***SPOILERS A PLENTY***
Everyone has been waiting for this movie to finally happen, two comic icons finally battling it out on the big screen. Well let me just dive into what I liked and disliked about this film. First off I didn’t hate it but I didn’t really like it either. Granted there were some things I liked a lot, First thing, Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman. I thought he was very good. Everyone threw a bitch fit when it was announced that he would be portraying Batman, but in my eyes he proved everyone wrong. The small bit of soul this movie has is Batman and how Affleck portrays him. The movie starts out on fire; it’s almost this dark political movie and has a great direction. I loved how they showed Bruce Wayne’s perspective during the Superman/General Zod fight from MAN OF STEEL. It gave us another side of that big battle and how there were thousands of innocent victims.
So Batman has a mission, he wants Superman to pay for what he caused; I dug all of that as a setup. The other side of the coin has Clark Kent not liking at all the brand of justice Batman dishes out and he wants that to stop. That’s a little hard to swallow since Superman indirectly killed thousands of people in his battle with Zod. But for some reason it really bothers him that the Bat is a tough vigilante and literally branding the criminals he captures.
The first half of this film like I said had a good setup, and it should’ve continued on that path and then been its own film. Because we have two movies here folks, that first, mature, darker film and then a big SPLAT of a second film. Typical Zack Snyder took over for the second half of the film. I guess it was time to cram a bunch of shit in and ruin what they had going. I can’t stress enough that they had the right thing going in the first half to be its own standalone film. Here’s the problem I usually have with Snyder, he is very good at making great visuals in big movies. His problem is story line, he sacrifices weak story for big visuals. Not as bad as say, Michael Bay, but close.
Also, this seems more like a Batman movie to me and it just happens to have Superman within it. The studio couldn’t have worn it more on their sleeve saying “We know Man of Steel sucked, so we are not giving him a straight up sequel because no one will care, so how about a Batman eccentric movie with some Superman in it?’
The Justice League setup in this movie seemed very forced and crammed in there. When Bruce Wayne sends an email to Diana Prince aka Wonder Woman, it was such an obvious and lazy setup for Justice League. I will say that Gal Gadot was a believable Wonder Woman and did a decent job as that character. When they show the files in the email of the other Meta humans that are out there, it was so bad. There are secret files on Aqua-Man, Cyborg and Flash and they so happen to conveniently have made logos for them. Out of all the quick Justice League cameos, the only ones I thought that were done well were the two by The Flash. These cameos are so forced and so obvious that the studio wants to remind us that “Hey there’s a Justice League movie coming guys!!!!”
As I said earlier, everyone was worried about Affleck, but the performance I was worried about was Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. Sadly my worries were close to being right. I’ve read a lot of criticism on him for his portrayal of Luthor, I think I am 50/50 on it. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be but it wasn’t that good either. He was a little too crazy and over the top, like he was trying really hard to be maniacal. He starts with a big main of hair and I was wondering if they would show him bald at all. Well they do and it’s at the end when he goes to prison and for some reason they shave his head???? Um, OK…whatever, I’ll go with it. But I just wasn’t sold on him as Lex Luthor, it never felt right.
Batman all of a sudden is a killing machine? When did this happen? Since when does Batman go on a killing spree with the criminals he’s after? The Batman I know has always had a moral dilemma with that, always walking a fine line with killing. The Joker has always been a fine example of that, he pushes Bat so far in every meeting they have had but Batman uses everything he has to not kill. Now they could have showed something, perhaps in a flashback to show Batman’s turn to being more of a killer, but they didn’t. That is all they needed to do, I mean they had so many other flashbacks and dream sequences, why not another?
Another thing that really bothered me was Lois Lane. It’s like they were stuffing her in there just to put her in there because she is Lois Lane. In a dream (or not) that Bruce has, the Flash appears and tells him Lois is the key. Later on during the big fight with Doomsday she is just that. She takes the kryptonite spear that Batman made and she throws it in a pool of water to get rid of it. Not long after she somehow realizes she needs to go get it because the heroes might need it to kill Doomsday. How does she know what doomsday is and that kryptonite is needed to kill him? She’s not around when Lex unleashes him and she never has any moments with the heroes about this monster that they are battling. So she dives into this water to go retrieve the spear that she chucked in there. Of course she gets stuck down there and is about to drown till Superman leaves the battle for a moment to rescue her. All that stuff with Lois was very unnecessary and just added to the pile of stuff crammed down our throats.
The thing I like with Marvel movies is that they put a mid-credit and sometimes end of credits hidden scene in their films. They do this to help tease an upcoming film, and it always works and it’s a cool thing to look forward to. DC/Warner Bros. appears to just like to over stuff the movie with hints throughout and I think that doesn’t give the same feel. It helps add to the cramming way too much into one movie. We get it, you really want to catch up to Marvel and unveil these big Justice League movies to us. And that is my main problem with this film. I’d so much rather a bunch of good films that would lead up to a very climatic and awesome team up. It is a fun movie to see on the big screen, so if you are a comic fan still go see it. But it is definitely not a top tier comic book movie so be forewarned.
I give Batman vs. Superman
2 ¾ out of 5 stars
Here’s to hoping Suicide Squad kicks all forms of ass later this summer.