Batman V Superman Fails to Live up to Hype
Editor-in-Chief recently saw the latest superhero movie to hit the box office, and had a lot to say. SPOILERS FOLLOW
April 1, 2016
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They could not have fallen any faster than if Lois Lane had been pushed off of the LexCorp Tower. Its ticket sales dropped 55% from Friday to Sunday of opening weekend, and Batman v. Superman Dawn of Justice now owns the record for “Biggest Friday-Sunday Drop” for a superhero movie. Critics sliced this movie apart like Doomsday cutting through Superman. Comic fans believe DC Comics is now as dead as General Zod. Does the movie deserve the hate?
This movie was seen as DC’s last hope to even the score with Marvel, which has dominated the super-hero movie genre for the past four years. When Marvel’s The Avengers outgrossed The Dark Knight Rises by $500 million in 2012, it was an omen of things to come. Marvel soared to new highs, releasing a total of 11 films from 2013 to present day, while DC fell close to irrelevance by releasing just one movie (2013’s Man of Steel) in that time span. DC bid its time waiting for the release of Batman v. Superman, a movie that was supposed to make its plans to bring the Justice League to the big screen realistic.
The movie was nightmarish for a number of reasons. Maybe the most obvious reason is that the first hour and half jammed at least one full movie’s worth of plot and character development into several two-minute rushed, discoherent scenes that were supposed to provide backstory for the showdown. These scenes ultimately ended up confusing viewers more than anything. The particular scenes that follow Lois Lane (Amy Adams) investigating a mysterious bullet are just an excuse for Adams to receive more screen time, since her hunt ultimately leads to Lex Luthor, a character whose sinister agenda is already revealed by Bruce Wayne pretty early on.
Speaking of Bruce Wayne, his dream sequences are not only unnecessary, but also incredibly confusing. The Flash’s cameo at the end of the final dream sequence made absolutely no sense, since the Flash’s advice (find Lois Lane) was never actually followed by Wayne. Cameos in superhero movies work best when the cameo does not contribute much to the plot, but serves rather as a fun Easter-Egg that only diehard fans can see the potential importance of. But when the character arrives and provides seemingly important information that is never followed up on, audience members can only scratch their head in confusion.
Equally disastrous was the character of Lex Luthor. Not only was Jesse Eisenberg’s interpretation of the character obnoxiously terrible, but the character’s motivations are never fully developed. Why does he want to see the “greatest gladiator match” of all time? Is one of them getting too close to discovering that he is secretly evil? Was there some event earlier in his life that made him the maniac he is?
Eisenberg’s performance also severely damaged the character. Eisenberg tried too hard to turn Lex Luthor into The Joker. They are both very different characters, as Luthor is a cold and calculating super-genius, and not a hysterical madman like The Joker.
Perhaps one of the brightest spots of the movie was Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, a mysterious and badass character Gadot brought to life. However, fans can agree they would have liked to had seem more of the character. She appeared for a grand total of four scenes, and didn’t get the proper introduction her character deserved. Hopefully DC’s 2017 Wonder Woman will provide better development of the character.
Ultimately, the movie would have done better if a solo Batman movie were released first, a movie that would provide the necessary backstory and development of the Bruce Wayne character. This would have allowed for a less cluttered Batman v. Superman movie, since it would have been a meeting of two established characters coming together, instead of introducing too many new characters who deserved more time for development. DC should take a page out of Marvel’s book in creating its cinematic universe, and learn that patience is key. This means at least one solo outing for Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman before bringing them all together on the big screen. If this would have happened, maybe DC would have finally been able to produce the kryptonite it needs to compete with Marvel again.