Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ★★★★

So we have reached the end of 2016 and I have reached 100 followers on Letterboxd! (which may not seem much to a lot of good people here, but it is for me).

I started my account here just to follow a couple of college friends and one specific movie critic I like a lot, I never thought I would reach that many followers. But numbers is not that important. The important thing really is the people I met here. Great cinema lovers and awesome people which I only have to thank this site for bringing them into my life. Jaime Rebanal, Milez Das and Joey Henderson, I'm talking about y'all. But, most importantly, Arielrocks5, the greatest freaking person ever!

But why am I saying all of that on the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice's page? Well, because 2016 is ending now and I figure I should finally talk about the most important movie of the year to me (notice I didn't say "best" or "my favorite"!).

Batman v Superman had been my most anticipated movie ever since Zack Snyder announced Batman on Man of Steel's sequel back at the 2013's San Diego Comic Con. So it finally was released in 2016 and I went to see it with some special people. After all that waiting and excitement, I could finally see it... And... It was weird.

I quite liked it the first time I saw it but it was too overwhelming. Then I watched it two more times in theater to truly get everything Snyder was going for with it and then, months later, we finally got his real movie, the Ultimate Edition.

There is no other blockbuster out there, since Jaws way ahead until Rogue One, like what Batman v Superman was. It divided people, it divided fans, it created a cult following faster than Superman can fly, it generated arguements and discussions, on the internet and in real life, about each and every single little detail about it. Nine months have passed since it came out and people still talk about it, argue over it, passionately defend it or angrily attacks it. People either love it or hate it with everything they got, it's very rare to meet people that simply liked or disliked it.

Well, after having my issues with it, rewatching it a lot, thinking and deeply analysing it and, most importantly, discussing it with friends I realized that I completely love this movie.

* This is gonna be a text (not a review!) about the Ultimate Edition, which I give a 5/5 stars! So if you hate this movie, either don't even read it (it's gonna be very long) or, if you can have a friendly discussion and wanna see a different point of view, be my guest! Now, if you love the movie, enjoy it!

I love pretty much everything about it. I love how Snyder beautifully composes every single shot of the movie as if it were a painting (and Larry Fong knows how to do it like no other), I love how the death of Bruce's parents is actually truly important to the overall plot of the film for the first time, I love how Snyder puts Bruce in the middle of the chaos in Metropolis by the end of Man of Steel making us understand why he fears and hates Superman (from down there he couldn't actually see that Zod was the cause of all of that), I love that Terrio and Goyer's script take its time to reintroduce a new Bruce Wayne/Batman and develops him and his motivations without losing focus on how the end of Man of Steel changed Clark Kent/Superman, hence developing him as a person, not as a hero (more on that later). I like how the movie takes its time to expand the DC universe, introducing a bunch of new characters, political, theological and sociological themes (is this really a comic book movie?), shows the consequences of every act the characters take, builds up their misunderstanding towards each other, gives Luthor a whole new personality and uses him as a metaphore to being simply a "human being" among Gods, even though he's probably the brightest human being on the planet, it's nothing compared to Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, and the movie explores that on such rich details and care (and for some reason, people actually complain about that). I love how Snyder puts his signature as a director and his world's view on his art, something that almost no other director gets to do, specially on Hollywood's blockbusters. And that's where he throws a lot of people off. Zack Snyder is not only interested in taking two iconic superheroes and putting them to fight in a movie just for fun. He knows how to use these characters and situations to metaphorically mirror our world. Or at least his perception on our world. He did that in Watchmen and he did that in Man of Steel, two other movies people either misunderstood or simply couldn't accept the fact that Snyder did it the way he wanted and not the way fans expected. Which is one of my main problem with the way people review or analyse movies nowadays. It's almost ever more about how they were disappointed because it is not how they wanted or expected it to be than actually analysing what it was.

Deborah Snyder said that people "don't like to see their favorite characters deconstructed". And that's exactly why Batman v Superman is one of the most ballsy movies out there. Snyder took Batman and Superman and brought them to our world and that pissed off people. It wasn't exactly Batman and Superman as we know them, it's Zack Snyder's Batman and Zack Snyder's Superman. Metaphores. Two deconstructed characters to be remolded and built up before they can become the Batman and the Superman we love. Yes, Batman kills. No, Superman doesn't smile that oftenly. They are product of a much less joyful and much more cynical world. We are introduced to an already broken up Batman and we see him learning how to be himself again through Superman. It's not just a fight between two popular heroes, everything in the movie, every decidion, every action took by every character result in something and it's all methodically connected just as is Lex Luthor's plan.

