You read the title. Spoilers ahead!
My second screening was in the same theatre. I saw the same previews. But this time I had a sharper eye out for little details. And I kept a few notes along the way so I could have an in depth blog post.
So. You have been warned. If you don’t want to know deep things about this film, read my first review which contains no spoilers hardly but gives you the essence of the film.
Now that I got that over with., here is a scene by scene commentary
The opening of the film shows Bruce Wayne’s parents being murdered. How many times have we seen this in a film? Well, they stress it alot in the comics. This particularly retelling was all cinematic. Lots of details, like the pearls falling through the air, were included. There is alot of focus on his mother, Martha, and her name is actually emphasized…I detected this the first time…they are buried in a moseleum, and someone places flowers in the vase…you can only see Martha’s name. (Thomas’ name is covered up by the flowers.)
We also see Bruce in a fit of grief run out in the graveyard and fall into what we know will become the bat cave. He sees a ton of bats, that startle him, and in a true comics image, he unfolds his hands and basks in them as they surround him. He seems to float up into the sky.
It is a dream…we hear Bruce say something, and then see scenes from Superman’s battle with General Zod, on the day that he made himself public to the world. There is a world engine up above Metropolis, where Bruce is apparently conducting business. All of this mayhem is happening. He witnesses several things, like Superman and Zod crashing into the world engine, causing it to become unstable. Then they crash into a building. What can only be heat vision cuts out huge chunks of the same building. Bruce is telling “Jack” to get out, now. But then this “jack” person prays to God to have mercy on his soul. Wayne Tower apparently falls. In the wreckage, Bruce hears someone crying for help. A beam has fallen on “Wally,” Bruce calls him by name. He can’t feel his legs. Bruce has enough strength alone to move the beam off of Wally. Then, a little girl is about to be killed by falling debris. But he knocks her out of the way, when he says “We’ll find your mother.” But she says her mother was there, and points up at the crumbled building.
We get all of this as a setup…we see some of Bruce’s reasoning for not liking Superman.
It is good that they are showing us this…for that justification, but also because these images provide some context for people who did not see “Man of Steel.”
Next, we see “18 months later, somewhere in the Indian Ocean”. There is a destroyed World Engine site here. (The World Engine was something General Zod set up to bring Krypton back by terraforming Earth.) Here, archeologists have excavated a large amount of green glowing rock…Kryptonite, of course. Beautiful cinematography, I might add. I would like to visit that location someday!
The next scene is of Lois Lane captured by what appears to be African warlords. There are clearly (not to be crass) “black guys” and “white guys.” It is revealed that her photographer is bugged by the CIA, they kill him, and the warlord takes Lois to the back. The white guys kill most of the black guys at this point…they are a mercenary force. Superman comes to Lois’ rescue, knocking out the head warlord. The mercenaries flee about the moment Superman arrives, and it looks like Superman killed the whole army.
The next scene is of the media, questioning Superman’s authority. It appears that he did all of the killing in order to rescue Lois. She has her journal, which has taken a bullet. Clearly an exotic bullet of a make not usually seen. Clark comes in with groceries while she is taking a bath…it appears that they are “shacking up.”
The comics make a good point of having Superman “use doors”, and doing other normal things. They want to emphasize that Clark wants to remain feeling as human as possible. Lois is apparently tortured by what happened. That they are co-habitating is a way of making Superman relevant to a modern audience. Traditionally, Lois and Clark are married when they live together.
In a change of pace, we see some unkempt women inside of a cage of some kind. Police are coming to set them free, but they say “It saved us. A devil.” and appear to be frightened enough not to want to come out of the cage. One of the police catch a glimpse of Batman hanging in the corner, and begins opening fire. But of course, Batman gets away. When they find the criminal, he is branded with a Bat symbol. This man was apparently a human trafficker, and those women were the victims. He is referred to as “The Gotham Bat.”
