Well shit, I was very conflicted after watching this movie, but i will open by saying that Batman V Superman may be the most disappointing film of the last year for what it was set up to be. Now before you ask why i have committed a sin in not absolutely losing my shit over this film labelling it as phenomenal, remember, disappointing doesn’t mean bad, just not very good. I’m not going to go into a whole lot of detail, i will be vague in saying what i did and didn’t like to avoid spoilers, ill save that stuff for the Spoiler Review. So before i dive into the review, lets look at the journey leading up to this film.
The first trailer for this film was incredible, one of the best, if not the best trailers i have ever seen. It for the most part shut up all the people complaining about the destruction in Man of Steel being completely dumb and unnecessary, and set my expectations for this film very high. Then the second trailer came along and it was a steaming pile of poorly edited dog-shit, and instantly i was wondering which trailer was going to be a more accurate representation of what the film was going to be like. And then, a few days ago the fan screenings were held with a reaction that was overall very positive to excellent, and at that point i was very confident that it was going to be awesome. And finally, the embargo was lifted a day or two ago and critics posted their reviews, most of which slammed the film for reasons i didn’t want to know about. So i essentially went into this film hoping i would be one of those who liked it. Now lets get back into it.
I had many expectations for this film, some things i thought would work very well and some i thought wouldn’t work. And after seeing the film, for some i was right, and some i was wrong. Firstly, Ben Affleck as Batman was amazing. The emotion and brutality he brought to this very unique version of Batman was fantastic and stole the scenes from Superman when they were together. Once again, everyone saying he would suck after seeing one goddamn image were dead wrong, i love watching them slowly crawl back into their shell and pretend like they never said anything bad about the BatFleck. I won’t go so far as to say he is the best on-screen Batman, but he does come close. It was a much darker and violent take on the Batman that worked very well for this tone of film, and he may or may not actually have killed people in this film.
Lex Luthor was, well, just meh. While everyone crapped on Eisenberg as Lex, i was keeping an open mind. But in the end, he was just way too jumpy, crazy and over-the-top for my liking. And now for Wonder Woman, much of her role in the film is kinda shrouded in some secrecy so i’m not going to go into much detail about her. But i thought she was going to be forced into the film and wouldn’t fit with the overall main plot of the film. But to my pleasant surprise, she was one of the best things about the movie and by far the most surprising aspect.
Speaking of forced characters……… Doomsday…….. literally just shoved in there for the sake of it.
Now, the overall plot of the film and the way the film was structured during its 2 hour and 27 minute runtime is where i think all of the very divisive reviews are coming from. The sections of the film that actually focused on the conflict and the clashing of ideals between Batman and Superman were quite engaging. And then you have the scenes involving Batman, Superman, and Co, that were somewhat unfocused, and then you have everything else, a lot of which was believe it or not, quite boring. I never thought it would walk out of ‘Batman V Superman’ saying that i was bored, and on more than one occasion. Pretty much all of those moments were in the first half of the film, the way it was structured in terms of telling all of these stories was very rushed, and more importantly, very unfocused. It felt like the film was trying to cram in so many events and have you take in so much info and setup that i just couldn’t stay invested in everything going on.
Some of the stuff they spend some time on is actually setting the groundwork for the flurry of DC films set to come out in the next 5 years, hence the subtitle ‘Dawn of Justice’. Although some of the stuff was cool, it took me completely out of the film whilst i was still trying to get into the film, and it was poorly edited where it just happens at any random moment. Here’s a tip for when you see the film. Whenever the film starts showing ‘something’ and an unusually loud score starts playing, that is WB and DC saying:
“HEY, pause the film, look at this, look over here, isn’t this cool?, Want to find out more? Well too bad, you’ve gotta wait a few years for that, now back to the movie”.
As i said, it may have been cool but keep that stuff for after credits scenes. Think about how odd it would have been if Sam L Jackson shows up in the middle of Iron Man for one scene and disappears after that.
So the second half is where a lot of the ‘meat’ of the film is and it is where a lot of the good is located. And for the most part, it delivered on the crazy comic book action with a few easter eggs and connections i know people definitely liked. And then it slowly fizzles out over the last 10 minutes as it wraps things up in a way that felt very odd. I can’t quite put my finger on it after one viewing but i wasn’t overly thrilled with the way it ended. But Zack Snyder definitely leaves his mark on the film with visual techniques very similar to his other films like Man of Steel. So that was another positive to take out of this.
So in the end, Batman V Superman had the action, it had some genuine excitement, and it delivered at times where i thought it should have and maybe shouldn’t have. But it also had quite a few issues that hold the film down and are impossible to just disregard, as much as i would like to. Theres a lot of jumping around at times and boring sections that had me checking my phone to see how much time the film was wasting on unnecessary scenes, which is never a good sign.
I am going to have to see the film again in order to take everything in, because there is a lot. I may appreciate it more or i might even like it less, but for now this is the score i’m giving it. And no, it doesn’t mean that i hated the film because i know that’s coming regardless of how much i say it, so calm down, see the film and if you love it, then that is fantastic, i wish i could too.