Drunken Movie Review: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, the Ultimate Cut
“Um… how best to describe it?” –Immortal words from Jeremy Irons’ version of Alfred Pennyworth
Okay. It’s a Saturday night. What better way to spend it than with a case of cold beer and a viewing of the extended cut of DC’s Batman vs. Superman? I hadn’t seen the theatrical version, so I’m diving into this longer cut because I hear it’s the better of the two versions, ok? In my mind, this movie is going to be awesome, and then… I watched it, while drinking.
Yes, time to bring up the Alfred quote from the top of this little column, which is not only the best line in the film, but it also makes me wonder: how would I best describe this movie, if I had to? Okay, Alfred, I would just say it all kinds of NOT awesome. This might sound surprising to you, but even more surprising is the fact that, the further along into this film I got, the more ridiculous and flat out BAD it became. Really.
It started out good enough – basically picking up during Superman’s (uh! THE Superman’s…What a stupid damn use of articles.. I friggin’ HATE when they call them “The” Batman and “The” Superman, because instead of making these characters sound bigger, the stupid article makes them sound like something I can look up on Google Earth) obscene battle with Zod in Man of Steel. Remember that? The completely ridiculous fight where Superman and Zod just blow through buildings creating what looked like a wrecking ball on crystal meth? I remember thinking to myself, Good God, who cleans up all this crap when the fight is over? I doubt there was any emergency broadcast saying evacuate everyone in a 20-mile radius, Superman and Zod are about to go Godzilla on the city… so anyway, my first beer is opened and this is basically where it starts, with Bruce Wayne hauling ass in his soccer mom mobile towards the chaos. He’s just in the fray – trying to help people injured and trapped in the ensuing wreckage… very cool. Way to go, Bruce! All this destruction and the casualties seem to really weigh on him. He’s pissed. And naturally so. I mean, c’mon, Batman will kick your ass dangle you from a building on a wire, but he’s not about to risk anyone’s life if he has his way…
Remember I said that…
Jump ahead a year and a half and Superman is saving Lois yet again. She’s in the desert interviewing some dudes. Were they terrorists? No clue. I’m only on my second beer at this point so I can’t blame the alcohol. Whatever happened just didn’t make an impression on me as the movie spirals into the abyss of fragmented storytelling and you really can’t make heads or tails of a coherent plot. So Superman saves his woman and I think lots of people die. Civilians. There was something about a bullet – some special bullet that led people to believe that Superman did something really bad. I’m sorry: does this all sound vague? Well, it’s just about the best description I can give you. Desert. Lois Lane. Bullet. People dead. Superman bad. And, of course, Lex Luther was somehow involved in all of this, uh, whatever you call it…
Let’s talk Lex Luther for a second. Really? Some twisted soul on DC’s payroll actually Jesse Eisenberg for this role. Genius. I mean, was this like a personal favor or something? A dare? A bet? Coin-toss? A joke? I’d say it’s a joke but I’m NOT laughing. Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Lex Luther might have actually made my jaw drop. My toilet brush would have done a better job than this whiny, stuttering, weird, squeaky-voiced douche-bag. I had to pound a beer just to get through listening to him speak with all of his hiccups and odd tics and freakish snorts. What the holy hell, DC? I am literally so freaking appalled and irritated that I just can’t find the words. No.. just.. No.
So: Lex Luther (I have to gag, excuse me) is hosting some party which both Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent attend. Diana Prince is also at said party. She catches Bruce Wayne’s eye as well as my own – did you see those kick-ass shoes she was wearing? Lex Luther introduces Wayne and Kent to one another. Ugh. I really, really didn’t know at this point if I’d make it through this film if I had to watch much more of Lex, and the only thing I can do is hope that another beer will somehow numb me of this asshat.
Okay – now I’m going to make it a point to say this next part: Alfred is giving Bruce directions on how to each Luther’s computer or database or archives or whatnot. My point here is Clark Kent hears Alfred clear as a bell through Bruce’s earpiece, during a party, from the other side of the room. Just keep that in the back of your mind for now.
Bruce attaches some nifty doodad to Luther’s mainframe – I don’t know why. Just because, I guess. When he and Alfred sort through all of Luther’s info, they learn about Kryptonite. And Bruce decides he might need some, ya know… just in case. And hey, did I mention that Jeremy Irons is playing Alfred? No? (well actually I kind of did with the quote that introduces this column, but I’m not sure if that counts) Did I mention that he was totally horrible as Alfred? Ok. Now you know. Jeremy Irons for God’s sake! How the hell could HE mess this up? Well, he did. Instead of Alfred, he was more like tech-guy number 1. What’s even happening here? Party. Clark Kent. Bruce Wayne. Lex Luthor. Hijack mainframe. Weaponize Kryptonite. Drink another beer….
