This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
phoenix’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Zack Snyder takes the stereotype of superhero movies and twists it to the point that it's unrecognisable. Usually, in a superhero movie, you get pretty sounds and colours and a cheesy punchline every couple minutes, to keep the light atmosphere of the movie. However, in this movie, the actors barely cracked a smile as they watched their two world go down in flames. Why?
Because although superheroes are the furthest thing from reality, this movie is a hard look at the society we live in, and what would REALLY happen if caped crusaders were living among us.
Take the first 'brand of the bat' scene. We see a police officer in the most popular reaction to Batman: the unknowing. The unknowing sees something foreign, and assuming it's bad, tries to shoot at it. This is a common reaction to Bruce Wayne's alter ego. People don't see something big, dark and scary and assume it can do good. Sound familiar?
Another interesting point to the movie is how Ben Affleck plays Bruce Wayne. His greying, haunted personality has the ability to make viewers uncomfortable, because "Batman is supposed to be this cocky rich dude, like Iron Man." (A real quote I read.) An actual, realistic portrayal of a man whose parents were killed in front of him? How DARE DC.
Another interesting portrayal is Alfred. In a lot of films, Alfred is seen as Bruce’s father figure, giving him guidance and advice whenever needed. However, in BvS, Alfred is portrayed exactly like he sounds to be: Bruce Wayne's butler.
To Alfred, Bruce is Master Wayne. He isn't his kid, the child he raised. There's little to no connection between them, which portrays Bruce's hostility even better. Alfred isn't his father figure, because he doesn't have a father figure. Every hope of a childhood was erased when that mugger pulled the trigger. Bruce had no help growing up. He had to find out on his own, which is why you sense such a hostile, crabby old man in him.
And then we have Clark Kent. The thing that shocked me the most was the crowd reaction. People are angry, because they don't get the loved up, smouldering Clark Kent they know and love. And here's why.
Clark Kent is not Clark Kent. He didn’t know since he was a kid he wanted to write for a paper ever since his father would read aloud the morning news. Clark Kent is Kal-El, of the planet Krypton. Clark Kent was desperately trying to fit in with society with just a pair of glasses dividing him from his alien self. He desperately grabbed for anything normal in his life. Instead of the beautiful, romantic, almost Romeo-and-Juliet love you’d normally get from Superman, Lois is portrayed as his anchor. Lois isn’t a want, she’s a need. He desperately grabs onto anything normal that swings by him, giving him more edges to people to admire and love about his normal life. This is portrayed not only in his love life, but in his relationship with his parents. He was so desperate to save his mother that he went to the man who he knew hated him, and risk getting killed, to help him. Like my english teacher once said to me, “Bruce Wayne’s alter ego is Batman, but Clark Kent’s alter ego is Clark Kent.”
A ‘ridiculous’ aspect of this film, and what some say broke the film for them, is the miraculous way Batman and Superman made up in the blink of an eye to defeat doomsday. However, I don’t really think they did make up. At the first mention of his mother’s name, Batman melted. His mother was the first thing Bruce lost, but for Clark, his mother is the last thing he has. This is a clear comparison as to what would happen in the real world. People have their fights, but if something bigger gets in the way,
their humanity gets the best of them.
Sometimes, the cleverest parts of the movie weren’t even in the movie. Making Wonder Woman seem like a main character, with the same, if not more, amount of screen time than Batman v Superman, lured people in. An attractive woman in a tight dress as WELL as Batman fighting Superman? Even better. But Gal Gadot, who (amazingly) played Wonder Woman, got almost the same amount of screen time as Lex Luthor’s assistant, Mercy Graves; who was in 4 scenes and ended up being killed in an explosion by her boss. Snyder’s aim in this movie stayed true throughout: to make straight fanatic teenage boys mad.
Even the way it was named, was another superhero parody on Snyder’s account. When you saw, Batman v Superman, you’d scoff.
“Batman? Versus Superman? Obviously Superman will win. That’s just stupid.” You’d roll your eyes, waiting for the bad reviews. Maybe this previous idea of BvS is the reason why it’s getting so much bad reviews. Viewers are finding the smallest, dumbest things to criticize about the movie. “Superman was too awkward.” “Batman’s dream sequence was boring.” “Lois Lane didn’t do that in the comics.” My only response is: Really?? But back to what I was saying.
When you’d go to see the movie, you’re angry, and angry at yourself for being angry, because there is no Batman versus Superman. As my friends haven’t failed to tell me, “the full fighting scene is in the trailer.” You’re angry at yourself for being disappointed, and for being tricked into thinking that Snyder would actually make a movie about God vs Man.
This movie isn't Batman v Superman. This movie is Batman and Superman v Society.