Snyder v World – A Spoiler Free Review

Sure. Fine — let’s say this is spoiler free. I guess. Who gives a shit? If you really care about spoilers for Batman v Superman, there’s nothing I can do to help you. You’re dead already and you don’t even know it…

As for me, I can’t honestly review this movie. I don’t know how to review it. The people who made it clearly don’t know how to make one. So, why should I bother to review it like it is one?

Yesterday, I made some predictions in the (deluded) hopes that it would make the viewing experience slightly less painful. Almost like a game!

Oh, boy was I wrong about that helping to numb the ball crushing, bowel twisting agony that is the cinematic ebola known as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Yes, everything I feared would happen in my pre-review pretty much happened. But it was so much worse than I could have ever expected — like a Republican debate. You know it’s going to be horrific, but then when you actually see it, it devolves into a dick measuring nightmare you never allowed yourself to believe was even possible.

I guess all I can say is Batman v Superman was jam packed with 7-Zark-7. I mean he was all over this thing.

And, if I need to say something positive about the film, at least they got his costume right:

Henry Cavil in Batman v Superman

Henry Cavil in Batman v Superman

Batman v Superman is the most incompetent movie I’ve ever seen. No hyperbole. Just jaw dropping, brain melting foolishness from first to last frames.

No two scenes have any relation to the other. No character makes any sense. No plan holds any water. No character has any arc that resembles reality or logic.

The effects are abysmal. The action is lifeless. The editing is frenetic and creates no sense of space. It’s one, long opening montage that never ends. It is the cinematic equivalent of the Donal Trump campaign — exactly the kind of movie our empty caloric culture deserves.

Superman fights Batman

Superman fights Batman

On the plus side, the music is hysterical. I mean, I couldn’t stop laughing when the big, thumping soundtrack started rumbling through the theater like a convoy of Immortan Joe’s eighteen wheelers. Oh man, was that ever funny… Thank you Hans Zimmer. Thank you so very much.

Batman v Superman also features the most hysterical “universe building scene” in the history of cinema. Warner Brothers has made a big deal about how this movie introduces us viewers to the idea of a multi-hero reality. And the manner they choose to do so is literally the silliest, laziest, most absurd first-draft-choice a storyteller could make. It’s the kind of creative decision that would result from locking corporate lawyers in a board room with PTA mothers and the San Francisco city council.

And now Warner Brothers is stuck. The Wonder Woman movie is already shot. And the Justice League movie (also directed by Snyder) begins shooting this April. If we lived on a planet ruled by science and merit, Warner Brothers would immediately halt production and burn the sets to the ground. Or at least remove Snyder from the director’s chair.

Superman faces off with Doomsday

Superman faces off with Doomsday

But they can’t. Warner Brothers has doubled down on Zack Snyder (always a bad idea). I assume the almost universal panning of this film will cause the studio to somehow curb Snyder’s creative influence moving forward. Maybe they’ll babysit him on the set or micromanage the final cut. I assume Snyder won’t get to direct Justice League Part 2: The Quickening. Or maybe Warner Brothers will just keep lumbering along, unable or unwilling to change course. Snyder may very well be the cinematic equivalent of Bear Stearns — too big to fail. And obviously Warner Brothers is afraid of what a course correction means to shareholders if they remove the CEO mid-launch.

Oh, Christ, who cares about the fucking future of the DC Comics Cinematic Universe???? I’m trying right now to think about something I care about less. Kayne West? Anything sports related? The long-term welfare of child molesters?

Batman v Superman also proves a few things beyond any doubt — director Zack Snyder and co-writer David Goyer — otherwise known as SnOyer (TM) — detest comic books. They may claim to love them, but they actually hate them. They hate the values they represent. Hell — I think they hate humanity. Every frame drips with contempt for life.

Batman learns of the existence of The Flash

Batman learns of the existence of The Flash

But they also clearly hate Superman and Batman — as concepts and as characters. Superman is a non-character in this movie. They don’t even let him speak at the very Senate hearing he was called to testify at! You’d think at the very least this would be an opportunity for Superman to state his ideology to the world. It’s right there guys!! What are you doing??? But they don’t bother. Because they don’t understand the character. They don’t like him. And they don’t give a damn.

Batman gets more screen time in this film. And he gets to articulate HIS ideology. It’s kind of nuts. And, as a result, Batman is the biggest idiot in the laziest Idiot Plot I’ve ever seen projected in a movie theater.

In fact, the entire fight between the title characters could’ve been avoided if one of them just said “Hey… wait a minute….” Which, laughably, is pretty much exactly how the fight ends. So, after ten minutes of wanton, frenzied, blood thirsty violence and roughly another 300 million in property damage, the fight ends in a stupendous and unintentionally hysterical “wait… what did you say?” moment.