We immediately see Alfred and Bruce back at the bat cave discussing things. Batman uses a voice changer, which is apparently malfunctioning. It does give him a menacing sound. Batman gets to talking about Anatoli, (one of the mercenaries at the African warlord incident), how he wants to smuggle a dirty bomb into Gotham, and that someone named “the White Portuguese” is the point man. Alfred says something about the rules changing. This is a reference to the branding…a more brutal tactic that once Batman would never have used…but then Alfred talks about “Gods” coming from the skies. The world isn’t unique anymore. And that “good men turn cruel.”
The Batman presented here is a shade of Frank Miller’s Batman. Grittier. Older. Jaded.
Enter Lex Luthor. And the first thing on his list is Kryptonite. He has a small piece, and shows film of using it to cut General Zod’s body. (A Kryptonian could not be cut with an ordinary scalpel. DUH!) He is pitching to a senator and a general for a way to weaponize Kryptonite…that he has found a large amount, and would like clearance to import it. His explanation is to “have a silver bullet.” It might not ever have to be used, but just having it could be comfort. The senator resists, saying that Superman isn’t our enemy. But then “the metahuman thesis” is brought up. The idea that there will be more superhumans…that indeed they have always been among regular humans and are the basis for myths, legends, and religions.
The scene cuts to the monument to Superman, where there is a wall of remembrance for those who fell when General Zod did his attack in Man of Steel. And a giant statue of Superman. Wally, from the beginning of the movie, now in a wheelchair missing the bottom of his legs, decides to climb the statue and vandalize it. He spray paints the words “False God” on the S emblem. He begins to say “I work for Bruce Wayne”
This makes the news…Perry White says, “Is our love affair with the Man in the Sky over?”
The next scene is one of the most jarring and bizarre scenes of the film. Lex Luthor is approached by the general, who wants his “wish list.” Lex is eating Jolly Ranchers when he makes two demands. Access to the Kryptonian ship, and General Zod’s body. We see the events happen as he is asking…the power of movies! But what nerved me out was at where the third wish would be, he just stuck a jolly ranger in the general’s mouth and said, “that one’s cherry.” and tapped him on the lips. I get the willies thinking about it!
This iteration of Lex Luther is unlike any before. Lex is usually an older man, bald. rich. and sane but mad. But he appears normal to people at large. Enough so that he even wins US President in one of the older storylines. And Gene Hackman’s was really mostly just comedy.
This portrayal of Lex Luthor is more like the Heath Ledger Joker. Played by Jesse Eisman, he has long parted hair right up the middle. When I first saw him in the previews, I thought he must be the Joker, actually. And then images of the Joker came out from the upcoming Suicide Squad movie. And I was apparently very wrong. This Lex Luthor is obviously a spoiled rich kid, having inherited his father’s company, and is a bit touched with with something. The Jolly Rancher scene was a big hint at that. He’s totally psycho!
Bruce Wayne goes to a street fight, where evidently he bets regularly. His presence doesn’t seem to shock the attendants. Here he finds Anatoli, exchanges a few words, while both men subtly set their phones on the table. Bruce’s phone clones Anatoli’s phone! I hope the government can’t do that!
Clark Kent is ready to cover the Bat Vigilante story, but Perry White wants him on football. He shrugs it off, saying that violence in Gotham amongst poor people. This isn’t news.
And one of my first big questions comes up. In this continuity, is Gotham across the river from Metropolis, or is it a part of Metropolis? Several times this comes up in the movie. It appears that Superman (and normal human characters)can look across the river and see the bat signal. Gotham appears to be a really run down place, while Metropolis is a big city. If the two are really close, or even are the same city, then that would explain Wayne Tower being in Metropolis. But the movie doesn’t make it clear. This is kind of an injustice if so…Gotham has a legacy as being a gothic city, a-la Chicago, while Metropolis seems to be New York. The two are classically opposites in portrayal, with rain in Gotham all the time, and sunshine in Metropolis. How can this continue if the cities are that close together?
The senator comes by to personally tell Lex that she is going to block the import of Kryptonite into the city. They meet in Lex’s father’s study, where he says he comes to think and clear his head. He makes reference to “piss” being “Granny’s Peach Tea.” This is important. He then points out the painting…the classical painting of Angel Michael throwing Lucifer out of Heaven. Lex comments that the image should be reversed, that the demon should be throwing the angel out of Heaven.
