Friday, May 13, 2016

What If...?: Batman vs. Superman: Dawn Of Justice


What If Batman vs. Superman was Good? No, like really Good. I'm Ugo Strange and welcome to "What If...".Now we all can agree that Batman vs. Superman was a cluster of ideas executed horribly and presented in the most boring fashion possible, But I'm not going to review it, enough people have flayed that movie, I'd recommend Movie Bob's critique of the film as the most entertaining. Rather, this is a re-working of all the elements in Batman vs. Superman and making them Good. But before we dive into that,let's do some housekeeping:

For starters I'm changing the title from "Batman vs. Superman: Dawn Of Justice" to "Man Of Steel II: Dawn Of Justice", that ways fans can call it "Man Of Steel II" rather than saying "Batman vs. Superman", its easier to say and rolls off he tongue nicely. This way it puts the focus directly on Superman, gives him a proper sequel and informs you that the Justice league (or at least the concept anyway) is going to be introduced in this film. Because let's face it, every movie with "VS." has been complete and utter crap, and to be honest, despite being called "Batman vs. Superman", the movie took almost its complete running time building to a fight that only lasts all of 4 minutes  and ends with one of the funniest memes since Darth Vader screamed "Noooooo!" at the end of "Episode 3" and lastly, no one's really interested in watching Batman & Superman slug it out, its nothing more than an immature debate among comic book fans about who can kick who's ass, maybe for Death Battle that'd be fun, but for a movie, No. NO!


Second thing, cast. In "Man Of Steel II" my cast would pretty much stay the same, Yeah, I wish we could get Christian Bale back as Batman but the ship has sailed, Ben Affleck is fine, Jeremy Irons is fine, and Jesse Eisenberg if he would have been done differently would be fine, but for "Man Of Steel II" I'd cast Billy Zane as Lex Luthor. Yes, I know we all wanted Bryan Cranston and he'd be great as a dramatic Lex Luthor but that's not what I'm going for and let's face it, Billy Zane can play an EXCELLENT douche bag, just look at him in "Titanic".

Tell me he's not Lex Luthor...do it now.

So with the cast set, let's get to our movie! This takes place 2 years after "Man Of Steel" and Metropolis has been rebuilt much to the thanks of millionaires and of course Superman, who's been flying around building homes, buildings and everything to atone for the damage caused in "Man Of Steel". At this point EVERYBODY loves this guy! He's carrying lunches to construction workers and eating it with them (because Superman's Blue Collar, through and through), moving heavy loads on his back, reading to sick kids, he's just doing anything and everything to help rebuild the city. Everybody loves him, except one person, Lex Luthor. Luthor's donated huge amounts of money but as The Daily Planet puts it, "Millionaires donate money all the time to disasters. But millionaires aren't swinging hammers or plowing roads, Superman is.".

Lex is driven nuts by this and he's looking for some good P.R.. So he makes a sizable donation to help S.T.A.R Labs rebuild one of their Metropolis facilities and highlights one of the workers there. Lex says "This young man was maimed in the devastation that laid waste to Metropolis, He had a promising Football career ahead of him but now because of Superman and his kind, this young man may never walk. However, I'm making a massive contribution to S.T.A.R Labs to rebuild their lab to potentially help this young man. His name is Victor Stone!" (Cyborg will be an EXTREMELY important character later in The Justice League movie! So it's good that we at least hear his name said out loud at least once)

Very important!!

Afterwards, Lex catches a flight to D.C. where he's going to talk to The Secretary Of Defense Committee about Defense. You see, Earth was pretty good with handling terrestrials threats, but after "Man Of Steel", Earth needs to prepare for extra terrestrial threats, so a number of defense contractors appear to determine who The Government should deal with another alien attack. Lex arrives at D.C. only to find Bruce Wayne there.

LEX
Bruce? Bruce Wayne? What are you doing here? If I recall, Wayne Industries isn't in the Defense business.

BRUCE
You're right, we're not, but satellites and communication devices are very instrumental in defense, wouldn't you agree?

LEX
Well, well, someone's been paying attention their last share holder's meeting. I'm surprised to see you here, usually Mr. Fox handles the majority of Wayne Industries while you're out drowning yourself in martinis.

(Note: lex calls Bruce, "Bruce" because he sees Bruce as a child, therefore not worthy of respect but he calls Lucius "Mr. Fox" because he actually respects him.)

BRUCE
Well, somethings require a higher clearance.

Bruce pats Lex on the shoulder.
BRUCE
I'll see you in there.


