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My review of BvS: Dawn of Justice

First, let me say how hyped I was for this movie. I was nuts over it.
These characters are my childhood, shit, my adulthood, more so than any other heroes.

I was so excited that for the last month I was avoiding everything about it online and Tv; of course, you can't dodge it all, but I did my best.

I was even taking the time to workout beforehand all the things I didn't understand, like or agree with, based on the trailers I'd seen (before going Dark) and telling all my friends my ideas as a way to counteract all the negative talk already circling the drain—and this was before the actual first reviews came out.

I was supposed to see the movie with one of my best friends, a Die-In-the-Cape Superman aficionado, who like me, also enjoyed Man of Steel. But I'm glad I didn't see it with him, because he was loosing faith early on, despite all my theories and how I fervently denounced hater trash-talking—mostly cause many weren't fans of the genre or didn't enjoy MoS or who wanted everything to be Marvel's take on Super Heroes—my friend couldn't be swayed from going into it with far less than modest hopes.
(It didn't help that we couldn't get a schedules right, ya know, the Life of Dads) 

SOOOOO he saw it early, like a dozen hours before me and I told him to tell me, without spoilers, if he liked it or not and he basically came away saying...

He liked it far less than Man of Steel, though he's glad for fans—basically he was disappointed more than anything. This just wasn't what he was expecting, so this kinda put a huge question mark on the whole Justice League going forward.

So, I had all of this floating in my head when I saw it the next day with my wife.
I watched it in almost near silence. When it was over, we left without saying much, she kept asking me how I felt, what I thought, so here it is....

Between 3.5 and 5 out of 10 Stars is how I rank Dawn of Justice

So, if you loved this movie, well, there's no point reading onward cause it won't matter.

Q: That's an odd Star Rating?
A: Well, I split it because I view the movie two ways 1) Story 2) Visuals
So the story is the meat of the movie—dialogue, motivations, acting but not really because they were directed to deliver those lines that way, but the plot and so on. And for me, that's a 3.5 out of 10.
The Visuals were great—costumes, almost all the scenes, graphics, almost all the action and so on, which is why I gave it a 5 out of 10.

Lets do the reverse: Visuals 1st because they're mostly positive

Ok, so, clearly the actors looked great, the costumes looked great.

And this is a pretty bad ass Bat Cave; this isn't even all of it. 


Yep, that's a sweet Bat Mobile *even if a little too obviously Urban Warfare*

Yep, that's also a sweet Bat Wing *Seems to be a shitload of Batman stuff?*

I mean, you get it, it's a damn good looking movie...for the most part; yes, plenty of scenes were too dark (not gritty) just dark and hard to see. The battle with Zodsday (you'll get this later) was really hard to see, not nearly enough contrasts, too much smoke and fire and just dark. Nevertheless, for the most part, this was a very pretty movie with some great slow motion scenes and crisp-action driven scenes, which Snyder is a master of. 

Ok, good, so this really sums up why it's a 5 out of 10. The visuals were pretty damn good, but, since I kinda lump music into visuals—no, you can't see them, but they do add to the weight of a scene—this movie didn't really have a good score and I can't remember any music in the movie that stirred my emotions anywhere near how I felt when watching MoS. 

Now, onto the hard stuff.

While I respect Snyder and his team for swinging for the fences, this movie for me had way more misses, fouls and strikes compared to the few good hits and honestly, I don't remember any scene in the movie that was a home-run for me—and that hurts to say. Hurts me more than you know.

The Failure of Trying to do TOO MUCH

Dawn of Justice isn't Dark Knight Returns

1) It doesn't have the history of the characters in-order to have the emotional-weight needed for their fight to matter, because in the movie, they'd just met. Superman's been a hero for about two years.
2) The fight in the movie isn't nearly as creative as the comic/animated movie.
3) There's a POINT to their fight, a message, a question of WHO has power and who has the Right to it—
A) The Regan Government, which Superman is an agent of; of course Batman feels this makes Superman a tool, something he should never be given WHO HE IS and what he represents.
B) OR Batman, who wants to do his own thing and feels HEROES serve to check all other powers, except the Gov has "retired" many.
—and so because their "fight" is more than just a senseless battle-royal, their dialogue during and/or their inner thoughts depicted in the comic ARE IMPORTANT. They add substance to the conflict, but the movie lacks almost all of this and instead inserts weaker dialogue, of which is basically Batman's one lesson he's learned from his parents and then the laughable of all moments in the movie...

