Unless you have been living under a rock, you might be aware that Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is nearly among us. This is a very exciting time because these two juggernauts have never shared the movie screen before. While I am incredibly excited, I am exercising caution. The fact of the matter is: Man of Steel is a flawed film. It is not a poorly made film, but it does have several flaws that really damage its quality. Namely the writing in the film fluctuates between good and mediocre. Because of this, and several other reasons, I am refraining from getting too excited about Batman V Superman. However, here I am posing the question: How can Batman V Superman Succeed?
1. Stronger dialogue
The spoken words in Man of Steel are really what brings down much of the film. Here is an actual excerpt of dialogue from Man of Steel: “What are you smiling about Captain?”. “Nothing Sir”. (She pauses and looks around aimlessly). “I just think he’s kinda hot”. See my point? Often times the dialogue is filled with clichés such as the pastor telling Clark to “Take a leap of faith”. These moments make the film feel cheap, and make the dialogue seem like an afterthought. On the other hand there are other moments that have great pieces of dialogue. For example: “You will give the people of Earth an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you, they will stumble, they will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun, Kal. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders”. How is this piece of dialogue from the same film where someone said: “I just think he’s kinda hot”?! I hope the writers have taken notes and realized what audiences want from these kinds of films. I understand the intention was for a comedic moment but it felt so lazy and out of place. From what I have seen so far, the dialogue seems to be superior than that of Man of Steel, but only the finished product will alleviate any worries I currently possess.
2. Emotional Gravity
Man of Steel did have several great emotional moments, but they were too few and far between. On top of that, the moments were not as great as they could have been. For example, when Perry White and the Olsen girl are about to die the film wanted me to care about them. The music swelled up and everything was in slow motion. Unfortunately, I did not care. If a film wants me to care about the characters on screen, those character have to be built up a bit. The film did not spend much time with Perry of Ms.Olsen, so I did not sympathize with them before their (avoided) death. Now there were better moments such as Jonathan Kent dying, or even Zod being killed. With the Zod being killed part, I found that scene emotional because of what it did to Superman. But also, I found Zod a fairly compelling villain (Aside from Michael Shannon’s frequently campy performance). These moments work because the characters have been sufficiently built up. This is a main reason why the destruction of Metropolis did not work for me. I did not care enough about the people in the midst of the destruction. Perhaps if the film took some more time to show what it did to the people it would have made me more emotionally invested in what was going on. Like I said in regards to the dialogue, it seems like Snyder and company are going to right their wrongs. Just by putting Bruce Wayne down in the middle of the destruction of the city, it opens up a whole new door to show a different side to the end of Man of Steel. One final note: Please do not have Henry Cavill keep “NOOOOOO”ing as Clark Kent/Superman. He did that at least 4 times in Man of Steel and it became kinda funny towards the end.
3. Keep The Focus on Batman and Superman
This may seem like an obvious one, but some of the promotional material does have me worried. The film is called Batman V Superman, so I want most of it to revolve around their conflict. Now the last third of the film will probably have the two titular characters making up, but when they are at odds, I want to see them really go up against each other. Now, like all the other points I have made, the promotional material has shown me that the film will fulfill its promise. However, the third trailer really took away the spotlight from Batman and Superman. I only hope that the film does not treat them like the third trailer did.
4. Make Lex Luthor a Compelling Villain
Even though some aspects of Zod were flawed, I still believe he is a stronger villain than most of the villains you see at the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is because his actions had meaning. Us audience members understood his actions, and that allowed us to sympathize with him. I hope Lex is another well rounded villain, even though most of the internet seems to think otherwise. Now, I am a big supporter of this Jesse Eisenberg Lex Luthor. I believe he is going to be a ruthless villain underneath his goofy exterior. I hope the film does a good job explaining his quarrel with Superman.
5. Do Not Overdo the Easter Eggs
This is my final point, but it is an important one. It is confirmed that other members of the Justice League will be featured in the film. One of these characters is even Wonder Woman who is heavily featured in the promotional material. I understand this film has to set the stage for a Justice League film, but I hope it does not overdo the allusions. As long as these easter eggs fit in with the narrative of this film, I believe it will be okay. I will only take issue with the film if it shoves these easter eggs down our throats without any rhyme or reason.
Well there you go. If the film completes this list, then we may just have a good film on our hands. Some of you may be wondering “Why didn’t you mention the action or score?”. The simple answer is I know the film will deliver in that regard. I have no doubt that the action will be incredible, and the score (soundtrack) will be irresistible. Also, the marketing has made it very clear that Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman will be amazing. Man of Steel is a good film, but it has many negative reviews that seem unwarranted. I will try my very best to go into Batman V Superman without many preconceived notions, and I urge you to do the same. For better or for worse, our entire Nerd Culture will change come March 25th. Let us hope that the film is something truly special.