Sunshine, Light, and Joy

 

This is a post that I've been thinking about for awhile. Recently, I opened up the discussion to other members of the staff to get their feelings on the matter, and their opinions generally matched mine, which is this:

Within the last year or so, there's been a steady increase of negative posts in movie threads. We've always had some heated discussions for some movies, but recently things have not only gotten more histrionic in those threads (generally speaking, the CBM ones), but they've started to spread to other franchises and other movies as well. I'm not talking about out-and-out trolling, I'm talking about members feeling they have to consistently shit on a movie (or studio, or star) simply because they aren't interested in the current project or projects. With every piece of news about a movie, it's now a virtual guarantee that there's a flood of people rushing to say they think it sucks, they don't like the current trailer/tv spot/actor/actress/director/concept. And I get it -- we all have movies we don't like, movies which we think are bad ideas, industry people that just don't appeal to us. But there's a fine line between expressing your opinion about this and doing it so often, with such consistency, that the collective emphasis of all of it basically brings down the entire thread and thus the entire forum.

There's no easy answer to this. We don't want to crush freedom of expression here. But at the same time, the spirit of this forum is for people to have fun talking about the movies they love and the box-office runs they love.

To have fun.

And while it may be fun -- in a sense -- to personally vent about a movie, or to vent at people who dare to enjoy something you don't, it doesn't bring fun to our community. In fact, it generally drags down the overall fun for everyone else. We've had people repeatedly mention to us over the last several months or so that in some cases they don't even bother going into some threads -- even for movies they're curious about! -- because they just don't want to deal with the overall mess those threads contain. And frankly, that matches the personal opinion of most of the staff as well.

So this post is both a request and a warning. 

The request: Next time you feel like taking a dump on a movie (or a topic) for the dozenth time, take a moment to consider whether it's really worth it. People probably already have a good idea of what your attitude about the project is. Maybe just put your posting energy into a movie that you enjoy and love or are excited about.

The warning: The staff is going to be taking a closer look at some of these threads and we'll be more active with temp thread-bans if we think it'll help the overall vibe of the forum. I'd rather we don't have to, but it's not going to constrain any of you too much if you aren't allowed to post about a movie you supposedly don't care about anyway.

Remember the words of Bill and Ted: "Be Excellent to Each Other".

They're just movies, guys. It's about having fun.

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Batman v Superman v Rukaio: All Bad Things Must Come to an End (Part 5)

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rukaio101

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All right, we're finally here. At the final part of this movie. It's taken probably more time and effort than it was worth, but it's been a fun ride. Significantly more fun that the movie itself, ironically.

 

Speaking of 'more fun', I watched the Supergirl/Flash crossover episode 'World's Finest' last night and loved it. Supergirl and the Flash are both series with a lot of ups and downs for me, but they absolutely owned that episode. It's not surprising I've heard so many people describe it as the superior crossover to BvS. And I agree. Not because it's light and fun, although that certainly helped, but because the writers knew where the focus had to be. The characters. Kara and Barry feel like fully rounded 3-dimensional characters with different lives, motivations and quirks and watching those two worlds collide and work off each other (or more specifically go out to get donuts) is just a joy to watch. The actual story of the episode is practically second nature in comparison (and probably the weakest part of the episode).

 

But watching that episode last night made me realise there are more comparisons between it and BvS than simply 'two superheroes' team up. Specifically, Kara's main dilemma in the episode does kinda mirrors Superman's in BvS and comparing the two makes me understand even more why Superman's character simply doesn't work in this movie. Mild spoilers for Supergirl here, but effectively, in a previous episode, Kara was exposed to Red Kryptonite which temporarily turned her evil. Her actions during that episode ended up turning the people of her city against her, which carried over to this episode. In BvS, Superman faces a similar problem with people turning against or being unsupportive/skeptical of his actions. That's effectively his main dilemma for 2/3rds of the movie. So the two characters have largely the same problem. However, the key thing is in the difference between their actions. In 'World's Finest', Supergirl is doing her utmost to try and win back the support of her city. She's working extra hard to be helpful, even going so far as to do simple tasks like helping a family assemble an IKEA table. Which leads me to ask this simple question of BvS.

 

What does Superman do to try and fix his problem?