Say whatever you want about the "Depth" in this scene, how it's the moment where Batman realizes Superman is also just a son who wants to save his mother, how it suddenly snaps him back to the loss of his own mother....but what if her name wasn't Martha?
What if she was Sue Kent?
Yeah, Superman would've died. 
Think of it this way:
The audience is pushed to a cliff (the showdown) because The "Great Detective" can't do math, and ignores his own eyes, including any/all evidence about the Zod encounter following his THREAT TO THE PLANET, on top of being a ridiculous pawn of Lex's flimsy plan to make them fight. 

Next, the audience is told to jump from the cliff (buy-into the climactic Martha moment whereby our heroes become BFFS) and don't worry, it'll all work out, because the parachute—the assumption of it all coming together via subtle nuance—will open and the amazing depth will be revealed like an atomic bomb in your mind....
Except it didn't for many people; pushed to the cliff, told to jump, I and others found ourselves without a parachute. Why? The extremely poetic trigger was silly and weak. Worse. When you realized that's all they had to get the team united, it was a joke. And Nay Sayers bark that it's because the point was missed, the depth was lost....viewers just didn't "Get It"

Bull Shit! 
We got it and it's stupid and it's beneath both of these Icons.

I love Wonder Woman, but why?

1) For the one scene that ties into her own solo movie.
2) So she can promote a mini trailer of THINGS TO COME in DCU via the file Lex ha on all the other future DCU's JL members.
3) Oh, to help fight Zodsday.

Yeah, not enough. She did great. She looked great. But, no real purpose.

LEX isn't Mark Zuckerberg splashed with Joker!

"The character is in line with what audiences want to see now, which is a more modern, psychologically realistic concept of Lex Luthor. His motivations are multifaceted; he has a way of using language that’s specific to the way his mind works; he struggles with interesting philosophical dilemmas like that of the individual having too much power, even if that individual is using that power for good. For instance, Superman has so far been using his powers to do some good, but is it safe to have someone like that walking the streets? It’s great that all of this happens in the context of a very exciting superhero movie."Jesse Eisenberg's

First, I hate this buzz word, because it's empty and meaningless, but, what about this was modern.
Does Modern = Annoying? 
Psychologically realistic?
Are you kidding me? He did a piss gag!
He has a way of using language that's specific to the way his mind works?
Yeah? WOW, that's deep.

Eisenberg's portrayal was a train-wreck.
His intelligence wasn't frightfully inspiring, which it should've been. No, he was an over confident, pseudo-intellectual douche with daddy's wallet to play with. 

I was hoping it was all an act.
That in private, the Real Lex (even an alter ego) would come out, but it never did...

This is but a taste of what we should've gotten, and no, I'm not talking about the hair or his age.

Superman, but not the one we were expecting.

He had no heart in this movie. 
He left Man of Steel on solid footing. He was becoming Superman. And yet here, it's not that being a Hero is tough, but that it's a burden and not the kind that makes Superman upset at the state of the world, the one that makes him question What's The Point. I mean, he didn't care what the people were saying about him, he said as much to Lois in the tub scene. Later he says he's been "Righting Wrongs for a Ghost, living his life the way his father saw it, thinking I'm her to do good, Superman isn't real, just the dream of a farmer from Kansas." WWWTTTTTFFFF? And why didn't Martha have anything positive to say to him? Where were all the heartfelt, encouraging scenes from MoS? Did he forget what the symbol on his chest means? How did he go from wanting to know WHO he is and WHERE he came from and WHY he's here, to just....

What killed it most for me, was the scene in congress. It was terrible. 
It didn't reveal his humanity while all around him people were blown up, showed him as a lifeless alien.
He's not Dr Manhattan. 

