Grumpy Bird Reviews: Batman v Superman Ultimate edition

I never watched the theatrical release of Batman v Superman. I didn’t here so many good things and since movies come to Japan quite late and are fairly expensive I decided to just wait for the release of the extended edition. And that is what I did. And I watched it. Yeah.

batman-vs-superman-posterBatman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Ultimate Edition)

Director: Zack Snyder

Writers: Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer

Quick Review: Let’s get right to it. The biggest sin of this movie is that it isn’t very interesting. I felt like the first hour (of three) was spent waiting for something interesting to happen. I’m not sure if anything too interesting ever did. It was groan worthy when it tried to be funny. It was wince worthy when it tried to be deep. Characters were dull at best, annoying at worse. And the entire thing was a build up to a fight with an unsightly cross between the Hulk and cave troll.

Spoilers Lurk Below

Analysis: Where do I start? First off, the Russian guy. For much of the movie he is the muscle. The problem solver. Would it have been possible to given him any memorable characteristics? The most interesting thing about him is that he likely watched House of Cards for inspiration. (Remember when Frank took the blowtorch to his political enemies? That was so unexpected and yet perfect Frank!)

Now the whole Martha thing has been talked about to death. I’m not going to touch on it. But I do want to ask a kind of related question. Though out the movie Superman seems to have a psychic sense of whenever Lois is in danger. How does this happen? I think they would mention a signal watch like the comic Jimmy Olsen had. All I can guess is he is just listening for signs of her distress. But it that is the case, why isn’t he also looking out for his mom?

Also, okay, Batman brands people. I think that’s a bit much, but sure, why not? But what is the whole subplot about prisoners killing people with the brands? I never really could make sense of what that was supposed to be about. It’s almost as if they were trying to give Superman something to have against Batman but couldn’t be bothered to flesh it out.

Lex Luthor. Ever time he appeared on screen the movie suffered. It was as if they wanted to dial the Social Network up to 11, but wanted to dial the strength of the script to about a 3. And then the biggest threat he produced was the one he had the least input into. Sure he put energy into gathering the pieces, the ship, Zod, but in the end he was as involved in the preparation as I am when I microwave a precooked meal. And then he gets his head shaved. For reasons.

Possibly the most interesting part of the movie was trying to overlay a political message on this flick. Now, I’m sure it can be stacked dozens of different ways. What I got out of it was that Batman, effectively out hero, is a xenophobic gun nut who blames any troubles he has on illegal aliens. Even when bad things are happening to someone (his worker) that he said he would care for he scapegoats the alien. Even when the news is laying out evidence where the actions of the alien would make no since, Batman refuses to examine any evidence that runs counter to his belief or that indicates he could have interceded. But don’t worry, this is partly due to being manipulated by Luthor.

Luthor is anti-God, and pro-science and full of himself. Is this the movies version of a liberal? Elitist, dismissive and childish? Maybe. By then I was getting bored of the movie and of my little mental game. Mostly because I don’t think it had enough thought behind it to make a statement.

Or maybe that was when Batman literally hit Superman with the kitchen sink. And in that tone deaf moment, I gave up on Batman v Superman.

Wrap Up:  Sure, I could ask about why characters seemed to have crucial, clue providing omniscient dream sequences but instead I want to be positive. I really want to see the WWI Wonder Woman and her Howling Commandos movie.

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