What a dumb article! Out of its many pages, it really only spends a little more than half defending Superman Returns, an even then it doesn't do it outright and makes no real compelling argument for the film, just kind of apologising for it and suggesting it's not as bad as we think ("watch it multiple times" is mentioned at somepoint...no, one shouldn't have to watch a film many times over to begin to enjoy it; this is the same as just becoming numb to something rather than finding it excellent to start off with).
And it's still nicer than anything Ben's ever said about Superman Returns.
Yes, SR is just an evil movie, pure and simple, whereas BVS is just frustratingly inept in its bloated, full of itself and downright pompous self-indulgence that takes itself way too seriously.
It would have actually been nice if someone had made a Batman vs. Superman movie, because the characters in this film were certainly not the Batman or Superman I've ever known from any comic or screen outing, including live-action TV and animation.
And, heck, it would have been neat if this movie called Batman V. Superman actually had Batman vs. Superman for any length of time! After more than an hour and a half of talky set-up, they literally fight for five minutes, shorter than Superman even fought himself in Superman III and with less meaning or enjoyment than that sequence too!
And then they suddenly stop because - and I kid you not - they realise that their Moms both have the same first name!?!!
Seriously...that's what stops the fight: Superman blowing his identity to a sworn enemy to disclose something that reveals his Mom's name Martha, which freaks Batman out into breaking down in the equivalent of "hey, that was my Mom's name too! You must be okay! Hey, let's be pals then!", and then they're best buds. Just like that.
Somewhere in the world, Wolfgang Petersen and George Miller are having the most wonderful laugh. This thing took something like 15 years to come together, and when we get the film it's not really Superman or Batman in it and they don't really fight. Instead we get a nonsensical beginning, which clearly sets things up as a sequel from Man Of Steel (or else anyone coming to this without having seen that will not have a clue what is going on), in which Bruce Wayne races from Gotham to Metropolis to...what...try and save people from his building there?
Doesn't he think to immediately become Batman and wear some kind of Bat-apparatus that'll help him breathe in the dust and debris? That I could buy. But being just a man running right into that carnage? Why does he think he's going to be able to do? He's certainly going to get some kind of lung failure from running into the smoke and dust of a collapsing building! Why not just have Wayne already be in his Metropolis office when the Superman/Zod battle begins? It just seems bizarre that he sees the battle occurring and races into Metropolis on his own without any Bat-backup. This may be trying to say that Bruce Wayne is selfless and brave, but he's not that...he's clever and smart and knows that he doesn't really have a chance to do anything without his Bat-gadgets, and yet he tosses all that aside to run towards a building that he already knows he can't save because it's crumbling down the street in front of him!
Okay, so let's say that he does that. But then it takes him over two years to work up to taking on Superman? So in that two years, the two of them never meet? Never bump into each other? With all the stuff apparently going on in Gotham and Metropolis, these two have never encroached on each other's "home ground"? Does Superman, being an international superhero, even have a home ground? It just seems lazy storytelling that after building up the animosity towards Superman, that Batman then leaves this aspect alone.
And what is with Batman? Does this indeed pick up after Nolan's films? The suggestion is that it does because Bruce and Alfred - who actually ends up doing more Bat stuff than Batman himself!? - keep talking about being tired after doing this for twenty years and make a couple of are they or aren't they references to those films. But then again, in another indication of this film's total contradictory tone, this Batman doesn't seem to have been around that long, with people still calling him a vigilante. Or is it supposed to be that he's only just started operating in Metropolis? In which case hasn't Superman thought to flip over to Gotham to confront Batman long before this in the two years he has revealed himself?
At this point I'll just mention the Gotham / Metropolis geography. While not perfect, it's admittedly not as bad as just having a "river" separate the two. They're definitely huge land masses many miles apart, not far off the Manhattan and Boston equivalent that's been suggested, going by the view of Metropolis as seen from Gotham. I mean, to be able to see the whole city from one vantage point suggests it's a good couple of hours away, which again will annoy some when it appears Bruce makes his way there by car within minutes. It does look like water separates the two, but I took this to be that both cities are coastal and the water is essentially what we can see of the Atlantic, which does then wind it's way inland between the two. But it's not a river in the way the Hudson or the Thames is...this was definitely a huge divide between the two cities...not that this really defends the film.