He's the bridge between two worlds. 

I mean, killing Zod wrecked him. 
But when innocent people died...
Also, that scene should've been the turning point where the apprehensive portion of the public was starting to come around to him, because, there was no reason he couldn't have stopped that bomb. Remember the earlier scene where Lois had a gun to her head, but instead of Eye Beams or blurring speed or Frost Breath, Superman put the guy through the wall before he could pull the trigger? 
And yes, that dude died
Ok, so considering that, why couldn't he have reacted to the Congress woman's OBVIOUS NERVOUSNESS {which the film made sure to point out to the audience} and checked out the room, put 2 & 2 together and become a freaking hero? Or, perhaps LET HIM SPEAK before congress? There were countless other scenes in the movie that could've been cut so Superman could get a word in? Ya know, one of the great things the MoS is best at, is embodying the best in us, what we could be "If Shown the Way" and at the end of his touching speech to the world about the tragedy in Metropolis, how it's effected him, there still could've been an explosion if Snyder really, truly just couldn't get around kicking The Boy Scout in the nuts.

Louis Lane, 
outside of Solo Superman, 
or unless reporting the action, NEEDS TO GO AWAY.

Way too much film time was based on her and the terrible Spy/Corrupt Gov/Political Thriller sub-sub-sub plot they worked out for her through this mess of a muddled movie. 
In MoS, her reporting made sense, it's how we come to find Superman and because she's his direct contact, she gets wrapped up into the great plot/threat during the Kyrptonian attack. However, in this movie...her reporting takes us the long long way around to what we already know.

Now, she could've been a public activist for Superman, doing interviews or reporting to "spin" the news in his happens in real news, this could've brought up conflicts in the media, how the Daily Planet is involved; she could've also LIVE FILMED the later battle with Zodsday, which could've made for some better action scenes as viewed through the lens of a camera (cleaning up the image, show us things the naked eye can't see given the speed they were fighting/moving; further shots to show scale, also, Superman could've of course rescued Lois—a trope, but it works sometimes—or she could've reported secondary damage, which Superman, Batman or WW could've contained to show their Heroic Sides) I mean, there were plenty of things for her to do. She could've had more discussions with Clark/Superman about how he's feeling, their relationship...

And the worst scene of all was the Kyrptonite Spear.
Forget that she throws it away, to then go back and get it, but then, Superman has to save her from drowning, for her to then save him from downing cause its KRYPTONITE? 
That was the most back and forth Who-is-Saving-Who? scene I've ever seen. 

What Happened to Martha between Mos and BvS?

And you don't go from this: Reassuring moment about the future

To giving him an OPT OUT. 
This scene wasn't about the realities, how failures and harsh choices for the greater good have to be made by Heroes like Superman and that letting them go unanswered (him being blamed for mass murders) to a scared humanity only worsens things.
No, this was a bitter mother pissed about how the world is treating her special, misunderstood, misrepresented little boy, saying "It's ok, screw them"

I loved the Kents in MoS, they were tough and complex, but yet they were still folksy and lovable and caring and compassionate and they KNEW and TRUSTED that Clark would one day be the SUPERMAN the world needs. That his life had a purpose and it was there job to guide him.

I don't know what Martha has become, but I know she's lost Johnathan/Jor and Lara-El's vision for a better world; and perhaps that's fine that she's scared, I understand that, but then her SON should've reminded her of who he is, where he's come from, how he was raised and what his parents in-trusted in him....unless in the time between Mos and BvS they've come to mean little to nothing. But that makes no sense!

The Batman!

For the most part, Ben did a great job. 

And while I won't tackle some issues, I have to confront this...

Trust me. I get it. It's not that Batman has never "killed" before and people often love to point to the 89" movie and certain comics or the few times when he's used a gun as examples when Batman did "non-Batman things" but Batman has always been at his best when the Line isn't Crossed.

 As a friend put it, "It's ok for Batman to put people in the hospital, it's even ok for him NOT to save everyone (karma/accidents/failures) but it's never ok for him to purposefully put people in the morgue" and I agree with this.

