*Mild Spoilers if for some reason you are living under a rock*
Originally, my intent was to give a solid review of Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice point for point but like the muted saturation of the color-scheme and overall tone of the movie I was drained. But my homie Krillin hit me with a Senzu Bean and Lex gave me that super effective pep talk. So I powered the f*ck up and dusted the cobwebs off of my laptop.
In a year that gave us three different super-powered movies, some great (Civil War) and some not so great (X-Men Apocalypse). It’s easy to see the clear divide of factions, DC on one side and Marvel on the other … with Fox out doing a coffee run.
Okay, okay before I get a crap-ton of DC Stans hitting me up with “that’s apples and oranges” or “You can’t compare DC to Marvel”. To that I say, yes you can. More importantly, you can compare BvS to Civil War. Even though I tried not to compare the two it was difficult in that they both tried to accomplish the same task but only one carried out that objective, the objective being to set up for the next big ensemble movie. That being said, the movies are very similar in plot and how they are being used by their respective production companies. If Cap3 is being called “The Avengers 2.5” then Batman V Superman is “The Dawn of Justice”… which they literally call themselves. Granted, continuous and overarching story lines is something Marvel does best, DC has nostalgia and staying power. So to me, both are equal in their right to be scrutinized, as is every movie, though BvS may garner more of it.
Sales usually don’t lie but Batman V Superman’s are sketchily high in comparison to their Rotten Tomatoes Score (a 27%) and critical responses. But the fact that they are that high shows that people are willing to try and show up for them, despite the garbage that was Man of Steel. Legit, on name alone DC managed to get so many people hype…or at least to shop up.
Not gonna lie, I saw Civil War three times. The first was in IMAX at the midnight showing. Marvel had claimed a significant portion of my paycheck that week. Marvel can get me in seat based on the sheer power of their portfolio alone. I know that Marvel is going to give me a decent movie, though some movies tend be less so when compared to others that Marvel has issued out *coughs* Thor 2. It’s literally rare when I decide not to go see one of their movies in theaters (Ant-Man) or just outright ignoring the film’s existence (side eyes Doctor Strange).
So who wins? Nostalgia or Track Record?
Time to discuss…
I’m gonna be 100% honest, as much as my trash self allows me to be. I was lied to, hell, the entire world was lied to. I paid for a Batman on Superman bout and that’s not what I got. I still for the life of me don’t understand how they were all of a sudden besties due to the “Martha” situation. In BvS, I had a hard time believing that Superman was drawn into a fight he obviously didn’t want and it didn’t help that every action took, somehow exacerbated how dangerous he was perceived. Okay, he did destroy the whole of Metropolis but Batman you don’t even go here. You can’t afford to be salty when you don’t go there and the entire city, save for that one guy and Lex, is okay with this. I mean they rebuilt that city in 2 days, the same amount of time the events of Age of Ultron spanned. If everybody is cool there should be no problems. I get there is some hesitation but if I’m Superman and I don’t want any parts of Batman I would literally just hover in the air, probably not with a menacing face, and tell Batman wassup: “Look Bats, it’s been a wild day, Luther got my mom, lemme get her real quick and then maybe we could tussle a little and then get coffee after. You cool?” The entire movie would have been over in thirty, forty minutes tops. One conversation could have saved so many innocent lives.
This aside, we have to address the fact that BvS tried to be a batman movie/a superman movie/and a JL movie and was none of those things. The fact that the JL got introduced trough some weak files sent through an email account by Batman kills me. Are you trying to tell me master detective and super rich Bruce Wayne, owner of the super Bat-computer could not for the life of him figure out it was Clark back when he was sending out emails. I’m sure he was already on Facebook, so the job was already half done. He literally could have CC’ed Clark on this email and followed it with an anonymous “I know your secret, Bro” email. You know what better yet, why didn’t Clark use his x-ray vision to figure out it’s Bruce like he always does in the animated movies and then tell him what’s up. This is so many sins right here, crisis averted like eight times at this point.
