A Person Who Has Never Seen Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice Reviews Its Digital Extras

The human mind is sort of a Batcave — and after two hours of excruciating DVD extras, my Batcave has gone insane

My relationship with the Marvel Cinematic Universe is complicated in that it does not technically exist. By this I mean that, recently, my editor asked me which of the MCU movies I had seen, and I genuinely could not remember. I'm pretty sure I've seen at least one of the Avengers films, because I remember thinking, "Why is Jeremy Renner an Avenger if he doesn't have any special powers?" Looking back on this moment now, though, I can't remember whether Jeremy Renner did or did not have special powers, or if having special powers is important to being an Avenger. This sort of staggering ignorance/mild dementia is why that same editor thought it would be fun for me to review the digital extras of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice without having ever seen the actual movie. (I've done this once before, with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, though I definitely remembered seeing — and barely surviving — the first three Star Wars installments.)

As I write this introduction, though, I'm realizing that I'm not even sure whether Batman v Superman is part of the MCU. It might be its own thing. Oh. My editor just told me it's DC, which is a different universe entirely. Anyway, please join me as I watch more than two hours' worth of digital extras for a movie that is two hours and 33 minutes long.

The Digital Extra: "Uniting the World's Finest"

Runtime: 15 minutes and 3 seconds

Synopsis: The DC Universe is a beautiful tapestry of endless superheroes, and they're all connected, and anything is possible.

What I Learned From This Extra:

• The first thing a human being says in this entire thing is, "The DC characters really represent that original mythology: what is a superhero." So this is not a Marvel movie. Good to know.

• "Everybody" knows about DC characters, because they are "embedded in our culture."

• Everybody except me.

• I am a space alien.

• DC is thirsty as hell for that Marvel money and returns innumerable times, in various ways, to the following sentiment: There is a "massive" DC Cinematic Universe that is "ready to explode onto our movie screens."

• DC seems to believe it operates in a vacuum and has invented the idea of a cinematic universe.

• "A lot of people don't realize" that the DC Universe is a "tapestry" made up of "countless superheroes."

• But it is.

• Even the title is thirsty: Dawn of Justice is "about the future of these characters working as a team."

• Please understand: DC will never stop making these movies.

• "Once you see Batman and Superman staring at each other in a movie, anything is possible."


• DC seems to be extremely sensitive to criticism of their depiction of Wonder Woman, and as such, will not stop telling us how "badass" she is.

• Wonder Woman is a "better fighter than Superman."

• Wonder Woman is "as badass as anybody."

• Wonder Woman lives in the olden times.

• Yet somehow, Wonder Woman is also cyberstalked.

• Aquaman is "one of the most underrated superheroes out there."

• His introduction is "the most exciting thing."

• Aquaman is a "badass."

• Aquaman is going to connect us to a whole other universe under the sea. I'm stressed out about the number of universes involved here.

• Jason Momoa connects with Aquaman because his "people" are "water gods."

• Jason Momoa is "enormous."

• Jason Momoa is "kind of scary."

• Jason Momoa is fine as hell.

• Everyone on this set and in this review harbors fantasies of being dominated by Jason Momoa.

• There's a "whole other universe" that The Flash "feeds into" the DC Universe.

• I'm taking deep breaths.

• Cyborg is the only black character.

• But that's not why nobody knows who he is. Nope. It's because of another thing.

• Cyborg is "more relevant today than ever" because we "rely on digital technology so much" and we are all cyborgs.

• Cyborg is barely in the movie, though.

• Will Smith says David Ayer is a genius because he has injected "seven or eight other characters" into Suicide Squad. All of them can move about the DC Universe because money.

• Jared Leto didn't realize The Joker was 75 years old.

• (He means the story of The Joker.)

• Margot Robbie wants to do "another 10 movies."

• Everyone is milking the literal fuck out of this franchise.

• I respect and fear this hustle.

• There are "several" DC films in development. There are "countless" paths. There are "multiple" story lines.

• DC is a "mirror to the way we understand the world."

• "We all need heroes, and that's why there's been heroes in every religion and every culture."

• DC characters are nothing less than the "answer to our problems, personified."

The Digital Extra: "Gods and Men: A Meeting of Giants"

Runtime: 12 minutes and 26 seconds

Synopsis: Batman and Superman hate each other, and yet, they love each other. Here's why.

What I Learned From This Extra:

• Ben Affleck, in talking-head mode, speaks in a very low register with a very grave face.

• Ben Affleck is terrifyingly serious about this movie.

• Batman and Superman are "THE two seminal, iconic characters of comic mythology," says Ben Affleck.

• Sorry, Jeremy Renner.

• This statement is reiterated by separate people at least 15 times.

