10 Things That Batman v Superman Totally Got Right

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10 Things That Batman v Superman Totally Got Right

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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has not received the greatest reviews in the world, with critics noting the various places where they feel that director Zack Snyder went wrong with the film. However, there were a number of things that the film got correct. Here, then, are ten things that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice got totally right. 

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1. Ben Affleck as Batman Generally

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 There's a very good reason why Warner Bros. took very little time to announce that Ben Affleck would star in and direct himself in a new Batman film. That is because, generally speaking, Affleck absolutely nailed Batman. When I say "generally speaking," I mean more in terms of the visual look of the character, the voice, the way he carries himself, the way he emotes. It's all pretty much note perfect. 

Now, there might be some issues with what his Batman does in the film, like perhaps branding criminals with the intent of them then being murdered while in prison is a bit much, but that shouldn't take away from how well Affleck inhabited the role of Batman in this film.

There were rumors that Affleck was so well-received by test audiences that Warner Bros. altered the final trailers for the film and some of the advertising to highlight Batman more than normal. 

While Affleck's Batman was good generally, there was another area where he was even more impressive specifically...

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2. Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne specifically

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 While Affleck's performance as Batman was great in general, his performance as Bruce Wayne was specifically great. 

There is a sequence in the 2014 film, Gone Girl, Affleck's previous starring role before Batman v Superman, where Affleck's character, who is going through a ton of turmoil while accused of murdering his missing wife (and has recently learned some especially rough news, which I won't go into lest I spoil the film), but has to then give a national television interview with an interviewer who is prepared to grill him. He has to convince the world, who have presumed him guilty of murdering his wife, that he is not a murderer. He has to, in effect, cancel everything out, put on his best charming face and win the world over. I thought of that sequence in Batman v Superman when I saw Affleck similarly transform Bruce from the grim Batman to the charming Bruce Wayne.

Affleck even has fun playing Wayne as a bit of an arrogant jerk at times. It's quite amusing.

However, in a standout sequence early in Batman v Superman, we see Bruce Wayne when Metropolis is attacked during the events of the Battle of Metropolis from Man of Steel and there, the mask comes off and he becomes a man who only wants to do good, at any costs. When he cradles a little girl whose parents just died, it's like we peer right into Wayne's soul. It's marvelous work by Affleck. 

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3. The Waynes

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 Perhaps you could argue that the Waynes are easy to get right, as the blueprint for the death of Thomas and Martha Wayne has been set forth nicely in the pages of the comics, from Bill Finger and Bob Kane to Frank Miller. 

However, I think that the Waynes were handled particularly well in Batman v Superman. Jeffrey Dean Morgan was probably the best Thomas Wayne that I've seen yet in a Batman film. 

Zack Snyder perfectly captured the visuals of Frank Miller's iconic take on the death of the Waynes from The Dark Knight Returns

Finally, the film featured them enough times that there was suitable payoff at the end of the film when we see how much of an influence Martha Wayne was in Bruce's life.

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4. Wonder Woman's Smile

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 There were two scenes in particular in Batman v Superman where I think Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman really shined. Both of them involved her smiling. I wanted to feature the still of her smiling while in battle, because her battle scenes were overall handled well, but I couldn't find a still of her smiling, so I'll have to go with the scene from the party. 

The first smile, the one from the party, comes during Diana's flirtation with Bruce Wayne. Just like how Bruce Wayne is able to put on a face of a charming playboy, so, too, is Wonder Woman able to put on the mask of the charming Diana. Her banter with Bruce Wayne was excellent. The smile she gives was much more of a "I'm on to you, fella" than it was her giving in to Bruce's charms - although, of course, she did appreciate his charms.

The second smile happened at the climactic battle of the film, when Doomsday attacks her and she recovers and goes back into attacking him. But for a second there, before she comes back at him, you see her flash a smile - she is a born warrior and she is clearly getting a kick out of this. It was a great scene. 

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(Bonus) Wonder Woman in battle

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 Okay, I couldn't help but include a photo of her in battle! It doesn't count as part of the 10 things, but it was certainly cool in and of itself! 

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5. The Visuals of the Batman/Superman Fight

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 You can quibble with how we got there and with the fact that perhaps the whole thing could have been avoided with a ten second discussion between the two heroes, but once the fight started, Zack Snyder perfectly captured the visual effects of a Batman vs. Superman fight. 

