batman v superman spoiler review dream sequences

That Dream Sequence and the Justice League

In the middle of Batman v Superman‘s finale, when things are officially going to hell and the lives of countless innocents are at stake and Batman and Superman put aside their differences (because, ugh, they both have moms named Martha) to save the day, Wonder Woman watches three movie trailers. These trailers star the future members of the Justice League, who are all getting their own movies soon enough, and they are desperate as anything else in the movie. Sure, Marvel movies are as guilty as anyone of using valuable real estate in new films to set up other movies, but they have never been as egregious as this. Thor’s magical exposition cave in Avengers: Age of Ultron has nothing on Wonder Woman checking out Hot New Previews for The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg, complete with the suggestion that Lex Luthor personally designed their logos. Okay.

What’s really frustrating is that these clips would have been great post-credits fodder, something that would send the diehard fans out chattering and talking. Instead, they’re dropped into the middle of the climax and kill any and all momentum that the film has been building. And let’s be honest here – nothing on display in these trailers-within-a-movie is impressive enough to pause the third act. Cyborg’s segment looks like a clip from a SyFy original movie. The Flash’s bit is totally incoherent unless you know exactly what you’re looking at (and most people won’t). Aquaman’s preview is particularly hilarious, as Jason Momoa simply pops out of a ship while looking grumpy so he can destroy a camera. It’s an obvious and desperate attempt to ape Marvel-style world-building, but somehow done with less tact and in a way that kills the movie for a few minutes.

new batman v superman images

The other big tease comes in that extended dream sequence, where Batman battles his way through a desolate future populated by Superman-worshipping soldiers, winged monsters, and a symbol carved into the ground that suggests DC uber-villain Darkseid has arrived. It’s another scene that stops the movie dead in its tracks and makes no sense to anyone beyond the initiated. Silly and tone deaf, it makes a long movie feel longer and never once enhances the actual story of the film you’re watching. It’s all Justice League set-up. If it’s that. The fact that Bruce never mentions it to anyone or seems to dwell on it makes it feel even more pointless. Even more detestable is the body count Batman racks up here. Even if it’s a dream, watching him gun down a bunch of people is nothing short of detestable.

And then it all concludes with a dream-within-a-dream, where Ezra Miller‘s Flash, looking unrecognizable to fans and a casual viewers alike, pops up to warn Bruce of a dark future. If we had met the Flash, if we knew who he was and why he mattered, this could have some weight. But he doesn’t look like the Flash anyone knows and his warning doesn’t make much sense within the context of the film. This is undoubtedly more set-up for Justice League, but it’s not even clear that it’s set-up for Justice League. It’s just an incoherent thing that happens, rather than a well-defined tease.

batman v superman spoiler review doomsday

Doomsday and the Final Fight

Despite having a perfectly fine comic book design, the Doomsday who shows up in the third act of Batman v Superman to give Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman something to fight looks like a Lord of the Rings cave troll made out of human feces. It’s a disastrous design for a final villain who couldn’t be less interesting.

But hey, at least he’s supplying a reason for DC’s Trinity, arguably the most famous superheroes in all of popular culture, to team up and kick butt. Right? Well, kinda. Once you get over the initial rush of seeing these three together in the same frame, the final fight is a bit of a letdown. Wonder Woman and Superman take turns punching Doomsday. Batman dodges his attacks from a distance. Rinse and repeat until the final moments, where the three of them finally work in tandem to take him down. Maybe I’m just spoiled by the Avengers movies, where the heroes communicate and strategize and use their varied power and skills and complement each other in satisfying ways, but this doesn’t cut it. There’s no sense of teamwork here. There are just three people punching a poop troll.

And this is why Justice League feels like such a threat at this point. If Snyder can’t create a fun dynamic between these three, will he be able to make the more varied members of the Justice League fun to watch? Teams require interplay. They require group dynamics that justify why we’re watching them and why they work well together and depend on each other. The climax of Batman v Superman is the sloppiest, most incoherent action scene of Snyder’s career. If Justice League is going to this writ large, then no thank you.

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