Wednesday, March 23, 2016

I'm Not Going to See BATMAN V SUPERMAN

Okay. I've been slowly but surely throwing a lot of shade towards Batman v Superman the past few years, and with it coming out on Friday I've amped that up a lot. I LOVE both those characters and I have NO desire to see that movie. It look like garbage.
But here's the thing: go back in time to me from high school? That kid would probably be WAY into Batman v Superman. And that's the whole deal -- it's a very... teenager way of looking at those characters, and this will seem weird to say about a bunch of tights wearing musclemen fictitious power fantasies, but its an interpretation of them I feel I've grown out of.
When you're a child, I think, Batman is Adam West and Superman is Christopher Reeves. They are safe, protective, competent, kind, father figures. And then you become a teen, and that's lame. You're cynical, rebellious, and you want badasses who don't take shit for your heroes, because you're learning for yourself how not to take shit. So you fall in love with angry brutal asshole Batman and you want to see Superman really let loose for once and stop smiling all the time.
But I think when you reach adulthood, you kind of settle into recognizing the value of morality. The value of heroes and principles and all of a sudden that teenage rebelliousness seems really selfish and pigheaded and *immature*. Because nothing is more immature than that stubborn desire to seem mature.
And in the 1980s, DC comics wanted to seem mature, so they put out a lot of grim, violent, "mature" comics that appealed to teenagers who still enjoyed the power fantasy but didn't want to seem like babies for reading a superhero comic. And to their credit, those comics are WELL done, by any artistic or literary standard. And they sold WELL. But now they've poisoned the entire aesthetic of heroism for DC until in a movie about the greatest fictional hero of the 20th century and also Batman, it feels nothing like the aspirational morality tale it should be, and everything like adolescent macho posturing.
The teenage answer to "Superman is lame" is to make Batman punch Superman because Superman is lame. The adult answer to "Superman is lame" is to tell a story that shows you he never was, and neither were the ideals he stood for.
THE DARK KNIGHT, an excellent Batman movie, centres around a villain driving Batman again and again to come to the conclusion that murder is the best solution to his problems and Batman finding the strength to say no.
MAN OF STEEL, a terrible Superman movie, centres around a villain driving Superman again and again to come come to the conclusion that murder is the best solution to his problems and Superman reluctantly agreeing and doing it.
We're done here, Zack Snyder.