Daniel B. Silver


I Saw Batman V Superman and I Hate Myself, and the World

 

I'm two days removed from doing something frankly dumb and self-destructive that cost too much money and has made me furious at myself since I did it. That thing was seeing Batman V Superman with a smooth-tongued buddy, Kahlil, who insisted despite my better judgment that I needed to see it so that I could write this very thing you are about to read.

I never should have gone.

I don't even want to write this review and I never did. Kahlil, while a very talented artist who possesses an impressive repository of nerd knowledge, is a fucking Judas. He can go to hell.

Why don't I want to be writing this, you ask? Because coming up with something to say about this flaming garbage pile of a "blockbuster" that hasn't already been said by one of the hundreds of critics who have panned it is extremely difficult. It is this difficulty that makes me have to really think about specific parts of the movie that I disliked as opposed to just saying, "Wow, that sucked just as much as I predicted on the exact moment I heard Zack Snyder was gonna direct it," and devoting this valuable writing time to finishing my novel.

But here we are, aren't we, Judas?

So follow along, dear reader, as I discuss Six Things That I Specifically Hated About Batman V Superman, Ones Which I Am Pretty Sure Nobody Else Has Addressed, And If They Already Did Do Not Tell Me Because I Am Not Gonna Change Anything. This is the final draft.

(Yes, I chose six points because there are six members of the Justice League in the Zack Snyder Universe of Hopelessness and Despair. I'll talk more about them when Kahlil convinces me to see that disaster in two years.)

Point 1: The Statue is Dumb

Guess what? There is a giant, stone statue of Superman in Metropolis. Surprising, right?

At face value, this doesn't seem that egregious, that is until we remember that in Man of Steel Superman basically destroyed the entire city and killed thousands of people in his penis-measuring contest with Zod, one that could easily have been relocated to, say, a few thousand feet above the Metropolis skyline or, better yet, somewhere not directly over a major city filled with people who ARE NOT made of steel.

So, I'm guessing a large amount of Metropolis residents thought Superman was around 50% responsible for the destruction of the greater downtown area. And then eighteen goddamn months later the city council dipped into the general fund to build a multi-million dollar statue of a guy many registered voters believed to be the spaceman version of the 9/11 hijackers? ONLY IN SAN FRANCISCO WOULD THIS HAPPEN, Zack. You can't fool us.

Point 2: Superman Is a Moron

Superman spends pretty much all of this movie being a dour and lifeless dipshit incapable of thinking for one moment before acting on an impulse that is in dire need of a few more seconds of thought. I would point to his decision to haphazardly handle a kryptonite spear when other super-powered beings more qualified to play with pointy objects are readily available, but that's been covered plenty. Or I could ask why a man who can see through walls feels compelled to follow Bruce Wayne on foot to bust him stealing data from Mark Zuckerb... err, Lex Luthor… when he could just look through the floor. Not gonna bother though. How about that time when he flattens a terrorist into what I presume to be a chunky, red paste while tackling him through a cinder block wall? Nah. Not that.

Here's your proof, it is all you need, and Kahlil came up with it - though I debated not giving him credit… because Judas and all. But I did. Anyhow, Superman gets into a bathtub with his naked girlfriend wearing all his clothing, presumably to bone her, in defiance of all that is proper when one lives in an apartment building and has downstairs neighbors. Also, have you ever tried to take off shoes and wet jeans in a bathtub?

No?

Good, I guess you aren't as dumb as Superman.

Point 3: Batman Is Bad At Hiding

A quick poll! Would any of you notice if there was a blinking device that made a beeping noise on the back of your car?

Yes?

Would you notice a 6'+ man in a scary demon suit hanging out in the corner of a room that's free of furniture, curtains, those old-timey screen things ladies used to change behind, etc?

Yes?

Okay, congrats, Batman will never be able to follow you with his tracking devices. He will, however, shoot you with depleted uranium mini-gun rounds if you point a gun at his armored airplane.

