Batman V Superman Dawn of Justice Early Review! Warning: Spoilers!!!

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
Early Review

Warning! Contains spoilers!

By Chongchen Saelee

Don’t get me wrong, I went into Batman V Superman blindly with low expectations and I think it was super. I thought “Man of Steel” was satisfactory, but it wasn’t anything that was epic or memorable, other than the fact it was the biggest and most interesting interpretation of the Superman lore to date. Given time, even these darker more realistic phases will pass, and descendants of comic book movie fans will see it as a sign of the times. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a thrilling piece of entertainment for now.

The movie is almost entirely focused on Batman. It starts out with typical crime in Gotham City sequence and we are introduced to The Batman. He’s this really dark and sadistic son of a bitch. After he dispenses justice on criminal element, he takes pleasure in leaving his calling card. Batman’s like full psycho in this, pretty much like Joker. And then, just like that, the in the next cut, he’s Bruce Wayne, waking up from a mad trip or something. It’s like he’s got split personalities and he doesn’t remember what he did last night, got too crunk or whatever. It’s a really interesting way to depict his psychosis.

So Bruce Wayne has to fly to Metropolis to do his business thing and shit goes to hell because the buildings are collapsing and no one knows what the hell is going on. Of course, if you’ve seen “Man of Steel”, you already know it’s because Zod was fighting Superman. Wayne runs into the dust cloud while everyone runs away because that’s the kind of man he is.

After the dust clears, Wayne’s building is in ruins and he looks up and sees Superman fly off and he’s pissed. So Wayne blames Superman for the death of thousands at that moment. The rest of the movie is Wayne investigating who Superman is and revealing more of his backstory as to why he became The Batman.

And the movie pretty much cuts back and forth between Wayne and Clark. Clark is investigating a new “threat” in Gotham City called The Batman. Some really bad shit went down in Gotham earlier, domestic terrorism, which put the city in ruins. Of course, for those in the know, it was because of the events of Suicide Squad, where they took down the entire city in attempt to kill Batman. We know they failed, but Joker ends up killing Jason Todd in that event. And Dick Grayson, who is undercover, infiltrating the Suicide Squad, couldn’t help it. We know Batman gets villified because of Amanda Walker’s public relations campaign against him. That’s why Clark thinks Batman is bad guy too.

By the time Lex Luthor, Jr., is introduced, the picture that is painted is Bruce Wayne is hot on the trail of Superman/Clark Kent and Clark is hot on the trail of The Batman. All Lex has to do is very simple maneuver and pit them against each other.

Lex Luthor’s motive is that he sees himself as the “people’s hero” and that he’s actually doing good because he’s anti-aliens. So naturally he’s against the most prominent alien Superman. He doesn’t like Wayne because he’s a business competitor. That’s why Lex doesn’t like Superman and Batman, so he’d rather they knock each other out. And then when he “saves” mankind, he gets even more respect from the “people”.

That’s where Zod’s rotting corpse comes to play. Lex uses Zod’s DNA to build a weapon that’s suppose to fight the incoming alien invasion. In the process, Lex pricks his finger accidentally on a needle (so cliche) and gets infected with Zod’s DNA. He has his hand wrapped up like a villain. It turns out, wait for it, Lex is the one that transforms into Doomsday. Stage by stage. I think that’s why they make it clear this is Lex Luthor, Jr., is because they can kill this one off because the real Lex Luthor is still out there and he’s more bad-ass than this whiny beanpole. But that’s just me speculating. Anyway, Lex turns out to be Doomsday.

Wonder Woman just appears in small scenes throughout the movie, but kind of weaves them all together, like hinting that there may be a bigger universe out there other than Metropolis and Gotham City. She seems very cultured and diplomatic. She has a motive too and that’s to retrieve ancient Amazonian weapons for impending fight with alien invasion. Wayne is in possession of some of the weapons like her lasso, sword, shield, bracelets. Wonder Woman, known only as Diana, is investigating LexCorp and the events of Metropolis. You get a sense she’s reporting back to someone. May it be Aquaman? Hint, hint.

By the time the exposition info is setup, Doomsday is on the loose. The Earth goes into apocalypse mode. This is where you get cool montage of all the Justice Leaguers fighting all over the world. The fight pretty much levels the earth. Yes. They went there. And when the black smoke settles, like it can ever completely, Batman becomes even more weary and wary of this “alien” problem, even though these meta-humans just helped him fight off alien invasion. Aquaman invites Superman and Batman to join their “team”, they never mention Justice League, but Batman leaves them behind to fight alone.