• Everyone in this movie has overthought the concepts of "Batman" and "Superman" so intensely that they are barely making coherent sense.

• Batman is dark and Superman is light.

• Batman is sad and Superman is happy.

• Batman is peanut butter and Superman is jelly.

• Batman is a submarine full of poison and Superman is a hot-air balloon full of Cheez Whiz.

• And yet: "Everyone has two sides."

• You might think that Batman and Superman would be bros, but they aren't, because their approaches to superheroing are VASTLY different.

• They've "touched everybody all over the world."

• "You cannot not love Superman."

• "You cannot not love the Bat."

• I can't tell whether everyone in these extras is selling this movie to themselves — a movie they have already made — or to the audience, who has ostensibly paid $19.99 to see these extras.

• Batman and Superman have never been on-screen together in the history of cinema, which is something everyone in this extra says at least twice and in an only infinitesimally different way.

• At some point, Batman throws Superman off a balcony.

• At another point, Batman stink bombs (?) Superman.

• Honestly, Superman seems really outmatched here.

• But "at the root of it all, Batman and Superman are allies and friends."

• Literally what.

• Ben Affleck has not smiled one time while talking about this movie.

• I'm more than a little worried about Ben Affleck's stone-faced devotion to this franchise/character and what that suggests about the state of his own internal life.

• There is a "real anger that's brewing inside Ben's Batman."

• Ben Affleck speaks in an even lower register as Batman. He's basically just whispering forcefully.

• Ben, are you OK?

• I think we can all agree, no.

• Media is "the third character in the movie, and in all of our lives."

• Except I thought there were 400 characters in this movie.

• This movie has a fundamental misunderstanding of how "media" works in that it assumes reporters dictate their headlines aloud to one another as if they were dictating a text to Siri.

• This movie "isn't about Superman," says Henry Cavill, who plays Superman.

• Diane Lane is in this movie.

The Digital Extra: "The Warrior, the Myth, the Wonder"

Runtime: 21 minutes and 14 seconds (help)

Synopsis: Wonder Woman is badass.

What I Learned From This Extra:

• Wonder Woman is "strong."

• Wonder Woman is "powerful."

• Wonder Woman is "iconic."

• Wonder Woman is "an incredible badass."

• Nobody has ever made a movie about Wonder Woman.

• Nobody says this, but Wonder Woman is, not incidentally, hot.

• I feel like Wonder Woman and I could hang.

• Wonder Woman was developed by an old white dude who did a lot of psychological experiments and determined that "women's psychology for love was greater."

• Though, appropriately, it was his wife's idea to make a female superhero.

• Wonder Woman is described as a "suffragette turned into a pin-up girl."

• Wonder Woman is "THE" feminist superhero.

• Wonder Woman's boobs have gotten more and more gigantic and sturdy with each passing decade.

• Gloria Steinem once saved Wonder Woman from a fate of 1970s jumpsuits and saying things like, "That's my bag [in the figurative sense]!"

• A lot of people in this extra bend over backward to convince each other and us that Wonder Woman's strapless bathing suit is not a product of the male gaze.

• I like the bathing suit, so fine.

• Where can I buy this bathing suit?

• By 12 minutes in, this extra has turned into a long explainer about how and why Wonder Woman is feminist, even though she's not "perfectly feminist."

• This is important because "people look to comics for a moral compass."

• This explains so much.

The Digital Extra: "Accelerating Design: The New Batmobile"

Runtime: 22 minutes and 43 seconds (HELP)

Synopsis: The new Batmobile is cool and fast.

What I Learned From This Extra:

• There is a job called "Extreme Sports Coordinator."

• A person with this job narrates this extra, interviewing the team of men who built the Batmobile.

• The structure of this extra is as follows: The Extreme Sports Coordinator shows the Batmobile builders iPad videos of themselves building the Batmobile. The men watch the videos and say things like, "That tire weighed 500 pounds."

• I've never seen anyone closer to self-actualization than these men are when talking about the Batmobile for 22 minutes straight.

• The Batmobile is "just as much a character as Batman himself." We are at 401 characters in the DCU now.

• The Batmobile is "iconic."

• When you cut rubber from tires and add to the valving internally, you fix a problem.

• I am slowly losing my mind.

The Digital Extra: "Superman: Complexity & Truth"

Runtime: 7 minutes and 6 seconds

Synopsis: Contrary to this title, this extra is just about Superman's clothes and Henry Cavill's bangin' stunt double.

What I Learned From This Extra:

• Clark Kent's "civilian" wardrobe is "not ultra sophisticated, just kind of a guy that moves to the city and works in an office and is just beginning to work out who he is."

• Same.

• There is a Joseph Campbell quote inscribed in Superman's suit.

• Neither Superman's suit nor shoes are waterproof, which seems ... insane.

