We could have asked way more than 10.
Years of anticipation, teasers, and rumors have come to fruition as BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE has finally been brought to the altar of critics, fans, and geeks alike. Warner Bros. teamed up with director Zack Snyder, and writers Chris Terrio to bring the world a crossroads story arc heralded in graphic novels and expanded-on in animation to much acclaim (financially, anyway), starring Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams returns as Lois Lane, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, and featuring Gal Gadot as the immortal Wonder Woman.
What say the gods of the silver screen for this most awaited $250M offering?
"...Hmm. That was pretty good?"
Here are 10 questions we still have FOR BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE.
(MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD)
- THEY COULDN'T FIT MORE SUBPLOTS INTO THE STORY?
Sarcasm aside, I think I would've been quite content with an in-depth movie about just two characters battling with their wits, respective powers, and eventually their physical strength, followed by a short nugget hinting at finding other "meta-humans" or coming across an indestructible genetic abomination threatening humanity, which would make the heroes realize the sum of their abilities outweighs their feud and a team-up is the only path to a bright future. Instead, the film started juggling every ball it can came across only to realize the finale was a subjective success only because the audience was impressed with the attempt, not the presentation. Don't misunderstand, I am a huge fan of the Justice League, but I don't agree with shoehorning all of the foundation members into one film before most them even have their own projects. It felt like a mad-dash to close the gap behind Marvel's AVENGERS franchise.
- FUTURE-FLASH CAMEO: COULD YOU BE ANY MORE VAGUE?
Flash fans know the speedster has the ability to run so fast he can travel through time, but unless you follow the DC comic book universe, its possible this message from the future was downright esoteric. Before we even get a taste of other super-powered people in the BVS universe, BLAM--here comes one now in a ball of lightning telling us "Lois Lane is the key" and then allowing the film to never really fulfill this prophecy. I assume its meant as a bookmark for JUSTICE LEAGUE: PART 1, but there were loads of respective hints and nods already sewn into the story. I think this segment of the film was another bell-and-whistle that should have been saved for the next project.
- WAS THAT AQUAMAN OR FOOTAGE FROM DISCOVERY'S "MERMAIDS: THE NEW EVIDENCE"?
In 2013, the Discovery Channel aired the "documentary," MERMAIDS: THE NEW EVIDENCE"; a B-rate, poorly acted, sci-fi insult to loyal Discovery fans built off of a two-day script overflowing with overt ambiguity about the existence of mermaids and underwater footage taken from a submersible craft showcasing a cringe-worthy, anthropomorphic, oh-so-obviously CGI fish-creature. Back to BVS, we saw the exact same display. A shot of an aged sunken ship (which Aquaman just happens to hang out in, I guess?) when the Atlantean King emerges from the shadows, stares at the camera and poses with a trident for an unnecessarily long beat, before gently super-tapping the submersible and torpedo-ing away. I think the concept of "less is more" would've benefited this part of BVS.
- IF LEX LUTHOR WAS GOING TO CREATE DOOMSDAY ANYWAY, WHAT WAS THE POINT OF BLOWING UP THE CAPITAL BUILDING?
The American people were already throwing shade at the Kryptonian; the double amputee victim from eighteen months prior was about to paint the Man of Steel the color of a monster; framing him for blowing up a Congressional hearing seemed like overkill and a great way for Luthor to be counterintuitive to his own plans. Perhaps he wanted to clear his path of that stick in the mud, Senator Finch (played by Holly Hunter) and her meddling gang of Congressmen? That doesn't seem airtight since Lex obviously acts without regard to authority. So, gratuitous mayhem for funsies? It felt like an incomplete idea thrown into the villain role without an actualized journey to follow, meant for the audience to simply accept. Correction: It felt like another incomplete idea meant for us to simply accept.
- DOES HAPHAZARDLY TOSSING AN ALIEN CORPSE INTO A HOT-TUB INCUBATOR WITH A SMIDGEN OF YOUR OWN BLOOD AND ZERO EXPLANATION FOR YOUR PROCESS MAKE YOU AN EVIL GENIUS?