And then there’s a huge alien ship approaching in Earth’s orbit with Darkseid emblem on it. And that’s how the movie ends.

So, you see, it’s typical popcorn flick. But that doesn’t mean it’s bad. Just like Man of Steel, I’d have to give this a strong 80% out of 100. It’s still weird to me to see two buff ass men in body condoms on screen at same time. It may have work for Man of Steel because Superman was the only “special” person in the context, so seeing just him amongst all the “normal” humans made his body condom unique, it suspended my disbelief. But then you see Batman in a body condom next to Superman, and there’s like no explanation how he got the suit because it’s man-made. So how did Bruce Wayne come up with that idea if it’s not based on something before him? Anyway, that’s side-tracking.

Batman V Superman is THE COMIC BOOK MOVIE of the past few decades because it is quite respectful of the source material and also very respectful of the art of filmmaking. It borderlines as a film. That’s saying a lot.

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4 Responses to “Batman V Superman Dawn of Justice Early Review! Warning: Spoilers!!!”

  1. Chico says:

    Just bullshit

    This is not the movie

  2. Chiquito says:

    The film has an absolutely gorgeous opening credit sequence: basically splitting the action between the night of the Wayne murder, and the day of their funeral. There are some genuinely iconic shots, especially regarding Martha’s pearls, as the film cuts back and forth. Young Bruce is running from the funeral and falls into the Batcave. The scene feels a little more like Batman Forever than Batman Begins. Maybe a little of both. When Bruce lands he sees the cavern and the bats for the first time, they start to swarm and literally being lifting Bruce up, off his feet. It sounds ridiculous, but the carry him up to the light at the top of the shaft. At that point Bruce’s adult voiceover begins, saying something along the lines of “that’s how the dream always goes” or something.

    It fades to white, and there’s a title card like, “the day the world was introduced to the superman,” or something like that, I don’t quite remember. But this is the Kyptonian sequence from Bruce’s perspective. The most significant thing is that he arrives at the wreckage of Wayne Financial to find Scoot Mcnairy’s character trapped under an I-beam. I don’t remember Scoot’s name, and I’m not sure that IMDB is correct, either, but he IS NOT Jimmy Olsen, as many believed. He IS very important, however, despite being a minor character. His paralysis is a crucial element to Senator Finch and Lex’s separate plans to undermine Superman.

    Cut to the present, Lois is in the African desert, interviewing a Terrorist leader. Her photographer, (also not Jimmy) is stopped, his camera destroyed, and a tracking device removed from the camera: he’s CIA, working undercover. Not even Lois is aware. Things go sour immediately, he is killed, as are a few bystanders. Lois is taken hostage, and Superman saves her.

    Cut to Gotham, this is the “horror/SE7EN” scene Ben Affleck referred to, its also the ‘Bat Brand” scene. The guy that gets branded is running a human trafficking ring, and the victims are behind bars in a cage. Two police officers find the crime scene, where the girls call Batman “a demon” or “a devil.” One officer finds the branded man and batman, and begins shooting at anything that moves. This cuts to a news reel, revealing that the Batman Brand is basically a death sentence in prison, as its only given to rapists, child molesters, human traffickers, etc.

    If I recall, the news transitions to the African hostage situation, basically blaming Superman for the casualties, despite happening before his arrival.

    Lois is bathing, Clark brings home flowers, they talk about how hard it is for her to be with him AND for him to be superman. Then, ya know, sexy time in the bathtub.

    I don’t remember what comes next in what order, so bear with me, because the order isn’t that important for a little while. But there’s a scene in the batcave with Alfred and Bruce, some stuff with Clark being assigned a sports piece for the Planet but wanting to pursue the Batman, and a scene at a beach in Africa, where there is a crashed spacecraft, and divers pulling up a lava-like rock, full of kryptonite.

    Lex is introduced at his basketball court, talking to the senator and some other government officials. A small quantity of kryptonite has been found and has been shown to break down the cells belonging to general Zod. Lex wants more, and needs the Senator to allow the HUGE African shipment into the United States without dealing with customs. He wants to create a deterrent in the event that Superman or another kryptonian should attack. He basically trades the information he’s amassed on kryptonite for access to Zod’s body, and the kryptonian ship.

    Bruce is investigating a terrorist group in connection to the group Lois is also researching. Bruce knows that there’s a connection to one of the terrorists from Africa, and traces it back to lex. Bruce is planning to break into Lex’s mansion when Alfred reveals that he’s been invited to a party there, anyway. Bruce is connected to Alfred, sneaking a hacking device into the building’s mainframe. Clark can hear this happening through Bruce’s headset and begins the face to face interaction from the trailer. Bruce tries to retrieve his hacking device, but Diana has stolen it. He get’s it back a few nights later at a museum. She reveals that a photograph of hers has been stolen, but Lex’s files are too encrypted.

