Friday, March 25, 2016
Superman V Batman Review
I'm fresh out of the movie about 18 hours now. I took my kids and the Mrs to see Dawn of Justice last night and I've had time to sleep on it and let the movie marinate in my brain to give this review. I do not like to write reviews in the moment. Often times, I let the hype or hate wash over me and once I see the movie again, my initial reaction is no where close to my Netflix and chill reaction. This will be spoiler free....
Overall, I do not have any real emotion about this movie. I went in with very low expectations and came out not knowing how I feel. If it was bad, I was going to rip it. If it was good, I was gonna praise. Its really neither. I have been clear that I felt DC was rushing this Justice League idea from the beginning. Batman V Superman was not planned to be the next sequel- no matter what they tell you. If they had, they would've alluded to Bruce Wayne, or Wayne Enterprise, Gotham, or Batman in Man of Steel. They did not! MOS is a polarizing movie for fans and DC got scared that if they needed to reboot Superman AGAIN, it was going to continue to damage the brand. So they brought in their real MVP, Batman to sure up the Superman franchise. And going in, you need to know that Batman V Superman is a Batman movie. Batman/Bruce Wayne is the star and drives the movie with Superman riding in the passenger seat or the sidecar in one of those motorcycles.
The movie plot centers around Superman's place in the world... Is he a savior or is he the devil? Both Lex Luthor and Batman have concluded that he is the devil and are both working on ways to stop/end Superman before he gets out of control. There is plot about smugglers and who is playing who and who is manipulating who..... Both Lex and Bruce get to go on about their distrust of Superman... And they go on alot! The movie is very slow for about an hour! That first hour is actually kinda boring. Sadly, they rehash Batman history (which everyone knows) without any real point of doing it. There are congressional hearings and dream sequences, and rescue scenes and much of it really did nothing to advance the narrative of the story. Oh and there is much angst among our heroes about what to do, how to do it, and finding their purpose in the world and that takes alot of time.
The plot point that finally gets us to Batman V Superman is super contrived and could've actually been solved easily with a phone call or a conversation. Like for real! Communication is key to any relationship, folks! This leads to our battle between the heroes and its an ok fight, but if you saw any of the trailers, you have seen the overwhelming majority of the fight between Batman v Superman. Along with much of the action with Wonder Woman. Spoiling nothing, this leads to our fight against Doomsday which is fine enough, but this has been told better on Justice League Unlimited and on Superman: Doomsday. Seeing it now on the big screen didn't really move me the way it should have, I guess. This leads to the ending-which if you have ever read comics in the 90's, you could see coming a mile away.
Ben Affleck does great work at Bruce Wayne and Batman.
Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman is by far the best part of the movie. By far! I am more looking forward to her movie than Justice League.
The "cameo" by the Justice league is handled well and the movie did not feel overstuffed at all.
The movie is a solid 30 minutes too long. All the Batman origin stuff could've been cut and there is a C plot with Luthor and a victim from the Battle with Zod that could've been removed totally from the movie. And enough with the slow mo, Zack Snyder.
I was not a fan of manic Lex Luthor. Its a bit over the top and it made it hard to view him as a credible threat villain. Plus, how he was able to resurrect Zod and use the Codex was a stretch beyond imagination.
Overall, the movie was just average for me. I have no real ill feelings towards it, but I certainly didn't love it. I really think there is a good movie in there somewhere- kinda like Man of Steel. There are parts that are really good, parts that are really bad, and parts that are someplace in the middle. Its just that they are all so spaced apart, the movie becomes a jumbled mess of scenes that are strung together, but not connected.
So for me, I will not be seeing it again. I do not think I missed anything or will change my mind after reading other people's review. In the genre, I think its average- DC specific- if you like MOS, you will probably like this, buts its inferior to Dark Knight to me and maybe slightly better than Dark Knight Rises... slightly. Overall, just a table setter for their expanded universe.