So before I get into a rant about Batman V Superman, let this be your warning: spoilers will be included. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, you might want to stop reading. Major points and spoilers in the movie have be included as my hate ramblings covered various parts of the movie. So, you’re warned and can now proceed with my letter to Warner Brothers regarding Zack Snyder.
Dear Warner Brothers,
We need to talk about something: Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was not a good movie.
It’s not that there aren’t parts to like. The action sequences were okay. The cast was phenomenal and did everything they could to salvage this dark, depressing turd. I mean, even Jesse Eisenberg was serviceable as the main antagonist. However, there is one person who cannot get a pass for this debacle: Zack Snyder.
Before I get further into the hate, let me say that like many people, I am a fan of 300. I also didn’t mind Watchmen. Snyder is terrific at taking previously established materials and turning them into feature films. When the story is original… things can go wrong. Sucker Punch and Man of Steel (in my opinion) are riddled with issues and their “rewatchability” is almost non-existent. Sadly, Batman V Superman falls into that category… and I think Zack Snyder is to blame.
The first hour and a half is a disjointed, mosaic-hodgepodge of three to four minute clips.
These scenes flow randomly through African Warlords, the Batcave, The Daily Planet, Bruce Wayne’s hallucinations, underground Fight Clubs, etc. It’s less storytelling and more Family Guy cutaways, with only a fraction of those scenes playing into the overall story. By the time we finally get to the Bruce Wayne/Clark Kent face-to-face showdown, it’s the same scene played out in two trailers; anti-climactic is the best way to put it. Gal Gadot freely flows through the story, letting people know that, “yep, she’s here too,” without really offering anything to the actual plot (but it does heavily promote a future Wonder Woman feature). When a movie is two and a half hours long, everything should matter… we don’t need long, drawn out shots of Alfred slowly walking to Wayne Manor (which we got).
If Zack Snyder’s job was to be a storyteller with BVS, he has failed.
Spending a half hour on Amy Adams trying to find out who’s behind a bullet designed to kill Superman was a waste. The, “Oh… it turned out to be Lex Luthor all along” revelation wasn’t impactful since we already know he’s doing his level best to kill Superman. This was just an unnecessary sidecar that added to the bloated whale carcass that was Batman V Superman. Ignored were questions regarding Luthor’s motivations: why did Luthor want Superman dead? Also ignored was the reasoning behind Bruce Wayne’s visions besides PTSD (they sure as hell weren’t dreams). Basically, I’m telling you there were much bigger issues than Lois Lane’s quest to discover the mystery bullet’s origins.
There are a plethora of story issues with BVS, like the convenient Batman and Superman team-up moment and killing Superman off twice (forget ‘nuke the fridge,’ they nuke the Kryptonians)… only to have him return twice???
You lose all emotional credibility when you pull those stunts, because if Superman can survive all that, he has no real threat in any Justice League movie. Speaking of the Justice League, seeing clips of Aquaman, Flash and Cyborg (who felt like he had his whole origin story told) were neat. However, if you’re going to give mindless building-destruction shots (once again) as your climatic fight scene, you might as well add them to the fray. If a good portion of the movie was dedicated to promising a Justice League movie, just pull the trigger and introduce the characters now, instead of turning Justice League Part 1 as an entire build up for Justice League Part 2. You know you’d rather see a Justice League fight sequence instead of a 20-minute Death of Superman angle (when you already know he’s coming back for Justice League).
Half of Batman V Superman felt like a desperate attempt to promote future movies.
- Batman’s desert sequence: “Get ready, Darkseid is coming.”
- Wonder Woman picture: “Hey look. it’s Chris Pine. He’s going to be in it.”
- Cyborg: “Here’s his entire creation; we just saved you from seeing that movie.”
If Snyder just focused on his story, instead of trying to set everything else up, perhaps it would have turned out more cohesive. Instead, it was a muddled mess of previously seen fight scenes and surprises already spoiled in trailers (I don’t blame the marketing department… they didn’t have much to work with to get butts in seats, so they just showed the best stuff, including Doomsday). I’m sorry, Zack Snyder… but you have failed this franchise. So, what now? In two weeks, Zack Snyder is going to be back at it again; early April is when production begins on Justice League Parts 1 & 2. So Warner Brothers, please do us a favor…
It’s time to replace Zack Snyder.
That actually hurt to type. I don’t want anyone to lose their job. Also, replacing a director this close to the start of a production can destroy the film. However, I don’t know if two more Snyder-fied versions are what people want, or for that matter, need.
I also don’t know who you can get to replace Snyder on such short notice. While fan-favorite George Miller would be a great choice (I mean the man turned a movie about people driving in a circle into an Oscar winner), would he even be interested or available? Still, he came close to making the Justice League almost ten years ago, maybe now is his chance to right this ship before it goes head-first into the iceberg.
The most likely candidate… Ben Affleck. He’s already going to be on set and will play the biggest role in Part 1.
He’s familiar with the production and is dedicated to the role. Affleck is also a terrific storyteller who can turn an impending convoluted mishap into an enjoyable blockbuster. He’s already taking over the Batman franchise. Just throw him in the director’s chair for Justice League already and help save this franchise. Oh, and let him know we’ve reached a quota on Bat-flek crossfit training montages (more unnecessary filler).
I’d say it doesn’t matter who you pick to replace Snyder, but there are choices I wouldn’t want to see (sorry Michael Bay).
But a change is needed. Snyder had two opportunities to deliver a great DC movie, and in my opinion has failed both times.
I wish I was one of the people who looked through the flaws of Batman V Superman to find enjoyment in the film. However, the storytelling was such a glaring weakness that I couldn’t wait for the lights to come up in the theater. The truth is, Batman V Superman was a bad movie, and it could be exposed even further should Captain America: Civil War knock it out of a park. If a Captain America/Iron Man fight delivers where a Batman/Superman one failed, Marvel will be laughing all the way to the bank.
So, Warner Brothers, there’s still time to get the Justice League right. Remember, things are darkest before dawn and right now it’s pitch black. All you need is your white knight to come in and save the day. Now, I don’t know who that hero is, but one thing I do know… it’s certainly not Zack Snyder.