This stirring scene is followed by a “Knightmare.” The comics often show Batman having some type of dream or vision. This time it is him going to his parents moseleum, and finding black blood running out of the coffin drawer. He touches it, and then a demonic vampire bat busts through. Bruce wakes up (beside a beauty we never see) and goes to talk to Alfred. They are in some kind of glass room overlooking water. He takes a look at his batsuit, and glances up where we see Robin’s costume, defaced with graffiti that we all know was done by the Joker. Alfred remarks that Bruce Wayne has been doing most of the detective work lately. Bruce says “Bruce Wayne can’t break into Lexcorp.” (By now, Batman thinks Lex Luthor is the White Portuguese). Alfred says that he won’t have to break in, that he has actually been invited!
This scene shows us some of the dynamic between Alfred and Bruce. Apparently, Alfred has been pressuring Bruce to produce a child. (He would be the godfather.) But Bruce won’t ever settle down. The scene is almost a carbon copy of this scene from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. (bottom panel)
The next scene is at the party, where Bruce was invited. It is a social grace, honoring Lex for generously giving to the library. Lex has to give a speech, and he spouts out all kinds of nonsense, starting with Prometheus stealing the fire from the gods and then being hit with a thunderbolt by Zeus.
Clark Kent approaches Bruce Wayne to directly ask him about the Gotham Bat breaking the law and trampling civil liberties. (He can hear Bruce talking to Alfred…no amount of whispering into a transmitter can be missed when you have Superman’s hearing.) Bruce talks about Superman saving cats and then being applauded as the friendly alien. Then he says that Gotham has a problem with freaks dressed as clowns. (A reference to the Joker.)
Lex Luthor highlights their meeting, saying Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne, together! At this point I have to wonder does Lex know what he is doing? Apparently he does, later in the movie he blatantly knows Clark is Superman, and he’s been baiting Batman through Bruce Wayne’s company channels. He says to Bruce, our companies should get together. My research and development department is up to no good! All of us comics fans know there couldn’t be a truer statement!
In all of this, Bruce was able to get away and get one of those drive cloning devices onto one of Lex’s servers. But before he can retrieve it, Diana Troy steals it. She gets away before he can catch her. Clark gets distracted…a news story about The Day of the Dead celebration in (Mexico?) has tragedy striking…a building is exploding and a little girl is about to die. So he goes away.
We see him rescue that girl. And then the astronauts in a rocket that exploded. And then some flood victims who drew the S symbol on the roof…(A reverse bat symbol idea!) The news people are talking and debating about whether Superman is a good thing or not, referring to the incident in Africa.
Lex bails Wally out of jail, and gives him a motorized wheelchair….
Then we get the Knightmare 2.
Batman is in the desert. Or what appears to be the desert. On the ground is the symbol “Omega,” the symbol of Darkseid. Batman gets on a cargo truck…he is surrounded by armed men. It looks like he thinks he is getting some Kryptonite out of a box. But it is just two green lightbulbs with a rustic battery. Upon this revelation, the armed men attack him. He defeats them for the most part. Then it is clear that they are wearing the Superman “S” on their sleeve. An odd twist. What could only be parademons barge in and begin to pick off the Superman army men. And then Superman appears in the sky, and uses his heat vision to cause some destruction. He rips the mask off of Batman, revealing Bruce Wayne underneath. He says to Bruce, “She was my world, and YOU TOOK HER FROM ME!” Bruce awakens from this vision, only to see who could only be The Flash struggling to get a message to him from inside the speed force. His message is “Lois Lane is the key. Your were right to fear him. You have to get the stone.” (maybe I didn’t hear that last part right.) Batman wakes up like nothing happened.
What just happened?
This is the beginning of an eventual tangle with Darkseid! The Flash can time travel. (Little known to those outside of the comic stories.) And at least recently, after he set things back “correctly” after the Flashpoint story in the comics, The Flash appeared to Bruce Wayne with a letter from Thomas Wayne, the Batman of the Flashpoint timeline. That letter was to encourage Bruce. And it changed his outlook. A little. Not much.
