BvS: Dawn of the DC Cash Grab (spoilers)

Fan-goggles – fictional vision-occluding goggles that keep the impassioned but affable fan from thinking clearly & using logic to see that a massive pile of crap is being formed right before his/her very own eyes. Usually makes the wearer oblivious to cash-grabs.

 

“I’m not a monster, i’m just ahead of the curve”

Zack Snyder has successfully killed the Superman (not in the cool way the movie would have you believe)…and resurrected his Bizarro version instead (actual DC character for those who don’t know, quick google search). Anyone that knows me, or has read a few of my past articles knows where my heart is when it comes to DC. I love DC. Read a few of the comics, watched a lot of their animated universe, and grew up idolizing a majority of their heroes. The Flash, Static Shock, Batman, Superman, Captain Atom, Jon Stewart’s Green Lantern, Cyborg, Robin and that entire Teen Titans roster. These are characters that I cherish and hold dear. I understand that some people actually liked this movie and didn’t think it was “that bad”. I am not one of them, I did not like this movie at all. I admit I enjoyed a few bits and parts, about a handful, seeing the Flash ripping through space and time to deliver his warning to Bruce Wayne was nice. Besides that, this was one of the worst films I have ever seen especially in the way that it was put together. If we judge this movie simply on it’s merits as a movie, and without the bias of it being a comic book movie then this movie is atrocious. With all due respect to any fans that are still defending this movie, I implore you to stop. You are allowing DC/WB to send us back to the campy nonsensical dark ages of the Joel Schumacher  ‘Batman Forever’ and ‘Batman & Robin’ days.

 

Admittedly had this been a Marvel movie, I wouldn’t be as high-strung. I couldn’t care any less than I do now what Marvel does with its characters. They could plot-no-jutsu their hearts out and resurrect Coulson after killing him in Avengers and I just wouldn’t care. Heck they could even resurrect Uncle Ben for good in ‘Civil War’ and it would be all good. I’m not passionate about Marvel characters. To all the fanboys that feel like critics are just hating on DC because it’s not Marvel, think. We (lol char: labeled myself as a critic now) are fans just like you, we care about these stories being told, and we just wish the studio that some of y’all are still defending, would do the same.

 

Respect the source, adapt anew

A friend of mine told me “how could you not like it? It was taken exactly from the comics!” Therein lies the problem with the film Zack Snyder and Co. have given us. It’s one thing to use the source material; that is what we fans want and are always in arms about.To see the big battles we envisioned in the comics and animated shows on the big screen but adapted in a fresh and fitting way. It’s another to take from the source with little understanding and no respect (in the case of Zack Snyder, ‘misunderstanding of the characters and some respect for the source’) and haphazardly copy and paste, then splice a few things together and hope for the best. That is how you get the mess called Batman v Superman (BvS henceforth). BvS uses two of the most iconic and revered story lines of each character. These were supposed to be impactful moments in the characters lives but after my suspension of disbelief was killed by the beginning of the 2nd act, I felt nothing but disbelief. No awe, or joy at what I was seeing. Just disbelief that this was how WB/DC decided to play their hand at the cinematic universe game.

 

In trying to figure out what the heart of those stories were and how best to put them on screen, Zack and Co. started out with good intention, but ended up plastering Batman and Superman’s most famous stories onto the big screen in an unrecognizable form. DC just threw anything at the screen because it worked in the comics without giving it more thought. Why did it work in the comics? What is the significance of that particular story? How do we maintain it’s integrity? Instead you forced pieces into a puzzle that didn’t fit, and when a new problem arose from this attempt, you stuffed another piece on top to hide your mess. Your narrative was ambitious but ultimately fell flat and took a back seat to spectacle. You abused plot device for the sake of plot. The actions of your character’s made little or no sense at all. And you crammed way too many characters in to one movie whom with a little more investment might have had a more meaningful role. Also it seems you have no qualms with killing secondary characters. Such that the character of Mercy Graves was was completely wasted all to advance a plot thread that no one really cared about. By the time ‘Justice League Part Two’arrives, the DCEU will be composed strictly of superheroes and villains, no normal people left for these gods to interact with it seems.

 

All of these concerns have been raised by other people, but why are your Superman and Batman so dang gullible? Why is Lois always in the middle of the action? How haven’t people not named Lex figured it out that Superman has a thing for Lois Lane? Why exactly do Lois and Clark love each other? With the universe you’ve established, other than the fact that she’s one of the only people who knows his secret, they have no chemistry. Though you did sprinkle some intriguing ideas into the movie. I particularly enjoyed Lex Luthor’s ‘angels and demons’ painting and why he felt it was best left upside down. That was interesting. Also seeing the destruction of Metropolis from Bruce Wayne’s perspective was a nice touch. It was all wasted in the 2nd half of the movie though when things became super-campy and happened for the sake of happening. No logical explanation why, but “come on, just go along with it!” In case you were wondering I didn’t. I ended up being sour at this point. Couldn’t believe how bad this movie was.

