(Just a word of caution. If you have not seen the “Batman VS Superman” movie, then there may be some spoilers that follow.)
Back in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s we did not have video games. We had comic books. That was our time waster of my generation. DC comics experimented with a lot of different stories concerning their characters. There was the “what if” and “alternate universes” stories. Not sure I remember them all and the direction they took some of the heroes. The Batman VS Superman movie takes a lot of bits and pieces from various stories of that time period and meshes them together in a collage. If a modern audience is not familiar with those stories? Is that a good thing? Or a bad thing?
I did not go to the theater to watch Batman VS Superman. I just rarely go to the theater, period. I usually wait until it is released on, Vudu, DVD, or Blu-ray. I recently got the chance to view this movie, the ultimate edition, or extended version. (And I recommend this version whether you have or have not see the movie.) My first initial reaction was that I was totally baffled by the excessive criticism that this movie received. I found no justification whatsoever for people bashing this movie. I saw a hard gritty Frank Miller Batman who was seasoned with age. My thoughts were, “finally.” And seemingly a controversial Batman among movie goers, which is what vigilantism is, controversial. A vigilante is usually judge, jury, and executioner. Ben Affleck did a magnificent and outstanding job portraying this version of Batman. A winner in my book. I can overlook the obvious psychological problem that prevented him from killing Superman, hearing the name Martha. He seemed to have this obsession and need to save someone named Martha. If Superman can overlook that this man has some deep problems, so can I.
I saw a Superman who seemed oblivious to the hurt lives and damage caused by his heroism. This Superman is reckless? He seemed so out of touch with reality. After all the years of growing up in the previous movie, he still seemed to not have his head wrapped around who he was, or needed to be. He was detached from having any moral base in his life to make a clear cut decision. That is where I would focus my criticism. This is where Batman found a just cause in his own mind to oppose Superman with the need to take him out. Neither picked up on the fact that Lex was the one pitting them against each other.
Here is where I see an issue. The Superman and Batman of my childhood came from a different culture. Superman supposedly grew up on a farm in a rural small town. Small communities of that time period was heavily influenced by Christian values of the local Church. There was a conscience in our society that reflected those values coming out of the 40’s & 50’s. That is what influenced some of the ideas in the creation of the persona of Super Heroes of that time period. That is why Batman and Superman never killed anyone and had a passion to do good. Superman at the age reflected in this movie would have a moral foundation and be a responsible individual. He would have his head together. Lois would not have used profanity. There would be no debate as to what was right and what was wrong in that scenario. Instead, I guess we see Heroes reflecting the confusion and core values of modern culture?
Overall I felt the movie was well paced and the story unfolded in a way that kept my attention. I fully enjoyed this whole experience. Being an old comicbook fan from years gone by, many years ago I might add, I was not surprised by the ending of this movie. I expected it due to knowing where the story came from. This was a very good movie and did not deserve the heat it got from movie goers that seemingly did not understand the DC universe. Maybe the title got people in a negative mood before entering the theater. They could not enjoy it based on the perspective that they felt Batman and Superman shouldn’t be fighting each other. Really? They had a few disagreements in the comics. (And Batman whipped him there too.) Whatever. Maybe the movie, too much, assumed people were familiar with the story and comics? And many people’s problem with the humor aspect, this is not a Marvel flick, get over it. It is the DC universe. And why was it that you were not able to pick up on some of the humorous situations? I am now cringing with the thought that somehow they’re going to interject forced humor in the next one which will feel awkward and uncomfortable due to the outcry. Was it dark and gloomy? Seemingly it was for a lot of movie goers. I took no thought of it and throughly enjoyed myself.
Superman is still not wearing his underwear on the outside of his pants. I always liked the George Reeves Superman of the 60’s. And I really liked this Batman, for some reason. I would love to see more of him.
Why is it that Super Heroes can never keep their identities a secret in the movies?