(Jeramy) As an fan of the Arkham video games, Injustice: Gods Among Us, & The Dark Knight Returns story, I was blown away by the visual aspects of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. I walked away at the end of the movie unsure and needing a second viewing to accurately rate it. The action was excellent, visuals were amazing, but certain critical story elements felt to be completely lacking or only the most anticlimactic and slightest allusion given of important details that should normally be spelled out more clearly.
Rather than beating around the bush, let’s just dive into it & Spoilers ahead: The Martha Turn. Batman & Superman are beating the crap out of each other in spectacular visual fashion (praise the director of cinematography Zack Snyder), when finally Batman has the upper hand & is about to strike the brutal finishing move on Supes with the Kryptonite spear.
Supes blurts out, “Martha” and it stops Batman who then has a FULL flashback to the night his parents died (unnecessarily repeating the full sequence from the opening credits). Snap back to present and Bats yells at Supes as to “Why he said her name” when Lois rushes in and makes the connection that it’s Clark’s (Supes) mother’s name.
Instantly Bats throws the spear away and says he’ll save his mother and it seems they’re now instantly Buddy Buddy?! Wait, huh?! (Boo story director Zack Snyder)
This scene was really missing something, oh yes that’s what, that legendary speech Bats gives Supes in the Dark Knight Returns, “I want you to remember, Clark, in all the years to come, in your most private moments, I want you to remember my hand at your throat. I want you to remember the one man who beat you.”
Had they only removed the lengthy repeat of the Wayne’s death scene and done a quick flash to the headstone showing Martha’s name then flashback to reality where Lois says it’s his mother’s name and at that point Bats gives the speech and they have a legit brief discussion to come to an understanding in order to proceed with the rest of the story.
Other than the ham-fisted insertion of the security/YouTube footage of the rest of the future Justice League, that they spent way too long on at a weird point of the movie stopping the action down to watch them, it was a decent Superhero movie. I’m sitting at a more than generous 7-7.5/10 rating for it. Ben Affleck is THE Batman. A little kill happy for most people’s taste but there seemed to have been a tweak in his behavior after his fight with Supes, as during that Arkham style fight to save Martha it did seem like he wasn’t trying to kill anyone. But I’ll have to watch again to be sure.
**Update: I went back to watch it in IMAX…WELL WORTH IT. The visuals were even more stunning and I solidified my stance of 7.5/10 rating. It has its issues for sure, but it’s still a joy for me to watch.
To update my theory on Batman after the Superman fight, it does seem he’s much more economical in the fight to save Martha. In that I mean, he’s not out to kill them, just to incapacitate them much as you’d expect from Batman. Almost like his humanity is coming back.
**Update: It’s been nearly a month since I watched it, just watched Captain America: Civil War and I won’t bore you with comparisons as there aren’t many. But it had me thinking on Batman and Superman’s Martha turn.
Batman had a moment of clarity in that instant, making the realization that it was He who had become the Monster. He found the humanity in Clark and in turn reignited the same spark of humanity in himself. His own quote rings back in his mind, “20 years in Gotham, how many good guys are left? How many stayed that way?”
He himself had become one of the “monsters” he’d sworn to protect Gotham and the world from. He’d gone to the dark side. His humanity was uncovered again.
Snyder & Co could have made this internal realization clearer and it would have made the turn much more understood by the masses! A line of dialogue or two goes a looooooong way.