 

And the answer is nothing. Superman does nothing to try and fix his unpopularity problem except mope and hope it magically fixes itself. He doesn't try harder to save people, he doesn't go out of his way to try and win them over, he doesn't listen to their complaints, he doesn't try to justify himself. He does nothing. And then acts mystified that people aren't falling over themselves to praise him. Hell, he considers quitting rather than do any of that. Eventually, the only thing he does do to try and fix things is go to that Courtroom hearing, a decision that the movie treats as some sort of big choice/sacrifice when it really should've been basic common sense and the first fucking thing he should've tried. If you wanted a dilemma for Superman to ponder for that part of the movie, make it 'What should I say at that Courtroom Hearing to defend my actions?' not 'Should I bother going or just mope/quit because people don't like me?' And that's why I can't find the Superman in this movie in any way sympathetic or likeable. A sympathetic/likeable character is proactive and takes steps to fix their problems, not just mope around for the entire movie wondering why it doesn't fix itself. Those steps don't necessarily have to work (indeed, in World's Finest, Kara's going-overboard heroism is implied to lead her to charge headfirst into a dangerous situation without a plan in an attempt to prove herself) but they have to at least try. This Superman doesn't. And that's partly why this is such a terrible interpretation of the character.

 

But enough about superior comic adaptations. We've got one last piece of this crap left to digest and I'll be damned if I'm going to let it get off light. Here are the previous parts for those who've missed them.

 

 

 

 

And here we go...

 

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Spoiler Warning (duh)

 

Now, for those who forgot where we were in the movie, Batman has just shown his renewed faith in hope and justice by murdering several thugs. Supes, meanwhile, is flying over to the Kryptonian spaceship where Lex is attempting to create Doomsday. Lex gets pissed that his convoluted, nonsensical plan somehow failed and decides to use Doomsday (who's already almost completed) to finish the job, as if that had never really been part of the plan. I know I asked this last part, Lex, but what were you going to do with the mindless rage monster if Superman had died? Anyway, rather than rip out any of the suspicious machinery that is obviously doing something terrible, Supes is fine with waiting until Doomsday is completed to act. So Doomsday is born. And we get to start what is, admittedly... the best fight in the movie.

 

Seriously, I actually did really enjoy this fight. I mean, sure it doesn't really get going until WW turns up and it feels too short by far, but it's still Superhumans going at each other at full force in live action (with the camera actually staying fairly steady, unlike MoS.) Plus it starts with probably the best and/or only good Superman moment in the movie as he leaps into action to save Lex from Doomsday's first strike. It's a very small moment, practically blink and you'll miss it, but it does more to characterise and humanise Superman and make him feel likeable than almost any moment in either this movie or MoS. Jumping in without hesitation to defend the man who minutes ago tried to kill your mother... it says so much about a character without saying a word. It's a great moment and a perfect example of showing over telling. If the rest of the movie had moments like that, I would probably not be writing this review.

 

Anyway, Supes punches Doomsday into orbit. Meanwhile, the military, having felt left out in this movie after invading all of MoS's action scenes, decides to launch a nuke at the two. Why? Because The Dark Knight Returns did it. Also military porn. Kinda worries me though that the military were so quick to jump to a nuke despite barely knowing that much about the situation. Didn't even test the waters with a few regular missiles first, to see if that would've done anything to Doomsday. At least in Avengers, when the nuke was launched, it was clear that New York was being quickly overrun and it was considered a crossing of the threshold (that several characters outright disagreed with). Here it's just a casual 'That thing is giving Superman a bit of trouble. Let's nuke them both'. Anyway, unsurprisingly, it doesn't work, although it hurts Superman enough to give him that grey face that, again, The Dark Knight Returns already did. But ultimately, the scene is utterly pointless as usual.

 

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"At this point, I'm surprised Frank Miller didn't receive a writing credit. Maybe he can be fourth billed after the Anthropomorphised Concept of Despair and Misery."