…and next thing I know, Batman is in the desert, visiting the site Superman rescued Lois earlier, that same place where civilians died and Superman became bad in everyone’s mind and there was that bullet … (I don’t even know what’s happening here so how can I explain it?). So, anyway Batman arrives wearing camouflage – I shit you not – over his costume. I know I must have laughed because he looked ridiculous. It’s bad enough Ben Affleck is stuffed into a sausage suit made to look like Batman – but now he’s wearing camouflage? With, like a long coat and his little bat-ears pointing out? Ok… this is hilarious. This place looks like a war zone. Total ground zero kind of shit. And, Batman is apparently leading a bunch of soldiers into.. What? Wait.. what? What’s happening? What’s going on here? My friend is telling me that Batman isn’t leading these soldiers. They have Superman patches and Batman is fighting them. I don’t make any sense of the scene, at least not before we are onto an even less coherent scene where there’s like this fuzzy-looking light zapping and some dude’s face appears and says something about “finding the others” and ZAP! Bruce Wayne wakes up. It’s just a dream, right? Any my good friend informs me who it was supposed to be after seeing my confusion: “That’s the Flash, Luna.” My thought: “ohhh, ok. Really? Why?”
See, I should clarify for everyone reading this that I don’t follow the actual comics and I guess I missed the disclaimer before the movie started telling me that I’ll only think it will be a cool movie and that it will make any kind of sense if I’ve read the comics – because, as it is, I found that, as a viewer, I got screwed! I got so confused so fast trying to peel away some of the haphazardly assembled scenes in search of a story that would anchor me to all these random events. Too bad there wasn’t opening text giving me the details that I otherwise wouldn’t know unless I read the damn comics….
So Superman is at some big supreme court-like hearing where he’s meant to defend himself or explain his actions with all these civilian causalities back in the desert. Never mind that he just saved all of mankind a little over a year ago – a village was destroyed. So– BOOM! A bomb goes off. Everyone at the hearing dies and Superman again looks like the bad guy because he didn’t detect the bomb and save everyone in 5 seconds. He feels guilty that he couldn’t do just that – and he disappears. WTF? What’s going on here? Disappear? Why not like, find out who planted the bomb? Isn’t it obvious that this is all connected? I’m on my 5th beer and even I can see how obvious it is. I mean, DUH!
Now, somehow at some point Lois gets her hands on that bullet I mentioned earlier. This big, bad bullet meant to make Superman look bad. I’m not really interested in the bullet because I’m kinda fixated on Amy Adams’ nose: it’s like a little elf-shoe in the middle of her face.. The way it curves up at the end? I mentally picture a little jingle bell at the very tip and crack myself up. This shows just how interested I am at this point: that I kind of lost what is actually happening because there’s no rhyme or reason to how the scenes are edited together so the my attention is fixated on this girl’s nose. This is the first time Batman and Superman have been on screen together and the movie forgot that it’s supposed to make me care about this.
Okay, well, by now Bruce Wayne has stolen Kryptonite to weaponize. Screw the “just in case” – because now he plans to use it. I have to stop for a second and remember that I love Bruce Wayne. Because in THIS movie I find that I actually HATE him. He’s an ass! And you know how Batman feels about not becoming an executioner? Well, forget all that because THIS Batman kills people. With guns, even! C’MON! Now I’m actually HATING Batman?? What the hell is this movie doing to me? Since when does Batman go around killing people? Many people? Oh, and he brands them now, too! I’m going to need a sponsor by the end of this piece of trash film because I’m drinking over the loss of the Batman that I love! This just sucks!
Lex Luthor has found a way onto the Kryptonian ship and he’s using his blood and Zod’s fingertips?… to create.. Something… something that I’m sure will be bad. And I mean bad in every sense of the word. He then kidnaps Clark’s mother Martha Kent. I feel bad that another woman is saddled with that name, Martha, as Lex basically tells Superman “Kill Batman or your momma dies.” Oh yeah, Superman is back from his brief exile. And now, he’s hip to the plan that Lx put into play that was supposed to put he and Batman against each other. Yet, we had to see him being told everything, like a 4-year-old. Seriously.
