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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – A Plot Analysis

Last night, I was able to see one of the biggest movies of 2016 – Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and decided to write this review to voice my opinion on the film.

Keep in mind that I will be discussing key moments from the film, plot points, cameos and more, so SPOILER WARNING!

Last chance to stop reading to avoid spoilers … Ok, so let’s get right into it.

The movie begins with a retelling of Batman’s origin, which anyone who has seen any Batman movie, TV show, animated feature, video game, etc. is very familiar with. After a night out seeing a movie or the theatre (it differs), young Bruce Wayne leaves the performance with his parents, Martha and Thomas Wayne. They are robbed a gunpoint, Martha Wayne’s pearls drop (which are CGI for some reason in this movie), and Bruce Wayne is left as an orphan. Then, after the funeral, Bruce falls into a cave nearby his house and encounters bats. Thus, he becomes Batman.

Most people know Batman’s origin, and in a movie that was – and not to mention felt – long, it could have been cut out and started from Bruce Wayne’s perspective during the events on 2013’s Man of Steel. Long-time readers of my blog know how I felt about that movie (you can read my review here), as I had many issues about the world that had been created, especially how Zod got his powers so quickly, and Superman not protecting people during the final battle.

There was a lot of outcry about this after Man of Steel was released, so it gets addressed. A lot. Numerous characters make point-blank statements that wherever a superhero battle is happening, the locations are abandoned, empty, or in one hilariously bizarre case, after-business-hours, so the office towers were “mostly empty.” There is even a whole subplot in the movie about Superman being held accountable for his actions, and he even attends a Senate sub-committee meeting to defend his actions. But, that’s getting ahead of myself.

After Bruce’s origin story, we see Bruce Wayne fly to Metropolis in a helicopter and try to save people from Zod and the ensuing battle. Bruce was rightfully angry when Superman and Zod destroy countless buildings (including the Wayne Financial building), injure others and kill a lot of people. This sets the stage for the primary conflict for Batman.

And then we cut to 18 months later.

We learn quickly that Bruce Wayne sees Superman’s power as too much for one being not of this Earth (read: alien), and that he could destroy everyone without a thought. So, he decided to find enough Kryptonite to kill Superman if necessary.

This started him on a collision course with Lex Luthor (played by a manic Nicholas Cage-level insanity by Jesse Eisenberg, who just got annoying in the role), who happened to be trying to import a massive batch of Kryptonite into the States, but was blocked by the very Senator leading the Senate committee mentioned above – how convenient!

To locate the shipment, Wayne went to a party held by Lex to steal the information, where he met Clark Kent and a mysterious woman who stole the stolen data from Bruce. At another event, he met the woman again, got the drive back and decrypted the information.

Meanwhile, Clark was worried about not being able to help everyone, but goes on being a God among men and saving Lois (who, as always, has a knack for getting into danger and needing saving). While Superman attended the Senate hearing, a bomb went off (thanks to Lex) killing everyone and Superman goes into hiding because he was ashamed. In this film, Lois was relegated to her own subplot about mysterious bullets that were made by LexCorp and worrying about Clark when he disappeared.

Bruce found the Kryptonite thanks to the drive (as well as other information I’ll get to later), and tried to steal it from Lex. He failed due to intervention from Superman and they had a staring contest.

While this is happening, Lex made a deal to get access to the Kryptonian ship from Man of Steel and Zod’s body. I’m still not entirely sure what he did, but he somehow used Zod’s fingerprints to become the new commander of the ship, and used a glowing yellow pool (called a Genesis pool?) to combine his DNA and Zod’s to create an “abomination”.

Bruce then successfully stole the Kryptonite rock from Lex and made some weapons, including a spear and gas grenades, for his eventual fight with Superman. As for the armoured suit in the trailer (inspired by the Frank Miller comic The Dark Knight Returns)? I was hoping we’d be able to see Bruce build it to try and compensate for the massive strength differential between the two, but no such luck.

Lex then kidnapped Lois, threw her off a building to lure Superman, and told Superman that he wanted Batman dead. Superman said he wouldn’t kill him, and Lex said that he kidnapped Clark’s mother (Martha Kent), and would kill her in an hour if Superman didn’t bring Lex the head of Batman. So, Superman flew off to gets Batman’s help.