 

Nothing was organic anymore, just pure plot-no-jutsu. A giant leap backwards in terms of the quality of DC Movies. It became a brainless smash-em-up. It ventured into Transformers: Whatever the New One is Called-territory. Even the now heralded Wonder Woman scene is ruined  because of everything that followed and preceded it. I only remember that one seductive look Gal Gadot gave when she was knocked down, that’s about it. Now to the general audience that has no prior exposure, this might seem alright, and I might just seem extremely nitpicky. But as someone who’s seen it done before, and in a more cerebral and satisfying way, I find it difficult to sit idly and just take this bastardization. For Batman it’s Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns that was chosen, w/c is one of my personal faves, the graphic novel and movie. And for Superman they used the Death of Superman story line (which itself was a cash grab), i’m not really big on Supes in the comics but I still know what Superman represents and respect who he is and who he should be. He’s the big blue boy scout. A constant. Even in Marvel’s sunny universe, or DC’s monochromatic universe, the core of that character is the same. He is someone of sound judgement; a moral example that represents truth, bravery, and all good qualities you can think of. Regardless of whether he was originally intended to be that way, Superman is now/was(thanks Snyder!) an allegory of Jesus, like Aslan (Robot Chicken reference; quick youtube search). One of the best lines in Man of Steel is delivered by Jor-El, Superman’s father when he explains to his son what he hopes he will make of his life…

Now what Zack Snyder has given us, is not Superman. I don’t think he intended to, but he has successfully undone every good that he did in introducing a contemporary Superman that fits this modern time in his prior movie Man of Steel. Instead his version of superman, bootleg-superman, has about as much depth as a pareidolic potato that looks like John Cleese, is impulsive and goes on Sasuke-level soul searches, and acts dumb. Superman is a genius in the comics. Now he’s also someone who is now okay with murder. Big middle finger to you, Jor-El. There was a scene in BvS that I just couldn’t believe. After Lex revealed his master plan on how he was going to force the two heroes to face each other, which was ridiculous, Superman runs into Lois and tells her concerning the Batman/Bruce Wayne; “I have to convince him to help me, or he has to die.” Like what the f…? I couldn’t believe what I had just heard. How are those your only two choices? Why is the latter even an option? Whaaaat?  That was it for me, the fan-goggles were completely off. Have you ever been so shocked, then disappointed for a little bit that you just end up laughing? That was me the rest of the movie. I realized what I was watching was crap, (neatly decorated crap with mediocre visuals at times, but crap nonetheless) and I just laughed the rest of that movie. It was hilarious.

 

DC has at the time-being abandoned everything Christopher Nolan did for them in establishing a grounded and cerebral comic universe and has gone for the brainless-and-spectacle approach instead. WB/DC tried to make a big deal about how the trailers didn’t spoil the doomsday fight but i disagree. Exactly how the third act played out, is how i predicted it would sans the death of Superman. Which you saw fit to reverse since everyone bought it that your most sacred character really bit the dust #sarcasm. You did surprise me though, I didn’t think it would be as terrible, I thought maybe the big fight might save the movie. Nope, that fight scene was unremarkable. Just a bunch of messy CGI clutter and slow-mo cam. As for their new Batman, i’ll try to keep this short. I like certain aspects. The suit, Ben Affleck’s acting, and the ‘design’ of the Batmobile; it looks terrible in action btw and i’ll explain why. Disclaimer: this is a nitpick. Look upon this scene of Chris Nolan’s batpod in action from The Dark Knight and bask in the magic of practical effects.

Now I know the car chase scene in BvS might not be fresh on your mind still. But if you happen to rewatch BvS, take note of how unrealistic that cgi-filled scene is. That was so bad that if it was placed in 1997’s Batman & Robin, it would fit right in. As for the man himself, Snyder and Co. have perverted the Batman. As much as I was for the fight when i saw the trailers and assumed the reason behind it was as legitimate as Frank Miller’s graphic novel…

“I want you to remember, Clark…in all the years to come…in your most private moments…I want you to remember…my hand…at your throat…I want you to remember…the one man who BEAT you!”

Snyder’s version of that fight was comical, extremely dark (which i’m usually okay with) and revealed something to me. Seeing xenophobic branding-iron Batman pick up a sink, and then a spear to smash and cut Superman was no longer what I wanted to see. These weren’t heroes anymore having a minor disagreement. They were now super powered murderers…in flowing capes. Zack Snyder’s Batman is an invincible video game hack, that somehow still manages to be useless in the final boss battle. Gone are the days of Christian Bale’s human batman. Zack Snyder has effectively killed superheroes in the DC Extended Universe. I expect Flash to pickpocket old ladies because he needs the money to score drugs. No longer do Batman and Superman have moral codes and ideals, but they’re now okay with murdering people. At this rate we won’t be able to distinguish between good and evil come Suicide Squad time.

 

Stop before it’s too late

This entire exercise felt like self-sabotage brought on by greed. We get it, Marvel makes a lot of money making shared universe movies. Warner Bros.you want a big piece of that pie too and unsurprisingly feel like you deserve it. This is fine…but WB/DC you can’t keep putting out this mediocre work, your fanbase is not juvenile and will wisen up. Don’t think there won’t be consequences in the long run. You will kill the current superhero market. As a fan this is not something I expected to say, but you are bad for business. You’re not reinventing and helping the market grow, you’re just leeching…aggressively. People will stop looking forward to your event movies. My suggestion? Nada, I am not qualified. I just have my opinion, which is that Zack Snyder and his ‘visually-arresting’ self (pfft!) need not be involved as director anymore. I can’t imagine how bad Justice League will be under his helm. Whatever you decide to do, sadly I don’t care anymore. But as a fan of the comics and your past work, Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, I want you to do better. A lot better. You have a plethora of interesting characters in your hands with stories ready to be told. You just have to do it the right way. Don’t worry about playing catch-up to Marvel. They have every right to be ahead at the moment, they started a lot earlier than you. To quote the King of L’s 2015 Meek Mill, “there’s levels to this…” You guys can’t skip levels, bad things happen when you do. Bide your time for a bit and release quality products. Don’t rush man. You guys were the cool kids on the block doing what you needed to do when you needed to do it in 2005-2012. That worked for you. Don’t try to “out-Marvel” Marvel, just do you. Be DC, craft intense story lines that fit your characters. No more forcing things. If you continue with the direction you’re headed in right now, know that i’m NOT coming along. I’ll let Charles Xavier explain…

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s