Knightmare 2 is exactly this. A different message though. The Flash has time traveled to the past to give Bruce a message that WILL BE pertinent in an upcoming movie. The vision showed a wasted future where Batman is fighting for humanity against Darkseid, who has Superman as his chief general! The message must be referring to Lois Lane, being right to fear Superman, and getting Kryptonite. Two other stones could be important. Victor Stone is Cyborg. Or maybe the would be engagement ring between Clark and Lois. Maybe it’s something else entirely. Maybe I didn’t hear it right. Maybe he was saying “Am I too soon?”
When I saw this the first time, I was blown away. I made extra sure to see the details on my second viewing. And it paid off! The Flash we see here is unlike the other Flash costume’s we’ve seen. This could be a Flash from the multiverse! Movies are always messing with costumes, though. So we’ll see.
I guess I can move on now. But a lot was here in that scene, oh Hub City Geeks!
Batman wakes up from his vision, and reveals to Alfred that the White Portuguese is a ship, not a man. Alfred then nudges Bruce to tell him what the ship is really carrying. Bruce describes the Kryptonite, and how Lex Luthor wants to weaponize it. Alfred assumes that Bruce wants the Kryptonite so he can destroy it and prevent Lex Luthor from making a weapon. But Batman wants it in order to go to war with Superman. He says “That SOB brought the war to us.” He insists that Batman isn’t a “good guy.”
Bruce goes to the docks. And lots of memories of many comics where Batman stops weapons shipments and other threats at the docks suddenly come to mind. We see him wielding a GUN! Troublesome…at this point we saw him use a gun on another person in his second Knightmare , but that was a vision, so we could cut him some slack. (Even if true, a battle with Darkseids forces would probably require real firepower.) But here he is holding what is clearly a sniper rifle of some sort.
He actually uses it to shoot a tracer to the cargo. Whew…what a relief! (Don’t hold your breath too long.)
Enter the obligatory Batmobile chase scene. This car is similar to the sportier models found in the comics. It has some hint of the “tumbler” design. It shoots guns. And fires missiles. We’ve seen Batmobiles do this before. But this time it seems to be combat rather than utility. The other thing about this chase…it is soul-less. Maybe it is because this is something we’ve seen so much of cinematically.
We see the Batmoblie take all sorts of abuse. And for just about the only joke in the movie. Superman lands and kicks it…critically disabling the supercar. (It has been through explosions, crashes, gunfire, bazooka shots, a boat collapsing on it.) Just like it was nothing. A soccer ball or something. Superman kicks it against the side of the adjacent building, and Batman climbs out in a shower of sparks and fire. Superman says, “The Bat is dead. Bury it.”
Batman drives the handicapped car back to his Batcave…we see the remains of Wayne Manor as he passes by. Wayne Manor is burned down in this continuity! When he gets to the Batcave, he sees that the tracer leads to Lexcorp.
Lex Luthor, the brilliant villain, has pulled all the right strings. He has had Wally tug at the heartstrings of the senator. (The one who blocked his permit to import the Kryptonite.) She publicly implores in a press conference for Superman to come to the US Capital building, and address the Senate and see some of the victims that were the result of some of his actions.
Superman goes to see his mother, who tells him once again (as she did in Man of Steel) that he owes this world nothing. It is his decision, of course.
Superman appears at the capital the next day, and this is televised. Bruce Wayne is watching, and sees Wally. He immediately wonders why Wally isn’t getting a paycheck as he tells his sob story. Turns out all of the paychecks have been returned, with hate messages written on them. He then opens the most recent one, and it says “You let your family die!” The senator is talking to Superman, and she eyes a jar at the edge of her table…labeled with something. She turns it to reveal “Granny’s Peach Tea.” She looks at Lex Luthor’s assigned seat to see he isn’t there, and as she must be realizing the trap, an explosion emanates from Wally and his wheelchair. The explosion killed everyone in the room, except Superman.