Batman, on the other hand, was all decked out for war against Superman and didn’t let him explain the situation. So, they fought. Batman used Kryptonite gas to weaken Superman so he could get a few licks in, but Superman recovered and pummeled Batman. So, Batman used more gas and got him stunned enough to, after some bizarre CGI grapple gun antics, got him underfoot and about to be gutted with the Kryptonite spear.

Superman said to “find Martha” and “save Martha,” and Batman lost his mind (as that was his mother’s name – and where I think the flashback to the night Bruce’s parents were murdered would have been PERFECT), and then Lois rushed in to tell the truth to Batman about Martha Kent.

Batman threw the spear away and promised to rescue Superman’s mom (which he did), and Superman promised to find Lex Luthor (which he did). But not before the cocoon Lex created in the Kryptonian ship hatched and, in some terrible green screen CGI work, emerged Doomsday.

In the comics and cartoons, Doomsday was a creature bred and evolved to be the perfect killer. And every time he “died,” he would be resurrected and could not be killed that way again.

Anyway, Doomsday was quickly attacked by the US military and survived. So, Clark fought Doomsday and lost quickly. Batman went to help and also had trouble. Then, the mysterious woman Bruce Wayne met earlier appeared as Wonder Woman (and in my opinion, the best part of the movie), and she helped. Superman tackled Doomsday and flew into space, and the US nuked the both. Doomsday fell to Earth and regenerated into something deadlier, and Superman spent some time soaking up the sun’s rays before he rejoined Wonder Woman in the fight.

Lois grabbed the spear from before, but almost drowned in retrieving it. So Superman abandoned the fight, saved her, and flew with the Kryptonite spear and stabbed Doomsday. In his death throes, Doomsday stabbed Superman in the chest and they both died.

Superman was given a very public military funeral and Clark Kent was buried in Smallville (where he grew up) with Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince (Wonder Woman’s alter-ego) in attendance and they quickly teased the formation of the Justice League. And, Lex Luthor was in jail and visited by a very angry Batman. Lex, seemingly out of his mind, ominously said that something worse is coming – also teasing the eventual “big bad” of the upcoming Justice League movies.

A few things:

– Batman had a “vision” of an apocalyptic future, teasing the bad guy in the future Justice League movie (which looks to be the villain, Darkseid), as well as a visit from “Future Flash” warning him of what is coming in that future movie and to “get them together.”

– Inside Lex’s drive stolen by Batman and Wonder Woman, there were files on other metahumans, including videos showcasing the future Justice League members – the Flash stopping a mugging, Wonder Woman all over the world (and a photo from the early 1900s), Aquaman fighting off a submersible, and Cyborg being turned from a man into a machine.

Ok DC and Warner Brothers – we get it. You have a Justice League movie coming out and are trying to build a DC Cinematic Universe, but the film was overstuffed already with Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. These extraneous cameos for characters we won’t see for a while, and won’t have their own movies for years, were obvious and wastes of time.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe had movies introducing single characters in their own movies before building up to the big team-up in Avengers, followed by more individual movies culminating in Avengers: Age of Ultron. They had years and years to build up the world and the characters before putting them all together. That is why it worked.

Teases and looks at what will be coming are good, but not at the expense of the film you are trying to make.

But what did I think of the movie overall?

Well, the movie was ok. I wasn’t a big fan of Man of Steel, so I wasn’t anticipating this movie to be fantastic. Unlike other superhero movies, I’m not in a rush to see it again, as it wasn’t exciting, it was overly long, and the effects were less than optimal. The dream sequences were awkwardly placed, Batman’s origin was redone … again, and the reasons for fighting (Batman thought Superman was too powerful and Superman thought Batman crossed the line) changed because Lex kidnaps Superman’s mom. Therefore, Batman and Superman fight because of a misunderstanding. It’s not the be-all, end-all brawl that everyone and the trailers and marketing were suggesting.

Honestly, it seems like after Man of Steel, DC and Warner Brothers decided to make Superman and Batman fight, and reverse-engineered a reason why.