Lex and Bruce enter to find The Secretary Of Defense, a General, Amanda Waller and an empty chair (Lex and Bruce, both notice this, remember that empty chair, its very important.) "Is someone else joining us?" Bruce asks? "No, that person had to reschedule.". Lex remarks about the discovery of Kryptonite, he demands General Zod's body for testing, and his plans to retroactively turn the Kryptonian wreckage into weapons. The Secretary Of Defense says "No." because the wreckage spans a few countries and they'd have to get the U.N. involved and the Senator only wants a U.S. policy for now. Amanda Waller agrees but after the meeting has an aside with Lex telling him that if anything were to happen to The Secretary Of Defense, she could get Lex the wreckage and full license to do with as he pleases, her catch is she gets 60% of Lex's produce and oversight on manufacturing, no prototypes. Lex agrees citing "I don't make prototypes.".


Bruce is curious about Lex and decides to look into Lex Corp. a little closer. In Gotham Batman takes down some criminals only for Superman to arrive and give Bruce kudos on what he's done with Gotham. Superman suggest they team up, and Batman says "I work alone.". Superman urges him to mull it over, citing all the good they could do together than apart and leaves, Alfred chimes in that Superman has a point but Batman cites "Partners complicate things." and we can show the Robin costume just to make it clear why Batman works alone. You'll notice I'm not mentioning Superman much, that's because at the moment Superman isn't entirely our main focus, our main focus is building the conflict between Lex Luthor and Superman. Sure we can show Superman taking down a few criminals here and there but ultimately what'd be the point. Superman is bigger than petty pickpockets.


Now, one of the things "Batman vs. Superman" did right was setting up Superman. The Secretary Of Defense has a hearing about something with Lex Luthor present. Lex pulls out a pen which is actually bomb and activates it. Superman arrives after hearing false information from Mercy about a Mad Man holding The Secretary Of Defense hostage and once he arrives, Lex detonates the bomb, killing many, maiming others and leaving himself with a few cuts, scrapes and bruises. Being among the survivors, Lex tells the news what he saw, Superman arrived and the destruction. Every news outlet is convinced Superman killed a Senator and once the information leaks that The Secretary Of Defense was on the Defense Committee and looking to protect Earth from Alien threats (specifically Superman), public opinion starts to change. Batman is highly dubious on this and decides to keep closer tabs on Lex.

At his mansion, Lex is recovering from his wounds when Amanda Waller shows up with granted approval for Lex to do what he wishes with the wreckage and kudos for his ballsy move in assassinating The Secretary Of Defense (of course, she doesn't say that out loud for obvious reasons). Lex gives himself a pat on the back and shows Amanda his watch which generates a blast shield. Amanda's impressed and tells Lex not to screw up their deal. Lex agrees. Meanwhile, Clark & Lois are trying to save Superman's reputation as all the old feelings of xenophobia emerge, everyone thinks Superman is gonna go after the Pentagon and The White House. Lois is on the phone with her father Gen. Lane and he tells her that basically, until otherwise, Superman is public enemy number one. Clark heads home and Martha tells him that the people need to believe in him and need to trust him, right at that moment, Gen. Lane hits the television and demands that Superman turn himself in to face justice. Clark sees no other way and does so. Superman is being transported to a prison when all of sudden the truck stops, the guards and beaten up and Superman opens the door to find Lex Luthor. Confused, Lex knocks him out with Kryptonite gas.

Superman awakens in chains and Lex Luthor taunts him, he turns on the news and the story is Superman escaping from police custody. Lex explains how he hates Superman and doesn't trust him and more importantly how Superman isn't special. You see, the way Lex sees it, Superman was born with a silver spoon in his mouth while Lex had to work for everything he's ever had, which is why Lex looks down on Bruce Wayne because Bruce was merely born into it, he never worked for it in Lex's opinion. Just before Lex prepares to kill Superman with a Kryptonite blade, Batman arrives. Lex is confused "Batman, don't you work in Gotham?!". Lex calls out for Mercy who arrives and she and The Batman throw down. Lex presses a button on the wall and reveals the suit of armor he made from Zod's armor.


Batman throws a Batarang which Mercy dodges, but it knocks the kryptonite far enough away from Superman to where he's able to break out of the chains and it's on. Batman takes out Mercy, but Lex Luthor blindsides him with a punch. Superman goes after Lex but some Kryptonite gas and a few punches take him down. Batman & Superman and not fighting in sync with each other. Lex is out maneuvering them, he throws Superman into Batman, they're just getting their asses handed to them. Why? Because Batman is attempting to fight Lex alone while protecting Superman and Superman is attempting to protect Bruce and they're getting in each other's way completely. (Everyone knows Batman is an ass-kicker, but we're forgetting about the fact that Batman also is a protector and he'll protect someone first and foremost BEFORE making any attempt in kicking someone's ass...however usually, kicking someone's ass will protect the other person, but not always).

