Now that "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" has been out for the weekend and most people who care to see it have already done so, it's time to talk about the movie in spoiler-heavy detail, going over things in the movie I liked and didn't like with more detail as opposed to my spoiler-free review. So take that as your official spoiler warning for this movie.
If you already read my spoiler-free review, you know that the only majorly positive thing I had to say about this movie was pretty much most of the Batman related stuff. Ben Affleck was great playing both Bruce Wayne and Batman, and the actual character had the most motivation since he himself actually witnessed first hand all of the destruction in Metropolis caused partially by Superman. Bruce actually lost a close friend in the attack, though he was ultimately just some generic guy that we didn't really care about. Also in the attack, Bruce sees the likes of a little girl who lost her mother and Scoot McNairy losing his legs, thus putting in motion Wayne's vendetta against Superman. For the most part, the character motivation was present, and the character's overall levels of badass provided some of the movie's better moments. The best Batman scene by far is when he goes to rescue Superman's mom, Martha Kent, and he has to fight off a large group of men in doing so. And he doesn't just fight them off, he bat-smashes the living shit out of every single one of them, even killing a majority of them in the process, which leads to one of the Batman related things I didn't like.
There are several moments in this movie where Batman willingly, clearly murders people in cold blood and that's NOT Batman's character. Several incarnations of Batman have made it perfectly clear that his only rule is that he doesn't kill anyone, but this movie just throws it out the window and barely even addresses it. There's a scene in the movie where Bruce looks at a Robin costume presumably graffiti-ed by Joker, strongly implying that "A Death in the Family" already took place in which the Joker killed Jason Todd as Robin. You could argue that Robin's death affected him to the point where he himself feels murder is the only way to achieve justice, but nothing in the movie hints at that. As cool as this movie's portrayal of Batman is, he loses an integral part of his character without his "no killing" rule.
Now onto Superman, his character was a complete mess in this movie. You would think that the movie wants to address his destruction in Metropolis as well as his murder of General Zod, him continuing to feel guilty about taking a life, but what's the first thing he does in this movie? Yep, he kills a terrorist by super-smashing him through a wall. Granted, it was a terrorist threatening to kill Lois Lane, but there were plenty of other things Superman could've done to prevent any loss of life in the situation. Simply smashing him through a wall is a direct contradiction to what Superman is suppose to be feeling in this movie. Another problem with Superman is that he's just plain boring in this film. Henry Cavill does a fine job in the role, but there are plenty of times when Superman is just standing around, brooding and acting like an angsty teenager who got rejected by his prom date. There's even a scene in the movie where Superman goes into his own little exile, but you don't feel the gravity of it. He has one small talk with Pa Kent in some type of dream sequence, but that's it. Believe me, there's plenty wrong with Superman's character in this movie and I'll get to the biggest flaw later on, but we need to start really criticizing some shit.
Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor was not only a weak performance in a painfully obvious miscast role, but he was also a terrible villain. This is suppose to be Lex Luthor, Superman's cold, calculating, menacing, and articulate nemesis who gives off a formidable presence. Instead we get his apparent son, Alexander Luthor, the twitchy, Jolly Rancher eating Joker knockoff who comes off as unintentionally hilarious in some scenes. The end scene with him in jail has him pathetically saying "ding ding" over and over while snot runs down his face, his introduction scene is a lazy reveal of him playing basketball, and his motivation for hating Superman is literally just this: Because the script says so. Seriously, the most memorable thing he does in this movie is pissing in a cup. That's when you know you have a wasted villain.
As for Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, I think it was yet another weak performance made worse by playing a weak character. For most of the movie, she exists solely to be in scenes that involve setting up the Justice League, but then she shows up as Wonder Woman in the end fight, though she has absolutely nothing to do in that scene. She was just shoehorned into this movie for the sake of one action scene that wasn't even very good, and Gadot's line reading makes her sound like she's reading off of cue cards that are off screen. Again, a wasted character who has me legitimately worried for the upcoming "Wonder Woman" movie.
