RELEASED 2016 RUNTIME 151 MIN LANGUAGE ENGLISH DIRECTION ZACK SNYDER SCREENPLAY CHRIS TERRIO, DAVID S. GOYER STARRING HENRY CAVILL, BEN AFFLECK, JESSE EISENBERG, AMY ADAMS, JEREMY IRONS, HOLLY HUNTER, GAL GADOT, DIANE LANE, LAURENCE FISHBURNE MUSIC HANS ZIMMER, JUNKIE XL
Batman V Superman takes places after Man Of Steel and sees Superman on trial for the destruction he caused in Metropolis fighting Zod. Especially people like Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor want to see Superman pay for what he did because they fear that having a god creature like him on earth, will shift the balance of power on earth.
Oh my god, this movie is exactly what I thought it would be – or let’s say, what I feared it would be. It’s a mess!
Basically, we have two movies here. The first movie is Batman V Superman and the second movie is Dawn Of Justice. In other words, the first movie is about Batman wanting to bring Superman to justice for what happened in Man Of Steel and the other movie is about setting up the Justice League.
And while they may have found a way to incorporate both plots into one overarching story, I will not apologize for it because let’s face it, they tried to cramp in too much stuff. The movie feels overstuffed with information it doesn’t need. But let’s start at the beginning.
The movie starts out amazingly. In fact, I love love LOVE the first 20 minutes. It’s such a good set up and really shows you what happened in Metropolis, when Superman was fighting Zod, from a human perspective. I ate that shit up! Loved it!
But then things start to get messy. We have a big assembly of scenes and cuts that jump back and forth between characters that don’t seem to follow the same thread. It really feels like an assembly of scenes more than a coherent plot. It’s really frustrating because you feel that the movie is tackling some amazing adult topics. Interesting questions get raised. Does the world need a Superman? Is Superman a god? How bring a god to justice? Is Superman savior or destructor?
It’s these things that show you Warner Brothers is aiming their DC Universe towards adults, compared to Marvel’s more lighthearted approached aimed for the popcorn audience.
I prefer Warner’s approach because I like great depth in my movies. But unfortunately they don’t know how to tell the story because they are concerned with setting up other stuff at the same time that distracts from what’s important. It’s The Amazing Spiderman 2 all over again. Things happen and you ask yourself, did we really need that? Can’t we tell that particular thing another time?
There is scenes in this movie that I am certain will do more to confuse viewers than actually help them understand the story. You have seen the desert scene in the trailers right? I can tell you right now, while a really cool scene, this scene should have been left out of the film. Something happens there where non-comic book fans will be like “what the fuck?!”, while comic book fans will go like “Oh my god, this is amazing!!” There is so many more scenes like that.
That’s another thing. This film is made for hardcore comic book fans who know the history of the DC universe. There is so many references from the comic books that even I was confused by. The problem is, these are not easter eggs, but entire scenes playing out right in front of you.
It would be fine, if there was some explanation given, but obviously the film is so overstuffed with things that there is no time to explain because we have to get to our big fight right?
BATMAN VS SUPERMAN FIGHT
So how is the fight between Batman and Superman? It’s fine. It’s what I thought it would be. While overly CGI it looks pretty cool and comic book fans will be geeking out, IF they didn’t check out beforehand. Because to tell you the truth, I kinda checked out before it even started and I read Superman and Batman comics regularly. In fact, these two are my favorite characters from comics and I have read all the essential graphic novels + more.
But what bugged me about the conflict is that I didn’t feel any emotion. It left me cold because the set up for the fight was weak to say the least. It doesn’t feel earned. It just feels very thin. And I will tell you why it’s so thin. Because the movie didn’t focus on the setup, but was concerned with other things. Lex Luthor plays a big part in setting up the fight, but unfortunately his reasons are not developed at all. Comic-book audience knows that Lex Luthor hates Superman, but the regular audience does not. Give them a reason to care! They are the ones who buy your tickets.