Lex knocks Batman out and throws him out a window and Superman, barely able to fly jumps after him and uses his body to break the fall. Both men are down and out. Lex scoops up Mercy and takes off citing his suit needs upgrades. Batman activates a homing beacon he threw on Lex and then turns on his own for Alfred to come and pick them up. In The Batcave, Batman recovers from his injuries. Superman prepares to talk to Batman but Batman will have none of it, he admonishes Superman for being dumb enough for falling into a trap and reckless but Alfred interjects and admonishes both of them for being stubborn.

ALFRED
Oh quiet, the both of you! I've heard enough. (to Batman) you want to admonish this young man? He's made mistakes. So have you! And he's doing everything he can to make right the damage he's done. He's making it right because that's the right thing to do! But he understands he can't do that alone and there was a time when you understood that too. I know why, but he's not Jason, and that wasn't your fault.

BATMAN
Alfred--

ALFRED
(to Superman) And you! Priorities! You spread yourself too thin. I understand you have a desire to help, that's admirable but you can't leap at every fire, landslide, crisis that rears it's head. I don't know a lot about you, but I do know that you're not a god and you're only one man, and even though they may call you the man of steel, having the weight of the world on your shoulders can break the strongest of men, even you. Because of that weight you leaped head first into a trap and caused humanity to lose their hope. You're not a man anymore, you're a symbol and when you're a symbol the whole world is watching you, because careful how you use that symbol.

Superman tells Batman that he knows he's Bruce Wayne and Batman tells Superman that he knows he's Clark Kent

SUPERMAN
If we're going to do this, we're going to do this the right way. I'm Clark Kent.

BATMAN
I know.

SUPERMAN
What?

BATMAN
I've been tracking your movements, Clark. If found it strange that both Superman and Clark Kent somehow end up in the same apartment and make frequent trips to The Kent Farm in Smallville.

SUPERMAN
I thought I disabled all the satellites tracking me.

BATMAN
You think you did.

SUPERMAN
Maybe I should get a place off the grid.

(Foreshadowing The Fortress Of Solitude)

Alfred also makes a joke about Clark Kent writing articles about Superman while being Superman. The two agree to work together.

ALFRED
If I may ask one question, Mr. Kent?

SUPERMAN
Sure?

ALFRED
How is it that you can be Superman while writing articles about Superman.

Superman looks puzzled for a moment and then smiles.

SUPERMAN
I try not to think about it.

Batman leaks the information about Lex Luthor being behind the bombing to The Daily Planet and they track Lex to an off the books Lex Corp. facility. Lex has all the weapons and he throws down with Batman & Superman but this time, Lex is the one getting his ass handed to him as now Batman and Superman are fighting in sync. Batman using his Batarangs to block Lex's kryptonite grenades and lasers, Superman taking the hits that Bruce can't, and Lex is pummeled to the ground. They win. Superman brings Lex Luthor to The pentagon and Gen. Lane has Lex remanded in custody and apologizes to Superman.

Superman tells The General he was just doing his job. To The Daily Planet, Superman issues a statement encouraging everyone to seek the truth before falling into paranoia, xenophobia and everything else and that sometimes all you need is the hope that others will seek to do what's right. Superman tells everyone that a new dawn is upon them, where individuals can make the world a better place by working together. That night, we see Batman overlooking Metropolis and we see Superman watching the streets of Gotham from the sky by day. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor sits in a prison cell and is visited by Amanda Waller. She tells him that somehow all the materials at the warehouse went missing before the government arrived. She slips him something and tells him he has 30 seconds, Lex smiles.

Wait, we're back at the Defense Committee and a new Secretary Of Defense is there, he says they have one more defense proposal to see and then, this guy shows up;
and he says, I have the proposal for you and he lays down a packet with the title page reading "O.M.A.C". We realize this guy is Maxwell Lord and he's proposing The OMAC Project, setting up Maxwell Lord as the primary villain for The Justice League Movie. So what do you all think?

2 comments:

  1. As someone who did somewhat enjoy Batman V Superman, here's my two cents:
    This should have been what was made. It does a better job of setting up our main characters, it lays the groundwork for future without feeling like they were shoehorned in, and it just feels like an all around better product.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed that, make sure you come back and check out what I plan for The DC Cinematic Universe at large and stick around for The Justice League post coming soon!!

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