A lot of people have voiced their opinion on Batman v Superman. I'm not going to do a full review because I don't have much to add on it that you probably haven't heard or read a million other times. Instead I want to give a quick run through of my thoughts on what the film was going for and what it meant to me. Also I want to some personal pros and cons.
SPOILERS AHOY CAPTAIN
I thought the movie was incredible. It was so different from what I was expecting and what I believed it should be. Yes, it was long but it didn't feel like a single second was wasted.The film felt so perfectly thought out. Every scene is slowly pushing Batman toward hating Superman. It was an irrational hatred too and it took learning that Superman is just a man with a mother that has the same name as his mother to stop seeing him as this looming threat. Batman represents people as whole and is a metaphor for how people tend to lose compassion for people when they consider them "other" or a threat to their way of life. I loved that. It did well to weave in multiple storylines from Dark Knight Returns to Death of Superman.
When you take into account that everything was focused on pushing Batman to hate Superman, the scenes start to make sense more. Despite the fact that Flash could be talking about anyone, even Lex or Darkseid, in the current mindset of Batman, he must be talking about Batman.
Zack Snyder has pointed out two of the biggest questions for Superman. How would he work in the real world? And does the world even need a Superman? Now that we've had those questions asked and explored, I hope we can move on to something a little more light and stop trying to explore how much the world would hate a Superman. We've seen two movies of Clark contemplating whether or not to be Superman. We get it. Let's have some scenes of him actually enjoying being Superman. Now that he's #deadfornow let's see some people actually missing him. Even at his funeral Batman just didn't really seem to care and was just kind of worried about moving to the next step. Nor should he have cared because they weren't friends, they were allies. It's just another soldier down for a man who has lost so much.
This brings me to my next point. I'd like for Superman and Batman, or Clark and Bruce to actually have some friendly scenes in the future. It may be that I don't know what friendship looks like but whenever I see Batman and Superman as friends it's usually Clark and Bruce having lunch at some low key diner somewhere. It's one of my current complaints with Marvel's Civil War, Tony and Cap are usually at each other's throats so whenever they say how they're going to miss each other at the end of Ultron or how they were friends in Civil War I just don't get it. Yeah there's a lot of time in between each movie so maybe they're going out for coffee or something but they never actually feel like friends in any of the movies. They seem like coworkers. I don't want Batman and Superman to go that same direction.
A lot of people commented that Lex Luthor's plans were confusing because it seemed like he was trying to turn the people against Superman but he spent very little time actually attempting to turn anyone against Superman. The thing is he's not trying to turn the masses against Superman, hes trying to push Batman over the edge. Everything he's done was to try to prove to Batman that Superman was a threat that needed to be taken down. However, being Lex Luthor, he of course had a back up plan should that not work and we are given Doomsday. If you can't have the Doomsday you love, love the Doomsday you have I guess. Was it too soon to have Doomsday? Hell yeah. But Doomsday is one of the only big hitters we can use right now that won't fit into some grand scheme later and at least somehow made sense. In the comics, Lex released Doomsday; in the movie, Lex created Doomsday.
Lex and the secret identities. I personally believe Lex is either working for Darkseid or knows Darkseid is coming for an invasion. How does he know who these guys are? Either the ship told him or Darkseid told him. I think the ship is supposed to contain all the information in the universe or something like that but even if that's not the case, the ship is still a scout ship and I'm willing to believe that it must know of the Earth's history enough to have found out that Batman is Bruce Wayne or at least Superman is Clark Kent. The issue is, it seems like he was sending Bruce letters since before he got the scout ship so I still believe that he may be working with Darkseid in a kind of Loki-style taking down the big hitters before Darkseid invades. If none of that is the case then we have to remember he did have files on every other hero and he apparently knows everyone's secret identities.
Honestly people seemed to hate how humorless it was but I believe that's the way a movie of this type should be. I believe superhero should be a genre of its own but this one truly encompassed action and drama and showed that it's okay to take superheroes seriously. People don't sit there and rage about how one superhero can beat another superhero because they don't take it seriously so it's kind of weird to see those same people complaining about this movie taking itself seriously. I'm not saying it's going to win an Oscar but I appreciate it wanting to be something more complex and thought provoking.
Ben Affleck felt perfect for the role. Maybe he wasn't as brash and full of life as people thought he should be playing Bruce Wayne but he was still a delight to watch. This movie was definitely more a Batman film so I understand him having top billing. Batman always has a plan so I thought it was cool that he pretty much led the fight towards that kryptonite spear. I was even okay with his use of guns and how he clearly had to be killing people in this movie. There's no way he drags a car with people in it and throws it at another car with people in it and nobody dies. I'm not even as big a fan of Batman as I am Superman and I still think following Batman was definitely the way to go. Although, maybe making him mysterious and this looming threat would have been good too.
