Batman v Superman
Presented by Warner Brothers
Directed by Zack Snyder
Written by David S. Goyer &
Major cinematic theatres everywhere
Runtime is 2 hr. 31 min.
Copious Love Officially REJECTS Batman v Superman…
PSYCH!!! You had to see that shit coming, this is Copious LOVE mutha’ fluffas!
Don’t get me wrong, there’s PROBABLY plenty to hate about BVS (I for one simply prefer a Batman who is diametrically opposed to killing and using guns #batfleck #notmybatman) but as Kevin Smith would say, why curse the darkness when you can light a fucking candle?
We here at CLP are all about lighting a shit tons of candles, especially when it comes to local theatre!
But hey… you know what? We already got you, person interested in superheroes and fighting, right here, reading these silly word-like shapes. We might as well deliver something….
Double psych! This is actually a back door SUGGESTS for…
Daredevil Season Two! (Or DD v. Punisher v. Ninjas v. Systemic Corruption/Economic Disparity)
Who here is a fan of Frank Miller? You know, crazy uncle Frank who brought us the Dark Knight Returns, Sin City, and of course many an issue of Daredevil. So here’s the thing about Frank Miller; he’s a neo fascist nut bag who clearly has HUUUUUGE issues with women. Despite that, he has crafted some truly great stories featuring the characters in Daredevil and Batman V. Superman. If you cherry pick his work just right, you can come out with those outstanding elements while leaving behind the brutal misogyny and tone deaf
Taxi Driver-esque dialogue. (Frank Miller is the kind of guy who watches that movie and thinks Travis is an honest to god hero *shivers*)
Or, OR…you can take the elements most relatable to angry neck bearded man-children and turn them up to 11. DD Seasons One and Two accomplish the former…and I think you know by now that BvS goes right for the latter.
I’m sorry, I know this is supposed to be about DD Season Two and I’m STILL talking about a movie that you already know as denounced by critics. But there are so many parallels here that I just can’t help myself. I’ll try my best to rein it in. Here we go.
From the folks that brought you Jessica Jones and Daredevil Season One, comes Marvel/Netflix’s Daredevil Season Two!
We enter with a grim yet fun chase scene through Hell’s Kitchen. At one point DD beats down a dude running through an actual kitchen, with some help from ladle wielding cooks.
Daredevil gets all of the gun toting jewel thieves packaged for the cops and proceeds to stand triumphant on a roof top, fully displaying his hella rad costume and a shit eating grin. Kick ass superhero pose for the win!
But what this show has in store for you goes way beyond the somewhat clichéd if not completely satisfying superhero-ey stuff. There are layers upon fuggin’ layers here people. This shit goes deep. The central conflict spreads thin throughout the thirteen episodes, never fully revealing itself until it’s just about over. Punisher has a big role to play and not just on screen but in the subtext. The characters never tell you what is right and what is wrong, they leave that up to you. All they show you is that whatever choice is made, there will always be consequences. Punisher, aka Frank Castle, is the guy who knows this shit. He breaths it in deep and owns it. He knows he’s not a hero, and he couldn’t care less. He operates with absolute certainty that he’s doing what SHOULD be done. Daredevil on the other hand, is far less secure. He agonizes over every mistake, questioning every decision. He’s wracked with guilt and gets his plate piled so high he can’t possibly manage it all without someone getting hurt. He just knows he can’t quit trying.
Then we have Elektra, someone who just plain doesn’t give a fuck…Or so it would seem. When we meet Miss Natchios, she’s presented as a bored rich girl with time to spare, a big hard murder boner, as well as the skills to properly wield it. She and Matt meet in college and through a series of flash backs, we see why they haven’t spoken in quite some time. Ladies take note, killing folks is definitely a deal breaker for Matt Murdock. Now, she’s not like the Punisher, she exists as more of a middle ground between the other two bad asses. But getting to know her, we learn that she is someone who has been misled by larger forces and if there’s one thing this woman gives a fuck about, it’s her own autonomy.