That the handling of Gotham and Metropolis is one of the better aspects of BVS isn't saying much, then! Both title characters are so far from their origins as to be different characters completely. Batman is, bluntly, a bit of an idiot, while Superman is anything but super and does not one truly Super thing in the entire film (despite a montage that shows him pulling a freighter ship through ice? Oh, how super! Not). In the time since Man Of Steel/the beginning of this movie, what has Superman really done to warrant the affection he seemingly has? And where has Batman been during this? Has he recently come back from his break in France with Selina Kyle and decided to rejoin Alfed in the Batcave - or whatever that place was - following the apparent death of Robin?
It really does seem that an entire movie's worth of events is missing from between Man Of Steel and the "two years later" of BVS. Maybe a future outing will fill in the gaps - certainly they need to explain that indecipherable Flash appearance, which like so much else of this movie is a real WTF? moment. Speaking of which...how the HECK did Bruce Wayne, or anyone for that matter manage to build that Batcave-thing under the ocean (or some lake or wherever it was supposed to be)? Yeah, it makes for a cool toy, but seriously...how was that thing constructed!? It certainly wouldn't have been in secret, so they're saying that someone bought a huge mass of the ocean, excavated it and installed at least a mile's worth of tunnels and also worked out a system to redistribute the tons of gallons of water that flood in every time the entrance is exposed? And laid power and communication pipes into this location? What? What...!?
Even from this technological improbability, Batman spends his time worrying about some name that he's trying to identify, having to break into Lex Luthor's party to copy his hard drive so that he can work it out...even though a Google search would have just given him this information had he just thought to try it. Seriously, the way Wayne and Diana Prince use computers in this movie, you wonder how they get to grips with any technology at all.
So Bruce goes all James Bond to clone Luthor's drive, even jumping into a Bond like car to get there, and then the mysterious Diana Prince whips it away from him right under his nose! At least, we must assume this is Diana Prince, since apart from a vague mention by a car valet, she is never introduced to anyone else or given a proper introduction to us, not even later on as Wonder Woman.
It's not long after this that the film begins to fall apart, and we're probably still less than an hour in. Finally Lex is going to get the plot moving by getting his hands on some Kryptonite...not that this has really been explained that it could prove effective as a weapon on Superman. Again, there's a whole movie missing that sets up this film, it's events, it's reasonings and just how the characters know things that they really shouldn't and have never been explained (how is it that Lex knows who Martha Kent is? Does he know Batman is Bruce Wayne? Are there any secrets left at all by the end of this mess?).
At this point the film becomes Revenge Of The Sith, just going through a series of box-ticking scenes because certain things have to happen in order for the film to have any kind of point at all and work towards an ending. So Lex brings back Zod, again all too easily and without knowing how and what the outcome might be, now CGI'd up as Doomsday, in a scene in which I thought it could have been cool if he'd lost his hair as a result of meddling with poorly secured Kryptonian matter instead of how it does, or rather doesn't, happen (and, thus, not even making Lex Luthor Lex Luthor in this version).
And, really, the people of Metropolis didn't think to ask Superman to move the giant great alien ship in the middle of their city? They seriously just built a huge canopy over the top of it and this didn't spook them or bit or make them think this could come back to bite them on the butt!? They kind of deserve all that carnage, don't they?
Not that there's so much if it this time around. Well, there kind of is, but we kept being told "this place is deserted" or "it was abandoned years ago" just to put jittery audience members' minds at rest in case they think more made-up CGI people might get hurt. As such, there's no real peril or high stakes at play.
So, eventually, Batman meets Superman and they scrap. Of course Batman uses Kryptonite to weaken Superman, though again I must have missed how this would work was explained. Or that it seemingly comes as no shock to Superman, who never once questions now his powers have vanished...not that they really vanish, they just weaken a bit, since he's still able to swing Batman and his heavy metal armour around and into solid walls...actions that, special suit or no special suit, would still have resulted in Bruce Wayne fracturing if not breaking several bones in his body or at least snapping his spine.