 

Doomsday, meanwhile, plummets down to Earth to Stryker's Island which, the military are polite enough to tell us, is uninhabited. We get several lines in this movie telling us these places are empty of people, obviously in an attempt to curb criticism from MoS about collateral damage. However, all this does is further prove that Zack Snyder doesn't understand the collateral damage criticisms in MoS. Sorry to go off on a brief MoS tangent, especially on this well-trodden topic, but the problem with that movie wasn't that 'Lots of people died'. Lots of people died in the Avengers and that was fine. No, the problem was that the characters in MoS never seemed to care that lots of people died. The climax to that movie was like 9/11 x 100, with thousands, if not millions dead. Yet we never get so much as even a shot of Clark looking sad at all the devastation. He never seems to recognise the mass death and destruction around him or, if he does, doesn't seem bothered about it. Unlike the Avengers, he never goes out of his way to help people or limit damage, before or after the fight starts. He takes the time to snog his girlfriend while buildings (probably with people still in them) are crumbling behind him. That was the problem with the climax to MoS and why so many people called Clark a terrible hero. And while removing all the people from the area in BvS is certainly one way to address that, it still doesn't fix the core problem there.

 

Personally, I'd much rather they still have to deal with civilians but put make them have to put thought and effort into keeping them from Doomsday's path. Make them actually go out of their way to be heroes. Most of the major acts of heroism from our Superheroes in this movie feel like afterthoughts, mainly there because they're supposed to be 'heroes' and rarely requiring that much effort or sacrifice from them. In the Avengers, Cap takes a Chitauri grenade blast trying to help civilians and still fights on. That's heroic. Smashing through buildings just because you know people aren't there isn't. It isn't villainous either, mind, but it's hardly heroic. Hell, you can have Batman do Cap's job and go help people while Supes and Wondy keep Doomsday busy. Let's face it, he has nothing else to really do in this finale. He shoots ineffectually at Doomsday in the Batwing for a minute and hits him with one Kryptonite bomb. That's it.

 

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"Maybe his mother was named Martha as well."

 

Speaking of Wondy, she shows up to save Batman in probably one of the coolest moments in the film. Theme blaring, posed and ready for action, I'd mirror the consent that she's one of the best things in the entire movie. Funnily enough, before I saw the film, I made comments on the trailer that I was worried about her portrayal in this movie. Specifically, I was worried that she'd merely be shoehorned into the final battle for the sake of a glorifed cameo, that she wouldn't be set up properly earlier in the movie or given proper characterisation and that she'd basically be part of Zack Snyder's brand of feminism (aka looking 'powerful' and 'badass' despite actually having all the character depth of a lamp.) And... I was pretty much right on all accounts. But damn it, compared to how everything in this movie turned out, I will take merely looking strong and badass and barely in the movie over what happens when Zack Snyder actually tries to create a deep character. It helps that, even in her short runtime, she gets a couple of really good small little character moments. First is when she angrily asks Batman why he lured Doomsday back to the city. In that one line, she shows more unspoken concern for innocents caught in the crossfire than anyone else in this entire movie. Second was when Doomsday hit her and she just gives this delightful bloodthirsty grin. Two small moments and she receives more characterisation than almost 2 hours of Superman moping.

 

That said, it all doesn't really change the fact that that she's still fairly pointless in this movie. Seriously, she could be removed from this film entirely with no trouble whatsoever and, indeed, her removal would make more sense since it removes the plothole of 'Why doesn't Superman give her the Kryptonite spear?' Not saying I think she should've been removed, like I said, she's one of the best things in the film, but it still stands true. However, if I can play 'fix fic' for a little, here's a suggestion. I mentioned back in Part 2 that stuff about the Gordian Knot and Sword of Alexandria and how I momentarily thought it might've been foreshadowing that WW would solve the conflict between Batman and Superman. I was wrong, obviously, but what if they'd actually done that? Made Wonder Woman be the one to help Bats and Supes make peace rather than the glorified coincidence of 'Martha'. Not in a condescending 'Oh you silly boys, stop fighting' way or simply by magically solving their grudges, but just by getting them to sit down and talk to each other in a diplomatic way. After all, isn't Diana supposed to be a diplomat? Hell, we could make a good character arc out of it. Imagine Diana, sent to the world of Man as a diplomat to make peace with them, only to deal with centuries and centuries of war and strife. Imagine her, at the beginning of the movie, having grown cynical and bitter and depressed at her own inability to change anything. Then, as the movie proceeds, she becomes inspired to pick up her Wonder Woman outfit once more and successfully acts as peacemaker between two of the greatest heroes on Earth, restoring her faith in both herself and mankind. Boom, instant character arc, small enough that it need not have stolen the limelight from the other two heroes, but big enough to make her presence meaningful and make her feel like an interesting character. Wouldn't that have been so much better than what we actually got?

 

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"To be fair, even this would be better than what we actually got."