Superman meets Wonder Woman

Superman meets Wonder Woman

I actually have no idea what SnOyer thinks about Wonder Woman — she’s such a puzzling, insignificant addition to the movie and has no real time to make any impact whatsoever. You could literally cut her completely out of the movie and it wouldn’t change the plot. So, not really the dazzling introduction the iconic character deserves…

I’ve never seen more screen time wasted in a two hour and 30 minute movie. I mean, they clearly just shot tons of footage, yet none of it amounts to anything. My friend turned to me at the end and said, “I have a quick question — why was Batman versus Superman?”

He then followed up with, “And later — why was Batman NOT versus Superman?”

And the truth is I have literally no idea. It’s obvious the filmmakers (and I use that in only the loosest definition of the term) never bothered to answer that core question. Batman fought Superman because it was in the title. Like it was reverse engineered. “We have a title! Can we just back into a story?”

Snyder and Goyer plan the most expensive prank in human history

Snyder and Goyer plan the most expensive prank in human history

And the answer was no — no they couldn’t. They didn’t bother to figure it out. The two heroes fought because the title said they had to. And then they stopped fighting because they had to become friends. I don’t know why.

I mean, the “why” SnOyer chose is perhaps the funniest moment in movie history. I started laughing because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing was actually happening. For a second, it seemed like the most elaborate prank in the history of the world. I actually thought the lights in the theater were suddenly going to turn on and SnOyer was going to come out laughing and pointing, saying, “Gotcha!”

My other friend said to me at one point and said, “This isn’t a movie — it’s a shot list.” And he was right. The movie is literally just an endless stream of “neat images” SnOyer and the marketing team dreamed up. Just random stuff. And then it ended.


10 responses on “Snyder v World – A Spoiler Free Review

  1. Hours after seeing this movie, I noticed pain in my jaws and teeth.
    Grinding my teeth to keep from screaming at the screen and the other fools in the auditorium apparently led to soreness.
    It’s the best thing for me to focus on.

    I think I promised my children I’d see it with them.

    I don’t know if I can do that to them or myself.

    Save me 7-Zark-7, I’ve lost all hope.

    • I think we’ll need to organize a “Watch the Justice League movie with Ted” outing when the time comes.

  2. Decided not to spend my money on this. Horrible trailers just put me off. And I read some reviews that said it’s not really suitable for kids. Took my nephews to see Midnight Special instead.

    What’s really strange is that they’ve already announced a ‘Director’s Cut’, I will probably stream that when it’s available. It feels like when games companies release unfinished versions of games and then promise software updates a few months down the line.

    More and more I realise they don’t even want to tell stories anymore. It’s all just product to sell more product. The lack of faith in telling stories makes me really sad to be honest. Isn’t that a key part of what makes us human?

    • There’s an interesting article on Birth Movies Death about how constantly-updated products are the new norm, a la Lucas / Star Wars and Kanye / Life of Pablo. When hard media no longer rules, why not keep tweaking forever? Except that doing so is obnoxious.

  3. Late to the party here, but honestly what a terrible review. You throw out a bunch pointless references to Donald Trump, Kanye West, and Bear Stearns, but barely talk about the actual content of the movie. I generally like the reviews on this site (especially SB’s) because they make thoughtful, well-reasoned arguments, even if I don’t always agree with them. But this is just masturbation.

    “The music is hysterical” why exactly? What gave you that reaction? “Superman is a non-character” in what sense? Do you mean he was underutilized or implausible or what? Any asshole can say “I liked it/I didn’t like it”, but a good critic tells you specifically why and makes you realize things about the movie you didn’t see before.

    It sounds by your own admission like it mostly sailed over your head and you had trouble following the plot or understanding the motivations. Here’s a quick rundown for you:

    Superman is an obvious Christ metaphor. His arc involves his struggles with the fact that despite his best efforts to be a hero, many humans resent him, mistrust him, and/or want to control him, abetted by the fact that there’s a conspiracy afoot to smear him. He faces doubts about whether his idealistic outlook is truly tenable in such a messy, corrupt world, and (more subtly) whether humanity deserves his help.

    Bruce Wayne represents fallen humanity made cruel and cynical by trying to fight evil with only his own all-too-human strength. He sees Superman as a threat because he mistrusts Superman’s idealism, and knows that if it ever turns sour Supes could singlehandedly kill everyone on Earth. It’s also implied that he hates Superman for making him feel powerless (the scene of him scowling up at Supes in Metropolis is a clear parallel to when he was a kid helplessly watching his parents get shot, and we all know how that affected him). His arc involves his long dive deeper and deeper into nihilism and obsession, until he gets redeemed by Superman’s goodness at the crucial moment and recalls his own lost nobility.

