I’ve been neglecting this blog due to work constraints and the fact that I dedicated my time to another website. But it’s been 40 days without a movie, and I chose Batman V Superman was my first trip to a cinema in 7 weeks so I thought I’d write. I also really like to weigh in on movies like these where the hype is both positive and negative. Oh, I recently found out that my students (6B) are also reading these reviews so if any of you are on this blog right now, get off and go do your homework!
Now to it.
I am so happy to say I was right! From the very beginning, which was the announcement of Ben Affleck as Batman, I was never sold on the idea. From then on, with first stills to teasers, then trailers, people started getting really excited for it, placing their faith in visionary director Zack Snyder. I never moved from my position, I never got excited and I expected a slightly above average movie, which it is. Affleck isn’t a disappointment and whatever shortcomings he has in this film isn’t his fault, I’ll explain why later. At 2 and a half hours, it feels a bit long. I’ve watched longer movies which felt shorter because they were better written and had much better plots. This one tries to do too much, starting which Wonder Woman. Gal Gadot is definitely not irreplaceable or the best choice for the role but she was fine. However, I disagree with the whole idea of having Wonder Woman in this movie at all. She has about 5 short scenes in the entire picture, before the final battle where she makes a meaningful contribution. Now that’s just disrespectful and bargaining for more than you can pay. I found her presence distracting and irrelevant of the outcome of the movie. She either should have had a bigger role, or none at all (with none at all being the better choice.)
This movie has some big names attached to it but for me, Jesse Eisenberg stands out. As much as I wanted Bryan Cranston to be Lex, Jesse is just as awesome. He brings life to many moments that left the film empty and flat. He too, should have been given more development and screen time to be the villain he deserved to be. But for what he got, it was great and it satisfied the need for danger. Unfortunately, his character falls victim to unoriginal writing. I wasn’t a fan of him pitting Superman against Batman with the premise that if he failed, a bomb would blow up his mother. It was reminiscing of the two ships asked to bomb each other by the joker in The Dark Knight. In a film of that scale, they should do much better. But maybe that’s what the comics say and if so, well it’s still not good enough. Of course, I’m critiquing the movie here, regardless of what the story is in the comics. Another thing is the rating. Keeping it at PG-13 was a mistake I believe. We could all have been given better entertainment if the studio or director had been given the extended freedom and lenience that come with an R rating. Oh well, I guess having the younger audience was important.
Henry Cavill, formidable as Superman just as in Man of Steel. He is the best to ever play the role on screen and why they would bother with killing him off and having 15 minutes of movie mourning and sadness at the end when everybody knows he’s gonna end up returning at some point is beyond me. That’s just wasting my time. Of course he’s not dead, you’re a fool if you ever believed otherwise. The film is about him. It is a sequel to Man of Steel, and at the same time an origin story for the justice league. (Hence the title :D)
Batman. Like I said, he didn’t disappoint but he wasn’t better (by far) than Nolan and Bale’s Batman. Affleck portrayed a robust, sometimes dark and at times confused Batman. His arc in the movie is just not good enough, his lines don’t match the epicness of the character they tried to portray and I blame it all on subpar screenwriting. I can get onboard with the new modern techie Alfred, but what’s with lack of purpose? Batman was there just to provide a rival for Superman? Certainly seems that way. His beef with Superman the entire movie is, to me, totally unjustified and feels more like an overreaction of someone who had the needs to act on something of which he didn’t approve. Superman has the potential to destroy humanity if he wanted to, yes. So, let’s not take the chance and kill him? He never did anything to remotely incline anyone to think he would turn one day on humanity. This is so stupid and even more so when you realize that whatever he felt against him dissipates when he finds out their mothers share the same name. If something that trivial turns blood-lust into instantaneous partnership and understanding, then the first 2 hours were clearly built on something weak and under-thought.
On the whole, it was entertainment. I enjoyed it and thought it was beautifully shot. Not surprising coming from Snyder. The angles were well taken and it was great to see it in 3D. Now the action sequences felt a bit lifeless to me, but there were risks taken and the resulting shots were quite pleasing to the eye. For that much, I can applaud the team. Shout out to Hans Zimmer and his co-scorer, because this movie has the sensitive score it needs.
Batman V Superman sets it up nicely for the Justice League but that’s about it. It’s definitely not the grandiose match-up everybody thought it would be. On the other hand, I expect Suicide Squad to be a magnificent addition to the DC cinematic universe. (You read it here first.) That one, is the DC movie you’re not gonna wanna miss.
7.5 / 10