★★★/★★★★★ Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice directed by Zack Snyder.
This could have just been called “Dawn of Justice,” since the crew is not as interested in bringing forth a good story over creating an introduction to the Justice League live-action film. The trailer took on the liberty to reveal mostly every major plot point that happens in the story. These two factors seem to be symptoms of some recent films.
This movie is the “sequel” to Man of Steel, a movie I was not much of a fan of, since instead of using the immense amount of comic background to formulate a new origin story, it ignored everything for a lazy plot, a shame to the death of Jonathan Kent, and an excess of CGI to hide all of the flaws, which this movie also did, albeit with more success.
This film is about a battle between Batman and Superman, over some reasons, which are not genuine nor interesting nor well-developed. And in the mist of it all, we get Lex Luthor, who, for also other reasons not well explained, wants “The greatest gladiator match in the history of the world “between “God versus man. Day versus night! Son of Krypton versus Bat of Gotham!” And off to the side, we get Wonder Woman, she’s not really that big of a character here. Ah, Doomsday also shows up.
When asked by co-workers and friends how I felt about the movie, this was my response: “I liked it more than I expected and disliked as much as I knew I would.” I do have to warn, it is not the type of superhero film that adds character depth, this is an enjoyable action film, it had some highs, and some pretty deep lows.
“We know better now, don’t we? Devils don’t come from hell beneath us. They come from the sky.”
Let us see the good:
- Ben Affleck did a remarkable job with his role of Batman. I was excited to see him portray this character after watching deliver astounding performance for Argo and Gone Girl, and it was great to see him continue with such terrific acting. He gives us a more brutal Dark Knight, contrasting it with a worrisome businessman. In this portrayal we get to see the more authoritarian side of Batman, and his relentlessness to bring the world to safety.
- Jeremy Irons also did a good job as Alfred. His lines, particularly one-liners) were delivered graciously, and he is a more serious and dark interpretation of the character that we have seen before.
- Holly Hunter’s performance of Senator Finch, a politician divided on whether or not Superman should have the chance to fight in defense of the Earth and the people in it, or be subject to the law instead of remaining as a vigilante, was sensational. She was the perfect combination of a someone that will destroy you with her glare and wicked tongue and a terrified citizen of a planet that was almost destroyed by members of the same race that saved everyone.
- The death of the Waynes. There are various origin stories for Bruce Wayne, some have similar patterns, but it is up to whatever continuity you choose. I really liked the origin story they used in the film. (here is a spoiler video by NerdSync about the individual deaths) I particularly liked how it used aspects from different stories instead of focusing in solely one origin tale.
- The score by Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL was phenomenal, as everything Zimmer does.
“The world has been so caught up with what he can do that no one has asked what he should do.”
Now to the bad:
- Superman’s character was given little to no use. Instead of leaving Henry Cavill to act how Superman should act, we get him having to deliver horrible lines, as well as following the nonsensical script that details certain actions so idiotic that Superman would never do. The guy has the symmetrical face for Superman, let him do this character instead of the moronic one we get.
- Mercy Graves’ character waste. Tao Okamoto portrays her, and throughout the first half of the film, I patiently awaited for her to outwit anyone or even kick Batman’s butt. None of this happened, instead she is simply left as the right-hand woman whose sole role is to help him manage the company.
- Lois Lane was useless. There was not one thing Lois did that added to the story in any productive way, she was instead left to much of her previous character’s representation in Man of Steel, she is a damsel in constant distress. Not even her “sub-plot” as reporter add to anything interesting. She could have been gone from the film until the last fighting scene and it would have added to the same result.
- Lex Luthor’s portrayal by Jesse Eisenberg lacked the depth his character requires because he seemed more like a demented twitchy guy than a villain mastermind. He was not bad per say, he was just extremely inconsistent in his performance. He jumped between sounding and looking completely insane to a villain mastermind with a sound head too much for anyone to pinpoint his interpretation of the character as good. I do have to say the scenes in which he used psychological warfare instead of his craziness were very, very good.
- Doomsday looked like a mix between Michael Bay’s Ninja Turtles and The Thing from Fantastic 4.
- The dialogue was cheesy at best. Not even the good one-liners were able to save this script from the fondue it was submerged in.
- The editing was a disaster. Zack Snyder can make an aesthetically pleasing film, but he shows no ability when it comes to maintain a continuation of the narrative.
- The reason given for Batman and Superman fighting makes no sense. All of the depth between the relationship between these two given to us in comics and the animated series is erased to have a name take over it. The most instrumental moral dilemma between these two is obliterated and replaced with a less tricky and less enthralling one.
This film had a very promising start, but as some of Zack Snyder’s latest films, it builds a strong beginning and rather quickly turns everything into a mess. Do not go into it expecting it to be as good as the Christopher Nolan Batman Trilogy, or the Marvel films, or even Snyder’s previous success with Watchmen and 300, and it will be a very entertaining time.
Quite a few of the things in this movie were so ridiculous that I had to list them down.
- Why on earth do they have to pretend Superman killed a bunch of people in the desert to turn the people against him? Isn’t the fact he is an alien and immigrant that destroyed a city while saving it enough? At least use some fear mongering first.
- Wonder Woman gets informed by Batman via email that Luthor knows she is a “meta-human.” It looked like two teens texting each other.
- In the same scene we get an introduction to some other characters from the Justice League, in the most lazy attempt I’ve seen.
- Batman’s moral code gets thrown off the window for no reason. Yes, he just randomly kills people, his stance on the no killing is gone, at least in his dreams.
- Superman stops Batman from gaining the Kryptonite during a car chase, leaving it at the hands of Lex Luthor. What an idiot!
- Lois throws the Kryptonite weapon into the water without thinking, which then leads to the dramatic end scene.
- Batman and Superman stop fighting because they bond over the name of their mothers, Martha.
- The Kryptonian ship just lets Luthor take over.
- The dream/hallucinating scenes with Batman and Superman made them look insane. It added nothing entertaining, they just looked lazy, and were extra confusing.