As far as superhero films go, few have ever been hyped to the level of [Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice](tag:711870). We finally got to see Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman fighting together, we got to see the Justice League movies get set up, and we witnessed some of the most breathtaking visuals that Zack Snyder has ever given us.
However, those highlights haven't stopped the criticisms from arising. With a measly score of 29% on the Tomatometer, BvS has been the target of many harsh statements by fans and critics alike. While the film certainly isn't the worst superhero movie of all time, it does have a few flaws, but nothing that can't be fixed.
Warning, spoilers for Batman v Superman past this point. If you have not yet seen the movie, I advise you to click away until you have.
Batman v Superman runs for about two hours and thirty minutes, and that's not even counting the 30 minutes that will appear in the extended release for DVD and Blu-ray. Even for a superhero movie, that's a long time to sit in a theater seat. The main problem with the length is that there are multiple stories going at the same time. We're getting a Man of Steel sequel story, a Batman story, and a Justice League build-up story. All of the different stories but a strain on the overall plot, and I believe some major edits could have been made to improve that.
Take the notes for example. During the second half of the film, Bruce Wayne starts receiving mysterious messages written in red ink. These messages are mentioned maybe once or twice before Lex Luthor reveals that he was the one writing them all along. That was probably meant to be some big reveal, but I at least felt underwhelmed, as did many other moviegoers.
There's also the scene in the film where Clark Kent takes a stroll in the mountains and comes across a ghost/vision image of his foster dad, Johnathan Kent, who gives him a story about horses dying. While it was a nice bonding moment, it wasn't that necessary for the film as a whole. His dad dies in Man of Steel after all, so taking out this scene could have saved the movie some time.
The Justice League Reveal
I'm sure all DC comic fans were going into Batman v Superman excited for the Justice League set-up, and unfortunately a few walked out dissapointed. Instead of proper cameos, we got found footage videos of Aquaman, the Flash, and Cyborg that lasted only a couple of seconds each.
I'm not going to say they should re-shoot individual scenes for each character, only that the scene could have been postponed for a post-credits scene. The scene was edited in right before the climactic Basty vs. Supes fight, and I can't help but feel that it interrupted the pace of the film.
Some fans wanted a post-credits scene, so if they would have put the Justice League scene at the end, it would have restored the pace and provided a satisfying tease for the upcoming Justice League movie.
Personally, I had absolutely no problem with Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. His performance was actually one of the highlights of the film for me. I was a big fan of him in Adventureland, Zombieland, and Now You See Me, so it was great to see him go all out with this kind of character. Not everyone shares my opinion though, and his casting choice remains a black mark for most people.
I have a solution for that as well. Leave his performance alone for BvS, because he honestly did an incredible acting job, but tweak it towards the end. After he learns all of the Kryptonian archive secrets in the Doomsday birthing chamber, that would be a great chance for a character turn. With all of this knowledge, don't make him a snot-nosed (literally) herald of Darkseid. Make him use the knowledge to become the menacing, calculating, businessman/genius that we know from the comics. Then it's a win-win for everyone!
Come on, even if you loved the film, you have to admit that the ending of the Batman vs Superman fight let you down. After about two hours of building up an epic confrontation between the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel, the brawl was cut short because their moms have the same name. Really? Zack Snyder put all this effort into making a dark and gritty DC universe, and he cuts short a duel to the death because of "Martha"?
To fix this, they wouldn't even need to do much. While Batman and Superman are trading fists, have Lex finish his build-your-own-Doomsday project. When the helicopters start shooting at Doomsday and Doomsday shoots out a giant domed electric blast, make that catch the heroes attention.
Then, when the heroes rush and join Wonder Woman in the slaying of the beast, Batman would realize that Superman has been fighting for good all along, and that the Metropolis massacre was not his fault. Then the editing team could have cut all of the flashback Martha scenes and focused more on the plot.
Death of Superman
The death of Superman event is a major point in comics history, and they shoehorned it into the movie unnecessarily. They killed off Superman in his second movie just to tease his resurrection within twenty minutes. That's just a waste of such an epic moment.
Imagine this; instead of Superman and Doomsday killing each other, have Superman just run him through with the kryptonite spear. Superman falls unconscious because of the spear's power, and Doomsday falls apparently dead.
However, Doomsday has a unique regenerative power that grants him immunity to things that kill him after he regenerates. So after Doomsday is killed by the Kryptonite, have him show up again in a later movie (Justice League perhaps?). This time, when Superman tries to kill him with Kryptonite, it doesn't work, and Doomsday spears him through the chest, and the rest of the League is forced to defeat him.
This way, we'd be able to get to know Henry Cavill's Superman a bit more before he dies, and the event makes more of an impact. Just think about the remaining Justice League members trying to fight off Darkseid in JL Part 2 without Superman? That would add a whole new element to the battle.
Batman v Superman has very mixed reviews, but underneath all of the criticisms lies a well-conceived film. It's visually stunning, but it has a few flaws that have tanked critic's perception of the film. Everybody has their opinions, but what's yours?