Mmmkay moving on, Civil War was a Captain America movie/an Iron Man movie/and an Avengers movie. Yeah, it had everyone and their mom and Aunt May but at least the title didn’t lie, at the heart of this story was Steve…and Bucky and Tony.
I will admit that the main villain, Helmut Zemo’s plan banked on a lot of sh*t that was beyond coincidence, like Tony showing up and that delivery being made to the power station on time. As the eldest child of Lord Corio, a guy who has worked at FedEx since the dawn of time, I know that deliveries never come when you want them to. They will always catch you slipping, like when you’re on the toilet, or when you’re in the shower, or when you’re in the middle of burning the entirety of your mouth on that first pizza roll. That’s when they mystically decide to show up. So I call bullshit on all of that. But, I have to give him props because he may by the only Marvel villain in history to actually accomplish what he set out to do.
Even though his plot was so convoluted everyone missed the subtly of his actual plan which was to tear the team apart, which he managed to do with a huge splash page type fight scene that he had the nerve to not even be a part of. Granted, they could have been a little more clear with his story (I was one of the people that did not realize until he literally told T’Challa to his face what happened), I dunno maybe do away with one of the more unnecessary flashbacks (specifically the flashback about other “Winter Soldiers” since they played less than 12% of a role anyway).
As for not-cool-no-matter-how-hard-he-tries, Jesse Eisenberg Lex, I am not even sure what it is he wants. I could somehow make a shoddy case for Batman seeking revenge because that one guy that wasn’t Alfred died in some Wayne business building that for some reason was not in Gotham but all the way out in Kansas when Superman ya know leveled the f*ck out of Metropolis. But Lex? I am not even sure he knows what he wants besides to be a parody of millennials who has a strange craving for Jolly Ranchers which apparently is the snack of assholes here. On paper his plan made no sense so why was anyone surprised that the summation made no sense. Lex literally wants to take down Superman, while in possession of a super chunk of Kryptonite, by making a huge monster that is supposed to be a gene splice of himself and Zod (that ended up looking more like a mutated booger than anything else). Why not use the Kryptonite? He already set like two traps to lure Clark in. Then he had the audacity to use Zod’s body after the brutal neck-snapping he received in the last movie. His plot was more of a mindf*ck then watching Rocky Horror Picture Show for the first time while sober. And not even a good mindf*ck more like the unnecessary evil that is the 26 check-out lanes Wal-Mart possess but then has the unmitigated gall to only have 4 lanes at a time open. Just general dishonor to everyone involved.
For those who will argue that Marvel has a set formula for their films and that is something that I wholeheartedly agree with but unlike DC, Marvel has found a system that for the most part works especially when the projects are helmed by the right people and each character receives the utmost care. The Zoo’s biggest problem with Marvel plot-wise was the fact that there never seemed to be any consequences even when a super secret underground Nazi organization is revealed to be working within the biggest peacekeeping force in the world and literally nothing happened. Sure, the world’s secrets are now on Facebook where anyone can find them once they spend 30 minutes scrolling through the trife (which is apparently what Zemo did). The Russos pretty much did with Civil War what X-Men: Days of Future’s Past was supposed to do to the franchise (before they tanked it again). The entire movie hinged on consequences, that one guy you didn’t wave hello to that one day weeks ago was in here trying to get his revenge too. Then the film delivered a moment I never thought that I would see, me feeling bad for Tony Stark. And that’s saying a lot because I firmly believe that a great number of problems would be solved if they un-alived him and gave his soul to Mephisto.
There was no such moment in BvS, unless that “Martha Revelation” was supposed to be that. If that was the case then the film failed on that front completely.
DC has this way about picking people that separately and on paper sound like they would be great for the part -some more than others in the case of Gal Gadot, who I still feel like she shouldn’t have been picked for the role she was given, and Jesse Eisenberg, who is just generally unloved. You have to wonder what was Casting was thinking getting this specific group on board.