He felt right in this film and was a believable threat. We have a bunch of comic book Lex Luthors in the world today. The evil genius snob who hates those who are inferior to him. At least that's the Lex I've seen in the comics I read. Sure they could have gone that way but instead they chose to go for socially awkward, millennial Lex which may be the Lex Luthor of our future. I can respect the complaint about him trying to play Ledger's Joker in some places but I still feel like he was trying to be a character of his own. People complained about him being too small but after seeing the animated film Justice League vs Teen Titans, I still believe he can make some Iron Monger type armor that makes him way bigger.
The Justice League
These clips were great. Joe Morten is an excellent actor who you can place in any role and he will thrive. He completely owned the role of sympathetic father Silas Stone just trying to save his son. I have to wonder if he was hurt in the battle for Metropolis. Aquaman looked awesome but the hair was kind of silly. I have to wonder if realism might not work too well for Aquaman as, while it looked awesome, the long hair of Aquaman looks like it'll be a constant issue unless he's moving seriously fast at all times. I also kind of hope he loses his hand. The Flash was excellent if not a little too short and a little obvious to anyone who watches the tape. Some guy stands there awkwardly looking on while something crazy happens behind him. It's not surprising that he found that information.
The Treatment of Superman
One reviewer explained that Superman isn't dark it's actually how people view Superman that makes him appear dark. I can kind of see that as scenes where he's not with Batman he doesn't look mean. After the explosion, and scenes with Lois, he seems either happy or sad but when he's with Batman he looks scowly and mean. That and when he's with Lex. There's also the scene where he's talking about consider this mercy which kind of seemed a little dark. Plus he was pretty much ignoring the bad guys Batman was taking down. That did make sense though because sometimes Superman has a habit of flying in and taking down the enemy without asking a whole lot of questions, focusing instead on using his superpowers. Interestingly enough this is something that is talked about in every super-powered DC show:
Green Arrow explained to the Flash about making a plan instead of just running in and The Flash explained that to Supergirl.
Superman feels more like a plot point in this movie. He's very plot driven in an overall character driven movie. I'd be okay if he was plot driven if he was also infallible. Previously during the Reeve's Superman era, he was completely infallible so it was okay for him to be driven by the plot because he wasn't a character that needed to go through an evolution in the film. However, this Superman's character arc consisted of him wondering if he was doing the right thing, him having a conversation with one of his dead dads, then dying. I know it's a subtle shift in him accepting what he has to do but with how dense and fast-paced this story moved. it was a little too subtle.
Kill-happy Lex Luthor
Lex sacrificing Mercy was a little too heavy for me. I've always viewed her as his loyal servant that he would never give up. That'd be like him killing Amanda Waller. I know in one of the shows she had robotic parts added to her but it seems more like this time she was completely obliterated so there's no coming back from that. It seemed like they were trying to distance themselves from Marvel by not being afraid to permanently kill characters but they only kill characters non fans don't care about. Mercy didn't talk much so killing her didn't matter to anyone who isn't really a fan.
I didn't love Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman. The accent was too heavy for me. I know she shouldn't not have an accent; I mean she's from Themyscira who knows what kind of accent she should or shouldn't have but still. It's not one of those, "I hated it since she was first cast and I just refuse to change my opinion" things. I was all about giving her a chance and the benefit of the doubt. She just didn't hook me, none of it felt right. She didn't detract from the movie, she just didn't add to it for me. As for the Xena comparison, my thoughts are that Xena is a warrior princess, Wonder Woman is a warrior princess, if it ain't broke don't fix it. Suit looks great. Quick Update: I should have said Diana Prince was a con for me. When she is dressed as Wonder Woman and doing the fighting scenes, she was great. So as Wonder Woman fighting and the look, she was great but as for the Diana Prince acting scenes, those didn't add anything for me. I wasn't really feeling it. Suit on: awesome. Suit off: eh. I watched the animated Wonder Woman movie and she wasn't super buff so that I didn't really mind the body size. Although Batman and Superman made her look tiny in comparison.
The powers used seemed to cause way too much destruction. Also having Doomsday blow up six miles of land every time he got hit with something kind of irked me. It just felt unnecessary and unnatural for some reason. In the Flash spot when the Flash uses his powers he destroys some stuff around him from the lightning he gives off as he runs. I feel like that was kind of unnecessary also. Zack Snyder pushes a negative outlook on powered people. I get that for Superman, he just destroyed a city, but the Flash not so much. I guess that's what he may need the suit for; to contain his lightning when he runs not just to hide his identity. I'm going to include it here but I don't like the style of the Motherbox either. It looked a little, eh. It was "too alien", as it was constantly morphing and changing. It looked pretty huge too.
Be sure to check out my article on what I'd like to see in the future of the DCEU here!