• If it rains, the material on the suit stretches and the shoes fill with water.

• Henry Cavill seems bitter about, but ultimately resigned to, this fate.

• Superman's stunt double, Albert, could get it.

• Ben Affleck uses a bathroom sink as a weapon in this movie.

• I wouldn't be upset if somebody took a bathroom sink to my head at this particular point in time.

• Amy Adams is in this movie.

The Digital Extra: "Batman: Austerity & Rage"

Runtime: 8 minutes and 13 seconds

Synopsis: Batman is angry, so he has weapons and an "austere" wardrobe.

What I Learned From This Extra:

• The publicity photos of Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne are HILARIOUS.

• He is frowning like a cartoon dog.

• The word "austerity" is used 12-plus times in this extra.

• Ben Affleck's Batman has "new and unusual" weapons, like a grenade launcher and a "long-range rifle that shoots a tracking device."

• Batman can "take you down in a number of ways."

• The first time Ben Affleck smiles in this entire thing is when he says, "It's hard to add muscle to your body, especially at my age."

• "I ended up putting on about two and a half pounds of muscle a month," says Ben Affleck, grinning madly.

• I haven't smiled in a long time.

The Digital Extra: "Wonder Woman: Grace & Power"

Runtime: 6 minutes and 46 seconds

Synopsis: This extra is ostensibly about Wonder Woman's clothes, but is actually about Gal Gadot's bangin' bod.

What I Learned From This Extra:

• Wonder Woman is "the most powerful female superhero that we have."

• Wonder Woman is "an icon."

• Wonder Woman is "a badass who kicks ass."

• Figuring out Wonder Woman's costume was "the biggest challenge on the movie."

• To play Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot worked out two hours every day for seven months straight.

• Due to the very limited number of Wonder Woman clips in these extras, I am going to surmise that Batman v Superman has maybe three Wonder Woman scenes.

• I have now watched Gal Gadot speak this exact line at least six times: "I've killed creatures from other worlds before."

• Ben Affleck is too old for Gal Gadot.

• I have aged 17 years since I began writing this.

The Digital Extra: "Batcave: Legacy of the Lair"

Runtime: 7 minutes and 10 seconds

Synopsis: Here is some stuff about the Batcave.

What I Learned From This Extra:

• The Batcave is "a juxtaposition between modern technology and kind of this ancient gritty rock."

• The Batcave is both a prison and a sanctuary for Batman: "You feel like you barely have the space to live in there," says the designer of the Batcave.

• If you think about it, the human mind is sort of a Batcave.

• Jeremy Irons is in this movie.

The Digital Extra: "The Might and the Power of a Punch"

Runtime: 5 minutes and 13 seconds

Synopsis: Here is how Batman and Superman fight.

What I Learned From This Extra:

• How are there still three extras to go?

• Who is writing these ridiculous titles?

• "It's time to analyze this epic showdown, blow by crushing blow."

• No.

• Please no.

• OK.

• "Batman is three inches taller than Superman, but compared with Superman's Kryptonian superpowers, Batman will need every defense."

• Superman's hearing is 2,500 percent more sensitive than Batman's.

• Superman can shoot 10,000-degree fire out of his eyes.

• Superman can run 100 miles per hour.

• But Batman has guns.

• None of this matters because I guess they team up in the end.

• The result of this pairing is "virtually unimaginable."

• Except it is imagined many times in this movie.

The Digital Extra: "Save the Bats"

Runtime: 4 minutes and 35 seconds

Synopsis: Save the bats.

What I Learned From This Extra:

• A lot of people are scared of bats.

• I'm one of them.

• But bats are "incredibly beneficial, and responsible, for, like, a lot of our ecosystem working."

• Thusly, Batman v Superman thought it would "raise awareness" of bats.

• Here is how they do this: by showing a lot of close-ups of bats, kids stating facts about bats, and a brief shot of Ben Affleck pretending to care about bats.

• This is the most patently absurd extra of all, which is saying a lot, because I have watched hours of patently absurd extras at this point.

• Batman raising awareness of bats is like the Indigo Girls raising awareness of the color indigo.

• Everyone always forgets about indigo, but it is, in fact, part of the rainbow.

• Indigo looks like blue, but it's not. It's indigo.

• In conclusion: Don't forget about indigo.

The Digital Extra: "The Empire of Luthor"

Runtime: 12 minutes and one million billion seconds

Synopsis: I don't know.

What I Learned From This Extra:

• My capacity for consuming comic-book-centric digital extras is 12 minutes shorter than the Batman v Superman digital extras.

• I need to lie down for the rest of my life and relax in the soothing but claustrophobic Batcave of my own mind.

• Jesse Eisenberg is in this movie.

Movie & TV Awards 2018