Marvel, wholley crap, could probably take Big Bird and make me believe he belongs here. The highlight of Civil War were the newly introduced characters, that literally were given 10-15 minutes to establish themselves, their goals and their tone. And in a movie with 12 characters doing things, the new people didn’t get lost, they instead become the breakout favorites. If you don’t believe me, check Tumblr where all of the weird in the universe lives … and then filter out all of the Stucky content. My point is, everybody felt like who they were built up to be in previous movies. The characterization felt authentic.
Then to the characters themselves, which I could talk/rant about all day.
DC’s Lex Luther … Jr. ?
To me, he is on the same level of Miles Teller’s Reed Richards… a dumpster fire that refuses to quit.
Wonder Woman (Diana Prince)
Other than initially meeting Bruce Wayne at a gala -that Clark was somehow invited to regardless of the fact that it was previously shown in the same movie that his Daily Planet access level is a 2 out of 6 at best judging on his cubicle status- then having Bruce send her top-secret information on other “meta-humans” (because that is a group that needs quotation marks) through the equivalent of Gmail or worse Hotmail and expecting it to stay secret. Which was then followed up by Batman not “knowing” her despite her not wearing any type of mask (I am so tired of this universe) and personally hitting her with an invite by way of Facebook. Shrugging off the shade and haters, she clocks in and proceeds to put in the work of three people on the gross monster thing in the finale fight. The last we see of her is at Clark’s funeral -where I guess he only had 3 friends and even then 2 of them he had met like hours before dying- and she is propositioned by Bruce into starting the JL.
All within maybe 20 minutes of screen time…in a 2 hour and 40 minute movie.
Batfleck was the best part about the entire movie, so I’m gonna leave that right there.
I just want to know why everybody played it like he was a major part of this movie. Going in I thought he was going to be like the second-tier movie villain but instead he died … in the first 15 minutes. I was left confused, granted this was before Frank Grillo proved to be problematic.
Also, did Pepper die? I don’t really care for her but where did she go? I was so prepared for Tony to say she was dead especially since I get headcanon and what is actually canon confused all of the time.
For the complete list of Marvel characters check out the full fledged review.
It’s not fair to say that Civil War is the best comic based movie of all time, but damn, it’s up there…along with it’s predecessor The Winter Soldier, Iron Man and Spider-Man 2 (and sometimes X2).
Suffice to say that since I dismissed myself multiple times to check emails in the bathroom during BvS’s run-time I was very uninterested because they have so much to work with but are continuously fumbling. That, to any fan is hard to take because we all know that DC could be great if given the correct treatment. I feel that DC thinks that in order to compete with Marvel they have to do things “first” and that’s great if you want to speed up the timeline but please don’t do it at the cost of quality. Man of Steel was decent (a 62%) at best but to try and expedite a movie that should have been two separate movies and then try and universe build off of a movie that wasn’t particularly well-received is almost a shot in the foot. It’s almost like building an entire universe off of an Iron-Man sequel (I don’t care what anyone says Iron-Man was great, everything after I could have lived without) though they obviously both pale in comparison to the first one. If Marvel went straight to Iron-Man 3 and immediately followed it up with The Avengers, no one would be looking forward to it.
While I still have some reservations with Civil War, I would without a doubt see it again. With BvS, there really wasn’t anything redeeming about it or enough to make me want to get excited for The Justice League and that’s saying a lot because I was part of the generation where JL was mainstream and lit af. It would have been more than simple to do the Martian Invasion if we really wanted to intro the Justice League without intro-ing the Justice League. Anything would have been better than this half-assed attempt into easing us to in it by low-key introducing someone and then relegating other intros into weird dream sequences and 3.5 second cameos.
DC has done me and the rest of their audience so dirty and it’s difficult to find a reason to continue supporting them other than “because it’s Batman”. So until DC comes with it, you can find me at my house and in my lane until either Finding Dory or Black Panther hits theaters.
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