Let me address the elephant in the room. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is not nearly as bad as some reviewers are saying it is. Yes, parts of it are a mess and it does move really slowly at times. But there are so many parts that make up for it:
- We finally get a big screen Wonder Woman and she is perfect!
- The re-imagining of Doomsday is so dope I can’t even deal!
- There are black people in it!
So to be honest, I was concerned how they were going to handle the introduction of Batman since it wasn’t that long since the Dark Knight Trilogy wrapped up. And I was super-duper concerned because it was Ben Affleck. Ugh, Ben Affleck.
I think they handled Batman well as a mid/late career, elder statesman, pre-meta human hero. I think that also represents a struggle within fans of comics, too. How do we reconcile the need for an accessible hero who gets by on his drive, passion, and intelligence with the completely fantastic heroes of mythical or other-worldly origin? I think that will be an ongoing conversation in the Justice League films as well as the Suicide Squad film.
Like I said, though, Wonder Woman was everything. They eased us into her backstory and her secret identity: Diana Prince. She was beautiful, she was bad-ass, she was everything I could have asked for in this film. I like where they are going with her possible immortality, or possibly Themyscira existing in another dimension. (Those are the only reasons I can think of for a photo of WW existing from the early 1900s.)
Maybe I am a wack fan, but I looked up as little as possible about this film before I saw it. Therefore, the appearance of Doomsday was a total shock to me. At first I was like oh man, this Doomsday is awful, he doesn’t even have any bony protrusions! But then he regenerated and out came the protrusions and I was like whaaaaaaaat! I love it!
Note: I only know the original Doomsday, the one who killed Superman back when I was in junior high school. If there were any subsequent Doomsdays after DC rebooted itself, I don’t know. So maybe this Doomsday was loyal to a current version. Whatever the case may be, I thought this was a genius way to introduce the character to the film franchise!
And for the most important piece: Yes, there were black people in it. Not a lot, of course, but enough to make me feel that we haven’t been completely forgotten. Returning to the series is Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, Editor in Chief of the Daily Planet. He’s fun. I hate using the term “race-bent” but this was an excellent example of a character that doesn’t *have* to be white, so why not make him black? So they did. Good for DC.
There were also a few walk-through characters who were black, like a secretary here and there.
But most importantly, and again a big shocker since I hadn’t read any spoilers in advance, was that PAPA POPE IS IN IT. That is to say Joe Morton portrays Dr. Stone, the father and creator of Cyborg (Victor Stone)! I screamed! It was a cameo of only a few minutes, but it was fantastic to learn that this film universe would include Cyborg and his back story.
God bless Joe Morton, man. God bless him. And thank you Marv Wolfman for creating the character in 1980.
Anyway, yeah yeah, the movie’s characters have like no logical motivations most of the time. I wasn’t here for no motivations, I was here to be dazzled as a consumer and winked at as a nerd/fan of DC.
And wink they did. There was so much embedded in it as a fan that I appreciated, so many subtle nods to various incarnations of the characters, from comics to film to television. I will definitely be purchasing this on Blu-Ray when it comes out. Even with its flaws in writing, it’s more than a worthwhile project to enjoy.
Here are two critical reviews that I happen to respect (mostly) even though I still really enjoyed the movie.