This Easter weekend, the big news comicbook / geek movie is Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice starring Ben Affleck (Batfleck), Henry Cavill (Sad Superman), Amy Adams (Lois Lane), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Jesse Eisenberg (Lex Luthor) with Jeremy Irons (Alfred) & Laurence Fishburne (Perry White). Directed by Zack Snyder.
Here’s a quick Non Spoiler movie summary from Google:
It’s been nearly two years since Superman’s (Henry Cavill) colossal battle with Zod (Michael Shannon) devastated the city of Metropolis. The loss of life and collateral damage left many feeling angry and helpless, including crime-fighting billionaire Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck). Convinced that Superman is now a threat to humanity, Batman embarks on a personal vendetta to end his reign on Earth, while the conniving Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) launches his own crusade against the Man of Steel.
So let’s get right into it…
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a muddled, meandering, disjointed, boring and grim movie.
Is it the absolute worst DC Comics movie? No. Catwoman & Steel both hold those titles but could this be as bad as the Batnipples of Batman & Robin? Yes. Somewhere in this movie was a decent movie but it has 3 big things against it – Direction (including creative / writing), Muddled Cinematography & Editing and lastly Acting. Much like Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman create the holy trinity of DC Comic books universe, these 3 problems with the movie create this unholy trinity of a bad team-up movie for Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman.
I was a fan of Zac Snyder, I even defended his choice to make The Watchmen incredibly true to it’s comic book source vs allowing Snyder to create his own vision and I stand by that. Why? If both Man of Steel and now Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice are his own vision, it’s NOT a vision I ever want to see again. The movie is SO dark, I bet all the times anyone smiled in the movie on your fingers, Simpson’s fingers. The overwhelming dark tone and constant repetitive scenes of angry, upset and pissed off characters builds nothing but MEH inside you as you watch. Perhaps that was the plan but overall it cast this terrible tone over the entire film. So many “fans” are saying this movie is great because it’s made for the fans and NOT the critics but as a fan, this is NOT the tone I would have ever wanted to see Batman & Superman meet, fight and later team up. I’ve mentioned before that I found Zac Snyder doesn’t have a good understanding of the characters of the DC comicbook universe and it couldn’t be more evident in this movie. Yes Batman is brooding but Bruce Wayne is NOT. Superman and Clark Kent are NOT brooding and Wonder Woman… well, I give Snyder a pass on Wonder Woman, she was the only bright star of the entire film beside always working & quick wit Alfred. Next to the direction, the writing of the movie added to this tone and almost EVERY line has some back handed comment to another character or the world they’re in. Add to that both the script and directing allowed Batman to use guns throughout the movie shows a direct lack of understanding the source of who Batman is. I wasn’t surprised by this given Man of Steel and it’s similar lack of who Superman is but it was taken to a new level of ignorance in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Lastly, Zac Snyder and the creative team had many small scenes and parts in the movie which just left many unanswered questions but given the way this movie was, perhaps they’ll never be answered OR there was NEVER a care to given an answer. There’s a BIG difference between movie Easter Eggs and Unanswered questions.
Don’t show a gun on a mantelpiece if you NEVER plan on using it!
Muddled Cinematography & Editing.
Did you EVER get to see the Batmobile clearly? How about ANY of the big fight scenes in the third act of the film? The movie’s cinematography was so muddled, dark and strange camera shots kept me off kilter and perhaps if this was a horror movie, it would make more sense but it’s not. The edits were often weird to me, especially an important visionary scene with Bruce Wayne, which wouldn’t keep either the camera or scene still long enough for you to ever get a sense of what the fnck is going on. I know & understand the scene in question by being a comic book geek but I wonder how the general audience would know WTF that was all about? That’s the problem with the both the camera work and editing, it’s dark, it’s always moving, shifting and quick hard cuts and few slow opening scenes. It’s as if they knew that the movie isn’t good so they muddled up shots and edits to keep you from figuring it out. Guess what? It really didn’t work, it just made the movie seem like a mess.
I’m going to try to be very unbiased here as I’m not a fan of Ben Affleck. My issue with the acting is that outside of Amy Adams showing some passion in Lois and Gal Gadot pulling off the class of Diana Prince plus the power of Wonder Woman perfectly, I thought that Affleck and Cavill were just okay, nothing special. Now given their roles, shouldn’t I be talking about how GOOD they were? But I’m not. Neither had the charisma that say Robert Downey Jr or even Chris Evans bring to their counter hero roles and that’s a big problem with the movie. All I keep hearing / reading is that “Glad that Ben Affleck wasn’t the worst Batman or Bruce Wayne” but that also doesn’t mean he brought ANYTHING to the character outside himself. What made him special as Bruce Wayne? Tell me ONE defining characteristic Affleck hasn’t done in ANY other movie? Affleck even brought his Boston accent to Bruce (which almost made me barf my popcorn up). Sadly Henry Cavill tried to make Superman and Clark different but I’m of the belief that his direction was to play them similar and ignorant of the world around them, if that was the case then he did that okay but again, no charisma. I hate to go back to this but from Reeve to Routh, no matter what – they had and have charisma while Superman. This was unfortunately lacking. Now to our villain Lex Luthor played by Jesse Eisenberg who I honestly don’t have a clue of what he was doing in the movie. Did he? Eisenberg’s version of Lex Luthor is a serious wonder to me. I guess you could say that at least he WASN’T trying to emulate Gene Hackman’s version like Kevin Spacey did but is that a good thing? I ALWAYS Believe that a movie is ONLY as good as it’s villain. Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor was all over the place and NOT in a good way. He was spacing out, losing his train of thought, acting all creepy in one scene then a bit of a train wreck in the next. Somewhere in there Eisenberg tried to be a scientist but that just came off like a one man play. Top that off with this horrific script where Luthor is spouting off about God, Man and Creation. It all made for a giant, terrible mess of a character – A villain who felt like a poor 80s weekly bad guy from the A-Team TV show (they had HORRIFIC bad guys – go watch!).
Where’s the genius, megalomaniac Lex Luthor who’s more class than crazy? Lex Luthor is NOT The Joker, Jesse Eisenberg.
To summarize, I’m a big geek and yes, this was THE movie that finally put live action Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman together. Unfortunately, it has failed for this comicbook geek. It failed because of many factors that created the hype but never played the same tune. That said – both Wonder Woman & Alfred were the bright spots in this long muddled attempt to finally do DC Comics some justice. In a strange way, I feel that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is much like the recent DC Comics New 52 reboot, a good attempt that fell flat, crashed and burned up despite some fans clinging to it because it’s ALL they have in the DC Comics Movie-verse. Is that a good reason to defend this movie? I don’t know, perhaps and good on those people for seeing through all the problems of the movie. I cannot and won’t. This is NOT my Batman or Superman and will never be.
I am NOT looking forward to the upcoming Justice League movie at all. Especially if Zac Snyder is still involved!
A Spoiler review of BvS:DoJ is pending when I’m feeling better…
Not even "dem Apples" can save Batman v Superman!
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a muddled, meandering, disjointed, boring and grim superhero movie when it shouldn't have been.