But, there were some enjoyable parts in the movie. The action sequences were mostly good, as long as they didn’t get too CGI-heavy, and Wonder Woman fighting looked great. But that was about it.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will make a lot of money, but I don’t think it will make nearly as much as DC and Warner Brothers would like. And maybe they will learn their lesson. But, with Wonder Woman already  filmed and The Justice League Part 1 shooting now, who knows what will happen. I had hoped they would learn their lesson three years ago from Man of Steel

Blast from the Past 6 – One step back, two steps forward

What can be said about the end of season three that hasn’t already been said already? That one episode, “Through the Looking Glass” probably was the single-most “game changing” episode in LOST’s history of extremely important episodes.

But was one great episode enough to redeem an entire season?

LOST – Views from a Veteran – Season Three: Episodes 14-24

“On this island, the rules are a bit different” – Mikhail in “D.O.C”

Charlie passing a message on to Desmond in "Through the Looking Glass." Source.

Charlie passing a message on to Desmond in “Through the Looking Glass.” Source.

Season three of Lost finally is over, and while the vast majority of episodes were not very good, there were a few that were pure gold. Before we get to the good, we must first discuss the bad and the ugly – namely the issue of Nikki & Paulo, and the episode “Expose” must be addressed.

As mentioned in my previous post, most fans simply hated the fact that two characters were suddenly introduced into the main cast and had fostered relationships with so many characters. The fact was, we needed to see the characters interact with each other. Now, you may be saying that the season 2 “tailies” were introduced in a similar way, and you would be technically correct.

However, all the tailies were treated with suspicion and fear by the characters we already knew and by us, the viewers. That is the key to introducing new characters on a show like this, by introducing us to them along with the characters on the show, and not simply expecting a relationship.

But, with all I disliked about “Expose,” the creators really did solve the problem in an interesting way. Nobody that I knew expected that Nikki and Paulo would “die” and be buried alive!

As for the rest of the season, the episodes did slowly get better, starting with the episode “Catch-22” about Desmond, and continuing onto Ben’s “The Man behind the Curtain,” Charlie’s “Greatest Hits,” and the amazing Jack-centred finale “Through the Looking Glass.”

The ending of season three was one of the best season finales on the show because they completely changed up the formula. Not only did Charlie die after showing Desmond that the freighter was “not Penny’s boat,” but it was revealed that what we thought was a flashback, was actually flash-forward! When I saw that episode originally, I could not believe it. With one fell swoop, the showrunners breathed new life into a slowly stagnating show.

What also greatly helped them was that Lost received its official end-date just as the season was wrapping up, so the producers and writers could slowly plan arcs for all the characters and get to some sort of resolution. Did they succeed? Well, you will have to wait until my season 6 reviews for that!

One of the things I have noticed is that with all the secrets that were revealed during the final 3 seasons, there are still many, many left unanswered. There are some that do not matter, such as how Jacob cured the cancer of Juliet’s sister, or what happened to young Ben’s girlfriend (the one who gave him the doll). But, there are other questions like why don’t the rules of time-travel apply to Desmond, or who/what is Walt? Should they have been answered? Probably, but like life, not everything gets wrapped up in a neat little bow/

Since these questions and many more continue to remain mysterious and unanswerable, might as well get on to the various “Lost-isms” for the last half of season three.

There have now been a total of 22 fights, with Jack & Ethan, Sawyer & Sayid and Sawyer & Pickett tied with the top spot of two fights each.

Ben has been beaten up on three separate occasions, Sawyer has said “Sonofabitch” 18 times, and Desmond has said “brother” an impressive 34 times!

And as always, I will now end with the top “Sawyer-isms: “Freckles” has now taken the lead with being said 29 times, while “Doc” is still in contention with 27. Tied for third are “Boss” and “Hoss” with five references, and “Chief,” “Sweetheart” and “Chewie” are tied for fourth with four mentions each.

“I like you better since you got back, Jack. You’re almost an optimist” – Rose in “Greatest Hits.”

Blast from the Past 3 – It’s Not Your Island

On to season two of my “Views from a Veteran” series, which I am christening “Blast from the Past,” where things go from bad to worse for the LOST-ies.