Though certain (short) stories have confronted the issue of killing after the fact, Superman too, the point wasn't to continue the path, but that it's the end of it—that's the final straw. Or the point of these shorts and one-offs were about HOW DID THEY GET HERE. Such stories are fantasies about our hero(s), they're philosophical wonderings, GREAT WHAT IF'S; they're not meant to be regular content, they're not the standard concept of our hero, because the heart of their conflict with the world is their Resistance to becoming what they fight. Once they give-in, it's over.

Zodsday and the Death of Superman, should never have been

I was actually excited when my theory about Zod being made into the monster came true, but then that terrible line was uttered "...he's your Doomsday" or something like that, which made me cringe. 
1) Because there was no way they'd give this major event the respect it deserved.
2) Because there was no way they'd give Superman's Death the respect it deserved.
3) Because there was no way they'd give the Aftermath of Superman's Death the respect it deserved.

Consider the animated conflict (even simplified, it's awesome; and it's been done several times)

Now consider the comic version (skipped panels)

"The Justice League International (Guy Gardner, Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Maxima, Fire, Ice, and Bloodwynd) responds to a call from a smashed big-rig outside of Bucyrus, Ohio, and follows the trail of senseless destruction which leads them to a confrontation with the mysterious creature.[2] It systematically takes the team apart, starting by throwing a tree trunk through their aircraft and finishing by punching Booster Gold into the stratosphere. Booster Gold is caught in mid-air by Superman, and declares "It's like Doomsday is here", thus providing the monster with a name.
The Man of Steel arrives on the scene, having cut short a television interview with Cat Grant in Justice League America #69. He and the able-bodied League members follow the threat to the home of a single mother and her two children, where their battle with "Doomsday" destroys the house. The League attacks Doomsday with all their energy-projection powers; the only discernible effect is that much of his bodysuit is blasted or burned off. 


Doomsday again defeats the League, causes the house to explode into flames, and then leaps away. Superman follows, after saving the small family. Superman throws Doomsday into the bottom of a lake. After Doomsday escapes from the lake bed, he and Superman tear up a city street.
Maxima then reenters the fray. Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen are sent to cover the battle for television, while Lex Luthor (then masquerading as his non-existent son "Lex Luthor II") dissuades Supergirl from joining the fight. 

The fight continues at a gas station, where Maxima rips a light post from the ground; the sparks from the wiring ignite the leaking gasoline and the station is destroyed in a huge explosion. Guardian arrives after Doomsday leaves, finding Superman and Maxima, and offers his aid.


Superman then follows Doomsday's trail of destruction (compared to that of a major tornado), waiting for an opportunity to attack. With the monster's rampage drawing closer, Lex Jr. convinces Supergirl that she's needed in Metropolis while Superman is fighting elsewhere. While demolishing an appliance store, Doomsday sees a TV commercial for a wrestling show being held in Metropolis, and after seeing a road sign for Metropolis, heads in that direction. Superman engages him and throws him in the opposite direction, where he lands on the mountain housing Project Cadmus. They brawl throughout Habitat, a living forest connected to Cadmus, bringing most of it down. When the superhero Guardian arrives, Doomsday knocks him down and leaps toward Metropolis.
Doomsday is driven below ground, where he ruptures gas and electrical mains, leveling Newtown, a large section of Metropolis. Supergirl goes to Superman's aid, but a single punch from Doomsday knocks her to the ground, her form destabilized. 

Professor Emil Hamilton and Bibbo Bibbowski, Superman's allies, fire a laser cannon at Doomsday, but it does not harm him. The local police open fire on Doomsday, but again, he is not harmed. 
Superman returns to the fight.

Superman and Doomsday lay into each other with everything they have. They strike each other with so much force that the shockwaves from their punches shatter windows. At the struggle's culminating moment in front of the Daily Planet building, each fighter lands a massive blow upon his opponent. The two titans collapse and moments later, in the arms of a frantic Lois Lane, Superman succumbs to his wounds and seemingly dies.[2] Jimmy, Ice, and Bloodwynd are also present at the end.
The climactic event happened in Superman (vol. 2) #75. The issue only contains 22 panels, and every page was a single panel, which was a structure building on the previous issues - Adventures of Superman #497 was done entirely with four-panel pages, Action Comics #684 with three, and Superman: The Man of Steel #19 with two. The entire story was immediately collected into a trade paperback and titled The Death of Superman.

