Before I get started with my honest and comprehensive review of this latest blockbuster from Zack Snyder. I enjoyed the film, and granted nothing is near perfection, but the flaws that exist are nitpicks and I am above nick-picking, than you ex girlfriends! Was it a perfect movie? No. Was it a complete and utter joy to watch and visually stunning, too? Yes. Case in point it was a good movie with somethings that could have been done to make it better....not to mention a scene that has surface that was cut...but I digress.
No After Credits Sequence
This was a total bummer at first, and I have seen this film twice already. Once in 2D and the other time in IMAX 3D, which was amazing! Ahem...yet I don't feel disappointment, on the contrary I feel that all that was needed for us the fans was in the movie and boy was there a whole plethora of crap tossed at us, sometimes it became almost too much to swallow. Yet it was adequately placed that an after credits scene was unnecessary.
"Adult" Superhero Film
This was an item that I noticed has appeared time and time again in written and video reviews for this film, many agree that it was a breath of air to break away from the whimsical and light-hearted feels of the Marvel films and well we ought to have seen this coming from a mile away. I mean Christopher Nolan may not have been the director of this film, but he was the Executive Producer. He was the money man. Moreover, he had set the bar as far as the tone and mood of the film in the Dark Knight trilogy, grounded and dark....that is how Nolan rolls. While I truly enjoyed the likes of Peter Quill aka Starlord and his child-like humor and natural charm ( I saw Guardians of the Galaxy 6 times in the theater/cinema), but I can dig serious toned films, if this comes across as organic and not forced or worse shoehorned. Moving on, I am going to talk about how this movie came across for those of us who are not die-hard and seasoned comic book fans...
Inaccessible to Non Comic Fans...
I went to see this movie as I have previously stated, twice. Once by myself and the second with a couple friends of mine, one of which was a causal moviegoer who liked to watch Superheroes fight on screen without really having any frame of reference as to what is happening and the whole plethora of material that cover this very event. Never mind the countless Easter eggs littering the scenes of this film. Us fans recognize what they are and know their significance and what they could foretell. However, those poor souls who don't have a long track record of reading countless comics and the ungodly number of imaginings and what have you of this character and that, are lost.
US Capitol Court
Senate Hearing Explosion
This scene was very well shot albeit rather short and a bit rushed although the whole Grandma's Peace Tea placement was brilliant and hilarious. To think that Lex would instill dread by placing a bottle of urine at her seat informing her that she was about to die basically. Of course, this scene also garnered much hatred and serious backlash especially from the fans. How could Superman not see this coming and couldn't he had scanned the wheelchair just in case? This was a case of Superman being well Superman and this caused him to be relaxed...ergo he was sloppy. This was the last shoe waiting to drop and when the explosion happened and killed all inside the courtroom and Superman appeared amidst the flames unharmed all faith and hope that he was just some guy trying to do the right thing went out the window.
What I liked about this scene was it mesh with the all the point of this movie, about power and humans not doing so hot following people of great power and how it (power) corrupts and absolute power (in Superman's case) corrupts absolutely. This messaged was handled well and received loud and clear!
Batmobile Chase Scene
What can I say about this particular scene that hasn't been said before? I don't know, but it was freaking awesome! I mean you had the batman in his ride chasing a semi truck trying to get his hands on the kyrptonite so he can take out the man of steel! First off, the cinematography was top notch, the whole film just about. This goes back to the film being visually stunning. The explosions were good and not over the top though in this type of movie if they were it'd be easily forgiven yet they were modest. I, personally, relished the scene taking place at night, as if all things nefarious have to be cloaked in a blanket of velvet. It just screamed hey bad things taking place, look!
Justice League Members Cameos!
These series of videos from Lex's archives cracked by James Bond-esque Bruce Wayne who used his superior intellect and detective skills to crack...well he used his expensive state of the art computer, but hey the man is really smart! Anyway this part of the film has been roasted over the open flame by professional critics and YouTube reviewers alike. Not to mention the ungodly levels of hate and mixed feelings in regards to these cameos. You have Wonder Woman whose you don't need to see because well there's the picture taken 100 years ago with her looking exactly the same as she does in present day. This leaves Bruce Wayne confused, rightfully so, as to who she is and better yet what she is. Then, there is the Flash, you see a video of him in what appears to be a convenient store where he foils a robber in progress, and next you have Cyborg. He is being kept alive by some advanced machines and computers. The lead scientist played by Joe Morton, you should know him, he was the guy behind Skynet and the Terminators, think back to the best Terminator movie ever, yep that's right: Terminator 2 aka T2! Lastly, you have Jason Momoa (Stargate Atlantis, as Aquaman, the best part of his short yet stunning cameo, other than him sending the camera spying on him to the stratosphere, was his eyes glowing in the dark!
