I went into Dayman v Nightman: Dawn of the Troll Toll (see video below) with exceedingly low expectations, which is a strategy that has been working well for me lately. I was hoping for the best but expecting the worst (are they gonna drop the bomb on us) and secretly wanted this movie to blow my god damn socks off. It did not, but it was a lot of fun to watch. I invite you now on my journey through BvS:DoJ, let’s start with a trailer that is superior to the real actual trailer in every respect to get everyone in the mood….
Things kick off with this movie chronologically right after Man of Steel (2013) which gave us an excellent take on the origin story of Superman. If you haven’t seen it basically Superman destroys half of Metropolis while facing off against General Zod (a fellow Kyptonian who is a real piece of work). And by “destroys half of Metropolis” I mean they really mess that city up, like, how did Metropolis even recover? And Bruce Wayne happened to be in town to witness all of it.
That was Wayne tower being completely obliterated by the way. So, Superman has just rolled into town unannounced and unknown and been involved in an insane amount of violence and death. Naturally Batman is not into this and the citizens of the country are also concerned which is where BvS begins, things have started off okay!
Enter Lex Luthor CEO of LexCorp. Words cannot express how much I hate Jesse Eisenberg as Luthor, it was frustrating to watch him neurotically mumble his way through this character who is supposed to be utterly terrifying. He sucks. Lex is trying to be the architect of the greatest battle of all time, Batman v Superman and although his plan starts with a lot of good ideas it deteriorates so quickly. Much like the film. As far as evil geniuses go he had a plan and it was a decent plan but it wasn’t diabolical or that clever.
What started as a deep and thoughtful exploration into the resentment Batman and Superman hold for each other quickly spirals into a nonsensical farce with plot developments so weak it hurts. Maybe if Lex wasn’t so terrible it could have been saved? No that’s not it because anyone who has seen this film with their own eyes and witnessed the “Martha” fiasco knows this script was not exactly great material to work with.
I genuinely feel bad for Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill who both do a very good job in this film. Especially after seeing how sad Ben Affleck has been lately (see video below) because the fact the movie misses the mark has nothing to do with them!
Between the completely unnecessary flashbacks to the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents every five seconds and the overload of set ups for the upcoming Justice League films there really isn’t any substance to this script. It jumps from idea to idea as frantically as a small child trying to explain an exciting action sequence in a movie. “And then superman did this and batman did this and oh by the way all this happened ages ago which is important then omg lex luthor was doing something and then OH MY GOD THEN WONDER WOMAN CAME oh and there are all these other heroes but I don’t have time to explain..”
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, now I had set the bar about as low as it could go, I had buried the bar of hope in the back garden of my mind palace because I love Wonder Woman. Her arrival on the scene was hands down the best part of the movie for me and she pulls out some serious bad-assery in her brief time on screen. I’ll admit I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this Wonder Woman! She’s absolutely nothing like the Diana Prince I grew up watching in the glorious Wonder Woman show but she kicks a lot of ass and gets shit done. She shows up just when you’re about to give up on the whole thing and somewhat redeems the movie, but it’s not enough.
All in all this movie was essentially a powerpoint presentation. There wasn’t any real story but a whole lot of flashy and admittedly amazing visual stimuli with a ripping score by Hans Zimmer (I am biased here because Zimmer is king in my books). That being said a lot of superhero movies do follow this format. I see people comparing this to The Avengers which I honestly hated a whole lot more. I think a lot of people will read that and get straight to their hate stations but honestly guys the Avengers sucked, Age of Ultron sucked and Batman v Superman was sucky but not entirely shit. Both movies are great examples of more style than substance but at least BvS has likeable characters.
It was awesome to see Batman and Superman beating the living shit out of each other and it was even more awesome to see Wonder Woman lasso the fuck out of Doomsday. If you go into this movie with the same attitude as any action movie you’re going to have a good time. Comparing this to the Dark Knight trilogy is a waste of time and energy, those movies were fantastic and brilliantly written and it is sad that it doesn’t live up to that but it’s not necessary to slam hyperbole everywhere saying THIS WAS THE WORST MOVIE I’VE EVER SEEN EVEN DAREDEVIL WAS BETTER THAN THIS (I’m looking at you Rotten Tomatoes).
I just think fans of Superhero stories in general (myself included I love this genre in every format) act like spoiled brats when things don’t go their way. Fans of the DC franchise have been building up hype for this movie in a shark like feeding frenzy for months on end and when they finally saw the film and it wasn’t as perfect as they imagined it to be they took up their pitchforks and called for the heads of everyone involved. Except Affleck, everyone seems to love Affleck.
So everyone just needs to calm down. Just because you love something doesn’t mean it belongs to you exclusively, just because you’ve read all the comics or own a batman costume or think you know more than the average Joe when it comes to these characters, it doesn’t mean you could make a better movie or get to decide “oh it’s terrible it’s the worst thing I’ve ever seen and I feel personally attacked by Warner Brothers for RUINING MY ENTIRE LIFE.”
I will be watching this movie again, probably a few times and I will be complaining about certain things when I talk about it but I don’t feel like I need to burn down Warner Brothers because they didn’t perfectly create what I wanted.
In summary this was disappointing, but if you’re a fan of the genre go see it with your own eyes before you jump on the hate train. It’s a good enough movie, a solid 2.5 hours of fun superhero antics that isn’t completely terrible. Will it be held in high regard among Batman fans? not compared to the Nolan movies. Superman fans? Maybe but they are upset that Supes didn’t get as much character development as Batman. Justice League fans? it sets things up for the upcoming Justice League films yes but it’s a pretty rushed example of team work at the end.