Friday, March 25, 2016
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Review
Let Them Fight...
Director: Zack Snyder
Wow. This thing has been dragged through the friggin’ mud. While fans have been enjoying it, for the most part, critics have been tearing this thing a new one. They claim that it’s a boring, bombastic, hyper-violent mess. To see reviews like this would give me pause, except for the fact that there is a pretty large percentage of the audience that do like it. Some saying that this is exactly what they were expecting, and WANTED to see for a Batman vs. Superman movie.
These reactions made me unsure how to approach this movie. On the one hand, I'm a huge DC fan and I won't lie when I say I've been counting the days. On the other hand, I'm a reviewer, which means I also should look at this film as a whole, without my love for the characters. So what did I come up with? Is it the movie people were hoping for, or the mess that critics are claiming it to be? Let's dive in and find out...
Taking place 18 months after the events of Man of Steel, Superman(Henry Cavill) has been getting a mixed reception from the public, but Gotham’s own superhero, Batman(Ben Affleck), who suffered loss during the Metropolis attack, has turned his sights on the Alien and prepares to take him down. While that is going on, Lex Luthor(Jesse Eisenberg), is moving the pieces into place to take down both in one blow through manipulation, only to have Lois Lane(Amy Adams) beginning to search for the truth.
Let’s kick this off by saying that there were quite a few good performances in this movie. Henry Cavill once again plays a fantastic Superman with Amy Adams as the emotional rock for him in the form of Lois Lane. These two were already good in my book, but they weren’t the only good performances of the night. Jeremy Irons, with what limited time we got from him, was a pretty good Alfred, being Bruce’s advice giver while maintaining the with that comes with the character. Speaking of which, Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne and Batman was actually pretty friggin’ awesome. He was logical, driven, and actually moved like Batman in a fight! His reasons for mistrusting Superman are understandable, with the opening being the end fight from Man of Steel from a civilian perspective… It’s terrifying! That being said, there were times where this Batman was a bit too brutal at times for my taste. He does kill people, not in the ‘Maybe, Maybe not’, there is no doubt when he uses a car as a wrecking ball against others(ALL THE WHILE WE SAW PEOPLE INSIDE). He also seems so focused on taking down Superman, that he isn’t noticing the good he does, and goes completely oblivious to the fact Lex is planning something. The last character who surprised me though was Wonder Woman. She interested me when she was Diana Prince with her mysterious nature and interactions with Bruce Wayne, and kicked ass as Wonder Woman during the final battle. I’ll admit I’m now more excited to see Wonder Woman’s movie after this film.
Now that we got the good characters out of the way let’s talk about the plot itself. Yes it’s majorly flawed, and in a little bit I’ll go into that, but let’s talk about the positives first. First off, I liked Lex’s plans to make people hate Superman. I won’t go into too much detail with how it was done, as that would spoil an entire side story, but by the end of it, it made Superman question himself and his place in the world. It’s the only real Lex Luthor thing in this movie(Trust me, we’ll get to him). The next thing is quite small, but I enjoyed the ripples from Man of Steel, both physical, with kryptonite being made in the ruins of the Kryptonian vessels, and political. In the wake of the Kryptonian attack, the people of this world are questioning do we need a Superman, which is a perfect kind of debate for this world. This may be a comic book world, but it’s still new to people like Superman, giving it a more realistic feel.
I may have complimented a few good performances, but there is one that just did NOT fit this world… Yeah, just take a guess. Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor… It just wasn’t good. The character was played so eccentrically that he didn’t feel like Lex Luthor. The only time he felt like Lex was when he wasn’t on the screen when his plan unfolded. Speaking of plan, let’s talk about the OTHER villain of the movie, the one that doesn’t show up till the end of the movie: Doomsday. He literally comes out of left field as something big for the Trinity to fight. He actually reminded me of the first Uruk-Hai from the Fellowship of the Ring, the unnamed chief that kills Sean Bean’s character. He’s just there to show the strength of Aragorn, plus tease something more dangerous in the future. It’s basically the same here, down to how he bursts out of a chrysalis! I get you needed a big bad for the Trinity to fight, but surely there had to be someone that had that strength level but wasn’t the most iconic villain.
Now time for the biggest issues I had with the film; Editing, overly dark images, and unnecessary plotlines. The editing in the movie is really friggin’ bad, especially near the beginning when we are covering different stories. Two minutes were with the Daily Planet, then hard cut to the senator telling Lex off, then hard cut to Bruce trying to find a Russian, hard cut back to Clark seeing news about Batman, and you see what I’m getting at? It felt like drive-by editing in the beginning, but it did tighten up when the plotlines began to tie together. Speaking of plotlines, there are a few that just seem to go nowhere. The ones in mind are The Russian Search, The African village that supposedly was shot up because of Superman, and Wonder Woman trying to get data from Lexcorps’ database. They just happened and then they just shrug it off and continue on with the movie… Yeah, it got annoying, especially with some of the images in the first two plotlines being dark, something this movie has no shame of being. The movie can get dark, and some of it unsettled me. A prime example is a character is gagged and had something written on their forehead, before having kidnapped pictures taken… kinda messed up. I just felt there were bits that were unnecessary.
Bits and Pieces:
This movie is flawed. Very flawed. The villains are weak and the world can get too dark, but it is carried thanks to the help of the other performances, especially from Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill. It has plotlines that are unnecessary, but has thought to provoke stances on power and ‘The Need of a Superman’. Do I think the critics are being way too harsh? I’m kinda half with them and half against them. If you're a fan of DC, this movie is tailored for you, but if you aren’t familiar with it, I can’t recommend this for you.