- It’s Epic – It’s big, giant, majestic, and grandiose. It’s budget is estimated to be $250 MILLION dollars. With that much money being spent on the film, how can you not want to behold what they have created. Besides, who doesn’t want to see DC’s iconic trinity finally up on the silver screen.
- Beautiful Cinematography – If there’s one thing that Zach Snyder is good for it’s gorgeous shots. This film is no exception as the shots are very beautiful. The opening sequence will be etched in my mind forever!
- Wonder Woman killed it! Gal Gadot gave an incredibly solid performance, and I am so happy to see such a competent woman take up the mantle.
- Too many story lines crunched into one – This seems to happen to at least one film of almost every long established comic book character. The production tries to draw upon all of the major events in a characters life in an effort to push development. Sadly, it always glosses over giant chunks, it always decreases the efficacy of said intended development. BvS is no exception to this.
- Gotham and Metropolis were indistinguishable. They were both dark, dangerous and brooding. So I couldn’t tell the difference.
- Too many dream sequences. There were at least three dream sequences in the film and there weren’t any clear visual cues to differentiate from reality. It’s was a little frustrating and confusing.
-Warning from here on there are several minor spoilers-
I will say this nice thing to begin with. BvS is the best Hans Zimmer music video Ayn Rand could ever have made.
Why invoke the name of Rand? Because Bruce and Clark have been made into love letters to the Objectivist Alpha Male, he who has power enough to no longer need morality. In Superman’s case we see this actively encouraged by both the Kents, “You owe absolutely nothing to the people of this world Clark” says Martha in a speech that could have easily been written for Margaret Thatcher. And the inspiring story that Jonathan gives him? How growing up the farm was about to flood and they diverted the water to the Lang’s farm and as they heard the livestock drowning his mother baked him a cake.
And Batman? Somehow despite being raised by the only voice of concience in the movie the “supreme student of the human condition,” when challenged about his motivation, quotes the Cheney 1% doctrine VERBATIM!
Which brings me back to the pacing. Everything comes too easy or too hard, major plot points are literally handed to characters while the climactic showdown is beset by so many arbitrary narrative roadblocks inserted like an inverse Deus ex Machina that a 30 second disagreement with a few punches turns into a 10 minute contest over who is the most self righteous.
BvS… it’s not terrible, but my God, it was such a boring slog to sit through. Expect a few spoilers.
First off, the main issue: this is a joyless ride. And that’s this movie’s main offender. It doesn’t help that there’s next to no character development. It’s.one of those instances where it’s either brooding or plot, but there is little meat to the story itself. There were sparks of life and potential for something much stronger, but unfortunately the writers and Snyder focus too much on the carnage instead of making it meaningful. Instead, we get a convoluted plot of Luthor trying to manipulate Batman and Superman into fighting each other, which makes Batman look like an idiotic stooge at times. Superman, despite all the talks and concern about being an almighty person, feels shockingly weak and powerless, and not in a good, metaphorical way.
It also doesn’t help that there are sub-plots that have no business being here. Wonder Woman makes no impact on the story, and if she was removed, it wouldn’t have any significant damage to the story (and if anything, the pacing would improve). Same thing with the metahuman sub-plot. It was unnecessary hyping for “Justice League” and some of the individual meta-humans (and don’t get me started on the first appearance of “The Flash;” the rest of you leave hipster Flash alone, it was his off day). Truthfully, this problem applies to Batman as well, as they laid seeds for his anger and frustration, but did very little to explore and justify it.
Acting for the most part was fine, but no one was particularly fantastic (although I will say the standout was probably Jeremy Irons and Lawrence Fishburne). Affleck was fine, Gadot was somewhat hit and miss (I honestly preferred her when she was Diana Prince vs. Wonder Woman… although a lot of cringeworthy moments of writing didn’t help her). There wasn’t much for Cavill to work with either, as he came across as bland yet again. The worst offender, however, is Eisenberg as Luther, who’s manic behavior was more jarring and annoying. This was an instance where people confused strange for interesting, and it just didn’t work.
Piggybacking on the writing, there were a lot of cheesy lines that everyone had to deal with occasionally… except for Alfred. He was fine. But there were so many times I was wincing I lost count, and these lines also impact performances from time to time.
The special effects were fine as well. As you know Snyder is s visual director, it’s safe to say that these were utilized well. It was also nice that there was some saturation to the colors this time around.
The action, however, was uninteresting for the most part, save for the scene where Batman takes out an entire floor of thugs. The main reason being is there was some style and panache to the preceding ass-kicking. Everything else was just sort of a sloberknocker of uninventive punching and laser blasts.
On a side note, I appreciate the casualties were kept down. Superman flying with Doomsday into space or abandoned parts of the city? Smart. Kinda like what he SHOULD have done with Zod in “MoS.” Well, more of what he should have done anyway.
In terms of the Batman controversy… if you’re a fan of Batman, the fact that he kills will definitely bug you. He kills several people outright. However, Snyder made a point that some of it was more by proxy, and in his defense… yeah, some of the deaths were the criminals’ fault. And, to be fair, I feel that he’s still less of a sociopathic killer than Michael Keaton’s was.
As I said, it’s not terrible, but it is overlong, unfocused, disjointed, and an overall bore. I’ve seen superhero movies (“Fan4stic” will hold that honor for a while) and other flicks this year (here’s to you, “Gods of Egypt”) that are still more boring and dull. But if you didn’t like “Man of Steel,” you’re not going to do much better here.