Point 4: Batman Is a Rotten Detective

I know what you are thinking. You are about to exclaim, "But isn't Batman the World's Greatest Detective?" I certainly would do so, were I to not know the cold truth of the matter.

See, the greatest detectives in the world – hell, even just ones that are reasonably competent – all would figure out that Clark Kent was Superman pretty early on because, well, they look identical and… uh… I guess that's all you really need to crack the case now that I think about it. DNA evidence would help in the trial phase for some Wow Factor with the jury. Not necessary for the ID, though. Clark is clearly Superman if you know both of them and are reluctant to fall for simple charades, as one would assume a storied detective would be.

However, Batman apparently does not piece this shit together. Or, if he does, he apparently has no other questions as to how a god-like harbinger of destruction took up residence in the city that's right next door to the one he champions.  

We are led early on in the flick to think Batman is wise to Clark's alter ego, but then at the penultimate moment of the film when Batman is about to plunge a spear into Superdumbshit's chest a la the Red Viper of Dorn V The Mountain, Batman does not know that his mom and Clark's mom have the same first name - which is literally all it takes for them to become pals and let bygones be bygones even if one of those bygones is a whole lot of voluntary and/or involuntary homicide (depending on the "hero" in question).

Point 5: The Movie Has Four Acts, and That Isn't How Action Movies Work

ACT 1 (the set-up)

Superman
I am Superdumb and everyone has different opinions of my ham-fisted attempts to do good. I don't like it!

Batman
I am Insane Rich Crossfit Guy and I am pissed that Superdouche leveled the city that's across the bay from the one I like to murder people in.

ACT 2 (the confrontation)

The devious Lex ZuckerbLUTHOR (sorry, I keep doing that) emerges as the true villain all the while the handsome Dummy and psycho Night Stalker talk tough to one another.

ACT 3 (the resolution)

The two titans finally battle for like ten minutes. (Wait isn't that the whole premise of the movie…? Why didn't that go on longer?) And then they are friends because both of them - well, one still does OOH BUUUURN LOL - have moms named Martha. They high five.

ACT 4 (WTF?)

Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman fight a giant gorilla, one born in an egg sack, like a baby spider, and it lasts approximately thirty-seven, mind-numbing hours.

And now is a good time for you to watch Kevin Smith, the moderately successful screenwriter, actor and director, talk about his experience attempting to make a Superman movie for Warner Brothers in the Nineties with an insane producer by the name of Jon Peters. Trust me, it's worth watching. Enjoy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wo2KB1dEDdk

For the impatient, Jon Peters insisted the following three things be core tenets of the movie. These were his lines in the sand for what was to be Nicholas Cage's portrayal of Superman…

  1. He can't fly.
  2. He can't wear the suit. ("Too faggy" is how he put it. Real nice, dude.)
  3. He has to fight a giant spider in the final act.

 

Though Superman flies in this flick, the last two points were pretty much in keeping with Peters' vision. Superman's suit looks like it was made of dragon scales and casts dark shadows rather than hopeful, radiant light. Doomsday, the giant gorilla I talked about earlier, being in the movie feels totally clunky and superfluous. This plotline, one that in the comics results in the (temporary) death of Superman at the hands of Doomsday, is one that should have been reserved for its own movie. That is to say, if I was a studio exec and wanted to make as much money as possible, that's what I would do, but Warner Brothers is apparently controlled by eight year olds with A.D.D. and an unlimited supply of cocaine so I don't even know why I brought it up.

Point 6: The Moral of the Story…

… is that no matter what amount of good you do in the world, someone will always be a hater so you might as well just leave a trail of destruction in your wake. Because trying to adhere to morally correct principles is hard.

Just give up. Don't bother. There's no hope.

At least until a really attractive woman shows up in a short skirt and then try to be good again. I'm pretty sure she won't mind all the indiscriminate murdering you did earlier.