One of the most anticipated films of 2016 was promising to see two of the biggest comic book icons battle it out in a live-action format. I know I was in a frenzy to see Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice but when it was finally released it was met with overwhelmingly negative reviews from the critics and the audiences were split into two factions. In my own review, I cited that the film offered some merit but was bogged down by a story that tried to cram too much into it.
This week saw the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate
Martha Edition, aka the “R-rated” version of this film (R-rated in the sense it is trying to capitalize on the success of Deadpool), and rather than bring you a list of the worst things that existed in BvS (that list would probably be too long), I decided to find the silver lining in this ambitious but terribly flawed superhero feature from DC. Here are my 10 favorite things from Batman v Superman—in no particular order.
10) Superman Fails
For all intents and purposes, Superman is a God among men. The alien power holds lifts him above all us weak Earthlings; he’s pretty much without flaws and that makes him an incredibly hard character to sympathize with and make more human. There was a moment in Man of Steel that evoked a powerful image when he was emotionally distraught and sought comfort at the feet of Lois Lane but the Luthor-orchestrated bombing at the congressional hearing did a tremendous job at showing that Kal-El isn’t perfect. The way he blamed himself for his own arrogance blinding him from figuring out the bomb was there and not being able to stop it was a fantastic way of bringing the super-being down to our level.
9) The Bat-vehicles
We’ve seen the Batmobile in numerous different forms in the comic books, cartoons, toys and movies over the decades. While very much similar to the Tumbler in Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, Batman’s tank-like vehicle looks cool and provides a great, albeit short, chase. This film also throws in the Batwing and it looks just as good.
8) I Hope Batman Had Car Insurance
Speaking of the Batmobile, one of the shortest but coolest moments of the film is when Superman stands in front of the Batman’s ride and doesn’t budge an inch when struck. The impact sends the tank of a vehicle careening off course and crashing but it really is a simple way to show just how strong this Kryptonian is.
7) Maybe Superman Isn’t as Strong as He Thinks He Is.
We go from Superman at his best to the moment when Supes realizes he’s not all that and a bag of chips—to use a very outdated slang. With his Kryptonite-enhanced armor, Batman successfully levels the playing field and that moment when the World’s Greatest Detective successfully blocks a punch from the Big Blue Boy Scout and the look on his face when he realizes he is not currently at his peak strength is priceless.
6. Bruce Wayne’s Bravery
We all know Batman is a brave dude. The guy puts on a bat costume, dives off of tall buildings while putting his faith heavily in the technology he has to keep him alive and fights people who actually have powers. So, needless to say, Bruce Wayne has some intestinal fortitude about him and one think this movie showed very effectively was how Bruce’s drive to heroism never really stops. During the opening moments where we see the events from Superman and Zod’s fight during Man of Steel taking place, horrified citizens are running from the carnage but that moment of Bruce running head first into the growing smoke of mayhem and destruction really captured the essence of the character.
In your typical internet, social media knee-jerk reaction, fanboys harrumphed and complained that Ben Affleck would be the “worst Batman of all time.” The same thing was said when Michael Keaton was cast and they said Heath Ledger would be a terrible Joker (and we know how wrong they were there). Ultimately, however, Affleck would prove to be one of the best parts of the film as he mastered both being Bruce Wayne and the Batman.
4. Warehouse Fight
One of the bummers of BvS is the fact that there’s just not a lot of action. Sure, it makes up for this in the third act (part of which I’ll get to in a second) and it does so with a very entertaining fight sequence that features Batman taking out some henchmen in a warehouse in a fast pace and very exciting way. The fight choreography is smooth and brutal and the whole thing felt like a live-action version of the fighting seen in the Arkham games.
3. With Special Guest Appearance from The Justice League
I will admit, the scene where Wonder Woman opens up Lex Luthor’s secret files to see he knows all about these metahumans felt really forced and was incredibly awkward right in the middle of the story. It really was something that should have been a mid-credit sequence or even saved for a post-credits scene. However, it was still cool to see glimpses of Cyborg, Flash and Aquaman—although I can’t quite figure out why Aquaman waits so long to attack the strange robot-camera in front of him. I guess he had to make sure it got a clear shot of him.
2. Wonder Woman Shows Up Fashionably Late
This moment of the film almost makes the bloated and meandering story (and the wasteful payoff of Bats and Supes fighting) worth every penny. Batman looks like he’s about to be toasted by our villain but is protected at the last second by Wonder Woman…and a dude really hitting a riff hard on the guitar off camera, it seems. Typical naysayers on the internet bashed Gal Gadot’s casting because (and this is just embarrassing to us as a species) it was considered that her “breasts were too small.” *Sigh* However, with this single moment, Gadot shows us how badass she is as the Amazonian and quickly became one of the best parts of the entire film.
1. All Hell Breaks Loose
It could be argued that Doomsday’s inclusion during the final act of the film was a lazy thrown-in due to the fact that his buildup wasn’t established the most coherently or that it is a waste using the villain that killed Superman in the comics so soon and it’s easily argued that it was outright bullshit that the trailers spoiled the fact he was in the movie but there’s no denying how impressive his arrival is and how exciting that final battle goes. Sure, this part creates some laughs as they keep repeating how the battle area is devoid of innocents so the film isn’t ripped apart for civilian lives being lost but this whole sequence of the film really captures the comic book monster and almost feels like an apology for a comic book superhero movie that kinda/sorta leaves the action to the wayside.
What are some of your favorite moments or elements to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice? Let us know in the comments!
Rev. Ron is an amateur lion tamer, a watching paint dry enthusiast and a wannabe movie critic. You can read his reviews on his blog at RevRonMovies.BlogSpot.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@RevRonster) where he resolves all conflict by assuming that the person he’s arguing with has a mother named Martha. Thanks!