Full disclosure, I’m an insane Batman fan. This movie has been on my watch list since it was announced. That excitement was slowly damaged time and time again as more and more information was revealed in the trailer. This film was the motivation for me to start avoiding trailers as I felt this film in particular gave away too much, and that felt like desperation. There is a lot of great comic book nerdy goodness in this film, but as a film there are lots of problems. Snyder’s take on the story was mediocre and only Affleck and Eisenberg was able to bring Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice into the Decent Watch rating level.
After the events of “Man of Steel” the world is reacting to the revelation that there are aliens among us that can do amazing things. Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck), Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg), and Senator Finch (Holly Hunter) all have their own concerns about Superman (Henry Cavill) and what course of action is needed to protect the world from this god like figure.
I’ll start with the positives and what was my initial concern when the film was going through casting…Ben Affleck. I didn’t believe he could be a great Batman, and I’m very glad to be wrong about that. It’s too early for him to dethrone Christian Bale as my favorite Batman, but he went a long way into making me think it’s likely. This film features the most comic book Batman fight ever and it was amazing. His Bruce Wayne is likely the best, but until he has his stand alone film Bale edges him out.
Jesse Eisenberg played Luthor and did so in a way that resembled no other version of that character to my memory. He was manic, spastic, but villainous. The character offered almost no redeemable qualities, but worked as a villain in this film. However, his character may also be where the film suffers is greatest hit…storytelling.
It’s hard to believe that David S. Goyer was involved with the writing of this film as the Nolan Bat Trilogy is also on his lists of credentials. The story of Batman v Superman relies heavily on Deus Lex Machina…ultimately everything that happens is a result of one man’s planning. It’s not entirely unbelievable in a world with flying aliens and men dressed like bats, but it still doesn’t feel as well put together as other comic book (or other) films. Essentially, because of the mass amounts of content crammed into this already long film, the story is given to us in chunks. Imagine those chunks as puzzle pieces and when you are all done assembling them together there are clearly pieces missing and the picture you’re left with isn’t quite what was on the box the pieces came in. It might be time DC takes a page out of Marvel’s book and switch up the director. Zack Snyder’s interpretation of the source material may not be that of a wide audience that DC/Warner Bros. is likely looking to capture.
One of the biggest disappointments, and for this one I blame Marvel, was there was nothing after the credits. I sat in the theater with 75% of the people who had seen the movie all the way through the end. I even had read on RunPee (useful app) and on three websites that there was nothing after the credits and I refused to believe it. I thought surely there would be something to give us hype for the next film. Surely, I was wrong…and don’t call me Shirley.
The fight between Batman and Superman went exactly as anyone familiar with Frank Miller’s work expected it to. The suit was awesome. Batman’s voice was great and much better than Bale’s guttural dialogue. Yet, even in the moment that was hyped from the onset of the name and the first teaser trailer they managed to make an odd choice with story. A coincidence I’d picked up on a long time ago that the two characters happen to share comes to light and impacts the outcome.
Speaking of the trailer, it went ahead and gave away the surprise of Doomsday, that Luthor had Zod’s body, and that Wonder Women, Batman, and Superman would step up to fight it. Doomsday was the second biggest change from the comics. His creation and his power set was different and added in with an a sad reminder of Ang Lee’s Hulk the character was a bit disappointing.
Despite its flaws, I still had a pretty good time at the movie. I. Love. Batman. Also, unlike many, I’m a big fan of Henry Cavill as Superman. I don’t hate the take on Superman and Clark Kent, in fact, I find it much more likable than the bumbling idiot/boy scout version of the original films. That doesn’t completely make up for rushed writing or an overcrowded cast of characters and settings. There are many things I could pile in on, but some would be spoilers so I’ll wait or just talk to people about it individually.
Ultimately this movie is going to be disliked by film people, loved by comic fans, or fall in the middle for people like myself that identify with both sects of people. I’ve had two friends who used last years Fantastic Four as a basis of comparison to this film. One said, “It’s not as bad as Fantastic Four,” and the other said, “Well, BvS was almost as bad as Fantastic Four.” That doesn’t bode well for BvS that it elicits comparisons to a film that was made just to stick it to Marvel. Tell me what you thought in the comments below!