    Lex Luthor is a Lucifer/Antichrist figure driven by bottomless pride and raging hatred of the good simply because it is good (the inherent need of evil to compulsively lash out at goodness is an impressively subtle observation for a superhero movie). He’s motivated not by money or power or RULING THE WORLD, but only by the desire to humiliate, corrupt, and ultimately kill Superman (i.e. God), regardless of what happens to him in the process. The fact that he ultimately uses a blood ritual to summon a horned Beast from the pit is an extremely obvious reference to the climactic battle of good and evil in the Book of Revelation (it’s even named Doomsday for God’s sake, how did you miss this). He doesn’t really have an arc, but then a villain doesn’t need one. His job is to force the heroes into moral dilemmas and physical conflicts, and boy does he ever.

    Batman draws Superman into a fight because his pitch-black cynicism has come to see Supes as just another potential threat to humanity to be neutralized. There’s also an ugly pride in his actions as the kryptonite makes him feel drunk with the power to potentially kill God, as it were. He mocks Supes for his supposed idealism, calling it sentimental and empty, and contrasting it with his own will-to-power.

    Superman doesn’t want to fight him and tries to explain the situation about his mother, but Batman refuses to listen and attacks him repeatedly. The conclusion of this fight is the true climax of the movie. The line “I have to save Martha… you’re letting them kill Martha” is an absolutely brilliant twist and does a ton of things at once:

    – The strangeness and familiarity of it startles Batman. It probably reminds him of his weird dreams and makes him unsure what’s going on.
    – It reminds Batman of who he is and forces him to confront what he’s doing. He became Batman to protect innocent people, because he couldn’t save his Martha and let her die. But his own cynicism and sense of powerlessness don’t make a good enough reason to kill Superman, who has done nothing wrong. This snaps him out of his rage.
    – It shows that Superman really is a true hero. At his moment of death he doesn’t beg or curse, he’s just worried about someone else he needs to save. So why again does he need to die? Thus idealism ultimately proves stronger than nihilism.
    – It also humanizes Superman and makes it clear he’s not just some strange unknowable alien, but a person with a mother who he cares about and wants to protect.

    In the aftermath Batman goes off to save Superman’s Martha, effectively rededicating himself to his original heroism and redeeming himself for his actions and completing his arc (this is also maybe the best Batman action sequence ever, in any media). Later, Superman chooses to fully commit himself to his hero/savior role, and accepts death as the cost of saving humanity and setting them a worthy example to follow, completing his arc. Good triumphs over evil (for now) but pays a heavy cost. It all ties up pretty nicely.

    You can disagree with the themes it develops, or take issue with how characters were portrayed, or critique the logic of the plot, or criticize the (highly distinctive and impactful) visual style, but ranting about “IT WAS LIKE A BUCKET OF EBOLA BLOOD, THAT’S HOW BAD IT WAS” and saying nothing else is just shitty reviewing.

    • Thanks for mounting a spirited defense of what to many, including myself, is an indefensibly awful movie.

      Our friend God Made Slugs is known to become enraged at movies like this one, which rage we quite enjoy, but if you loved the movie, I can see how his fire and brimstone might not appeal.

      In terms of his missing anything about the movie, there you are wrong. He gets it all too well. He knows more about comics characters, their history, their creators, etc., than damn near anyone. This is why we send him to movies like Batman v Superman: we enjoy watching his head explode.

      I don’t know that he’ll be by to respond to your analysis; I fear thinking about this movie any more than he already has could cause an aneurysm.

      I feel the same. I found the movie unconsciounably dull, poorly written, poorly structured, senselessly angry, and, just like Man of Steel, insulting to anyone previously into these characters. Thinking about it further is only going to send me into a rage like God Made Slugs’s.

      So it goes.

  4. I have finally watched this. I have this to say: it’s no Suicide Squad.

    On the one hand, this movie was so skull-wrenchingly dull and loud and devoid of oxygen that one sort of just fell into it, like a vat of semi-congealed duck fat. Sure: it made no sense and the characters were all against historical norms in invigoratingly stupid ways, but also — it’s a fucking superhero movie and didn’t really rise above the status quo in those regards. I mean, I’ve seen Spiderman 3 and X-Men: Time Spooge. And I thought the explosion-y orc fart effects at the end of this were okay, even if it did take 2.5 excruciating hours to get to them. Jesse Eisenberg may have been TERRIBLE as Lex Luthor but compared to Jared Leto’s Joker, he was Meryl Streep. Seriously. I wanted to punch Eisenberg. I am making plans to punch Leto in the lungs with his own splintered tibia. (note to the CIA: these plans are for illustrative purposes only.)

    Because as dull and stupid as Batman v Superman was, it was dull and stupid in a consistent, wholly predictable fashion. Zack Snyder: etc. Suicide Squad was stupid in a fifth dimensional, peyote enema kind of way. Just astoundingly, mysteriously, fascinatingly terrible. And, yes, dumb and confusing and nonsensical.

    I’m not sure what my point is. Perhaps it’s this:
    San Dimas High football rules!

Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

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