I saw Batman V Superman Dawn of Justice when it came out in the cinema on Good Friday. I’ve given myself time for my opinion to sink in – I still think it’s not a great movie.
The start of the Batman V Superman movie was yet another Batman origins story. In my head, I thought “man, how many times do we have to witness Bruce’s parents get murdered”? Then something strange happens, little Bruce starts levitating – this is actually a dream sequence, one of many to come.
The movie then cuts to Bruce racing through Metropolis during the end of Man of Steel – Superman’s fight with Zod. He reaches Waynes Tower only to find it getting destroyed by the fight and it kills alot of people he cares about. Batman at this point has enough motivation to take down Superman. Instead the movie will spend the next two hours trying to make the sun burn brighter than it already is. Most of this was fat that could’ve been trimmed in my opinion. He wants to take down Superman because he’s too powerful and there’s 1% chance he will destroy. One per-cent. It’s an intriguing argument because he doesn’t like Superman because of what he’s capable of… but what is it that separates him and the other “meta-humans” he finds out later in the movie? Why isn’t he creating a hit list based off that? They’re powerful too.
Ben Affleck was alright as Batman, I didn’t hate him or love him. The killing did bother me – it’s not so much he is killing people, it’s that he’s not batting an eye lid doing it. In a car chase sequence, he rams a car then shoots a grappling hook (from his car) at the stopped vehicle and drags it along with him. The people, albeit bad guys, are in the mean time rolling around in the car, bashing into obstacles and then finally into another bad guy’s car. What?! That’s so cruel.
I hated the dream sequences in this movie. There were so many of them. I don’t think they added anything that couldn’t be done in a well shot scene or something. They also eat into Superman/Clarke’s character development time. I still don’t know why Superman thinks it’s not ok for Batman to stop crime but it’s perfectly fine for him to do so. And to stop Batman from catching criminals by standing in from of the Bat mobile. If he thought he was going to far by branding people or executing them, then say so! It’s not actually expressed in this movie.
Generally, I felt most of the actors in this movie were wasted on playing such minor roles. For example, Amy Adam’s was basically a damsel in distress with an eye popping bath scene. She has so much more talent as we witnessed in movies like American Hustle and Enchanted. I did hate one particular performance though: Lex Luthor. I couldn’t stand the scenes he was in. Also, this could just be me, but it felt like Lex was trying to be a Joker wanna-be. In The Dark Knight, Joker keeps asking “Do you know how I got these scares?” followed by a different answer everytime. Well Lex asks “Do you know what the oldest American lie is?” And he will answer differently. I didn’t like that, it felt like plagiarism from Heath Ledger’s performance.
The way the other characters from the Justice League line up were teased was very tacky, they should’ve just shown the “well designed logos” instead. They felt out of place and… well… looked shit. Was there an actual reason for Wonder Woman to be in the movie? More on that later.
The Actual fight between Batman and Superman was disappointing. Superman fights Batman because his super hearing couldn’t hear his mum being kidnapped by Lex’s henchmen. Lex says to him, “kill Batman or your mum dies”. His reply is “well, ok then, guess I don’t have any choice”. This is disappointing, I’ve sat through 2 hours of the movie building up an unnecessary case for Batman to (inch) further his motives for taking down Superman (actually, he wants to kill him because…. movie!) but the movie spends 15 seconds to give Superman a reason to fight Batman. He didn’t really want to… or does he? See, if you go up to a guy and start telling them what’s really happening so that he can help you, then it’s probably a bad idea to push him several meters away onto the floor before finishing what you have to say. The fights pretty crappy, Batman releases some smoke to hide his presence so he can get an advantage over Superman to shoot him with a bullet which will emit Kryptonite gas. But the heavy armour Batman is wearing will make so much noise, Superman will hear his foot steps. Just because the gas may or may not have blocked Superman’s view, doesn’t mean he’s turned deaf. So in my eyes Batman shouldn’t have been able to land that shot which turns the tide. The fight choreography was stupid, because it was confusing. Superman seemed to recover from the initial Kryptonite at random times. For example, whilst in a weakened state, Batman is punching him in the face repeatedly and Superman’s face displays less and less pain until he’s just not feeling it at all. He knocks Batman backwards and then drops to his knee? What? So he’s not ok? Then he gets hit by a second cloud of Kryptonite. Wow, talk about coincidence. Then Batman throws him down a hole, drags him and swings him around knocking down some pillars – which looked so odd since Batman doesn’t have super strength, how does he do that to a man of Superman’s size? The worst part of this fight, is Martha. Saying Martha was enough to stop the fight and put aside their differences. The next scene is great, Batman goes to a warehouse to rescue Martha. But in the back of my head, I couldn’t stop thinking, wouldn’t it have been easier for Superman to save his own mother? It would’ve taken him 5 seconds, then another 10 seconds to get to where Lex is. Instead, Batman will take a couple of minutes to get there, fight everyone, get Martha to safety, then fly back to help Superman. Funny thing is. It takes Superman a couple of minutes to get to where Lex is. He should be there pretty much instantaneous right?
