Batman and Superman in a film together, what could go wrong? Well, a lot actually...
I went in with low expectations for this film, not just because of the critical backlash towards it, but also because I've never been a big fan of Zack Snyder's style of filmmaking, he's very much a style over substance kind of guy. I went in hoping to be entertained but I didn't even come out feeling that. I left the cinema just feeling a bit let down, this wasn't the Batman V Superman film I wanted to see. Read on to find out my SPOILER FREE thoughts on why that was.
The basic plot of the story goes like this, 'Fearing the actions of Superman are left unchecked, Batman takes on the man of steel, while the world wrestles with what kind of hero it really needs.' This is just a small amount of what the film is about, they also cram a whole lot more into it as well! And I use the word 'crammed' because this really feels like a bloated film that tries to rush its own world building for future outings. Elegance and subtlety are left on the cutting room floor.
I'm cool with seeing a 'different' kind of superhero film, I'm open to that and I can dig the kind of tone that Batman V Superman is trying to achieve, however it falls on its face a lot when trying to be 'grounded' and 'realistic' because the reasoning for everything that happens in this film is so weak. Batman should be dark and broody, but should Superman be the exact same way as well? Superman is the idealistic caricature of what a 'hero' should be, in a film about a man fighting a god the two characters should be polar opposites, but Superman is just as dark and broody as Batman! And you can tell Zack Snyder hates Superman because he isn't given anything to do in this film, whenever he appears he's just questioning his own existence, it's so boring. Superman should only have cared about saving people; he's the type of guy who has to get involved because he has the most power to do good, he shouldn’t care how people perceive him. Batman should just be wary of him, not hate him. When they actually fight, I spent the whole time thinking 'why are you fighting, you are two smart guys and you could just talk it out, but instead you just have to punch each other’? It didn't work for me. I wanted to feel goosebumps, I wanted to have a massive grin on my face when they met but I didn't, it left me feeling cold, these aren't the characters I know and love from the comics.
I was digging the opening of this film, it was cool and it looked great and then this weird thing happened, it felt like the editor gave up and put the system on autopilot. Here's a Batman scene, here's a Superman scene, here's a Lex Luthor scene, here's a Lois Lane scene... You never spend a large amount of time with anyone to care about them; it was like watching a soap opera where the producers think that audiences only have a two minute attention span per scene. The only scenes I liked were the ones with Batman and Lex Luthor. Batman because Ben Affleck does a brilliant job of bringing Bruce Wayne to life, whenever he was being Batman-like, it was awesome, but whenever he was written out of character it just didn't work. Lex Luthor I liked because Jesse Eisenberg was a breath of fresh air in the film (I'm surprised at this as well...), I'm not saying he was amazing but his take was a lot more interesting than the stone-cold faces of your two main characters. If Wonder Woman did more in this film I'm sure I would have liked her more as well.
I liked Man of Steel, I didn't love it but I think it still has some very cool scenes; I had some fun with it. All I can think of when leaving Batman V Superman is that I wanted something more. I wanted more Batman. I want to see a Batman film set in this world with less killing. I want more Superman but under the helm of a writer and director who understands the character. I want more from this world, from anybody but Zack Snyder because it has so much potential that’s unapologetically wasted. This film gives you so many interesting questions about what Superman's existence means to the world and never answers one of them. There was no outcome or point to this film. There's a lot of interesting stuff ready to be explored but it was cast out for shoehorning in sequels and mind numbing CGI punching.
I'm disappointed, more than I thought I would be. There's a lot of fat on this film that needs to be trimmed and action sequences that need to be spread throughout the film instead of leaving it all for the final act because I just got tired of it quick.
There is an interesting world here which I look forward to seeing other people take the reins of. Batman V Superman is not the kind of film I want from this world, it didn't work, and I wasn't entertained in the slightest which is crazy when this film is about two staples of pop culture battling it out. I'm giving Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice a 1.5/5.
I preferred Man of Steel.
Let me know what you thought of this film? It's been very divisive so far! Tell me what you think in the comments below.
Thanks for reading!