Now onto some of the movie's bigger problems, the main one being the crowded plot in which several elements could've been taken out to make the film more cohesive. You could've taken out the stuff with Scoot McNairy's character, the stuff involving Lois Lane investigating some mysterious bullet or something dumb like that, and all of the forced, absolutely pathetic Justice League setup scenes. The two worst examples of this are as follows: One, the dream sequence where Batman is pretty much in the "Mad Max: Fury Road" wasteland and he fights off soldiers along with weird flying creatures that I assume have to do with Darkseid's symbol being in the dream. This pointless scene is bad enough as a dream sequence, but it turns out that there's a dream within a dream going on, Bruce Wayne waking up from his "Mad Max" dream and seeing a vision of what looks like Flash warning him about Lois Lane. What does it add to this film? Absolutely nothing; it's just shameless future movie setup that could not have been any more obvious and forced.
The second example of the movie's Justice League setup is even worse. Bruce Wayne comes across some weird files on Lex Luthor's hard drive and he emails them to Wonder Woman. What's in the email? It's literally just small clips of Flash stopping a robbery, Aquaman just awkwardly staring at the camera for 10 seconds, and Cyborg being built for the first time in a scene that looks like it was filmed in someone's garage on a 10 dollar budget. These scenes are cool for die-hard DC fans who want to see the "Justice League" film, but these small vignettes don't fit in terms of making a well constructed, flowing narrative.
And now, we come to the Batman-Superman fight scene, the most disappointing moment of the entire movie for me. To start, the only reason the fight happens is because Lex Luthor has kidnapped Superman's mom and her safety is only guaranteed if Superman agrees to fight Batman. Forcing Superman to fight just because his mom got kidnapped felt like a lazy, tacked on addition to the film, but forget that, at least the fight scene is cool, right? Well, no it's not. The entire fight is basically just Batman getting in all of the best hits while Superman occasionally gets in one or two good shots. At his disposal, Batman has stuff like smoke bombs, a kryptonite grenade, and a kryptonite spear, but none of these end the fight. What ends the fight is Superman saying "Martha", referring to his kidnapped mother, and then Batman realizes that his mother's name is also Martha...that's literally how the fight ends; "Your mom's name is Martha? OMG, our mom's have the same name! We're friends now!" The simple fact of the matter is that I left the theater thinking about how this fight scene played out, and I was severely underwhelmed by everything from the setup, the actual fight, and the resolution.
After the Batman and Superman fight, Doomsday shows up after Lex Luthor creates him from Zod's DNA being spliced with his own, and now we have a giant CGI monstrosity that looks like the cave troll from "Lord of the Rings" had a run in with Shrek in one of those "Shrek is love, Shrek is life" stories, and now they have this hideous love child that's suppose to be Doomsday. The entire fight scene is just a giant CGI mess of destruction greater than that of "Man of Steel" and it ultimately suffers from what I like to call "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" syndrome in which a villain is shoehorned into the story simply for the sake of recreating an iconic scene from the comics. "TASM 2" did it with Gwen Stacy's death scene, and now this movie is doing it with Superman's death scene. That's right, Superman ends up sacrificing himself to kill Doomsday, but the problem is that it doesn't feel earned. Not only is Superman a boring character in this movie, but this is only the second movie in this franchise. Superman's death would've worked in a "Justice League" finale, but the second film? Come on, there's no emotional investment in that whatsoever, not to mention how obvious it is that he's not really dead. Of course he's not really dead since the last shot of the movie is his coffin covered in dirt, the dirt slowly starting to rise up in the air. But did I care by this point in the movie? Nope, I had officially accepted how much of a failure this movie was at that point.
With all of that said, my consensus on "Batman v Superman" is the same as it was in my spoiler-free review. I think this movie sucks not only as a highly anticipated comic book film, but as a film in general. If it had focused on its own story instead of being a giant commercial for "Justice League", the movie would've been a lot more enjoyable. Hell, the movie might've even been better if the third trailer hadn't spoiled all of the best moments. Very little is left to the imagination in this movie and the end result is an underwhelming mess of a movie that gets worse the more I think about it.