I just saw Batman v Superman and had to tell the world that the critics are wrong! Batman v Superman is everything thing that it was promised to be – a great superhero movie. I have thought long and hard as to why the critics don’t like it. I’ve read every review that I can find and their complaints are all the same; story this, plot line that, etc., etc., etc. They state that the story is fragmented it’s not. It’s a linear story-line with nuances pointing towards the upcoming DCEU. They say the plot line is thin. That too is untrue. I don’t go see a superhero movie for deep introspection or a desire to feed an emotional need; I go for an all-out slug fest with great CGI. Batman v Superman delivers that in spades. One critic called it a two and a half hour trailer for upcoming DC movies. Not so, there are pointers and nods, of course, you can’t set up a franchise without them but they were few and inserted in the story in a fashion that made perfect sense with the surrounding context.
Now about the film… The story was definitely a comic book lovers dream come true. There were nods and waves at many DC stories from the last 75 years. Notably, the most used content came from the Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller (published in 1986) but a bevy of other creators certainly influenced the saga that I was tonight in IMAX. Curt Swan’s run on Superman in the ‘90’s plays prominently into the epic as well. To be frank (not Miller, I didn’t capitalize), I thought the movie flowed like a well written comic. I found the characters engaging but not overly enchanting. I love superheroes because they have qualities that I find admirable. Batman, in BvS, has a motive (no matter how flawed) that points him toward and end. He makes a plan and sticks to the plan. Things change and so does his plan. I admire that. I could use a little more stick-to it-iveness in my life. Superman, on the other hand, is not the Boy Scout he is in the comics. That being said, he is attempting to live up to the ideals that he was raised with. I think the world could use a little more of that “Love your brother as yourself” attitude. I do enjoy a complex character but I don’t want to be mired in that density. BvS gives enough intricacy to make the characters compelling but not so much that I leave feeling a need to examine my own life. If I want that I’ll see something with Meryl Streep or Denzel Washington.
Next I need to address the haters in the room. You know who you are; you’re the ones that bitched ceremoniously about the casting. First and foremost, Batfleck is the total package. He not only looks great but he pulls off Batman like never before. Disillusioned, cranky, and distrustful; those are the ubiquitous Batman qualities that anyone that reads his comics has come to expect. Mr. Affleck made that work on a level we have not seen in previous screen versions of the character. It is obvious, after viewing this, as to why Warner Bros. is champing at the bit to have him do a stand-alone Batman film. As for Wonder Woman all I can say is WOW! Gal Gadot presented a tough, sexy and brilliant woman that has obviously earned her place in this world. There couldn’t have been a better choice for this role than her. Her performance was classy and spectacular all rolled into one. Kudos, Ms. Gadot.
The bottom line is that Batman v Superman is a superbly crafted superhero saga. It gave me everything I could want in a superhero film - a bit of darkness, a whole lot of fighting and great special effects. I am looking forward to the upcoming DCEU even more now than I was when it was announced. Zack Snyder has pulled off something never before done, the DC Holy Trinity in a single well-crafted film. If the rest of this universe is going to be this good they can have my money now. I want to be first in line!
Addendum -If it seems that I love comics, I do. If it seems that I have read the source material, I have. That being said, I'd like to note that I went to this film with 3 other people that have no comic book knowledge other than what they have seen on either TV or the silver screen and they had the same response that I did. The theater around us was abuzz with all sorts of theories of what was to come next and and an excitement to see the next movies. That to me makes this film a hit!