We see a shot of Superman looking shocked…he should be crying though. I wonder why they didn’t have him break down? That would have been more fitting to the character. The whole senate just bit the big one! And it was all a trap to get him.
Superman isn’t Spiderman. He isn’t so much driven by guilt. Just the same, this was one of the weak spots for Henry Cavil’s Superman. Superman tells Lois, “I didn’t see it, because I wasn’t looking.” This tells us that he clearly could have prevented the mass tragedy. I imagine it could have been him moving lightning quick to get Wally out of the chair and throwing the chair into the air above the building, exploding out of reach. Superman would have smelled like a rose. Instead, we get this tragedy.
Why wasn’t Lex in his chair? He was busy! He glued General Zod’s fingerprints to his fingertips, and gained access to the Kryptonian ship. He removed the key from the genesis chamber and we hear it say that it contains the knowledge of 100,000 worlds, to which Lex replies, “Teach Me!”
Eventually we see him place General Zod’s body in the liquid, and then cut his hand to pour his blood into the chamber. Lex Luthor overrides the warnings that the ship is giving, and instructs it to create a”Kryptonian Deformity.”
The capital incident was too much. Bruce begins training and forging for a huge battle with Superman. He takes a break, and has a look in the disk drive (returned to him by Diana Troy…she couldn’t break the military grade cypher.) He finds a folder that says “Metahumans.” He clicks on the “W” and finds Diana’s photo from a Belgian newspaper in 1918! This means she is OOOLLLDDD. We don’t know the extent of this Wonder Woman. Is she an Amazon? Is she a goddess? Many of our questions about Wonder Woman will linger past this movie.
We see a mopey scene of Clark Kent walking in the arctic. Us comics and Superman fans know that this is something Superman does. Fortress of Solitude, anyone? He encounters a vision of his own…Johnathan Kent is working away in the middle of the North Pole! He tells Clark the story of how he saved his farm as a kid by diverting a flooding river…only to find the next day that the river flooded a farm downstream…and that he could hear the horses screaming in his nightmares.
Bruce and Alfred go to the burned Wayne Manor, where Bruce reveals the origins of the Wayne name include a history of hunters. (The Wayne family shield includes a sword and a sheep.)
The next scene shows Martha Kent taking out some trash to the dumpster behind her workplace, where she is ambushed and captured. Batman decides to suit up and fire up the Bat-signal. (This is one of those scenes where we wonder how far away Gotham and Metropolis are.) And Anatoli kidnaps Lois Lane, and brings her to the top of Lex Luthor’s tower.
Forces are coming together to force the hand of both Superman and Batman. Superman has been missing in action for days since the explosion. So Lex provides some motivation by shoving Lois off of the tower. OF COURSE Superman saves her. But she should have warned him that it was a trap. When he confronts Lex about his actions, Lex lets on that he knows Clark Kent is Superman. He tells him (loosely) that “God cannot be all powerful and all good at the same time.” He intends to prove it by forcing Superman to fight and kill Batman, otherwise Martha Kent will be killed. “Kill the Bat and Martha lives. God bends to my will.” Lex throws polaroid pictures of her in captivity gagged at him. And now we see Superman break down.
Lightning begins to project from the Kryptonian ship site. (Just in time.)
We see a quick flashback, as Bruce is talking to Diana Troy (It is from her point of view.). He tells her that there is no way that the photo was hers…but it was OF her. We see her click on the METAHUMAN (actually Meta_Human) folder and see “red streak”. The Flash stopping a gas station robbery. Aqua man, who is coming out of something in the ocean holding a trident. This Aquaman is different looking than we’ve ever seen him. Lots of tattoos, and dark hair. Hispanic? and then we actually see the origin of Cyborg…Dr. Stone is video logging his progress with a body (that we know is his son)…this is really only the upper torso. He adds a cube of moving metal, (nanites?) (Mother Box?) and they consume that body and transform him into Cyborg right there in front of our eyes. WOW!