The show really started to pick up steam in season two, but with its new-found popularity and meteoric rise, the show began to crack and splinter. Many of the things we loved about the show – the surprises and never-ending mysteries – still loomed, but the luster had gone and more and more issues began to pop up.


LOST – Views from a Veteran – Season Two: Episodes 1-12

“Why do you find it do hard to believe?”– Locke in “Orientation”

The second season of this show picked up right where the previous ended off, with the opening of the Hatch. This  event really allowed the writers to begin sinking their teeth into the greater mythology of the island, with the introduction of the Dharma Initiative and  the man who spent years underground pushing a mysterious button – Desmond.

While initially introduced as a side character, viewers enjoyed his time on the show and the writers therefore integrated Desmond into the show. And, through him, “Lost” had some of its greatest episodes, as well as embraced itself as a science fiction show in the later seasons.

Desmond was the first case of the audience having a say in the show, but not the last. This type of fan-fueled reaction happened a few times, most notably with Benjamin Linus becoming a series regular because fans loved him, and Nikki & Paulo being killed off due to fans despising their sudden appearances. But, these happen later on in the series … so let’s stick to the first half of season two.

With the opening of the Hatch and the introduction of the Dharma Initiative, one of the largest themes throughout the series came to the forefront, that of a man of science (Jack) vs. a man of faith (Locke). This was shown through the discussion of whether or not to continue pushing the button inside the Hatch based solely on pure belief. As we all know now, it turns out the button WAS important and that Jack does eventually become a believer, even saying in the finale that Locke was right all along.

We are also finally introduced to the people in the tail section of Oceanic Flight 815, who have been tormented by the infamous “others” since they crashed. One of many questions still left unanswered after the show ended was why did the others kidnapped people from the tail section? Were they some of Jacob’s candidates, or was Ben simply looking to take away individuals who he deemed worthy enough to join him?

Also, how did Walt communicate to Michael through the computer inside the Hatch? The producers of the show have said that it was Walt speaking through the computer, but they were mum as to how or why. A possible explanation is that it was achieved through Walt’s abilities, but since those have yet to be explained, the question still lingers.

The last question that I will ask here is why in the episode “The 23rd Psalm” did the smoke monster (AKA the MiB) leave Eko alone? Since the monster was able to kill him in season three, it would seem that Mr. Eko was not a candidate for Jacob, so why not kill him right off the bat?

The answer is one that I can make an educated guess on, however. It is known that the actor, who played Mr. Eko, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, was fairly vocal in his protests against living in Hawaii to film the show and wanted a larger increase in pay as compensation. He wanted to quit the show, so the producers brutally killed him off in episode five of season three as a solution to the issue.

The producers have said that they had a four season arc planned for the character that focused on him finding his spirituality on the island and becoming another force against the MiB. But, when the actor didn’t want to continue, there was not much they could have done. Therefore, that was likely why he was not killed in season two; he was a candidate until the producers had to kill him off at the actor’s request, which at that point, they wrote him out.

Finally, part one of season twos “Lost-isms” that I have been counting. You will notice that I have made a change to the counts of the fights and “Sawyer-isms.” From now on I will only name the top spots for each category. However, for the final post about the second half of the finals season, I will post the entire count. Sound good?

There have now been a total of twelve fights, with Jack & Ethan and Sawyer & Sayid have the top spot with two fights each.

Sawyer has now said “Sonofabitch” a total of nine times.

And here we have a brand new category – how many times has Desmond said “brotha’?” In the first half of season two, he has said it a total of ten times.

Lastly, the top “Sawyer-isms: “Doc” manages to hang on with 12 mentions, with “Freckles” closing in fast with 11. And we have a two-way tie for second with both “Chief” and “Chewie” with four references.

Bringing up the bottom in fourth with three mentions was “Hoss.” And lastly, at the back of the pack with only two mentions each are: “Sweetheart,” “Sweet cheeks,” “Hero,” and “Mohammed.”

Stay tuned soon for the second half of season two!

“This is not your island. This is our island” – Mr. Friendly (aka Tom) in “Hunting Party.”