Warner Bros. Pictures
And now, you will fly to him, and you will battle him to the death. Black and blue. Fight night. The greatest gladiator match in the history of the world. God versus man. Day versus night! Son of Krypton versus Bat of Gotham!
It’s been nearly two years since Superman’s colossal battle with Zod devastated the city of Metropolis. The loss of life and collateral damage left many feeling angry and helpless, including crime-fighting billionaire Bruce Wayne. Convinced that Superman is now a threat to humanity, Batman embarks on a personal vendetta to end his reign on Earth, while the conniving Lex Luthor launches his own crusade against the Man of Steel.
I’m going to let everyone know right off the bat: there’s going to be spoilers in this here review. After a couple of days of chewing on the movie, after watching with some of the Exalted Geeks, it’s probably best that I let loose with my various brain droppings on this latest superhero flick unfettered.
I had no intention of watching Batman v Superman during its initial theatrical run. I wasn’t impressed with the previews. I had a feeling, like with Man Of Steel, that this particular attempt by DC to continue building its cinematic universe was going to be more dark, grim and humorless waste of time. Maybe I would watch it at the El Cheepo second-run theater; chances are, though, I would wait for the release on DVD, then take my time with renting the thing to see how it actually is. You know, like I did with Man Of Steel. But then, some of the aforementioned Exalted Geeks decided to catch an afternoon showing on the Saturday of its release, and offered me a chance to buy one of the reserved tickets. Eh, it was a Saturday. I figured, if I were to suffer, at least I have friends along to suffer with me.
So, now here we are. And I’ll just say this again: THERE BE SPOILERS AHEAD. Yar. Ye be warned.
In Batman v Superman, it’s either 18 months or two years (depending on where you’re getting the plot descript from) since the events of Man Of Steel. Due to these events, Bruce Wayne has a super-sized hate on for the last son of Krypton. Also, the public opinion has been split over him, Supes being seen as either
Alien Space Jesus a force for good, or a threat to the human race. Meanwhile, there’s a new player in town that also has a hate-on for Superman, the eccentric (read: insane) multi-billionaire Mark Zuckerberg Lex Luthor, who manipulates politicians’ suspicions of Superman’s true intentions to gain access to the Kryptonian space ship and the body of one General Zod. Why? To turn him into Doomsday, silly. Meanwhile, Superman is all angsty, Lois Lane has to be rescued a bunch of times, Bat-Affleck has some dream visions, and Wonder Woman shows up for…reasons. Lexie-poo kidnaps Superman’s mother, makes him and Batman fight, Batman has on his Hulk Superman buster armor(TM) and some kryptonite gas, and then they make up and fight Doomsday. But that’s okay, because that section of the city is deserted, we’re told ad nausium. Then Superman dies. Que the obligatory bagpipe rendition of “Amazing Grace”, and it’s finally done. Until the next movie.
This…was a long movie to sit through. I pretty much felt every minute of the 151 minute run time. That’s approximately two-and-a-half hours. Make a note of that, because I’m going to circle back around to that in a bit.
But first, I thought I’d get all the stuff I liked about this movie out of the way. And there was quite a bit that I did find enjoyable. Namely, the action-y bits. There was a car chase that was pretty breath taking, and of course the (too brief) throwdown between Batman and Superman and then the massive three-way team up to take down Doomsday was, in fact, epic.
I admit that I was proven wrong. Ben Affleck really is, not only a good Batman, but also a very good Bruce Wayne. Still gonna be refering to him as Bat-Affleck, thought. Because it’s hilarious. And really, I have no complaints with Henry Cavill as Superman/Clark Kent. Those two and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman do their best with the script they were given. Which brings me to this…
The story of the movie and general flow of the thing was, to put it mildly, off-puttingly disjointed. It was almost like the narrative itself was put secondary to a bunch of “This is COOL!” shots of the heroes and villains doing…stuff. And that doesn’t seem to help things when, despite its TWO AND A HALF HOUR running time, it still felt like an unfinished movie. Plot points unexplained, character motivations suddenly turning and changing for no reason, and “twists” that we all not only saw coming months away from opening night, but even the big one (that I spoiled for you in my synopsis up there) at the end, which was supposed to elicit an emotional Darth Vader-like NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! complete with jazz hands, fell with such a splat I had to check the bottom of my shoe to make sure I didn’t step in something. And that’s to say nothing of the over-the-top, completely WRONG characterization of Lex Luthor they went with. Gads, don’t get me started.
I could go on. But, I think the biggest tell was that, although the theater I was in was rather full, they were the most well-behaved and quiet fanboys and fangirls to attend a big, blockbuster featuring two iconic DC characters that was decades in the making. There was no cheering. There was no clapping. One of the Exalted Geeks I was with actually fell asleep at one point.
So, overall, I would have to say that Batman v Superman…well, it was a Zack Snyder movie. It was gorgeously shot, and the action scenes rivaled that of Michael Bay, but when all is said and done it’s just a mess. An entertaining mess, yes, but a mess none the less. I do not see myself watching it again, in any format. Not voluntarily, anyway.