Sometimes a second look can make a difference. But, uh, sometimes not.
When I saw Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice the first time, I knew there was little likelihood I’d want to see it again. (Click here to find out why — if you dare.)
They even came out with the Ultimate Edition, adding 30 minutes of material that’s supposed to explain a lot of the plot holes. The response has been markedly better among critics and fans. Still, I have no desire to revisit it any time soon.
Then I heard from Van Sias, fan and occasional contributor to 13th Dimension. Van was willing to be brave and bold — and give BvS a second chance, extra half-hour and all.
Here’s what he came away with… — Dan
By VAN SIAS
On my first-ever trip to California a couple of years ago, a prime destination spot for me was In-N-Out Burger.
I know you’re asking yourself, “What in the world does that have to do with Batman v. Superman?”
Not much, but it will give you a little insight into how I operate.
You see, I was very disappointed by the burger and fries I had at the venerable West Coast chain after hearing so many raves about it. (Sorry, In-N-Out fans!) But I wanted to go back and try it again: Maybe my family and I just didn’t go to the right one. Maybe the grease was bad in the fry cooker.
This baffles my wife, but I’m always willing to give something I don’t like initially a second chance.
And that brings us to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Like many fans, I was let down after catching it in the theater. However, reading stories about the different Easter eggs in it intrigued me and I figured I’d give it another shot. And if I’m going back in, why not go the Ultimate Edition route?
What can I say? I’m a glutton for punishment! Anyway, here are my 13 QUICK THOUGHTS:
1. It took me four days to watch this. Granted, time becomes a premium when you’re working a 9 to 5 and have a young kid, which is my sitch. But I can’t recall watching a comic-book movie — even one I’d caught before — where I didn’t want to see what was coming next. I don’t know, maybe Watchmen? Man of Steel? (Hmmm, I’m sensing a pattern…) Anyway, watching this felt like a homework assignment.
2. Way back, when the trailer first debuted, I couldn’t believe how much Jesse Eisenberg irritated me. Here’s something about that, though: It’s not that the acting is bad, it’s that no one would ever expect Lex Luthor to be written like that. It’s as if he was a cross between the Riddler and the Joker, but not in a good way. Lex should never be portrayed like that again.
3. I guess I could see why this would get an R-rating, with more blood spilled, Ben Affleck’s pill popping and near moon shot, and an F-bomb thrown in, but it felt pretty tame, compared with Deadpool.
4. More thoughts on that extra footage: The Darkseid connection is made clearer toward the end, so you get further info on what Lex is raving about when he’s in jail. As far as the majority of it, unless you were really tossing and turning at night wondering what the whole Lois Lane in the desert thing was really about, there’s not much that added to the overall movie. How can something be three hours long and still not really be fulfilling?
5. Since Bruce is so prone to having nightmares, why not work in one where he’s cradling a broken Robin for even more insight into what shaped him?
6. How cool would it have been if Jena Malone, cut from the theatrical version, had turned out to be Barbara Gordon, as rumored? Or maybe Carrie Kelley? That would’ve blown many a mind.
7. I was really, really hoping for more clarity around Batman/Bruce Wayne: The whole timeline/his place in the world is so confusing to me. Before Superman came along, Batman had been fighting crime for 20 years, right, as noted by Bruce and Alfred? I know he “operates in the shadows,” but still, wouldn’t his actions essentially make him the most famous person in the world? I would assume word would’ve gotten out about “the Batman.” Driving a tank around town, there’s a giant light shining in the sky with a bat symbol…it’s hard to cover that stuff up. So WHY in the world did Clark Kent go around at the beginning like, “Umm, what’s the story with this bat vigilante?” That drove me crazy the first time I saw the movie and this time, too!
8. Following up on that: In the Justice League trailer, Cyborg said something along the lines of hearing about Batman, but not believing that he was real. Of course you heard about him, and of course he’s real: He’s been out there for 20 years! Somebody in Gotham at the very least had to have posted a video of him on YouTube chasing the Joker and Harley Quinn, as seen in Suicide Squad!
9. It’s been interesting for DC since San Diego Comic-Con, with the Justice League and Wonder Woman spots debuting and The Killing Joke controversy (that Batman-Batgirl twist is horrible, IMO). It’s almost as if BvS: Ultimate Edition has flown under the radar. Wonder if DC wanted it that way? Then again, Suicide Squad has been savaged by critics …
10. I watched it a few times and nothing’s changed: That Cyborg cameo is pretty gross.
11. To me, the best scene in the whole movie is when Batman took on all the bad guys to rescue Martha Kent. I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite action sequences in comics is watching a Batman, Daredevil or Captain America charge into a gang of henchmen and leave none of them standing. Aside from what’s been happening in the Daredevil Netflix show, this was the best live-action portrayal of one man against a near-army and coming out on top.
12. Henry Cavill as Superman was fine; Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was pretty good. But honestly, I can’t wait to see what happens with a full-on Affleck Batman movie. Let’s see how it goes when he’s calling the shots.
13. I gave BvS its second shot, but I think I’m done. It’s just so tough to get through. Did you know that in the first hour, there’s less than two minutes total time of men-in-costume action happening? You don’t need battles and explosions going on all the time, but less than two minutes in an hour? That’s inexcusable.
And in case you were wondering, I never made it back to In-N-Out. Maybe I should’ve gone that route with BvS.