In Defense of Batman v Superman: 8 Things It Did Right

Not the complete and total mess critic make it out to be.

I’m a fan, not a critic, which is why, more often than not, I appreciate the good in movies (well, more than your typical critic, at least), and that has never been more apparent than now, as I go against a tide of animosity in defense of Batman V Superman (BvS): Dawn of Justice.

Not the best, but still littered with great moments like this one.

While I agree with some of the points being raised against it – the strenuously convoluted plot, uneven pacing, occasional shoddy logic, shallow Batman and Superman conflict, shoehorned characters and Justice League content, and the general lack of anything more than what was shown in the trailers – I still don’t think it deserved the flurry of negative reviews that it got. It wasn’t the next TDK, but there were certainly still a lot to enjoy and appreciate. I don’t know, maybe it’s the fanboy in me.

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Bad review or no, THIS should still be enough reason to watch.


Comic Book Devotion

As far as I could tell, the film draws heavy inspiration from mainly 2 DC stories – Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and Death of Superman (because Doomsday, duh.) It isn’t new for films to borrow from the books, but to be able to get two wildly popular stories (and a few others) and meld them in such seamless fashion still deserves credit.

Hydraulic armor from Miller's TDKR.

Even its melancholic tone felt inspired by writers like Mark Waid or Brian Azzarello in that it’s grounded in the humanity of the characters and less about the superhero flashiness than it is about the images they reflect to society.

There were also so many little winks and nods and references to the books that tickled, even moments that were practically ripped from the pages of the comics and beautifully recreated by Snyder. Listing all the fun Easter eggs would require another article all together!

A classic WW comic cover pose.

Visuals are consistently exquisite

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Just a couple of many powerful and stylized imagery Snyder uses.

Say what you will about Zack Snyder, but the man makes gorgeous visuals. Every other frame is a photo you wanna hang on your wall. Whether it’s in action sequences or somber moments, he accentuates the emotion through very poignant imagery and deliberate shot composition. (Case in point, the Doomsday aftermath.)


Everything Batman was on point!

Everyone who thought that Ben Affleck was poor casting choice can eat it! (I admit, I was part of that crowd, but once the trailer hit, Affleck had me at running-towards-collapsing-building.) The man did not disappoint! He was easily pulls off Bruce’s outward charm and bubbling intensity; and we already know he has the brooding down to a T. Everything Batman was done right and Ben Affleck made both his Batman AND Bruce Wayne a joy to watch. It’s got me optimistically looking forward to his solo film!

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Both as Batman and Bruce Wayne, Affleck was a joy to watch.

But yes, the killing, I know, is a huge issue. If Batman kills, then you essentially destroy a significant facet of what makes Batman, Batman. But that’s just what it is, a facet. Batman doesn’t kill, I agree, but his more imperative characteristics are his deductive mind, his perpetual preparedness, his more violent brand of justice (as compared to Superman’s), his ability to strike fear in the hearts of criminals and become this demonic myth to Gotham’s people, and his obsessive dedication to his mission – and this, I believe, were flawlessly embodied in Affleck’s Batman.

BvS’ Batman was excessively violent, but it was actually serving his character arc. It was hinted that something happened to Bruce that made disillusioned, tortured, and angry. But after his encounter with Superman, a flicker of light seemed to rekindle within him. His appeal to search for other heroes and his uncharacteristic decision not to brand Luthor was indicative of a reformed (or reforming) Batman.


Lex is an actual evil mastermind

Jesse Luthor might be scrawny, but Lex's 'power' traditionally comes from his malicious mind.

Irritable Jesse Eisenberg-isms and dialogue aside, BvS’ Lex Luthor was a force to be reckoned with. BvS does not take his intelligence for granted. In a surprising, but appreciated, writing decision, Luthor already knows Batman and Superman’s alter egos, which, if you think about it, of course he’d know! He’s supposed to be way smart!

The scene where Lex was sadistically throwing photos of an abused Martha at Superman was genuinely chilling and, to me, cemented this Lex’s place as one of the scariest, most threatening foils to any incarnation of Superman!

Better use of supporting characters

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Lois isn't just the damsel in distress. I just really liked this photo.

Both Lois and Perry got the amount of screen time appropriate for their characters. It wasn’t like the last film where they were being forced down our throats. The movie uses media as a framing tool for its societal reflections, so it makes sense for Perry to have an integral role in the story. It also makes sense for Lois to be the one investigating Superman’s frame up since it’s actually within her expertise!

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Lois and Perry, making more sense than they ever did in Man of Steel.

And was I the only one who thought Alfred was the best? Aside from being Bruce’s voice of reason, it was cool to see how integrated he was in Batman’s operations. He wasn’t just the butler or father figure, he was, honest-to-goodness, Batman’s partner! And I loved it!
Behind every (Bat)man, is a good Alfred.

The much awaited Batman and Superman fight was GLORIOUS

Cue Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You".

Regardless of how it got there, the actual fight was mesmerizing! No matter how bad you thought the rest of the film was, you can’t dispute that the Batman-Superman fight was gloriously hardcore, massively fan-pleasing and brilliantly-directed!

Superman was nerfed, and Batman doesn't have powers; it was as fair a fight as it could've been.

Snyder made me believe that the fight could have gone both ways. I also appreciated how he resolved it. Never in a million years could I have thought that the odd coincidence that both Bruce and Clark’s mothers were named Martha could be used to foster a profound emotional bond between the two.

Gal Gadot

Gal Gadot is perfect for Wonder Woman.
Who am I kidding, she's perfect, period!

Gal Gadot was a stroke of genius casting. Wonder Woman’s side story may not have been too relevant, but Gal Gadot’s commanding presence, exotic aura, and gleeful ferocity as she fights were spot-on for DC’s quintessential heroine.

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Stop the presses, I think I may have just fallen in love!

DC Trinity v Doomsday

The hype is real!

So there they were, Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, standing tall, side by side, ready to battle a formidable threat, marking the first ever moment DC’s three biggest characters have ever been on the big screen together. If that weren’t enough, what follows as a battle so EPIC that it can only be accurately described as 'all my dreams coming true'

This is, truly, enough reason to watch the movie.

sp bm cp ww cp sm
Part Man of Steel sequel, part dawn of Justice League.

There was so much hate on BvS that I found myself constantly waiting for the ball to drop in a big, hate-deserving, way, but it never does. I guess there are just going to be those who notice the directorial and writing missteps, and then there are those who’d find sheer joy in simply seeing their favorite characters come to life in spectacular fashion. I’m glad I was one of the latter, and I would happily watch it again. It’s the perfect Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman – no matter how horrible the setup was, that payoff was more than enough.



*First seen on The Philippine Online Chronicles!

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