Also, the editing was really awkward leading up to that fight.
That’s another thing. The pacing and editing in this movie is really weird. As I said before, the movie jumps back and forth between plot points. It really feels like that things are missing and got cut, to bring down the runtime. But the entire structure of the film is also really weird. For the first 1.5 hours the movie goes along with the pace of a snail. And then it suddenly explodes into Zack Snyder extravaganza. Everything starts exploding and CGI takes over. Suddenly so many things happen: Batman vs Superman, Lex Luthor, Doomsday (that’s not a spoiler), Wonder Woman, aaahhrr!!
Ok, let’s talk about the good things because there was a lot of them actually.
First, Batman!! Ben Affleck as Batman is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! He is Batman! Everything in this movie revolving around Batman (which is the majority) is so cool to watch. He is so fucking brutal. It’s by far the most dark and violent Batman we have seen on screen so far. And it’s a cool plot device too, because it certainly attracts the attention of Superman.
There is one chase scene with the Batmobile that I like even more than the Batman vs Superman fight. Even in the car Batman is ruthless! I will just say one thing: Toe cable! 🙂
However, I have a minor gripe with this version of Batman. We know Batman doesn’t kill right? Right?? Yeah, right…
Anyhow, Henry Cavill as Superman is, again, cool + he feels more like the Superman we know, although still very grim and pissed. But he has reason to, if you ask me cause everybody seems to bully him constantly.
How about Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor? I like him as Lex. I don’t love him, but I like what he did with the character. It very much falls into vein of Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor we saw in the classic Superman films, although not as campy, but the same amount of crazy, or even crazier. There ware some scenes where he really shines, so I am okay with his version of Lex, although it kind of reminds me of the Joker from the animated series.
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was a concern for many people. But let me tell you, it actually works for what she does in the film. I am not a Wonder Woman expert (in fact I almost know nothing about her), but I thought she looks very cool and Gal Gadot, at least in this movie, has enough charisma to portray her next to Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck without being outshone.
And how about the other members of the Justice League because you know that they would put them in there right? Come on, you knew they would! 😛
Well, I can’t really judge because it’s very brief, but I can say one thing. It felt soooooo lazy! Speaking of things that didn’t have to be in this movie…
Back to the positives. The score, again, is really really good, as with all DC movies. It has become a tradition that DC films have the best scores. And if you are Marvel fanboy and thinking right now: “But we have good scores too!” Bitch, please!
Also, the movie looks pretty neat. You may know by now that I am very very sensitive when it comes to CGI and special effects and yes, this film is overly CGI. But it also looks very stylized, which works, again, in a Zack Snyder way. It actually feels very much like Watchmen and I really like Watchmen.
Overall, I feel disappointed. But I shouldn’t because I saw this happen the moment it got announced that Wonder Woman is going to appear in the film. On the other hand I thought, man, maybe they can pull this off. After all, they hired Chris Terrio as the screenwriter, the man who won the Oscar for writing Argo! Unfortunately, the script is what stinks about the movie the most. Or is it the story written by David S. Goyer? Or was it the studio? Maybe he is not to blame for this because trying to cramp so much story into a 2.5 hour movie, even the best scriptwriters in Hollywood would have failed.
But not all hope is lost because it already got announced that there is a 3h version of the film coming to blu-ray. So, my feeling is that the editing down process really hurt the flow of the film. Maybe it will be fixed with the extended cut. I keep my fingers crossed. But it doesn’t change the fact that this film should have been split into two movies and it’s a clear indication that Warner Brothers are just rushing this DC universe and play catch up to Marvel.
Btw. I haven’t mentioned it, but it illustrates that point perfectly. There is one thing that happens at the end, which I applaud Warner Brothers for having the balls to do. But again, why?! Why now?! Save it for later you fools!
Unless you are a die hard Batman or Superman fan, I unfortunately can’t recommend the movie for you. I applaud the ambition (that’s why it gets a bonus point/bat-branding) but in the end as a coherent movie it doesn’t work.