 

Alas, we must return to the reality of what this movie actually is. Speaking of, our heroes are now attempting to retrieve the Kryptonite spear after Lois flung it into water (apparently under the impression that anyone who might want said weapon probably couldn't swim.) Speaking of, how do they even know the weapon will work on what Doomsday is? I can't remember whether Lex told Supes he was making it from Zod's body, but Bats and Lois certainly haven't had a chance to converse and find out. So how do those two magically know? I'll tell you why. It's because this movie is terrible at bringing together its plotlines and keeping track of who knows what about who. Anyway, Lois goes to retrieve the spear from the dangerous situation that she herself created unnecessarily and nearly drowns. However, she is saved by Superman who is then weakened by Kryptonite and also nearly drowns.

 

Lois drags him out and Supes decides to kill Doomsday at the cost of his own life. Not entirely certain how he and Lois seem to know for certain that he'll die, especially since Doomsday only really ends up getting him with a lucky shot. But then I suppose they wouldn't have had the chance to have an 'emotional' goodbye, albeit with zero chemistry or emotion because their relationship was poorly set up and both are incredibly bland characters. I cared when Peggy was forced to listen to Steve crash the HYDRA plane in Captain America. Because I cared about both of those characters and their relationship. Here I'm just wanting them to cut back to Wonder Woman kicking ass. Also, this is the only time Superman (as Superman) smiles in the movie. I thought 'never smiling' was supposed to be Batman's thing? So much for Supes being the 'light' to his dark. But then again, I'm not surprised. I'd smile too if I was about to escape from this turd.

 

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"Keep believing, Henry. Maybe they'll make a Man from UNCLE 2."

 

That said, why doesn't Supes just do something sensible like give the spear to Wonder Woman? Yes, I've heard people argue that she was keeping Doomsday still with her lasso, but she could've let him loose for a few seconds. There was no urgent reason Doomsday needed to be contained at that second. Considering how she managed to chop his hand off with a sword without anyone helping her (and now she'd be wielding a weapon made from something he's actively weak too) she could handle it with no problem. I mean, it'd be one thing if Doomsday recognised the Kryptonite and was desperately trying to escape. It'd be another thing if they pulled a MoS and Doomsday would've reached/killed a family if Supes hadn't acted at that moment. But as it is, the only reason Superman has to make that charge is 'because the plot said so'. But I mean, even if you stuck to the excuse that 'Doomsday needed to be restrained first before he could be killed' then why not have Superman restrain him? Have him pull a Goku and hold Doomsday still from behind while urging Wondy or Batman to stab through them both. That way it would definitely actually be a heroic sacrifice, rather than Doomsday getting lucky with a last shot. As it is, the sacrifice just makes no sense.

 

But enough about how Supes's death makes little sense in-universe. Let's talk about how it makes little sense in narrative. Because, really, what did it add to this movie? What would've been so different had Supes survived? Does it make any scenes more prescient or meaningful in hindsight? No. Was it the grand tying together of any kind of major theme of the movie? No. Was it the best and only logical conclusion to a Supes's character arc? No, because the movie could never stick to what the hell Supes's character arc actually was in this movie. It wasn't part of any running theme, it wasn't foreshadowed, built up to, executed well or meaningful. It added nothing and had no purpose except 'the comics did it' and it being a shock move. For a moment like this to work, you need to lay the groundwork, which this movie just did not do. Not that that's really surprising since it couldn't even do the same for the actual main conflict of the movie. How exactly did you expect to have room to build up to The Death of Superman as well?

 

When Zack Snyder talked about this move in interviews he said that he was surprised that very few people guessed it after seeing Doomsday in the trailer. Well, there's a reason for that, Zack. Nobody thought you'd be that stupid! Not just because the movie already (should've) had its hands full with the Batman v Superman story, but because this is only Superman's second movie! And the first movie was an origin story! He only really started to become Superman at the very end of that movie. As such, you've only had barely a third of a movie to do any work at establishing him a superhero (considering the shared narrative with Batman and Lex) and now you've killed him off. After giving him largely nothing to do but mope for the entire movie. Forget the Knightmare or time-travel, the 'Too Soon' Flash should've been referring to was killing Superman!

 

Ben-Affleck-in-Batman-V-Superman-intervi

"Or maybe he was trying to warn Affleck away from the project."