No, it makes you a bored, schizophrenic, billion-dollar tech company heir on cocaine. If this is how Lex Luthor "does science" then LexCorp must have a monopoly on the market for mashing two different colored cans of Play-Doh together. Jesse Eisenberg knows how to play crazy, but he knows more about how to play the smartest guy in the room (reference to NOW YOU SEE ME.) However, his role in BVS felt simply too over-the-top. The character's fast-talking persona seemed like a modern-day homage to Gene Hackman's rendition of Lex Luthor from SUPERMAN (1978): more villainous tycoon than mad scientist. I expected this version of Lex Luthor to be a self-made prodigy capable of going toe-to-toe with the Sherlock Holmesian detective skills of Bruce Wayne, not simply rely on his Scrooge McDuckian powers of money and control. What I got was a crazy millennial whom wanted to play god. I know Lex Luthor as an intellectual; I once saw his animated counterpart dig a tunnel out of a super-max prison by building a robot capable of reciting his favorite novels, like Moby Dick. A harmless reading robot wouldn't catch the guards' attention, much less dig a tunnel, but Lex secretly programed it to recite the novels at a frequency high enough to cut through solid concrete and thusly carved a comfortable flight of stairs out of his cell. This is the class of villainy I have come to expect from Lex Luthor, and I'm sending this plate of Eisenberg-Tar-Tar back to the kitchen.
- SO BATMAN KILLS PEOPLE NOW?
Throughout several scenes in BVS, Batman displays his ability to ferociously neutralize combatants without breaking his one rule...unless its one of the several other scenes when he is. In the comic books, Batman has typically remained anchored to the decades-old moral code of not killing anyone, not even the Joker. The Christian Bale era of the Dark Knight loosened that anchor-chain by not outright killing bad guys, but instead took liberties when it came to not having to save them from a mortal danger. But Affleck's Batman? He puts the criminals in mortal danger by marking them with his bat-brand, targeting them for in-prison violence from other inmates. Even though the hand-to-hand fight scenes of BVS were impressive, and seemed to pull inspiration from the widely successful ARKHAM video game franchise, apparently this Batman has no problem exploding cars with a hood-mounted .50 caliber weapon, then harpoon-dragging the still-occupied wreck for three blocks before catapulting it into another car full of thugs. In an interview with HeyUGuys.com, Director Zack Snyder explains: "So, I tried to do it by proxy. Shoot the car they’re in, the car blows up or the grenade would go off in the guy’s hand, or when he shoots the tank and the guy pretty much lights the tank [himself]. I perceive it as him not killing directly, but if the bad guy’s are associated with a thing that happens to blow up, he would say that that’s not really my problem." No, Zack, its not his problem. Its our problem.
- IF SUPERMAN WILL COME BACK TO LIFE, WHY COULDN'T GENERAL ZOD?
Obviously this is a major spoiler for the ending, but you were warned. I guess getting stabbed through the heart isn't as fatal as a neck broken by a few megatons of force? Yes, the resurrection saga of Superman is crucial to the DC universe, but it creates a discontinuity for me and I cannot look past it. Maybe I'm just too big of a Michael Shannon fan and wanted to see him back in action.
- HOW DOES NO ONE NOTICE A JAR OF PISS IN THE CAPITAL AND NOT DISPOSE OF IT?
A callback to the character's one-liner to Lex Luthor along the lines of peeing in jars and calling it peach tea, Senator Finch is stopped mid-opening statement when she notices a jar of urine (URINE!) on the desk in front of her. Two seconds later the entire building explodes killing everyone but Superman, of course. I already mentioned this scene in a previous question, but it bugs me that not a single other member of the hearing smelled pee coming from a jar on their desk. Assuming it actually was pee in the jar, but the question remains how does this not raise suspicion?
- WHY WASN'T THE IRON-BAT FEATURED MORE?
Every BVS preview presented in the last year spotlighted the anti-Kryptonian battle armor donned by the Batman. With Marvel's competing Ironman suit in a clear lead in wearable protective technology, I expected a more dramatic showcase of the Iron-Bat; I would've even settled for a montage of shots showing the assembly of the suit on Ben Affleck's bod. Instead, we just get a jump-cut to Batman already wearing it and primed for a fight. The other details missed by BVS were the nuances of the suit. When Ironman goes walking across the scene, you can hear the telltale whirring or servos and feel the clunking impact of each step, letting you experience the presence of a formidable piece of battle-tech. However, Batman's armor barely makes a whisper when it moves and looks more like its made of cement than metal. NOT TO MENTION, after giving the most powerful person on the planet a sound thrashing and taking his fair share of brutality from Superman, Batman walks away with nary a limp. He bled less in a battle with Supes than he probably would from a shaving cut and this pulled me out of my suspended disbelief.
- WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM HERE?
Hopefully more than what was delivered to us with BVS. Nine more films from the DC universe are rumored to be in the works, most of them focused on a single character, evoking my confidence that DC can pull through with the opportunities at-bat. Besides the possibility for more from Batman and Superman, we can start looking forward to respective films about Suicide Squad (potential to be another fluster cuck), the Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern (reboot, reboot, PLEASE DEAR GOD, reboot).