I was skeptical about this one from the get-go. Zack Snyder, basically a more talented and flashier Michael Bay, taking over the DC Extended Universe and pinning two of the greatest superheros against each other. I wasn't sure he could make it work. And I'm still not quite sure if he did. The reason I say that is because the movie is missing scenes. Like most of Snyder's work, it was meant to be a rated R, three hour long movie, and in order for a wide release it had to be trimmed which means some crucial scenes were modified or cut completely, and you can tell. The editing is choppy, even frustrating at times, and the pacing is nonexistent. There aren't any build ups. It just goes from exposition to AMAZINGNESS to exposition to BADASSERY to exposition to AWESOME HOLY SH*T EXPLOSIONS, etc. I won't blame Snyder until I see his version so as of now I'd pin that on the writers and editors (if there were any editors because holy hell some of the cuts are atrocious). When the big moments come, like Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne's first meeting, or Lex Luthor's birthing of Doomsday, or hell when Batman and Superman finally go at it, they just happen. There's no emotional weight attached to any of it. It's freaking awesome to look at, but there's no pathos to give it the extra oomph that pushes great movies into the extraordinary.
Having said that, Batman v Superman is highly entertaining. The action set pieces are gorgeous and the titular showdown is indeed awesome when it finally comes. The heroes themselves are amazing. Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne is one of the most perfect choices in casting since Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man. He IS Bruce Wayne. You never question it when he's on screen. Henry Cavill is great as the man of steel. He doesn't have much to work with but he shines when he needs to. And Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman steals the screen whenever she comes on. She's perfect. And when these heroes come together to fight the common enemy, Doomsday, it's truly a sight to behold. That is the main thing Dawn of Justice has over Man of Steel, the heroes. But while Man of Steel succeeded in the villain department with the commanding presence of General Zod, that is where Batman v Superman suffers most.
Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor didn't bother me as much as I thought it would honestly. For what he had to do, he was fine in the role. The problem is that the character is written as an obnoxious rich sociopath with a penchant for mayhem, so he's basically in the shadows for a majority of the movie acting as a puppeteer to pit Superman against Batman. He poses no physical threat of any sort. Hell, seeing him stand next to Batman and Superman you can easily see either of them crushing him like the cockroach that he is. But there is something unsettling about his unassuming manner. The courtroom scene in particular is a chilling one, and his rooftop monologue actually hits all the right beats and he borders on threatening. Again, it's less against Eisenberg and more on how the script wanted the character to be. Doomsday is fine also. The only reason he exists is to have an epic fight in the third act and it delivers, but as a character he's just... an anti-character. That's exactly what he is actually. The antithesis of Superman - a godless killing machine, a creature with no conscience, an unkillable force of nature. So he served his purpose, but there was no charismatic villain for me to be rooting for (or against). It's just a waiting game for the heroes to get into action.
The movie is also too long. Mind you, a sh*tload of stuff is crammed into the two and a half hours to warrant the runtime, but a few subplots could've been scrapped and the movie would've been better for it. I feel like if a good editor swept through the movie, trimmed the fat, put all the pieces in the right place and kept it at a tight two hours, Batman v Superman could be one of the greatest superhero movies ever made. As of now, it's a beautifully fun mess. Entertaining as all hell but lacking in depth. And again, Zack Snyder's ultimate cut may be the perfect superhero movie, but we'll just have to wait and see.
Which brings me to my main point, and that's Batman v Superman is a comic book movie. It's meant to entertain. Dissecting it and critiquing it as a piece of cinema is too easy and is an exercise in futility really, which is why I dismiss most of the critic reviews claiming it's a cinematic disaster when its entire premise is based around fantasy and the absurd. It's incredibly fun, and that's all it's supposed to be. The fact that it has some truly awe-inspiring moments and intermittently amazing dialogue is just icing on the cake. Batman v Superman is a flawed movie, no doubt about it, but it accomplishes what it sets out to. It gives us Batman versus Superman. It gives us the dawn of the Justice League. It gives us a big screen adaptation of Lex Luthor and a juggernaut of a villain in Doomsday. All the pieces are there. The question is whether or not you're willing to shut off your brain and sit back and enjoy the comic book epicness happening on screen. If you are, then Batman v Superman is an absolute must-watch thrill ride. If not, then why on earth are you seeing a Zack Snyder film in the first place?
The General public is controversial over having superman on their planet and letting the dark knight pursue the streets of Gotham. And while this is happening, a power-phobic batman tries to attack superman, meanwhile, superman tries to settle on a decision, and Lex Luther, a millionaire, tries to use his own advantages to fight the man of steel.
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July 5, 2016 at 9:59 AM