Bruce Wayne has created his weapons and built himself this godawful monstrosity of a batsuit. Like this damn thing looks like it’s impossible to walk in and appears so heavy like it would sound like Optimus Prime marching in a parade. Not only is the “armor” ridiculous, but he’s got eyes that look like LED flashlights. What’s the purpose of the eyes? How the hell can he SEE through those things? Are they meant to serve as headlights or something? If I wanted to watch Iron Man, I would have popped that movie in instead. This clumsy getup is just dumb. Superman is going to try and reason with Batman rather than kill him. I’m not even sure why they just decided they wanted to kill each other in the first place. I mean, neither of these guys for one second thought to attempt to talk to each other? Nope. Just kill. Batman (who is now a pro-execution asshat) isn’t listening to anything; he just flat-out attacks Superman. Eventually, he pisses Superman off and fires one his Kryptonite weapons at him. Superman doesn’t hold his nose, and I notice he doesn’t even fan away the GREEN smoke from his face… NO! This is just CGI effects added later after all. It really looks like he just stands there and inhales it. After some more fighting, Batman starts to reload his Kryptonite grenade thingy and Superman just stands there like, ten feet away, while Batman, in his loud clunky armor, audibly loads this grenade launcher and Superman somehow doesn’t hear any of this. Remember earlier when he could clearly hear Tech-guy #1 – I mean, Alfred – speaking to Bruce Wayne during a party. Yeah, well I remembered that too. Batman, who I’m cussing out now because he’s basically CHEATING with this Kryptonite crap, then fires another grenade and weakens Superman to the point that he’s ready to impale him with a Kryptonite spear. I HATE this Batman. I can’t even understand his Bat-voice. It’s horrible. Superman then pleads with him to save his mother, Martha. Then -VIOLA! – Batman hears the name Martha and thinks – “Okay” – ?? Whaaat?? Just like that? Because it’s the same name as his own mother? For real? I’ve lost count as to which beer I’m on. Guessing I’ve had at least nine. This is COMPLETELY UNBELIEVABLE!
So now they are suddenly best buds, and Batman save Marta and Superman gives Lex Luther the bird, figuratively speaking. But Lex then unleashes the Kraken…. you know…. That “bad thing” he was cooking up with his DNA earlier. Well, it’s being birthed now. Like one of Saruman’s Uruk-hai, only looking more like a LOTR cave troll.
Behold, Doomsday. A giant CGI nightmare puked into this movie. A Jurassic abomination of some roaring, junkless creature that my eyes can’t even focus on. New besties Batman and Superman are trying to fight Doomsday. I can’t give you specifics. It was confusing and hard to watch.. The more they attacked the stronger Doomsday became. Suddenly, Wonder Woman shows up! Her arrival was the best and only enjoyable part of this movie. She looked badass and she was ENJOYING this fight. “I’ve killed things from other worlds before.” She says this as if she totally planned to SMITE the hell out of Doomsday. She was causing damage and laughing. I loved her.
It’s obvious that only Kryptonite will destroy this heinous, flashy disaster. And not soon enough, trust me. Superman is hovering in the sky and hears knocking – guess who? It’s Lois. He can hear her trapped underwater. From the sky. He just can’t hear anything close-range, maybe. He saves her, though why she’s here means nothing to me. He retrieves the spear and stuffs it into Doomsday. Then he gets impaled himself by one of the things Doomsday has all over his body. They both die. Yeah. Superman is dead. Have a beer with me now, because he is gone.
There are funerals for both Clark and Superman, separately, of course. Lois receives an engagement ring in the mail from Clark. Did he expect to die? Or was this his proposal plan all along? Neither option makes sense to me.
Diana is talking to Bruce who says he wants to rally “the others.” We saw Diana at some point earlier viewing some email from Wayne, including video clips about herself/ Wonder Woman, the Flash, Aquaman, and the Cyborg guy. I think we saw these clips inserted into this godforsaken movie where ever they could squeeze it in, and it was right around the time the two heroes were going to start fighting. Really? Anyway, each of these promo videos (they seemed a lot like DC Easter eggs) all had some icon or or call sign referring to each hero. I recognized Wonder Woman’s but I had to be told by my friend who the other three were. Again, shame on me for not knowing enough to read the comics ahead of time, or for not following all the movie news gossip so that I knew ahead of time that these guys would have forced cameos.
The movie finally ended, with the emphasis on finally, with a shot of some dirt on Superman’s casket. The dirt begins to rise and.. CREDITS!
Sooo.. he’s alive then? Overall- I still hated this Batman. I hated with a passion Lex Luther (oh, he’s in jail, by the way). The story, such as it was, was all over the damn place. Alfred was a disappointment and Wonder Woman rocked. The best part, you ask? I got drunk.