So the fight between Superman and Batman begins. Going into this I could already tell you that Batman was going to win. He generally does. If Superman can be weakened, he has no training as a fighter. And that is exactly what happens, to make a long story short. What we see that is new is the the way that Batman goes about setting a trap for Superman. He pretty well baits him, and then hits him with Kryptonite gas, then goes off on his head for awhile until the effect of the gas wears off. Then he has to hit him with it again. Batman’s “hulk buster” style armor is terrific, but it really doesn’t stack up to the fully powered Superman. Eventually, he outclasses Clark, and has a pure kryptonite spear about make the kill…he even cuts his face with it. But Lois barges in, just as Clark utters “Save Martha.” This stuns Bruce, and Lois explains that Martha is his mother’s name. Bruce is shocked, realizing that they have something very basic in common…their mother’s names were/are both Martha.
This moment was set up from the beginning of the movie…remember!
Batman and Superman both decide what to do. Batman will save Martha, while Superman will stop Lex Luthor and whatever is going on at the Kryptonian ship. (Power outages are happening, and people are suspecting a terrorist attack)
As they depart, Lois picks up the Kryptonite spear and throws it into a fountain or pool. (Water of some sort. This battlefield was in some ruins.) Isn’t there some president for this…the first Superman movie in the 1980s?
I love the scene where Batman rescues Martha Kent. It is straight out of “Batman: Arkham Asylum.” Alfred remote pilots the Batjet to let Batman in on the floor beneath the bad guys. Batman then systematically takes out all of the thugs, leaving only Anatoli there with a flamethrower aimed a Martha. Batman ignites the gas pack and jumps onto Martha, covering her with his cape, which is apparently fire proof!
As Superman shows up at the Kryptonian ship, Lex says “You’re thirty seconds late and I don’t see a Bat head. If Man won’t kill God, the Devil will do it.” Doomsday emerges from the genesis chamber!
Superman is clearly matched evenly with Doomsday at first. IT doesn’t take long before things start to tip in favor of the huge monster.
Some military types decide to call the president and get permission to nuke Doomsday, as Superman launches him into space. So they do it. They shouldn’t have…this version of Doomsday absorbs energy and weaponizes it! They basically wound up knocking Superman out. Doomsday came back to the earth, and in what may be the film’s second joke, Batman says “OH SH!#!” as Doomsday peels his skin off and is growing his classic bony spikes. Luckily, Wonder Woman decides to bust in just as Batman almost takes the full blast of Doomsday’s heat vision/breath. And because he has been nuked, now he can send charged radioactive electrical burst out that can take out city blocks at a time…
Wonder Woman is great…you should see her chop at Doomsday with her sword, and she also lassos him. Her power seems at least as strong as Superman. This is good…maybe we will see a Thor type of story associated with Wonder Woman. A super human not created by science, but rather from a mystical source.
As the sun appears over the horizon of the Earth, we see Superman re-energized. (Superman is powered by the sun…remember?)
As Superman arrives, the three heroes decide to use the Kryptonite spear against Doomsday. Lois goes to get it, but almost drowns, and as Superman is fighting Doomsday, he can hear her struggling. He takes another break to go and save her. He nearly drowns himself, crippled by the Kryptonite. He then decides to take the spear directly to Doomsday.
We have a huge ending…Superman succeeds in stabbing the monster, who is distracted by Kryptonite Gas shot at it by Batman. Wonder Woman has cut off Doomsday’s hand, and in its place a long bony spear has been growing, which he uses to impale Superman. So just like the comics, the two die together.
We see Batman, Wonder Woman, and Lois standing over Superman’s lifeless body.
The next scenes wrap up things in a bow. Lex Luther is arrested and gets his head shaved. There are two funerals for Superman…one of an empty box with much fanfare for the public, and the other with Clark Kent’s body, a private ceremony where it appears only Martha, Lois, Bruce, and Diana are attending. In a flashback, we see Martha bring an engagement ring to Lois. We see the classic “S” coffin from “The Death of Superman” books in the early 1990’s. And then some graffiti at his memorial, which could only have been done by Batman. “If you seek his monument, look around you.”