It's a HUGE DEAL! Multiple issues, story lines, comics and cross overs and while I'm just giving snip-its, I'm not even including all the ripples that come after this crazy huge event.

But we got

Added to this short, basic state funeral (weak by comparison) and there's a small private family funeral.


That's right, at the end of the movie, there's a scene with the casket where the dirt on top beings to "float" like happens when Superman is about to FLY.

 Ok, I'm basically done.

Here's my final rundown of plot holes and things which should've been cut in-order to make room for more important places to tell the damn story:

1) Cut/scrap the whole opening sequence of the Wayne Murders, Bruce finding the cave (it's tired) 
2) After Superman saves Lois from being a human shield....even if they spent a few moments kissing or w/e, once they went back outside and Lois realized the guys who killed everyone were gone, obvious dirt-bike tracks, WHY DIDN'T HE GO AFTER THEM? HE'S SUPERMAN? He likely could've still SEEN THEM riding away or heard the bikes or simply flew super speed after the tracks and quickly caught up to them? It makes no sense.
*To have them escape, keeping up with the whole terrible sub-sub-sub plot of a strange bullet no one has seen that keeps Lois occupied for most of the movie, why didn't they have some Lex Tec and vanish, teleport, escape in a cloaked ship of some kind; I mean, Iron Man's armor is basically magic on screen in the MCU, why didn't Snyder feel he could, I don't know, put some Scifi into this comic movie? It was just weak writing with no creativity.*
3) How the hell was Superman setup for the murder of the villagers when Lex's goons killed everyone, with strange bullets *The one Lois uses in her sub plot* and she's a Witness and the CIA had an operative there, so likely their were drones in the sky...ya know, the ones the terrorist leader mentioned shortly before dying? 
4) How did Superman know where Lois was in the desert?
5) Why didn't Superman take back the Kryptonian ship? I mean, he stole it back in MoS, but now he leaves it in the hands of the Gov? Wouldn't he want it? Couldn't that have opened some awesome doors? Zod's key? Perhaps rebuilding Jor-El from the depths of the ship's computer? The Wealth of knowledge....*sigh*
6) When Superman rescued the exploding space shuttle, how did he arrive in time?
7) When Clark is following Bruce down stairs to confront him about Alfrid speaking in his ear, why does he pause when hearing the Spanish news cast about the building on fire? Does he speak Spanish?
8) How does Clark Kent not know who Bruce Wayne is?
9) How did Bruce not get any word of the returned checks with the creepy writing on them—given that character's relationship to Bruce—way way way way way way way way way way way beforehand, I mean, there were months worth of checks? The guy was all over the news when he defaced Superman's statute, shouldn't it have come up then? Really, all the returned checks with evil thoughts on them, all slipped through the cracks, right until the absolute last moment so the bomb could go off in congress?
10) When Bruce goes to the underground fight match, why isn't he in disguise? Forget the Detective/Batman element, just on it's face, would it be ok for Wayne Enterprises/Family to be linked to such entertainment?
11) If Superman could hear Lois scream while fighting Zodsday, on top of finding her in the desert, how come he didn't know the scream of his own mother when she was being abducted?
12) And how did Lex know where to find Martha? Maybe Superman's link to Lois in MoS, but if that's come Batman, the Great Detective, didn't already know the identity of Superman?
13) So Lex knows the identity of the JL, anyone see a problem with this?
14) Though he's no in the movie, given that this Batman kills, how is Joker alive?
15) Why did Lex even need an import license for the Kryptonite? He's working with killers and terrorists, why didn't he just smuggle it in himself? 

Ok, now I'm done.

3.5 to 5 sad, sad stars out of 10

The point is: Keep your Justice League

I already have mine



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