In my previous article, we analyzed the Top 5 Worst Moments in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. However, despite its flaws as a film, Batman v Superman succeeds as a service to hardcore comic book fans, especially those partial to DC. There are even some brilliant cinematic moments hidden among the comic treasures. So without further ado, let us venture into the best moments and aspects that made me enjoy this film immensely, despite all its flaws.
WARNING: Massive SPOILERS for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to follow.
#10: The Party Scene
Teased in the trailers, this scene at Lex Luthor's party is really the only interaction we get between Superman and Batman's alter egos, Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne. Wayne is here trying to steal classified LexCorp information, while Clark has come to report on the occasion and possibly get a scoop on the Bat vigilante of Gotham. The conflicting chemistry between Affleck and Cavill shines here as both attack the other's respective superhero. In addition, we get glimpses of Batman doing actual detective work and Clark Kent doing actual reporting, something their previous film incarnations seem to lack. Add in some good-natured humor and a dash of Gal Gadot as Diane Prince, and you get a charming scene that has merit and many Easter Eggs to digest.
#9: Batmobile Chase
This film's Batmobile may be the best on-screen version of the iconic vehicle yet. The love child of Christopher Nolan's Tumbler and a Lamborghini, Batman's new car showcases just how badass this character is. This is clearly shown in the main Batmobile chase of the film. As Lex Luthor is bringing in a shipment of Kryptonite, Batman and his ride are there to hijack the convey, engines revving and guns blazing-literally. This chase showcases Affleck's Batman as a man with no remorse and his code seemingly broken, as he repeatedly pummels, shoots, and explodes cars, passengers included. While we will discuss this aspect later in our list, the scene itself is exhilarating, well choreographed, creatively shot, and ends on a high note as the Man of Steel arrives to put an end to the Caped Crusader's hijinks, and we get the first heart-pounding on-screen meeting of Batman and Superman in film history.
#8: The Knightmare Sequence
Also teased in the trailers, this sequence was-and still is-surrounded by the most intense of fan discussion. Witnessing the full scene in the film only added to the mystery and what it means for the DCEU. The scene is introduced (through some admittedly horrendous editing) as one of Bruce Wayne's many recurring nightmares, as his Batman is shown overviewing apocalyptic remains of either Gotham or Metropolis.
But for those of you keen-eyed fellows-and anyone who was on the Internet when this image was first released-that Omega symbol in the ground is a clear reference to Darkseid. Combined with the Parademons, Injustice-vibe Superman and his soldiers, and the peculiar scene directly after (again, thanks sub-par editing), we are left to wonder just if and when these questions will be answered. But for the meantime we have some gritty visuals and a great stand off between Supes and Bats to gloss over.
#7: The Waynes' Murder
When the movie began and we were being treated to yet another take on the infamous murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne, I rolled my eyes. Nearly 30 years of cinematic Batman and we're seeing this scene again? However, I was quickly shut down as Snyder reveals the most beautifully shot sequence in the film. This murder is brutal, violent, horrifying, and paints Bruce's motivations for becoming Batman better than ever-it is literally stripped straight from the comics.
Add in a haunting score from Hans Zimmer, and I was 110% on board with this film from the first 4 minutes. If only the entire run time could've maintained the same momentum.
#6: Superman's Sacrifice
This was the most shocking moment in the film; not because fans couldn't predict it, but rather because we didn't actually suspect they would have the guts to pull it off in only the DCEU's second movie. During the final Trinity battle against Doomsday, it seems the trio is outmatched by the unkillable monster. Faced with an opportunity to show the world the kind of hero he is, Superman shoots at the monster with a Kryptonite spear and kills the beast. Tragically, having been weakened by the Kryptonite himself, Superman is stabbed by Doomsday in the chest and meets his maker.
Played to a heart-wrenching soundtrack by Hans Zimmer, we watch, holding back tears, as Batman, Wonder Woman, and Lois all crowd around the fallen Man of Steel. It is Lois that is hardest to watch; she pleaded with Clark to not attempt the inherently sacrificial act, and now she is holding his lifeless body, a man she loved and whom she was prepared to spend the rest of her life with. It is revealed in the final shot of the movie that he will indeed return, but for the moment we are left with this tragic scene that still tugs at my heartstrings.
#5: The Roof Scene
One of the more stellar scenes of acting from both Cavill and Eisenberg (despite my dislike of his performance) was the scene on the roof of LexCorp Tower. Luthor has just thrown Lois off the roof in an attempt to lure Superman. Needless to say, it works, and here we see a remarkable exchange between the long-time comic book nemeses. Superman is cool and collected, indifferent to Lex's coaxing remarks about his potential brawl with Batman, until Luthor reveals the icing on the cake: he's kidnapped Clark's mother. Luthor brings Superman to his literal knees, and the latter almost loses his cool until Lex promises her safe return if the Batman is killed.