 

My point is though, since we're given almost no room to actually establish Superman growing into his role as a hero before his death, the movie misses out on giving said death actual some weight, meaning and emotion. Because there's no context. The movie certainly talks a lot about what Superman might mean in this world, but it never bothers to show us what he means to this world. And why people would seriously miss him. In fact, it never bothers to show us why we should care about his death, other than 'because he's the protagonist/Superman'. But, as I've mentioned, he's a fairly terrible character here, who rarely has human moments, never really does anything to try and fix his problems other than mope and always looks like he's unhappy to do anything heroic. Why should we care about a character like that? If you want us to feel empathy for a character, you have to work for it, not just assume we'll sympathise regardless. And no, giving Superman a big funeral, putting shots of people with flowers and stealing an otherwise good line from Christopher Wren's tombstone doesn't magically make us sympathetic.* I don't feel the Superman in this movie has earned that mass funeral, those flowers or any of those comments. Not because I think Supes is a murderer or evil or should be shunned after MoS, but because you've never shown us why he should mean that much to these people or to us. The most you did was show a quick montage of Supes saving people while looking miserable, yet we're supposed to believe mass mourners and a world devastated? I'd believe this turn-out for the Superman in the comics or animated series or Donner movies. I'd believe it for Supergirl in her series as well. But I don't buy it here because Snyder, much like the DCCU as a whole, has not done the legwork. Hell, isn't the world still supposed to be turned against Superman? What did he do to suddenly change that? Kill Doomsday? The monster designed and created specifically to kill him? If he'd died saving someone from Doomsday, maybe I'd buy it but as it is, it just doesn't work. 

 

Plus nobody believes for a second it'll be permanent. You're not doing Justice League without Superman and we all know it.

 

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"No, sure guys, they're going to have Cyborg and Aquaman headline the movie."

 

Anyway, big funeral happens for both Supes and Clark (the latter of which is going to make things very awkward when he returns) but, as mentioned, it feels completely unearned. Also, Martha gives Lois an engagement ring (that Clark sent to Martha because... reasons) that showed Clark was going to propose, a plot point that a) came out of nowhere with zero foreshadowing, b ) I don't care about since, as I already explained, I never bought their relationship and c) is so cliche and uninspired a twist I was half expecting Lois to reveal she was pregnant with Clark's unborn child. 

 

Meanwhile, Bruce and Diana are discussing stuff in front of Diana's grave. Bruce, inspired by Clark, explains that he plans to bring together those metahumans from that Justice League teaser to 'help fight against threats like this in the future and-watchjusticeleaguewatchjusticeleaguewatchjusticeleague'. Oh, and before anyone who read the tirade above about Superman's death having no point brings up that 'it inspires Batman to create the Justice League', there were a million valid reasons the writers could've come up with to bring together the Justice League without killing Superman. Hell, if this movie was a little (lot) more focused, it could've been a natural conclusion to Batman's character arc. "I used to think the only way to contain the potential destructive power metahumans had was to destroy them. Now I learnt, with a little effort, I can work with them." As it is, Bats was best buddies with Superman for maybe five minutes before his death so, like everything else in this movie, it's a poorly plotted, poorly motivated mess.

 

Oh, and I can't remember whether this happened before or after the funeral but Lex has been arrested for... one of the many things he did in the movie. Comics Lex would probably have found a way to shift all blame to an employee or scapegoat or something, but, as we've already established, this guy is Lex largely in name and/or peeled off face only. Anyway, Bats turns up and threatens to brand Lex, but ultimately doesn't go through with it. I get the impression this was supposed to be an example of Batman turning over a new leaf and becoming less cruel. The only problem is we already saw him murder several people outright while rescuing Martha after supposedly turning over that new leaf. So that entire character arc runs entirely false because Snyder wanted Batman to be 'cool' and 'edgy'. And that's the closest thing we ever even get to a complete character arc in the movie. 

 

Anyway, Les seems to have gone full Cuckoo for Coco Puffs and was apparently maybe sorta kinda working with Darkseid? Maybe? Either way, it's entirely unforeshadowed and comes out of nowhere and goes against what meagre motive we were supposed to have for Lex. ("Oh yeah, I hate God which is why I hate Superman, but I'm fine with working with the actual God of Apokolips. Basically, as long as God doesn't wear blue spandex, I'm cool.") Anyway, he also teases that more aliens will be coming to Earth and that the bell has been rung and- watchjusticeleaguewatchjusticeleague. Last we see him, he's staring out of his cell going 'Ring ring ring ring." Which just about sums up his character. Supposed to be intimidating. Ends up hilariously stupid.