Batman v Superman - the fight!
Now we get to the meat and potatoes of the matter at hand-the very namesake of the film! Something that the comic book fans have read about on more than a few occasions but have always wished that it would be done for the big screen and at long last our wishes were answered and although it was short it was rather sweet-and I mean cool and awesome, not corny or cutesy. I have read on countless Facebook posts, articles and heard it on Youtube movie reviews for this film ad nauseam. And that is it was too short or Superman lost because the script called for that outcome, and even a weakened superman still would be too much for the cape crusader aka Dark Knight to handle on his own.
We all know where they are coming from, in the comics; both Bats and Supes have taken turns coming out as the winner of this the greatest Gladiator match in history, if I can borrow from Lex Luthor. It would appear that this was fan service in a way, but I say it was brilliant use of the Batman character. Sure he (Batman) is more experienced and up in age and sick and tired of beating up thugs only to have them arrested and back out on the street. But I digress...This shows the beautiful albeit twisted and paranoid mind of the Batman. I mean the man knows every member of the Justice League's weaknesses, just in case they went rogue.
And this side of the character has been severely neglected in many of the Batman films. He got his hands on the kryptonite and made a gas out of it and the lengths he went to planning his battle with the Man of Steel. Of course, Superman was at fault, too. I mean he is like a God among mortals and as such he has become really sloppy and complacent. I enjoyed the kryptonite-weakened Kal El because of the humbling of the character, which made for the brawl of the century! If not for Superman muttering Martha, which just so happened to be Batman/Bruce Wayne's dead mother's name, and Lois intervening, Supes may have kicked the bucket sooner than he did.
Of course, this would be ridiculed to no end by fans, critics and my uncle Eddy, just for the record, that person I just mentioned doesn't exist...it was for humor but I feel that it was a Failure! Anyway, I feel that nowadays that the name Martha would be far less common than it was when these comics were created, back in the 30's. So, it stands to reason that it would throw you off if someone's mother had the same rare name as yours. Nevertheless, I feel that this wasn't the real reason why Bats stopped short of impaling his kryptonite spear through that big, fancy S on his chest, and calling it a day. It was more than the name drop...it was the insistent and earnestness in his voice when he said it and something clicked and Batman being as smart as he is known to be in the comics put two and two together.
It was so touching that Batman promised to Clark that Martha wouldn't die tonight and took off after him instead of the latter. But granted although Clark is nigh invulnerable he did get exposed to a lot of kryptonite. He might not have fared that well had he gone to save his mother but then again he had bigger fish to fry and that would be good old Lex.
The Trinity vs Doomsday
This and the gladiator match between Supes and Bats were my favorite parts of the film bar none! I mean you got Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman standing together ready to take the fight to a bastardized General Zod turned Doomsday thanks to contamination of his organic material in the crashed Kyrptonian ship, thank you Lex for mixing in your mucky human blood! When Superman leaves Gotham where he fought Batman, he flies off to find Lex and stop him. However, being the maniacal yet very clever and he puts this talent to use to stalling the inevitable to announce that he had a hand in creating an abomination that would be you know, "Your doomsday!" This line was a bit cheesy but it was not so silly when the beast that was Zod popped out and started to kick some ass. Right from the get go, Doomsday was having no trouble whatsoever manhandling Superman, and although his genes were contaminated with Lex's blood, he still possessed all of the Kyrptonian abilities, super strength, able to jump buildings in a single bound, flight, and heat vision.
The military kicks into gear, thinking that this thing has be taken out no matter the cost, they say this as Superman appears to be rocketing Doomsday out into space, far away from the city as to not repeat the mistakes he made fighting Zod and company in Man of Steel. Seeing an opportunity, the President staff and the Commander and Chief via Speaker phone decide to go ahead and launch at nuke while there is chance of zero causalities minus Superman, of course. That last bit was actually brought up in the film, as the Senator (I think that was his title), added that in as a reminder that not everyone had given up on him. Nonetheless, the go ahead is given and that big shiny nuke is launched at both of them. Oh, I almost forgot to mention the futility noted by the same guy (Senator, I forgot his name) said their attacks seemed to have no effect, stating that it only made him stronger, as though he was absorbing the energy.
