I’m going to do my best to write a mostly spoiler free review for you guys because with so much hype around this movie it would be all types of shitty to spoil specific details or plot points. I will warn you though through the use of SPOILERS before I start to say anything that could be considered spoilery. Honestly though you could pull a lot of this info from the trailers.
Full disclosure I went into Batman vs Superman fully expecting to hate the film. The reviews were mostly terrible, the trailers had left me less than excited, and everything I had read or seen up until this point made me believe it was going to be a mess. And it was a mess, don’t get me wrong, but… I don’t hate it. As a matter of fact I kind of enjoyed it but that’s not saying it’s a good movie either. The ultimate movie test for me is “would I own it”, and I think I would, yeah. I think. Although I will say that I believe the key to watching BvS, much like my dating life, is low expectations.
While it’s difficult for me to put my finger on what I liked exactly, there are some standout scenes for sure, but I think it’s more the spectacle of it; there were plenty of things not to like. Yes, a part of me is being a nitpicky comic book fan but the other part of me is a person who has seen a lot of movies and knows what makes a good film and what makes a bad film. Let’s just jump into it with the wonderful use of bulletpoints, shall we?
- Editing. This. Movie. Is. Way. To. Long. It kind of reminded me of Return of the King with a revolving door of endings, and that’s coming from someone who loved RotK. There was a lot of fat in this movie that could have been trimmed (looking at you Rocky IVesq Batman workout montage). On a side note I’m so tired of watching Bruce Wayne’s parents die. Directors of the world…I know how Bruce Wayne became Batman please stop showing me!!! I never watched/read a Batman story and wondered how he got this way. It’s a part of my geek DNA. The opening could easily have been the flashback to Man of Steel and right there ten minutes of film are gone. Boom! Give me the edit button!
- SPOILERS AHEAD MAYBE JUMP AHEAD TWO– The Knightmare Batman scene was by far my favorite scene in the movie. Well it’s in the top three. Now my question, is it actually a dream or was it a part of the multiverse or perhaps a vision?
- (no, not that one) DC loves alternate realities and the emergence of the Flash at the end of it makes me wonder if somehow Bruce slipped through the multiverse during his super hero zone off. And could this world he found himself in be the world from the Injustice comic/video game? Certainly seemed that way. Supes seems to be referring to the death of Lois and it being Batman’s fault which rings true for that universe. I could totally get on board with that movie. Also did you see the Darkseid easter eggs (he’s like the Thanos of the DC universe for those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about). The omega symbol in the dessert and the flying creatures are all nods at Darkseid, so that was pretty cool. Staying with the Knightmare sequence, the Flash.Nope. Casting there was all types of wrong. All types.The suit looked dumb. The moment would have been so much more impactful if it had been Grant Gustin (the TV show version). I would have geeked out hard for that. #notmyflash
- While we’re on the subject of the other Justice League members, SOME SPOILERS, I thought this movie would be a crowded mess and I will say that their cameos were used perfectly (although the scene where we meet them could have happened at an earlier and more convenient part of the film #letmeedit). Cyborg looks awesome and the appearance of Aquaman was pretty cool (which is no easy task), but again the Flash…no. #stillnotmyflash
- Lex Luthor. I’m kind of torn here. I thought Eisenberg gave a fine performance, but this is not the Lex Luthor I was expecting. Which further expands my theory that Zack Synder doesn’t truly understand these characters. I always thought of Lex as a diabolical genius who is charismatic to the public and just angry and power hungry behind the curtain. Suave but in control. This version…it was like they wanted to make him seem like the Joker which I wasn’t okay with. I couldn’t tell if he was manic, autistic, or had some form of Asperger because he was all over the place. He did remind me of of Ryan from The Office though. You know when he gets the promotion and refers to himself as a wunderkind. I felt that they adapted Luthor to be more like Eisenberg instead of challenging Eisenberg to be more like Lex. (Side Note- I love how Affleck pronounced the name. Held the gravity that it was meant for.)
- Wonder Woman straight up stole the show. When she appeared on screen in full Wonder Woman garb people in the theater applauded (it’s the first time Wonder Woman has appeared in a movie after all). I love crap like that. She was badass and looked fantastic, and I don’t mean that in the creepy fanboy “my god she was hot” way (although I wouldn’t kick her out of bed for eating cookies). I mean it more in the she showed up and her presence just stole it kind of way. You wanted to know where she was at all times. I’m actually looking forward to her movie, and outside of Suicide Squad, I feel like it has the most potential for DC. I think Wonder Woman could be the Captain America franchise for the DC movie universe.
- Don’t kid yourselves here though because the DC movie universe still needs a ton of work. The plot holes in BvS are massive (almost Michael Bay massive) and there are moments where you just sit back and go “really“. Especially with what connects our two gladiators. The thread that binds them is just that, a thread, and it’s strength is loose and mostly laughable. I sat there thinking “this is really how we want to do that? This is what everyone decided on? For real? Or am I getting punked? Or are the writers of this film that lazy?”
- Superman… where to begin here? Henry Cavill has the look but his acting is a bit wooden. The scenes where emotion was needed were lacking big time. This could be me being anti-Superman but he just wasn’t doing it for me dawg (yes this is the American Idol reference) His actions at the end are in line with his actions in Man of Steel, so it’s hard to pick apart. No that’s not true. His actions are wrong. That’s not how Superman should behave. I know I went into a Superman movie and I’m complaining about Superman but he was one of the weaker aspects of the film. Pun sort of intended. And if I’m being honest I went for Batman…
- and I thought Affleck did a fine job. His Bruce Wayne was a different version than we’re used to seeing. A little more confident and present opposed to the aloof billionaire. His Batman was rugged and violent, and I would argue a little too violent but this is less Affleck’s fault and more Synder. Again he displays how much he doesn’t understand these characters and it’s frustrating. Either he doesn’t know what the moral fibers of these characters are or he could give two shits. Like legit. If he’s going to be in charge of the DC movie universe he should present these characters in a way that does them justice and doesn’t leave people shaking their heads and pissed off. For Christ’s sake Batman has one rule! How do you eff that up?! Any way the costume looked tremendous (loved how Frank Miller it was) and one could argue Batman is the central figure of the film. I think he had more screen time than Supes. My major complaint would be way too much gun use for Batman. Again leading me to wonder if Synder has ever read and/or watched a Batman property.
Despite all this though… I sort of enjoyed it. Maybe because it was such a mess. Or maybe because of the multiverse and I can lie to myself saying this is just a really weird/messed up version of the DCU. Maybe because I love Marvel movies so much I almost felt bad for BvS. Or maybe more simply I didn’t expect much from it. It was not the horror show I expected, and I guess that results in a positive review? Like, bravo, your movie didn’t suck as badly as I thought it would. Yay?
With that being said though, I will leave you with my current favorite thing on the interwebs. The sad Affleck video. I dare you not to laugh cause I can’t stop. Gets me every time.