    Clark also leaves the party due to a fire in mexico, starting a montage about how superman is perceived as both a god and a devil, there are a bunch of real people in on this debate, from Anderson Cooper, Nancy Grace and Neil deGrasse Tyson.

    Bruce decrypts the data at the batcave, and triggers the Knightmare sequence. Its almost entirely whats been shown in the trailer. Bruce awakens to Flash from the future warning about causing the apocalypse should “she” die, you assume he’s talking about Lois, but its Martha Kent. Bruce wakes. Once the file is decrypted h essentially learns that Lex is shipping the kryptonite in from africa, and Bruce wants it.

    A big chase scene occurs at the docs, where Bruce is after the truck full of kryptonite, this is the big Batmobile scene, and its pretty spectacular. The batmobile can take a tremendous amount of punishment, ripping throught boats, ships, brick walls. This is also the scene where Bruce hits Clark with the vehicle and Clark gives the “bat is dead” line, and Bruce’s “do you bleed” line.

    Scoot’s character has been left without legs, and seeks revenge against superman. He is arrested for vandalizing the Superman monument, domestic terrorism etc. and is bailed out by lex. Lex wants to use him to testify against Superman. Bruce sees Scoot’s character on the news, and asks why he hasn’t been receiving severance pay. Apparently he’s been sending it back, each with angry notes attached, like the “you let your family die.” Lex gives Scoot a high tech wheelchair in prep for the hearing.

    Superman agrees to appear at the hearing, Lex sort of threatens the Senator for denying him permission to create an assassination tool, and Scoot’s character arrives, also bitter. The senator attempts to begin the hearing, only to realize that she’s being threatened. There’s some kind of personal message taped to her tea glass, and she notices Lex’s seat is empty, as Superman approaches the stand. Scoot’s wheelchair explodes, taking out the entire building. This kind of bothered me, to be honest, because Mercy Graves was still in the courthouse, and that mean Lex sacrificed her. I dunno, you don’t kill your body guard, ya know? Especially Mercy.

    Clark is devastated and flees, having a pseudo-dream sequence in the mountains, where Pa Kent basically tells him that there are always consequences for your actions, despite those actions being inherently good. He tells Clark a story about how he diverted a flood from his farm when he was young, believing himself to be a hero, only to learn that the neighboring farm was flooded instead, their horses drowned.

    Lex returns to Lexcorp to descover that he’s been robbed, the building on fire, and the kryptonite missing. In its glass case is a batarang.

    Batman begins training to take on supes. Developing kryptonite based gasses, and a kryptonite spear.

    There’s also a running subplot with Lois, she’s investigating the bullets from the shooting in Africa. They aren’t registered to any weapons manufacturer in the world, legitimate or black market. Theres a conspiracy that Lexcorp developed the weapons to attract Superman, helping to initiate the suspicion over Superman’s accountability.

    While Bruce was investigating Lex’s hard drive, he encounters a file labeled “Metahumans.” In it are a few video files of Diana Prince, and a photograph of her from 1918. He sends her that information, and a few scenes later we see her look through the other videos attached. One is of Barry Allen in a convenience store, stopping an armed robbery, no costume, however. The next is underwater footage of a shipwreck, and an encounter with Aquaman as he destroys an underwater drone. And the last is of Silas Stone working to repair Vic, who is literally just a torso and a head.

    Lex gains control of the kryptonian airship, using Zod’s finger prints, sliced off with kryptonite. He mixes his own DNA with Zods, against the warnings of the computer.

    Martha Kent is kidnapped while working. Lois is as well.

    Bruce appears in his armored suit and ignites the bat signal, calling for superman. He leaves the kryptonite spear in the building for later.

    Lex and Lois have their spat atop the Lexcorp tower, and Lex throws her off. Superman saves her, of course, and lands atop the tower. Lex reveals that he has taken Martha Kent hostage, and is giving Superman one hour to kill the Batman, or Martha will die. He has some EXTRA creepy polaroids of Martha tied up with the word “witch” written on her forehead, saying that because she is the mother of a demon, she must be a witch. Lex want to prove that Superman cannot be almighty because if God is almighty than he cannot be entirely good, and if he IS entirely good, then he cannot be almighty. Lex knows exactly who Clark is, though I’m not clear on if he knows who Bruce is.