 

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"Like a refreshing glass of Granny's Peach Tea."

 

Anyway, final shot of the movie is Clark's coffin six feet under (just like JL's critical chances if Snyder remains) when suddenly, bits of soil begins to rise. Because in a shocking twist, it turns out Superman might not be dead. Whoda thunk it?

 

So yeah, that's the movie. It was bad. Nuff said. Certainly it has more moments I liked than Man of Steel, but honestly, at least that movie had structure. At least that movie had proper scene progression (flashbacks aside). At least that movie didn't spend a third of its running time on a pointless Courtroom subplot that went nowhere. Certainly Man of Steel has the same incompetency with characterisation and themes, but at least I could keep track of everything that was going on in that movie. With this movie I can hardly remember which order dozens of scenes happened in. With this movie, I can outright forget entire scenes yet it has no impact on my ability to recap the plot.** I never thought I'd say this, but I think I found this movie worse than MoS. Maybe. It's a close call.

 

If I had to pick a (non-swear) word to describe this movie though, it would be 'unfocused'. It's never willing to pick a theme or character arc or plot and just sit down and run with it. It doesn't bother to develop any of the admittedly interesting ideas it has, instead content with merely parroting them and pretending that's enough. As such, it simultaneously manages to cram in too much, yet also feel like it has too little. I think it's telling that one of the biggest questions it asked, one that turned up more consistently than others is 'Does this world need a Superman?' And it never answers that question. It never tries to answer that question. It never tries to answer any of its questions. It never tries to bothers to follow through on any of its attempted of its character arcs (aside from the Batman one which, as explained, rang false because flamethrower murder) and ultimately, all the characters in it come off as inconsistent at best and terrible at worst.

 

Which I think is actually the biggest problem in the movie. It's easy to blame the grimness for the movie's problems or the abundance of pointless scenes/plot threads and plot holes. But what fails this movie the most is the characters. You can sometimes muddle through a poor plot if you have compelling characters to follow, since you like them, want to see more of them and care about what happens to them.*** But that's just not the case here. The characters in this movie are mostly terrible. Barely established and given very few moments to feel human or feel like they have a life of their own. They're just there to spout talking points and move the plot forward. Often in ways that don't make sense or actively contradict their apparent motives/character. In a good movie, it's the characters that lead the plot. In this movie, it's the other way round. I've already talked about how convoluted Lex's plot was and how convoluted the motives for the fight were and just how convoluted so much of it was and that's because it never feels realistic for the characters to do these actions. The characters act as excuses for the plot, going or doing whatever the plot needs them to, often with no rhyme or reason. And it's especially noticeable when you compare them to the comic book or animated series versions who are (in a lot of cases) well rounded and given distinct personalities. Not to say the movie should copy those characterisations completely, it's fine to try your own interpretation, as dark or edgy or different as you want. But that interpretation needs to at least be good. Hell, that interpretation needs to at least be something

 

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"When even the Adam West Batman feels like a more rounded character, you may have problems."

 

It's difficult to tell exactly who is the most to blame for the flaws in this movie. Certainly, I was fairly certain people were overestimating Terrio long before this came out (since writing one good thriller/drama doesn't automatically mean you'll be great at writing every genre), but I suspect the vast majority of blame should go to Snyder and Goyer, since this movie shares a hell of a lot of the same flaws as MoS. The shoddy characterisation. The overabundance of poorly explored talking points. The lack of any actual real heroism, aside from a token moment or two. I think, if we want Justice League to improve, those two need to go or at least be heavily curbed on the writing of the movie. That said, I would be happy to see Affleck take on more of a significant writing role. I don't think it's a coincidence that his Batman was the closest thing in this movie to an actually good character (who even almost had a character arc). Affleck was reported to have re-written some of his scenes and I think it really does show. If Affleck was reported to be going forward in more of a significant writing role, I think I'd feel a bit more confident about all this.