And then, just as they have started scrapping, they stop. After less than five minutes, seriously because of the Mommy thing. And before they have time to kickstart a bromance, Doomsday comes along - on a deserted (don't worry, people!) island thingy in the middle of Metropolis, somewhere - to...do what exactly? Wha...? Didn't Lex get the ball rolling on this before he knew the outcome of the BVS fight? Just how dumb are Superman and Batman to not notice they were being played by Luthor all along? And how did Lex actually make his plan work? It really does just all feel thrown together.
So Doomsday, who does just look like an Orc on steroids, goes ape...and of course then BVS turns into B&SVD, with added a Wonder Woman...not that she's called this or even really acknowledged! It's true that she does freshen up the movie, but by now it's way too late (we're less than twenty minutes from the end, and she's Wonder Woman for about less than five minutes). Doomsday actually cracked me up in how they didn't know how to make him big or scary, seeing that we've seen this all before. So they literally just have him explode with energy and the screen goes ballistic with light, energy and sound rumbling, as if bigger and bigger and bigger is better, better and better! It's just nuts...as if they didn't know what to do and just scribbled day-glo yellow marker all over the film.
And then it just kind of...ends, in an Inception kind of way that doesn't surprise or feel emotionally weighty enough, despite the heavy, heavy, heavy handed nature of what we've just been pulled through.
Of the other elements in the film, it's wise that Hans Zimmer wants to give up scoring superhero movies. I didn't think his score for Man Of Steel was anything but drums thumping combined with a riff on United Artists' early 1980s logo, while this just did the same and was so nonedescript that the only thing to remember is the piano theme from MOS. I did like his Amazing Spider-Man 2 fanfare, but he's never really been one for soft melodies and while his heavy hard hits can be good for a film like this I think he's played out about as much as he can come up with in this genre. And has been said here, the use of the electric guitar theme for her *every time the action keeps cutting back to her* is actually pretty laughable, as was a dun-dun-daaaaaan moment in the score at one point that started the giggles.
Of the cast, Amy Adams is again all wrong for Lois Lane, basically being waaaay too nice and on the edge of tears for what seems the entire movie! Seriously, I thought she seemed like a little girl in a big, big world and so insecure and about to break down in every scene...or at least those few that she was in. As for Gal Gadot...well, ho-hum. Yeah, she looks cool in her, um, "enhanced" WW costume, but the girl really doesn't have any Wonder Woman boobs and looks pretty awful in a series of gowns she wears two or three times in the film before WW appears. One dress actually does nothing but draw attention to the fact that she's fairly none too Wonder-ful in this department, which I felt wasn't too fair on her. She would have been better off with smart suits or something to help her figure, because the implication, when we do finally see WW, is that her boobs grow when she changes!
And again the way she reads her email...dramatically one line at a time for drawn out effect, is just so dumb played out. It makes everyone in the film look technologically inept. And what's with the Justice League commercial at this point? It's seriously just thrown in there, like it could have been inserted anywhere in the movie and it just dropped three, without any rhyme or reason. Was this a Luthor file? So we can take from this that he knows all about other super beings our there? How'd he come up with that? Did he really have any purpose at all?
And just who was Lex Luthor anyway? As with everyone else, he certainly wasn't the character that we have known for decades. He was just a whiny hyperactive kid who could never stand up to even Clark Kent or Bruce Wayne, let alone their alter-egos. I'm almost not offended by the performance here either, since he was just so out there and in a different movie that he barely registered for me. And his character was such nonsense that he held no menace or surprise to the entire endeavor. Lex was seriously almost a non-entity in this movie and where he came from or anything he said made little or no sense whatsoever.
So...there you have it. It's not a film I hate like Superman Returns, but it's not a film to love either. I asked a pal - often an apologist for the worst crap - at the end what he thought and he said "oh it was okay (standard answer), there were some good bits" but when I pressed him and said "okay, name one. Name one good bit", he looked blank and couldn't come up with anything.
And that says it all. As such, this'll always now be called Super-Batsh*t between us. And *that* says it all!