Here we get to see intriguing aspects to both of these characters. With Lex, we see a colder and more sadistic side, quite a difference from the rest of the film's portrayal. He's still spastic and twitchy, but the truly sinister nature of his delivery trumps such annoyances. In addition, it is truly haunting to see the pictures of Martha and the treatment she is enduring, parallel to her being a witch as the "mother of a flying demon." Superman himself also reveals an interesting character trait; he has learned from his mistakes. In a fit of rage he almost heat-visions Lex to death, but stops himself. This could be due to Lex's insistence that he needs to stay alive, but let's face it, Superman could probably off Lex and save his mom regardless. Rather, he chooses to show mercy despite his immense power, a lesson clearly learned from the repercussions of Man of Steel and killing General Zod. A superb scene that truly showcases the talents of both performances.
#4: Wonder Woman
There was much anticipation leading up to Gal Gadot's take on Wonder Woman. Fans eagerly waited to see the first live-action film portrayal of the iconic DC character, and boy did she deliver. Her character is slowly teased throughout the film as someone who knows her way around, and in the final battle she arrives in spectacular fashion to join Batman and Superman in a battle to be remembered.
She carries her own throughout the fight, impressing both male leads and the audiences. Her action is impressive to watch and she herself is clearly having fun duking it out against Doomsday, just as Gadot is having a blast with this character. Whatever issues we had with the initial casting, they are long gone, and we are hungrily waiting for her own solo film coming out next June.
#3: Ben Affleck's Batman
The first and most controversial casting for this film, Ben Affleck's take on the role put all of us haters (myself included) to shame. The actor has come a long way since Daredevil, and it shows brilliantly here. Affleck succeeds in bringing us a weary, damaged, and truly badass version of the Caped Crusader. His scenes definitely stole the show in the film, as the most comic-book accurate Batman to date works his way into pop culture for ever. He fights like a brutal Batman (how about that warehouse scene?), acts like a damaged Batman, and looks like THE Batman. There is one disappointing aspect about Batfleck: this guy kills. Like, straight-up murders. We can form a basic conjecture that he has become a broken man since Robin's death, and thus his moral standards have been thrown out the window. However, it would've been nice to explain this in the actual film (looking at you, Snyder). While it does put you off in some sequences, for the most part Affleck's chops manage to pull you through the momentary disappointment and presents a character never to be forgotten.
#2: Black Zero Event
Many were awaiting to see this film's response to the highly criticized destruction in Man of Steel, as it was teased in the trailers that Bruce Wayne would witness the carnage of Superman's battle with Zod and use this as the basis for his motivation against Kal-El. To say that this was a fantastic intro is an understatement; this is possibly the most pulse-pounding, intense, harsh sequence in the film. Watching the thousands of lives lost from Bruce's perspective adds a real human element to the film and in a way redeems Man of Steel, showing that the filmmakers were indeed aware of the wanton destruction Superman and company were causing.As Bruce listens to his friend die when Superman and Zod cause his tower to collapse, audiences cringe with emotion, and watching him look up at the remains of a building, holding a little girl who has just been orphaned, is extremely difficult to witness. A nearly flawless introduction to what could've been a phenomenal cinematic venture.
#1: Batman vs Superman
Is the set up for the fight weak? Yes. While Batman's motivations are clear, Superman is only blackmailed to fight to save his mother. Is the ending weak as well? Of course. Batman instantly forgives Superman, forgets all his hate towards the alien, because their mothers share the same name.
But the fight itself is absolutely amazing. This surprisingly long sequence (9 minutes, though it feels much shorter) sports some of the movie's best visuals, best effects hands down, and truly brutal choreography. The initial blows work well to separate the characters' ideals, as Superman tries to be diplomatic in his approach while Batman is hearing none of it. Furthermore, Cavill delivers his best performance of the film in this scene as he interacts with the Caped Crusader. Batman is hear to play dirty, and once the playing fields are leveled by some handy Kryptonite, the fight becomes brutal. Through all the punches, kicks, and throws, you feel the hatred fueling both of these heroes against each other. Accompanied by a fantastic score by Hans Zimmer, the fight feels like the best representation we could get of these two titans fighting. Worth the 3 year wait? Absolutely.
So there we have it, the Top 10 Best Moments in Batman v Superman. Check out my other list of the Top 5 Worst Moments because for all of the enjoyment I get from this movie, there are severe flaws. But perhaps it is important to accept the fact that, while disappointing, this film should not be taken as a serious attempt at cinematic gold; perhaps it should be enjoyed for its moments, both good and bad, and then looked back on as a missed yet enjoyable opportunity.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments below (albeit respectfully)!