At first it appears that the nuke worked, a little too well. Supes is blasted out of the atmosphere and Doomsday comes away from the blast unscathed and continues to cause havoc back down on sweet earth. Clark aka Superman aka Kal El takes a moment to compose himself and then receiving a hefty dose of solar radiation he is recharged and off he goes returning to the fight....
Of course, I loved the part (more towards the start of the fight), where Doomsday releases the energy he had absorbed and blasted the immediate vicinity, and of course, the Dark knight just happened to be there in his beat up vehicle and was like, shit... Fortunately, he was not alone, for Wonder Woman jumped in the incoming blast and deflected it with her Amazonian bracelets! Not only is Gal Gadot in great physical condition and her height makes her on part with our macho duo, but she is sexy and a total badass. I am very satisfied with her as Wonder Woman; I had to get that out there.
Once the smoke cleared, and the "Trinity" was gathered on the scorched field of battle, you knew something awe inspiring and cool was going down! The confused banter between Batman and Superman was hilarious yet fitting. Superman turns to Bats and asks him, is she with you? To which Bats replied, I thought she was with you? Succinct and to the point and add in a bit of humor, brilliant lines!
For a brief, ephemeral moment, you have them side-by-side eager to get on with the fight, but for the brief spot in time that was so damn cool! I cannot wait for the JL movie. but more on that in a bit.
One item that got a lot of people's dander up was the fact that when Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman got knocked on her ass, she smiled. I mean political correctness aside, why make a mountain out of molehill? I am serious; people find the stupidest shit to bicker about. She is a warrior princess, hailing from a civilization and people whose whole lifestyle revolves around the fight and battle and all the codes and ideals of a Warrior cast! She probably relished in the chance to fight a worthy adversary, I mean not many among us "Men" could put her in her place and walk away to tell the tale.
Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman!
The picture above showcases why Gal Gadot, the actress who played Wonder Woman, was a perfect choice, her compulsory Israeli Military service notwithstanding, she had excellent stage presence among Ben Affleck (Batman), a big star and director/producer, and Henry Cavill, who already had a major motion picture of his own, and her acting chops were noticeable and loved her leaping (I know she didn't do it alone, but hell that was cool) up in the air towards Doomsday, screaming her battle cry with sword drawn and shield in hand! I mean hell, they did her character real justice, fleshed out to a T, not to mention, they had her wield the lasso of truth for Pete's sake!
Long story short, this last half hour or so was very action packed and balls to the wall action and violence. I mean the Trinity pulled no punches, let me tell you.
Of course, there was a bit of what the hell were they thinking? I mean Lois Lane tosses the kryptonite spear in a deep puddle of water, thinking it was best far away from Superman. Granted she was doing her duty as his lover, saving him...after all how many times did he pop in to save her? But then again, that very same spear would be the same weapon needed to deal the coup de grace the unstoppable, husking beast that is Doomsday! This is a big gripe for me, sorry, but I am sure you knew it was coming. How can you not know how to use a spear! I mean you don't fly directly in the mouth of the beast, as it were, with spear in hand. Nope! You hurl that sucker with all your might, I mean you are Superman! And if need be, you can drive it home if it doesn't stick or in Doomsday's case, pierce his bony hide! Yet this was done because the script needed it to be so. But Superman's reasoning behind this move, hell, Lois knew this was coming after he dove in the murky pool of water to retrieve the spear, and uttered those three magical words, and darted off after his reckoning.
But back to what I was saying, I got a little side-tracked. Geesh, there was so much crap thrown at us, it is madness! Ahem...But yeah, Supes sacrificed himself to save his companions, Lois and the people, and stop Lex. He felt that his image was tarnished to the point that nothing short of his death would redeem him. Thus, he became a martyr. Still, if you know anything about Superman and his history, you know that Doomsday was the one who killed him in the comics and damn near killed him in Smallville. Anyway, we the fans knew this and with the trailer revealing this huge villain in Superman's roster of villains, we all got the message, the Death of Superman arc was happening.
In closing, I would like to say that while it was a bit long for a Superhero flick, it was good despite its noticeable flaws and plot holes, yet all great stories have 'em. I will be doing a video where I will go more in depth and explore my thoughts on the characters and all covered here in my own personal way with no punches held! Feel free to drop a comment and tell me your thoughts down below!