed that there would be multiple villains for our heroes to contend with, a Lex Luthor that is wildly unrecognizable, and that ‘Dawn of Justice’ is a Justice League team up film in disguise. Of course the internet easily predicted this a long time ago and all but agreed that the Batman fighting Superman thing was the most appealing cinematic idea in the whole DC universe. Sure it was predictable that there would be a villain that our heroes would set aside their differences for the greater good but nobody cared. We all wanted to see Batman hand Superman his ass with a big budget but the recent Doomsday reveal, not to mention the humor that contrasts everything DC has done thus far, stole some of the attention from the main fight that was billed.

I get the impression that WB/DC is doing everything they can to sweep this whole Doomsday thing under the rug since the reveal got mixed responses from fans and have decided to refocus on the the whole “Batman fighting Superman” aspect that previously worked. Doomsday has been absent from marketing since and it all gives the impression that there is no clear plan for things. On the other hand Marvel has plans for plans, fallback plans, and backups for the fallback plans down to their marketing approach years in advance. They really make me feel like DC is simply hoping everything works out in the end and begins to rev up for another movie. Seriously, what will Suicide Squad offer for the greater cinematic universe narrative? Will there be anything related to Darkseid in either Suicide Squad or Wonder Woman? Are they building to a greater threat to over arch the films or are they doing things differently from Marvel in that regard?

Lex Luthor. Where do I begin? The casting of Jesse Eisenberg was weird enough but the reveal that he’s all ‘internet genius’ CEO rather than a traditional ‘corporate schmuck’ CEO has me concerned. This isn’t a slight characteristic trait change, this is a fundamental alteration to one of his characteristics. I get that they want to do something ‘new’ with the character but it is concerning. I could be completely unfounded in my worry and this could be a success on Heath Ledger’s Joker level but I don’t see it yet. Is Christopher Nolan still involved with the DC Cinematic films? Did he approve of this?

Also,I hate the art style and subdued color pallet used. This approach certainly works for adapting the Jim Lee/Frank Miller art styles but these particular approaches aren’t very appealing to me. I don’t really care for a walking talking Frank Miller interpretation of Batman that will be with us for an unknown period of time. At first it seemed cool but I feel in the long run that it seems a little hokey that this guy pretty much looks like a wrestler that’s rocking more muscles than a wrestler. I don’t really care for the Superman depiction in the comics that is missing his red underwear on the outside and foregoes the trademark S curl in the front. Wonder Woman looks fantastic but liking 1 out of 3 is just terrible.

On the good side I will admit that I do love the new Batmobile design. I do like the new TV spots, especially the one where the Batmobile bounces off of Superman like a pinball.

About Anthony Whyte

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  • Josh

    See the thing you’re not understanding here is that Marvel and DC are two completely different ball parks! Unlike Marvel, DC has the luxury of people ALREADY knowing every single one of their core characters. This means they don’t have to spend 4 movies getting us acquainted with heroes we’ve never really heard of before. Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman are THE most recognizable comic book characters in the world! Just because the DCEU is doing things differently from the MCU doesn’t mean that what they’re doing is wrong or rushed! There is clearly a very thought out plan given that they have 10 movies slated for the next 4 years. I have no doubts that the DCEU will be far more interconnected than the MCU. Becuase lets be honest, the only thing that really connects any of Marvels movies are 30 second end credit scenes. I mean heck, just going from Man Of Steel to BvS you can see how connected these movies will be. The titular focus of the film stems from all that destruction brought about at the end of mos. Its taken Marvel 12 movies to finally address The consequences of these heroes actions; when in only one, DC is doing just that! Obviously I don’t have all the answers as to how every movie on the DCEU will connect, but with the case of BvS and Suicide Squad, you have Batman who is directly connected to every single one of the villains in SS, then you have Amanda Waller who will undoubtedly play a role in Justice League, as well as The Joker and Lex who will also probably play a role in Justice League. DC has extremely memorable and beloved villains, so it’s much easier for them to carry over movie to movie unlike the one-off Marvel villains. Shoot, even though Zod died in MOS he will still play a pivotal role in BvS since his DNA is likely used to create Doomsday. So yeah, just because the guys over at Warner bros aren’t following the MCU formula, doesn’t mean that they’re destined to fail! If anything they’ll probably have more succes than Marvel when it comes to comic book movies given how popular the Justice League is worldwide.

    • Anthony Whyte

      I understand that Marvel and DC are taking different approaches but DC doesn’t promote that there’s any oversight to what they’re doing. They announced the future films but after the Green Lantern disaster who know’s what they’re planning. Not to mention that this isn’t their first attempt to make a Justice League film. The 2008 movie that was originally planned was only cancelled due to the writers strike at the time.

      Let’s also keep in mind that Batman V Superman was originally planned to be Man of Steel 2 and then somewhere along the line the plan changed to instead be Batman V Superman. IF there is a plan then it’s a constantly changing plan for sure. Not to mention the casting of their movies are questionable. Cavill makes a serviceable Superman but Affleck is still something that will be under scrutiny. Ezra Miller is still trying to justify himself as the Flash in the light of his TV counterpart Grant Gustin gaining incredibly popularity with the character. Geoff Johns is involved in all of this and the statement that their “may” be a multiver to rationalize the different people playing the same character is annoying.

