Zack Snyder delivered "Man of Steel" back in 2013, which also had the people talking well before it arrived in theaters, but received mixed reviews from fans. While it was more appreciated than Bryan Singer's 2006 "Superman Returns" effort, it didn't rise above it much. Infact, I think both of these guys could have made a Superman movie (together), as Singer has a good eye for visuals & Snyder for action sequences. Although I really enjoyed THIS movie, "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," I must admit I was surprised by the studios' advanced decision making before this installment even hit theaters.
Zack was already set to direct the JUSTICE LEAGUE movies, along with producing other spinoffs/etc. They announced release years for projects, and were even in production on one upcoming project.. does any of this sound familiar? remember what happened with the "rebooted" Spider-Man franchise, when they planned ahead before making any waves in the water? (before 2 came out) Now, we're left with uncertainty. As much as fans loved (for the most part, or down right hated) this movie, and critics panned it- it certainly hasn't been the talk of the town on social media from what I've seen. Fans seem to praise it, but end up defending it rather than quoting it or discussing epic moments, action sequences, etc.
It banked nicely opening weekend, but now it's as if the movie came out 6 months ago. I don't see it reaching one billion at the box office UNLESS it hasn't opened yet in another country. However, despite all of this.. I loved the film. It was almost epic. And here's why.. (The Red Capes Are Coming.. The Red Capes Are Coming!)
I feel like Snyder watched Nolan's THE DARK KNIGHT & INCEPTION for the first time right before making this, if you're familiar with those than you get what I mean. There are some not only EPIC moments throughout this chapter, but uplifting, heartbreaking, inspiring & some most excellent action sequences that won't disappoint, even if some didn't really happen!
The BAD: It takes almost 2 hours for the fight-night to happen. Despite lots of great buildup, which I don't REALLY mind- don't expect these two titans of Gotham & Metropolis to hash it out several rounds. But one. Hans Zimmer's score is brilliant at times, but quite lacking in other spots. No track I'd listen to separate from the film like the music he made for Nolan's DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY. They do fit the scenes well though, and seemed perfect for them, not away from.
The trailers give most of this movie away. Doomsday, Bats & Supes teaming up, why Bruce hates Supes, the involvement of Kryptonite. If anything, I would have saved Bruce's reason for seeking vengeance against Superman for the movie, tying in the events of MAN OF STEEL and making that chapter (even more) special.
Man of Steel is its own movie. Meaning that it doesn't give us a bunch of hints to upcoming sequels or spinoffs, I don't recall any Easter Eggs, it was an okay foundation for what was to come. But like I tell people, imagine if after the first IRON MAN movie (2008), they jumped right in to THE AVENGERS, without any other origin stories?! that's what has happened here. But after viewing this movie, that may not be a bad thing, just adds alot of weight to this chapter.
The GOOD, GREAT & SURPRISING: Every actor delivers, gets a fair amount of screen time, and each serves a purpose. Snyder did a fantastic job balancing out the higher number of characters in this installment. And with a runtime a bit longer than MAN OF STEEL, the movie never drags, gets alot done, and also never feels rushed. Zack's action sequences are cool, epic, brutal & well shot. I am so thankful there were only a minimal number of the shaky-shaky shots in this. That alone ruined MoS for me.. I know, I hate that too. The way the characters cross paths never feels forced, and rather than stuff this installment with Easter Eggs, multiple character/etc. references & subplots, this one gave us a few glimpses of what's to come without suffering the same fate as THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2.
Okay, I almost cried at the end. They SPOILER ALERT killed Superman. For now.. Keep in mind, when Batman scratched his face with the Kryptonite Spear, leaving what appeared to be a scar- it soon disappeared. I think the wound that Doomsday left will heal with time, as IT was stabbed with the same spear, whereas Supes was by Dooms' hand (was holding spear, but still). I'm not sure how they're going to bring him back for JUSTICE LEAGUE, what direction they'll take but it was definitely a dramatic finale. I kept waiting for the coffin-top to blast open or shake, leaving us with an INCEPTION-type ending!
The "MARTHA- WHY DID YOU SAY THAT NAME?!" moment- damn, I never tied those two together! (not like that ya' perv. No, YOU thought it first, I just said it..) I was thinking (afterwards): HOLY SHEET, The Bat of Gotham almost killed the Son of Krypton?! Eisenberg nails the role of Lex. What's brilliant is that he knows his limitations, he knows the true nature of "power," and most of all- he knows how to get what he wants. He isn't just fun at times, he's menacing, threatening & downright dangerous.
I consider everything up until the big brawl a "political" story, as it really dives deep into right v wrong, good v evil, and shows the casualties of casualties at times. It's really a Civil War, as both men are heroes, but have different views on what's happened, and what SHOULD happen. Snyder's Batman doesn't seem to have the same rule as Nolan's, which isn't a bad thing but the fact that Bruce himself saw the damage done while it was happening in MoS really makes you side with him or at least understand why he's going to war with Superman.
While this Batman leaves his "brand" on criminals, keep in mind he chose an abandoned location to battle the Man of Steel, therefore no casualties. I don't know how he stealthed around in that mech suit (smoke-grenade clip) but damn did he get some good hits in, yah?! loved the Kryptonite bomb-rounds, and how they were only temporary.
Overall, I give this film a 7.5/10. Highly recommend seeing it in theaters. While it connects perfectly to the events of MoS, it's certainly a few steps up. Lots of great quotes throughout. Think Zack Snyder will still direct the JUSTICE LEAGUE flicks? or even one? let me know what you thought of the movie by leaving some comments below.