Friday, April 1, 2016

Superman vs Batman vs the Writers

Face it, you have to see Batman vs Superman, even if it is not a great movie, just because Batman and Superman are comic book legends who solved cases together for more than 50 years. They are the most iconic characters in the history of American comicdom.  I won't spoil the plot for you, but I will tell you that these superheroes are well acted by Ben Afleck and Henry Cavill.  

However, the writing and direction cause the pair to be angry, cynical old men in their mid to late 40s, rather than the dynamic superheroes they used to be.  The tombstone for Bruce Wayne's parents is dated to 1981, meaning that if the movie takes place in the present, Batman must be around 45, about the same age as actor Ben Affleck. Superman has a receding hairline, and Lois Lane (played by 42 year old Amy Adams) is actually matronly.   I guess they figured that the audience for these movies is not 10 year old kids anymore, and they are definitely aiming for fans who are now middle aged.  

  Yet this movie purports to tell the story of the first meaningful interaction between the two heroes.  How can Batman and Superman have had decades long careers of crimefighting without knowing each other?  A movie that seeks to tell the tale of the first major interaction between Superman and Batman should obviously take place with the two heroes at the beginning of their careers, not when they are ready to retire.   The idea that they have never met because Gotham City and Metropolis are too far away is just ridiculous.  

     The depiction of the main characters was very hard to take. Not only are they middle aged, but they wear dark, gloomy costumes and play the part of grim warriors used to meting out violent justice.  They may be still at the top of their game, but they actually look kind of paunchy and they seem to like cloudy, rainy depressing weather. 

     My main complaint is that neither Batman or Superman (nor their alter-egos Bruce Wayne or Clark Kent) are likeable individuals.  Superman is depressed, and Batman is deranged.  They are cynical, angry middle aged men who have no business being superheroes.

Suck in that gut, Batman and Superman. Get your uniforms dry cleaned.   And at least smile when you are hanging out with the likes of Wonder Woman!

Luthor's son is one of the bad guys in this movie, and is mainly an annoying nerd with no substance.  Like the Coyote in Road Runner, he hopes to kill Superman, but it has to be with some kind of crazy harebrained and complicated scheme.  Young Luthor's plans are not brilliant, just complicated and erratic.  

DC comic movies are consistently outdone by Marvel, and for that reason they have tried to add drama by having the heroes lose the trust of the people, and by bickering among themselves.  It's quite a bit like the  Republican Presidential debates, with neither Cruz nor Trump quite making any sense.  It doesn't work for Batman and Superman to misbehave like that.  

Wonder Woman does not appear to be middle aged at all, but we learn that she is actually hundreds of years old, having appeared in World War I. The reason for Wonder Woman's reappearance after 100 years of being retired is unclear.  Perhaps she is like Michael Jordan and just likes to retire and un-retire.  Yet she too prefers to run around in drab and dreary earth tones.  Nevertheless cool drums play whenever she strikes her battle pose, and she is definitely in shape. Woo hoo!

OK, so I've described my reaction to the movie, and not given away any parts of the plot.  That's easy, because I didn't understand it one bit.  Something about Luthor making soup out of Kryptonian body parts, and that's as close as I can get.  Evidently, only criminal masterminds can comprehend what Luthor Jr. is trying to do.

The special effects are excellent, and the battle scenes last long enough to satisfy all but the most bloodthirsty of fans.  That makes it worth watching even if we have no idea who is fighting who, and why.  Batman has a few tricks up his sleeve to make up for his lack of firepower compared to Superman. 

I hope that someday Batman and Superman come out of their respective depressions and work together against common foes.   And the Wonder Woman movie might be worth watching despite her poor fashion sense in this movie.  At least she is not as depressed or deranged as Superman and Batman were in this movie.  




  1. I chose to watch 10 Cloverfield Lane instead of BvS. It appears that I chose wisely.

    1. Sometimes lousy movies can be fun. At least you can talk about them with your friends. And the fight scenes are well done, and the actors are good actors even if they have lousy characters.