Their fight made Batman realize why he's Batman again, why he does what he does every night and it made Superman understand why he still wants to protect humanity and that we are not as weak and impotent as it may seem to him. They both grow as characters because of their conflict. Batman sees a humanity in that alien that he never thought could be possible and Superman sees in that man that humanity is worth fighting for, they are redeemable, they make mistakes but they learn from it. It's not about their mothers having the same name. It's about Bruce understanding that Superman is, perhaps, even more human than him. In his last breath he asked the man who would kill him to save someone else, to save his mother. Of course the fact that both of their mothers have the same name is important, it's what makes Batman hold back, throws him off balance, confuses him. In that moment he wonders why Superman thinks he is "letting them kill Martha" and he finally sees himself in the position of his parents murderer. His parents "died in an alley for no reason at all" and that made Bruce Wayne become Batman. Now Batman is that bandit on the alley and Superman is his parents. He would die right there for no reason at all and something cliked in Batman's mind. He remembers why he chose to protect people. A lot of people hates the "Martha scene", and I'm not saying all of them "didn't understand it". I'm sure most people get that it's not just about the name, it's more than that, and you are entlitled to think this idea is not good or was not that well executed. But there are some people who say that "only blind fanboys deffend such stupid thing". I disagree, the Martha scene works for me because it's just one word that means a lot to both characters and it brings them to an agreement and makes them grow and understand each other. Batman sees Superman completely beat down and defeated caring about someone else, even after the fight is over Superman wants to go save his mother because it's more important than stopping Luthor. On the other hand, Superman puts his faith in the man who was trying to kill him because that's Superman. He has faith in people and when Batman guarantees him that "Martha won't die tonight" he believes it. He believes in humanity. That is the first time in the movie that Batman makes a decision to save someone. Up to here everything he did was to figure out a way to stop Superman, now that he knows how he understands he doesn't have to and he finally takes action to be a hero. And he does save Martha in the most awesome and comic book accurately adaptation of Batman ever. His moves, strategies, ferocious unstoppable force. He just became the Batman we wanted.

As for Superman, let's talk a little about him.
Superman is my all time favorite character, one of the most misunderstood characters out there. Many people and fans argue that Snyder doesn't understand him. I sincerely and completely disagree. Superman was created in the 50's to potray a hope for the American people because of the war and the depression and he is always used as that beacon of hope to desperate times. What Snyder seems to understand more than most people, and here's where the trick is. Snyder takes that and brings it to the 21st Century. There's no way Superman could be like that anymore.

"When the Planet was founded, it stood for something, Perry."
"So could you if it was 1948, but it's not 1948!"

Argue Clark and Perry.

Globalization, media, terrorism, polarizing ideals, world wide connection. Superman could never exist in our world unless it was exactly how Snyder made him. He's trying to do the right thing, but he's also a human (not literally, but he is). He makes mistake, he has to deal with the consequences. That's why I love Man of Steel and Batman v Superman as a Sups fan. Snyder gave him a vulnerability he never had. It's not just the green stone anymore. His vulnerability is himself. Living in a world where people criticize him, politicians discuss if he should or shouldn't act, civilians getting in danger because of his very presence here. Clark Kent deals with a great deal of emotion and confusion because of him being who he is. He was constructed and developed in Man of Steel to result in what he becomes after his fight with Batman. He's a true hero, he is our last hope. And that is depicted brilliantly by the end of the movie, which is why it was important to have Doomsday here and Superman's death. It doesn't matter if you're Batman, just a human with resources or if you're Wonder Woman, a goddess. It is Superman that makes the ultimate sacrifice to protect the people that have been bashing and criticizing him ever since he showed himself to the world ("Mankind is introduced to the Superman" says a chart in the beginning of the movie, very subtle but very important). We were introduced to him in midts of a great chaos and destruction. A 9/11 elevated tenfold (maybe some day I talk more about Snyder's 9/11 references when I review Man of Steel). He's viewd as a threat to most people, 18 months later he has shown that he's here to help, but still he can't be at all places at the same time, and that causes conflict. Superman was created as a USA icon and now Snyder turns him into a reflection of the world and uses it to metaphorically talk about the state of USA. He uses Superman to talk about terrorism, State intervention in other countries and nations (the Africa scene is more important and says more about the world than you realize) and so fourth. Snyder does understand Superman, he just takes him to a whole different side of what he symbolizes. And ultimately, by the end of this movie, just like Batman, he becomes the Superman, which is why now everyone moans for his death. He saved us, people know he saved us, and I can't wait to see how Snyder takes it to the next level on Justice League.

This is probably the longest deffense you'll ever read for Batman v Superman and I don't consider this a "review" by the definition of the word, it's more like my interpretation and general view of the movie as a whole. I know most people dislike it and I respect that, but please understand that the people who liked or loved this movie are not "blind fanboys". Most of us all got something from it that other people sadly didn't. This is a film the deserves the cult following and the defenders it achieved in so little time. Beucase it dared to be different, it dared to be new, it dared to challenge fans to see beyond their expectations and previous impressions.

Cinema is art, art is subjective and interpretative. This is my view of this movie (and I still didn't talk about everything I wanted, like the amazing score by Zimmer and Junkie XL and a lot of other geat things I have to say about it, believe me). Love it or hate it, let's all respect each other's opinions. No one is superior to the other, but mocking people for liking something is unnecessary and stupid. Everyone has their reasons to like a movie or not, it's not the rotten tomatoes, the IMDb, or the "majority" that dictates that, it's you. You can like and dislike whatever you want because it's all subjective and boils down to your opinion, interpratations and life experiences that will either make a movie connect to you or not.

If you read this entire review, thank you very much, it doesn't matter if you agree or disagree with it. I hope we all have a great new year and hope I get to meet more incredible people here! Happy new year everybody, let's have more respect and love for each other from here on than stupid and senseless ego disputes over the internet because of different opinions, beliefs or political ideals. The world, dark and gritty (as the haters like to call this movie), needs more light, let's bring it up then, shall we?!

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