      This is a cinematic universe in which Superman wouldn’t save his dad and kills his enemies, A Batman who is old, Doomsday is a Zod clone or something, A Green Lantern that won’t be played by Chris Pine, a Lex Luthor who suffers from the giggles, cats and dogs living together, all directed by the guy who brought us Sucker Punch and hasn’t directed a pleasing film since 2007. MASS HYSTERIA!

      I plan on doing another post highlighting the things they’ve done well but things don’t look all that great from the outside. Suicide Squad seems to be the highlight of their list with it being the vehicle to capitalize on the popularity of Harley Quinn. Also, I do have high hopes for Leto as the Joker as his interpretation reminds me of the Joker from the 90’s Batman cartoon.

      • Josh

        Hmm, to me this sounds like a bunch of Marvel fanboyism. Many of the points you’ve just stated are trivial things that every big film franchise goes through. Of course there will be changes! Do you think that Marvel never changes their minds on anything? They’re constantly pushing movies back, changing storylines, and scrapping movies altogether! NOW it is clear that Warner Bros has a plan for the DCEU. Maybe in the past not so much, but over the next 5 years we’ll be seeing at least two DC films every year. They obviously have a well thought out idea of what they want going forward.

        Also, of course people will always have something to say about casting when it comes to a comic book movie. At this point if you think that Ben Afleck was a bad choice for Batman, you should reevaluate what you deem as a suitable performance. He literally IS Batman! People said that Grant Gustin would make a terrible Flash since he doesnt share his likeness, but nowadays everyone is loving him! I don’t see how the same wont ring true for Ezra Miller, or whoever plays the Green Lantern. Jessie Eisenberg as Lex Luthor is the only highly questionable casting choice in the DCEU so far. But even so, everyone shit on Heath Ledgers Joker until they finally saw the finished product. What we’ve seen so far in the trailers is Lex Luthor putting on a front for his peers. Behind closed doors(and once he goes bald)
        i’m sure we’ll see more of the Lex Luthor we’re all familiar with.

        So killing a man who just decimated an entire city, and is about to kill an innocent family isn’t justified? He’s not looking to dish out his own form of justice and be an executioner. In that moment it was the only thing he could do to save innocent lives. As for his dad, it was clear that Clark wished to save him, but he also wanted to respect his fathers wishes to not out himself as this god like being. And whats wrong with Doomsday being a clone of Zod? It makes the most sense thematically speaking, and helps to intertwine the events that occurred in the previous film.

        I’m not too well versed on the movies that Zack Snyder has directed, but I do believe he directed Watchmen, 300, and Dawn of the Dead,(which were all great movies, especially Watchmen.) Dc has also made some very good movies over the past decade. The critically acclaimed Dark Knight trilogy, V for Vendetta, Watchmen, and Man of Steel(not the best, but definitely better than a ton of Marvels movies.)

        If theres a movie to be concerned about this year, it’s Captain America Civil War. After the awful AOU it’s clear that Marvel doesn’t know how to juggle a large cast. Given the fact that Civil War will have more than double the ensemble AOU did, AND will be introducing at least 3 new characters, it’s really hard to think of a scenario where everything is fleshed out in a well mannered way and doesnt feel rushed. I hope that it’s good, but honestly it looks like a tranwreck waiting to happen :/

        • Anthony Whyte

          I’m actually a huge fan of DC characters, which is why I care about this film at all. I clearly love Spider-Man above all but Batman and Green Lantern are my 2nd and 3rd favorite characters with Flash working his way up my list. I agree that Marvel does show a lot of these same mishaps but they’ve earned our confidence while the folks working on the DC side of films have yet to earn that confidence. Between the Ryan Reynolds Green Lantern and Man of Steel I’ve only mustered a passing interest in their work.

          I absolutely believe that Ben Affleck will be a pretty awesome Bruce Wayne. Bruce Wayne doesn’t worry me it’s Batman. I also felt split like this with casting with Andrew Garfield, who was a great Spider-Man, cast as Peter Parker. I hated his Peter Parker but loved when he assumed the attitude of Spidey.

          I have absolutely no opinion of Ezra Miller. My commentary was that DC is getting some flack for introducing a new person to play The Flash right when fans fell in love with the TV counterpart. It’s a bit confusing for the casual fan and going to be competing with itself in an area it may not want that to happen. Grant Gustin fans are going to take Ezra Miller to task at the sign of first failure. I love TV’s the Flash.

          “Killing A Man” - You had me there.

          A huge draw for Superman is he’s the guy that other heroes aspire to be like. I personally prefer the Superman who doesn’t kill under any circumstances and uses his intelligence and strength to discover an unforeseen resolution that doesn’t result in a loss of life. Call me a fan of the classics but this is how Superman is typically characterized and showcased. It makes hims ‘Super’.

          DC has made some great movies but also made some failures. Green Lantern, Jonah Hex, The Losers, and it’s been only 10 years since Superman Returns. I’ve never watched The Watchmen. I’m glad that they want to go the unified route it’s just that their history in film makes it difficult for these newer films to have my respect without first earning it.

          I’m not worried about Civil War because I base my opinions on films on the past work of their directors and The Russo brothers directed The Winter Soldier which was AMAZING.

          This isn’t to say Marvel is infallible as their Spider-Man movie has me a bit apprehensive as well. I’m not yet sold on Tom Holland nor am I fully on board with its director. Some films just give a bad vibe and unfortunately Batman V Superman is one of them.