Bruce tells Diana that the others “like them” will have to come together to work as a team. She wonders why. And this is a good question. Batman knows about Darkseid?
The final scenes of the movie are also very powerful. Lex Luthor is instructed to place his head against the wall and have his arms where they can be seen. The lights go out, and behind him suddenly stands Batman in the cell alone with Lex. He has the brand in hand, ready to deliver. But Lex isn’t even scared. He says “The bell has been rung among the stars. It cannot be un-rung. He’s coming. Ding, Ding, Ding.” Ultra creepy. Batman punches the wall, leaving the bat symbol.
The final scene of the film shows people working in Lex’s father’s room, and the painting has been redone, with the devil throwing the angel out of heaven.
And right before the credits, Lois drops the first handful of grave-dirt onto Clark’s coffin, and then as the credits are just about to begin, we see the dirt fly up! (Superman lives, of course.)
What’s with “the bell rung among the stars.” I believe this is a partial reference to “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” But an inversion. “God is not dead nor doth He sleep.” Now it is the bell cannot be un-rung. Let’s not forget, Darkseid is one of “the new gods.” And that “ding ding ding.” I speculate this to be the sound of the Mother Box. It is usually described as “ping, ping, ping.” Lex has somehow summoned Darkseid when he encountered the “knowledge of 100,000 worlds.” Either that, or the amount of power unleashed by the fight between Doomsday and Superman plus the nuke was enough to “ring a bell among the stars.”
My final thoughts about this film…
There is a sub-narrative. Man vs. God. Only crazy Lex Luthor really highlights it. But this movie portrays Batman as the man. Superman as the god. Lex is trying to make the ultimate humanistic point by forcing the two to fight. Other references…at the beginning when Alfred describes “gods coming down from the sky” in reference to Superman. And Wally spray painting “false god” on Superman’s monument. And Perry White’s headline “Love affair with Man in the Sky”. There are lots of religious references. Are there too many? I tend to like movies that do this, so I say “no.”
This movie is huge. It needed more comedy. I have the solution. LET IT BE KNOWN THE SPARTANNERD HAS THE SOLUTION! There is enough plot here to make THREE MOVIES. Rather than give us this two and a half hour monstrosity, they could have added more jokes, and made three hour and a half movies. Act One…Set the characters up. Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent could have used more character development.) Act two…heat up the feud between Batman and Superman. Save the capital explosion for this movie. Act Three…bring the big fight, and bring Doomsday in and kill off Superman. Along the way you could have developed Diana Troy/Wonder Woman a little more. (Solving the problem of Wonder Woman not having any movies.)
This would have worked better. The dialogue could afford to be lighter, and the characters better developed. If Batman uses guns, we should know why. If Robin was killed, we could have more details. Maybe even a flashback. (This would be NEW for the movies…unlike the death of the Wayne family.)
As much as I love this movie, I can’t deny it has these problems. And there is HUGE critical backlash from critics (who never say good things about Superhero movies), but we are hearing backlash from the non-comic reading public at large. We finally have a near perfect DC comic in movie form, and it is getting eaten up. It was record breaking in the box office, but I fear the negative press is making it fizzle. My own dad said “I heard that movie was a bomb!” It isn’t. It isn’t “lovable.” Deadpool, Iron Man, Spider-man, Thor, the raccoon from Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant Man…these are lovable. DC has brought us a serious, brooding, “better read every word” comic to life. Which is great. But it might not be what people want. Even the 1989 Batman had jokes! “I bought it in Japan.” “Looks like you weigh a little more than 108.” “Ever dance with the devil in the pale moon light. I ask that of all my prey. I like the way it sounds.” “Where does he get those wonderful toys?!” The list goes on and on. And I’d bet all of my readers recognize every joke. Christopher Reeves’ Superman was even campy. “Hey. It’s Mozart!” He kisses Lois and she forgets that Clark is Superman. Where is there room for campiness in this move? That is an element that can be played up appropriately in modern superhero movies.
If Suicide Squad fails, I believe the DC Cinematic Universe might die with it. There might not be a Justice League movie.