Working closely with Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Falls blueprint of the fight (the Miller homages even extended to Snyder throwing in a shot of Batman silhouetted against the lightning just like the cover for Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns), Snyder gave the viewer looking for Batman vs. Superman their money's worth.

One of the best sequences is one where the kryptonite gas Batman used on Superman is beginning to wear off, as we see Batman's repeated punches of Superman start to have less and less effect on Superman until Superman is ready to fight back. Very well choreographed sequence. 

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6. Paying Tribute to the Victims of the Battle of Metropolis

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 One of the concerns that many people had with Man of Steel, the film that led up to Batman v Superman, is that the climactic sequence takes place in a battle within Metropolis where large pieces of the city are destroyed but no one seems to be particularly worried about people dying. It was very anti-septic, like the people of Metropolis were being treated as pawns in a destructive battle between Superman and the escaped Kryptonians, led by General Zod.

It was only at the end of the battle, when Superman needed a reason to be willing to kill Zod, that the human victims of the battle were shown. 

Perhaps in response to those critiques, this film spotlights the human victims of the battle heavily. First, in the aforementioned sequence where Bruce Wayne tries to save people during the attack. Next, in the person of Wallace Keefe, a Wayne employee who lost his family and his legs in the attack. And finally, and perhaps most strikingly, a large memorial dedicated to the victims of the battle (the names of the victims are names of people who worked on the film). 

In addition, the final battle of the film made sure to be set in an empty area of town.

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7. Alfred

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 Jeremy Irons did a wonderful job as this film's take on Bruce Wayne's butler, Alfred Pennyworth. Here, Alfred is almost more of an aide-to-camp of a general than anything, but he maintains his sparkling wit, his dedication to Bruce and his continuous position as a sort of Greek Chorus for everything that Bruce does. It serves the narrative well to have someone so effortlessly work through issues with Bruce out loud. 

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8. Clark Kent as a Seeker of Social Justice

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 In a film where their version of Superman was unlike most previous versions of the character, Snyder did hit upon an interesting earlier take on Clark Kent that worked well on Henry Cavill's Clark within the film. That is of the social justice crusader. 

In the very first issue of Action Comics from 1938, featuring Superman's first appearance, Superman first appears to us breaking into the Governor's mansion, bursting through his guards and forcing the governor to sign a pardon for a death row inmate Superman had just proven was innocent. Superman then responds to a police bulletin about a domestic disturbance by showing up and throwing a wifebeater into a wall. So when he debuted, Superman was all about crusading for what he felt to be social justice and that's what Clark Kent was about in this film. 

Oddly enough, Perry White (otherwise played well by Laurence Fishburne) keeps trying to talk him out of it, even citing the fact that it is no longer 1938 out there

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9. Set up Darkseid well for the Justice League films

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The main villain of the upcoming Justice League films is almost undoubtedly going to be Darkseid. Thus, a good deal of Batman v Superman was about setting up the introduction of Darkseid. You could argue that the film spent too much time of its own film setting up another film. That might be true, but even if that were the case, the end result would be that it did do a thorough job of setting up Darkseid.

The most striking example was in the dream sequence Batman has of the future, where see the Omega symbol (which Darkseid has adopted as his own logo), as well as Parademons, Darkseid's personal minions. 

During the sequence where we first see Cyborg, we also see that a mother box is being used to create Cyborg. The mother box is part of Jack Kirby's New Gods lore, which is where Darkseid comes from. 

The most notable set up for Darkseid was the film's main villain, Lex Luthor, who comes about as close to saying, "Darkseid is coming!" as you can get without saying it outright. 

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10. Set up Joker for Suicide Squad and future Batman films

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Beyond subtle easter eggs like Joker symbols left on pillars and a Joker playing card on Batman's gun in the aforementioned dream sequence set in the future, there is one notable scene in the film where we see Batman encounter Robin's costume, upon which someone has written, ""HA HA HA Joke's On You, Batman"

This chilling scene sets the Joker up really well for his appearance in the upcoming Suicide Squad film (in which Batman has a cameo) and any possible future appearances in upcoming Batman films starring Ben Affleck's Batman. It sure appears as though this Joker killed Batman's partner, Robin. Or, in a world where the Joker could be anything the filmmakers want him to be, could the Joker actually BE a former Robin? Those are the kinds of intriguing questions that this film leaves open for the viewer to ponder as we wait for Suicide Squad to be released.