 

As it is, it's really hard to figure out how to fix the DC Cinematic Universe. This was not the movie you wanted as a jumping off point. The solo movies in the MCU were a solid stone foundation for that universe. This movie, meant to carry the same role, may just be the DCCU's glass jaw instead. It's hard to see how future movies can build off these characters because there's so little character here to build on. I don't think resetting the DCCU entirely is a good move and the other idea I've heard, of making these characters the Justice Lords or Injustice League or evil is just childish and ridiculous. I think the best idea is just to do what you can with what you have. Acknowledge the flaws and try to move past them and learn from them, rather than pasting them over like they weren't there. Ironically, I actually thought that that was what they were originally going to do with this movie, taking the flaws of the overly-destructive MoS climax and using this movie to explore the backlash towards that. I was completely wrong, since the MoS climax only ends up being only a small part of Bats's motivation, Legless Employee is the only (non-faceless crowd member) to show any actual backlash towards Supes for it and the event is barely ever again mentioned for the rest of the movie, let alone explored. But if you do that properly with Justice League, then you have a chance for something good. Have Batman struggle to forge the group, due to whispers of his previous brutality putting off the other members. Have Superman rise from the grave with an understanding and guilt of his previous flaws as a hero and a determination to be something better. Have Lex put on clown make-up and accept the role he was always meant to be. My motto is that a good writer who knows what he's doing can make any story work. And you can make a good story grow from this mess. It'll be difficult, certainly, but it can be done. 

 

So yeah. After all that negativity, after all those problems, I'm going to ultimately end this on a message of hope. A message of incredibly doubtful hope and a hope that would feel probably significantly more confident if Zack Snyder stepped down as director, but hope nonetheless.

 

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Phew. And we're finally done. That certainly took longer than I expected. That said, doing this has been a lot of fun (as well as very catharthic). It's always been a passion of mine to explore storytelling in such an indepth analytical way and I'm glad it seems to have gone over fairly well. I may do more of these in the future (although not for a while since I have coursework) so look forward to that. Or don't. 

 

Ultimately though, as a final message, if you enjoy this movie enough to look past its flaws, then that's great. I'm serious. People have different tastes and what may bug some people might not bug others. I know that because I have certain tastes that a lot of people don't agree with. I know that I'm very rarely bothered by bad CGI. I also know that I'm significantly more annoyed by excessive greyness than most people (which really didn't help this movie). I really hate cringe comedy and really like 'mindless' action. All of us are different and if the points that worked for you in BvS overrode the points that didn't then that's great. Nobody should tell you you shouldn't like the movie. Even I won't tell you you shouldn't like the movie. I'll point out all the reasons to dislike the movie (as numerous as they are), but if you still enjoy it regardless then that's fine as well. If somebody wants to write a rebuttal to any of the points made here, I'll read it and debate it politely, as long as you're not being a dick about it (or only aiming criticisms at me as a person). Okay?

 

Anyway, now that's all done, I'm going to get nice and drunk and hopefully forget all about this movie. Hopefully.

 

Footnotes

 

*I knew the second I saw that 'Memorial' line that it had been taken from somewhere else because I couldn't imagine the writers of this movie coming up with a line so genuinely good and inspiring.

 

**Still annoyed I never found room in the review to talk about the hilaristupid Man-Bat dream.

 

***Honestly, I think the main reason Marvel is doing so well is because they really do an outstanding job of characterising their protagonists and making them likeable. That's their main strength. (Even if their villains could use work.)


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I definitely encourage you to do more of these! And not just negative reviews but also of movies you like! I'm also hoping Suicide Squad is better than this mess (can't be that hard). I also think it would be interesting to get your thoughts when Civil War comes out!

 

Anyways, I was thinking about this and I realized something. It isn't just Supergirl/The Flash cross-over (as well as the Flash/Arrow cross-overs which also have a contrast between a light hero and a far darker hero) who did it a lot better. It was Daredevil. People pointed out that Daredevil S1 was what S1 Gotham wanted to be. I'd dare say that despite it's flaws, Daredevil S2 is exactly what BvS wanted to be.

 

 

Spoilers for Daredevil S2:

 

Daredevil isn't a light character but he does have a belief that every soul should be saved, because even a bad person should have a shot at redemption. Then you have the Punisher who believes you can only solve crime through killing or Elektra who kinda just didn't care about human life. Daredevil not only fought Punisher but worked at redeeming him (with limited to no success but he at least tried) and redeeming Elektra (where he was slightly more successful). It's basically the conflict of BvS twice over but it works in Daredevil because it's built around the actual characters, Daredevil doesn't just mope around, and it's dark but still fun to watch.

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