After finally (and begrudgingly) re-watching the latest installment of the DC Extended Universe, I decided to find some elements of the film that were not completely without merit. The film itself was still largely unpleasant and tedious to experience. However, there were a few key details or ideas (mostly on the margins) that struck me as being NOT AWFUL. Without further ado, I present the Five Things About Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice That Do Not Completely Suck.
1. Bruce Wayne running into the
9/11 Terrorist Attack alien invasion of Metropolis.
There was something unbelievable awesome and true to the character of Bruce Wayne that he would just instinctively dive right into the alien invasion in an attempt to save people from his company. When you combine that with how this whole scene would serve to inform his entire view of Superman and aliens in general, you have a genuinely powerful way to establish this interpretation of Bruce Wayne in this universe. (Sure, the film completely failed to capitalize on this excellent introduction in every way, but that doesn’t mean the introduction was any less excellent!)
2. Jeremy Irons’ Alfred
While Jeremy Irons did little to capture the warmth from the Alfred character that has often been associated with him, he perfectly capture the wit and charm of Alfred.
Alfred also needs to be a check against Bruce’s most self-indulgent and narcissistic decisions. Jeremy Irons was able to effectively convey that as well even if it seemed like he did not make much of an impact on Bruce’s decision making (that’s more of a script issue than a performance one though).
3. Wonder Woman
While Gal Gadot was not required to do a whole lot in this film, she did an effective job of appearing on the margins of the story. She basically got to be the International Woman of Mystery here and was surprisingly effective with only a few minutes of screen time before the climatic battle with Doomsday.
There she continued to make a good first impression as she was very physically believable as a superhero which is something not all performers are capable of doing.
Gadot’s line delivery here (and even more so in the Wonder Woman trailer) makes me nervous for an entire film revolving around her. It’s just not clear if she’s got the chops to carry a film on her back. However, this was nonetheless an effective introduction that deserved a better film to be included in.
4. The [Dumb] Dream Sequence
I’m all about alternate timelines and trippy dream sequences. Can Zack Snyder pull off an actual film set in this version of events? Absolutely not. However, Zack Snyder can often cut a mean trailer, and that was essentially what this sequence was in spirit.
In this ridiculous alternate universe, Batman is a trenchcoat-wearing, gun-toting, sonuvagun who has clearly moved on from Gotham to solving whatever apocalyptic events have transpired. While this version of Batman may not make for a fun film in the future, it was a neat look into what that story and portrayal of Batman could be. Also, the scene could be interpreted as a case of Bruce’s desires to be more ruthless coming through in a dream. That is potentially interesting. Either way, this was an appropriately absurd sequence which is just fine.
5. Batman’s Plan to Kill Superman
Given that so much of this film was based on the concept that the world’s greatest detective was a muscle-head meat stick, it was fun to see Batman act with intelligence and to create a genuine trap for Superman. The various stages of his planned 1v1 battle with the Man of Steel progressed nicely and created genuine suspense in what was otherwise a conflict that was impossible to be invested in. This could have been a part of a strong conclusion to a much better story and film.