If you’ve been following the reviews of the “Batman vs. Superman” movie, you’ll know that it hasn’t been well received by the critics. If you watch that movie, you’ll see that it’s mediocre. Not bad, but not great and definitely not as good as it could have been. The first problem is that it’s not a complete movie. The second problem is that the motives of the main characters isn’t quite clear.
The beginning shows Superman fighting some villain and tearing the city apart in the process. By watching innocent people die, Batman is supposedly motivated to want to fight Superman. Yet Superman was saving the city from a villain who would have caused more damage and created more deaths if Superman hadn’t been around to save the city. So why is Batman or anyone upset at Superman when it wasn’t his fault to begin with?
Ignoring that major plot hole, the second problem is that nobody seems to have a clear goal that parallels with everyone else. The major theme of the movie is about aliens and how people react to something they don’t understand. So every character’s goal should be related to this theme somehow. In a movie like “Pulp Fiction,” the theme is redemption. Bruce Willis achieves redemption by rescuing the mob boss from the sadomasochists. Samuel L. Jackson’s character achieves redemption by walking away from the hit man life after he witnesses a miracle. John Travolta’s character does not achieve redemption so he dies. Even the coffee shop robbers achieve redemption when they realize they could have been killed by Samuel L. Jackson but he spared their lives instead.
Now in “Batman vs. Superman,” the major theme is about how people react to aliens, but Louis Lane’s goal is simply to get a story and she’s constantly having to be rescued by Superman to the point of weariness. Lex Luthor seems to have no goal other than to create a monster to fight against Superman. Batman’s goal is to fight Superman but his motivation is murky so it makes little sense for him to fight Superman. The whole movie is a mess of action and half-completed plot ideas that don’t fully work together.
If you didn’t see the previous Superman movie, you wouldn’t understand the beginning of “Batman vs. Superman” initially. The whole promise of the movie is about Batman fighting Superman, yet the fight itself is short and relatively dull. Superman has so many powers that Batman has little chance. Even when Batman can fight back, the action is still rather dull because it’s just about more fighting without fleshing out the motives of either character.
“Batman vs. Superman” is a perfect example of a mediocre movie. The movie assumes you know who the characters are and understand their motives so it doesn’t bother explaining this to you. Instead of setting up the story foundation properly, it substitutes action for exposition and assumes you’ll just fill in the gaps based on your previous knowledge of Batman and Superman from previous movies and comic books. That’s simply a sign of lazy writing.
Even if you like “Batman vs. Superman,” you can’t help but notice the flaws in the story structure. It’s an overall unsatisfying movie that only succeeds because the characters are so well known. Eliminate prior knowledge of the main characters and the movie would have made no sense whatsoever, and that’s a sign of poor screenwriting.