Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice premiered last Thursday and now it’s time for a verdict…
I have to admit, when the film ended I was rather excited; the whole experience was intense, the film was well directed and Affleck didn’t suck! But as the dust settled and I thought more of the film and how the new DC cinematic universe was set, the verdict came: Not. Good..
I will try to go though the BvS experience without giving out any major spoilers, but let’s state the obvious: if you have not watched the film yet and want to avoid any spoiler whatsoever, that’s your exit queue.
So, let’s break it down and let me explain why I did not love one of the most expected films in the nerd universe.
Let’s start with the cast: if you remember, when it was first announced that Affleck would take on the icon role of Batman and become the next Dark Knight, as most of you, I did not approve the casting choice. At that point, when we did not know what exactly the direction of the project would be, Affleck felt like a poor choice compared to Christian Bale. Let’s not forget the mess that the (cinematic) Daredevil was… However, as I mentioned before, the new Batman was a pleasant surprise! At this point I need to point out for those that have not heard much of the film and have just heard the title and seen the trailer that this is NOT a Batman movie; it is a –sort of- sequel to The Man of Steel (at least it was supposed to be) and an intro to the Justice League of America and the new DC (cinematic) universe. Therefore it is rather a Superman movie. Surprisingly though, the feeling that I got after actually watching the film, was that it was more of a… Batman film. The reason is that we see more of Batman/Bruce Wayne’s take of the events taking place in The Man of Steel and how it affected his future choices as to how he would deal with Superman and exactly because this is NOT a Batman film, we got all the Batman back-story (at least the early years) in order to help understand more the reasoning behind the choices that he makes; overall, Affleck was a very good version of Batman. As regards Superman (Henry Cavill), well, I have to admit that Superman is not my favorite superhero; nevertheless, Cavill gives a very good performance, but I fell is overshadowed by Affleck and because of the script, he tends to be a bit irritating. This brings us to the most irritating character (to my opinion): Lois Lane… As in the Man of Steel, also in BvS, Lane seems to be placed in scenes according to the plot wholes that need to be corrected; she does not seem to have any part in the plot of the story, yet she appears at the places that fit the writers in order to serve the outcome of the scene. Amy Adams gives a very decent performance but I don’t think that the part helps her much. Jesse Eisenberg aka Lex Luthor (who only Affleck pronounces correctly – Kudos for that Ben) , as it was obvious from the trailers, was a very good casting choice; he gives a very deep, psychotic performance, but at some he seems to be exaggerating and the whole thing seems as an audition for the part of Joker!
As regards the rest of the cast, as we mentioned before this is an intro to the Justice League, so we were expecting to see what we were promised; Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman and potentially Cyborg and Green Lantern. We got four out of five: we saw Wonder Woman in action, we saw a small scene with The Flash and I have a feeling that Ezra Miller is a good choice for one of my favorite heroes, we got a glimpse of Aquaman and we saw what -I realized after leaving the theatre- the birth of Cyborg. This introduction though, was done in such a brief way, that you needed to be extra careful and extra nerdy to get all references (I am sure that I also have missed some), despite the fact that Justice League was what we were all waiting for and was part of the title! Unfortunately, we only got to see Wonder Woman in more detail. Gal Gabot proved to be a very good choice for the part, being graceful and dynamic, but it seemed as a mistake to have released BvS before the Wonder Woman film; we got to see a glimpse of her back story, but not enough. We saw her fighting style, the shield, the sword, the whip, but without seeing her history, I feel that we missed some of her glory. Cool fact: for that small part of hers in the film, she got her own music score! Girl power!
Overall, BvS was a tough story to deliver: they needed to tell the story of the battle between the two heroes, the way that the world turned on Superman, the rise of Doomsday, the role of Lex Luthor in that and in tracking the JL members and introduce four new heroes that would eventually form the Justice League. That’s a lot of things to fit in one film and in the end it felt as if we were watching 4-5 films in one…
I blame DC’s (and Marvel’s) TV universe for that. These people have spoiled the audience by delivering masterpieces on the small screen, where there is room to develop the characters and deliver a climax in the story and when it comes to the cinematic universe and all the stories that they need to develop to drive the next films, it seems tough to succeed in doing so in 2,5 hours.
A better editing might have made a difference. Or not. We might see BvS different after watching the next films related to the League. Or not. One thing is for sure though: Batman v Superman, was worse than we expected and hoped.
Also, something that puzzled me and I am still not sure how I feel about, was the ending… I am not sure how to get around this, without giving out the biggest spoiler of the film, but let’s simply say this: I know that it also happened in the comic; it took balls to do it on film; but I am not sure how they will set up the next film after that…
In the end, let’s hope that we don’t say the same things in a month or so, with Civil War…. Although as I read from a fan, “The difference in Marvel and DC is Marvel cares about story just as much as character and costume”…
Ever since I first set foot on a cinema theatre, I knew that something magical was happening there....