Okay, I have to talk about BvS again, sorry. But so many of these themes are present in that movie but are handled with such a lack of grace that they flop to the floor like a sack of dead fish. Part of that could be the nature of cinematic story telling vs serial story telling. It is indeed much easier to translate these characters and present those themes over the course of a season rather than a two and a half hour film. But there’s also a degree of maturity involved, which is something BvS director Zack Snyder has never been known to demonstrate.
Okay, so enough of the philosophy shit, (maybe) let’s get to what matters; the action!
If you watched Season One of DD then you know that the bar for fight scenes is way fucking high. Yet DDS2 cleared it with cheerful ease.
There’s a scene in the second episode, directly lifted from Garth Ennis Punisher story, Welcome Back Frank, where Punisher confronts DD regarding his particular crime fighting methods.
“You’re a kid on a playground, beating up bullies. You hit em, they get back up. I hit em, they stay down!” This actually serves as foreshadowing for a later scene that may be the best fight scene of the season, if not it’s definitely the most violent.
Remember the sweet hallway fight from season one? Daredevil walks into a poorly lit hallway, opens the door and starts a three minute brawl with a bunch of kidnapping baddies. Every combatant in that hall takes more than one hit to stay down. The whole one-take scene has this incredible ebb and flow, where the guys fall down in groups and get back up in slightly smaller groups, over and over again until there’s less and less of them up for a fight…then more and more of them lying in heaps of pain. God I fucking love that scene!
Well, Season Two treats us to a perfect contrast to that scene. I won’t spoil it beyond saying that Frank’s earlier statement about his opponent’s ability to get up after he hits them is the first of many counter parallels.
Oh…and there’s ninjas. Loooooots of sword wielding, shuriken throwing, chain whipping bad ass mother fuckers in black masks! They race across rooftops shooting arrows, they swarm up buildings like killer ants and of course, they go down like a sack of bricks when smacked in the face with a billy club. This is classic Marvel Cinematic Universe at this point, having dozens or hundreds of disposable baddies is pretty much their signature move. But I never felt like these were the robo-minions in Avengers 2, or the bad elf things in Thor 2, or the…yeah that’s probably enough examples. Instead, all of the threats our heroes face have a legitimate weight to them (DD being the only legit hero in my book because, DUH! Heroes don’t fucking KILL!). Theirs is actual peril here and it serves the action in the best edge of your seat way.
Sigh. Yup, I’m going to bring it up again.
The point I’m making about the action is that it all made sense. You knew why people were fighting and it was never difficult to invest in the outcome. By the time Supes and Bats got around to the big showdown, I completely stopped caring. It didn’t make sense, neither of them were particularly good at not killing, so why did either one think they had the moral high ground? The core conflict between the two of them seemed to be that BatFleck is growing ever-the-more enraged by the fact that other people are better at killing bad guys and causing property damage than he is. Well Bruce, you sure fucking showed him. Jesus. Okay, I’m done.
So look, Daredevil Season Two exists in a dark world. But it’s not there because it’s trying to be, it’s there because it has to be given the source material. It’s a story about a lot of different people trying to do the right thing either for everyone, themselves, or the few who are most important to them. In short, it accomplishes everything that BvS tries for while still being very, very fun.
And ya know what? If you got a Netflix account then you’ve already paid for it! So, if you are looking for a dark story in a dark world with dark character but still expect a story that’s concise and entertaining, skip the theater and chill at home. DDS2 has got you covered.
Know what though? BatFleck was actually kinda dope. I wouldn’t blame him, is all I’m saying. He was better Batman than he was Daredevil, that’s for sure.
Are you still reading this?
Dude, there’s no end credits scene, you can go.
Okay actually, stay tuned after the last episode of DDS2 for a sneak peek at the next Netflix/Marvel series. All I have to say is sweet Christmas.
By Dick Phillips