Doomsday. I can’t believe how Doomsday is introduced into this cinematic universe. I had a feeling they were going to turn Zod into him from the trailers. I was dreading that thought. I remember reading the comic where Doomsday was introduced. He single handedly took out a group of super heroes. With one hand tied behind his back. I was thinking, what’s going on? This bad guy is wrecking havoc! Why are they powerless to stop him? It was difficult watching them lose to him. But that just showcased how strong he was. It was an amazing experience. But the movie just shows how strong he is by having Superman hit him real hard yet still be standing. He’s no where near as cool as I remember. He’s still powerful but just… not cool. The dumbest thing about the this fight was that Batman didn’t do anything. So how was he really hoping to take down Superman? He should just go get the spear and let the other two hold him down or something. In fact, it was pretty much Wonder Woman Vs Doomsday! She went toe to toe with him the longest. In fact, Wonder Woman is my favourite thing about this movie. When she was in normal attire, I didn’t think much of it. But when she appears with her shield for the very first time, I was filled with a lot of joy! She looked awesome. The smile during fight just tells me she belongs in battle. She looked the part and Gal Gadot stole the show for me. Her body language in the fight was really natural. You know when people are in an action movie and they aren’t convincing because their body just isn’t moving naturally? She did great and has me looking forward to the standalone Wonder Woman movie. Only problem was, she had no reason to be in this movie until the final act. She wanted to take something back from Lex? But she sent everything to Batman anyway including her photo. Was it really necessary in this movie? Not really. It didn’t forward the plot and having her stand alone movie show first would’ve made much more sense chronologically.
One thing that baffled me after letting the movie sink in is how did Lex manage to orchestrate everything in 18 months? He basically found out Lois is connected to Superman, so he must’ve found out about Clarke, he planned to get her in danger so he may frame Superman, discovered Kryptonite is useful against Superman, discover a larger chunk of Kryptonite, feed fuel to fire for the disabled guy enough for him to hate Superman and get him to the court house, set up a date for Superman to appear in court and for it to blow up, find a way to get Batman to want to take on Superman by provoking Bruce Wayne, which means he found out who Batman really is, knew he would create a monster to take on Superman. Finally, designed logos for each “meta-human” he has on file. Really? There’s so much that’s glossed over or not explained.
Another crime this movie commits is how under developed Superman side of the story is. He’s battling his own dilemma – should there be a Superman? Great! But there’s no real development in this and not really part of the plot of this movie. The court house scene was merely a distraction to the audience, to keep us awake from boredom. It probably would’ve fit in a Superman movie.
The movie’s attempt at humour also fell flat on my ears. There were many attempts to be funny but I just did not find it funny. “I’m a friend of your son”, “I could tell because of the cape”. “Is she with you?”, “I thought she was with you!”. These are some examples of what was supposed to be funny. I smirked at some of them but most of them, I didn’t find funny.
It’s so frustrating because the movie started of ok (the shooting again!) but then it was getting really good with Ben Affleck running towards the rubble. I liked that. Then we get random shots. We get Amy in a bath scene. Then lots of unnecessary scenes. We get to a disappointing fight. Then we get an awesome Wonder Woman on screen! To me, there were just too many negatives in this moving so I’m in the “I don’t like it” camp. Oh well, at least I’m looking forward to Gal Gadot playing Wonder Woman on the big screen again!