    Bats and Supes have their fight, but its built entirely on manipulation by Lex. Bat’s has been convinced that Scoot’s character is sort of a martyr against superman, though the hateful letters have been sent by Lex all along. Batman has a few traps set, ahead of time: two sonic speakers, which is nice to see Superman weak to soundwaves in live action, and a set of automatic turrets. Superman gets through those quickly, and leads into the interaction at the rooftop, near the batsignal. The canister that Clark catches IS filled with kryptonite, and Bruce begins to just beat supes to the ground. Utterly merciless. Bruce says something along the lines of “you aren’t a man, men have fear” or something and it continues, pretty evenly matched. Once Bruce’s helmet is destroyed he basically takes the kryptonite spear and goes in for the kill. Lois shows up, and intervenes at the right moment before Bruce literally kills superman. Supes starts cry-shouting that he “has to save Martha” He asks “WHO’S MARTHA?” and like, “Why are you saying that” and Lois like “That’s his MOTHER’S NAME” and this FREAKS. BRUCE. OUT. (If you’ve never noticed before, both Bruce and Clark’s mothers are named Martha, and this is really important). Basically Bruce starts having PTSD flashbacks of his mother and father dying in Crime Alley, and his father whispering “Martha” and that empathy he shares with Clark pushes him to see Clark as an equal. Bruce throws the spear aside, and agrees to help rescue Martha Kent, (thus avoiding the Superman driven apocalypse from the nightmare).

    Bruce takes the Batwing to the docks where Lex’s goons are holding Martha. I do have some reservations about this scene, as we see Batman KILL. Not cool, man. Using the Batwing he takes out several armed vehicles, literally firing at them and then blowing them up. Alfred takes control of the Batwing, and we see the fight scene from the final trailer, leading to Batman rescuing Martha from one of the terrorists (holding a flamethrower) by literally blowing it up and lighting the man on fire.

    Clark tries to intervene at the Kryptonian wreckage, where Lex unveils Doomsday. The two fight it out very briefly in metropolis, before Superman flies him into orbit. The US government deems it appropriate to launch a nuke and takes Doomsday down. Doomsday lands on Stryker’s Island (apparently long abandoned) and is strengthened by the radiation from the nuke. Bruce, in the Batwing, realizes that he’s going to have to lead Doomsday to shipping yard in Gotham, where he left the kryptonite spear, as it’s the only thing that can stop Doomsday. Apparently the area is abandoned. (Also, the destruction is barely 1/100th of MOS). Superman is rejuvenated by Yellow sunlight and returns to the fight. And Wonder Woman FINALLY joins in. She’s amazing. And her musical theme is just so incredibly B.A.

    Its mostly a team up of WW and Supes, while Bats acts as a distraction and Lois tries to retrieve the Spear, which she nearly drowns trying to obtain. Clark assists, nearly drowning, himself, from the kryptonite. Doomsday is HUUUUGE. Like 15 feet tall and evolving throughout the fight. WW does most of the work, and her lasso does get some use. While the rumor that she decapitated Doomsday is not true, she DOES chop off a hand, and a HUGE spike grows in its place. Superman tells Lois he loves her and flies in to stab Doomsday in the heart with the kryptonite spear, being impaled, himself, on Doomsday’s spikey appendage. (that image floating around is 100% legit). They both die. So, for those thinking “Doomsday is gonna be wasted in this movie, its too soon to kill Supes…” I’ve got some bad news.

    The ending is kinda drawn out. There’s a HUGE procession for Superman, and a memorial (there’s a leaked image of that floating around, too), and a quiet service in Smallville for Clark. Lois is there, as are Bruce and Diana. Martha gives Lois an engagement ring that Clark had been planning to give to her. Bruce and Diana discuss the future. That Bruce worried and wants to contact the other metahumans. Diana doesn’t think that’s such a great idea, but Bruce feels that he failed Superman. Its all obvious set up for Justice League….

    Another scene towards the end is of Lex being admitted into a high facility prison and getting his head shaved (even the rumors surrounding THAT weren’t true). It ends with Batman in his cell, threatening him with the Bat Brand, but only punching the wall with it. Lex reveals that the kryptonian ship sent out a signal, and that more big bads were coming. He “rang a bell.”

    The final shot of the movie is at the graveyard, you can hear a faint drum. It sound like a heartbeat, the second time. The camera dooms in on the casket, the heartbeat is heard again as the handful of soil on top begins to levitate slightly. Then the camera cuts to black

  3. Someone says:

    This review is unadulterated bullshit.