Movie Review: ‘Batman v Superman’March 28, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in DC Entertainment, Movies, Reviews | Leave a comment
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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has been in the headlines for a long time now with tons of promotion and expectations. Yet with its release, it received a new bar of expectation, one that couldn’t get any lower. From internet memes of the interview with Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill, to countless reviews and commentary on social media saying how bad the movie is, I was prepared for the worst. Nevertheless, it was one of the movies I had to see. Surprisingly…I liked it.
Now Batman v Superman isn’t going to win any awards, and it’s not the best superhero ever made, but it’s very enjoyable. Ben Affleck did a great job as Batman, and Henry Cavill continues to do a good job as Superman. Gal Gadot knocked it out of the park as Wonder Woman. Heck Jeremy Irons is, in my opinion, the best Alfred we’ve ever gotten on film. Even Laurence Fishburne helped make the movie shine with his small role as Perry White. The only gripe I had in casting, in fact my biggest gripe with the whole movie, was Lex Luthor. I’m not a fan of Jesse Eisenberg and I think he was a terrible choice to play Lex Luthor. His portrayal of Lex was less a super genius villain and more of a villainous computer mogul. You could easily envision this version of Lex trying to sell the latest Apple iPhone on some goofy stage in front of a giant crowd. But beyond that, they laid the foundation of Lex Luthor being mentally unstable. I’m not the biggest comic reader, but I’ve never seen Lex Luthor portrayed as someone who was going looney. He’s a villain, he’s super intelligent, and you could say he’s crazy for making the choices that he does, but he’s not someone who loses it in front of others and has a mental breakdown. The Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman does just that. It’s an odd characterization.
And speaking of crazy, they do some interesting things with Batman in this movie. He has some visions and nightmares which insinuates that Batman might be going a little crazy himself. Unlike the characterization of Lex, this actually worked really well. I liked this angle on Batman. He’s a guy who is trying to hold it together, but he’s going out there and doing things that normal people don’t do. The line between good guy and bad guy is a little blurred for him. The vigilante thing is taking its toll and it’s only people like Alfred helping him stay sane and morally good. One of my favorite parts of the entire film was a nightmare Batman had of the future. He’s in the Batsuit but adorned in a duster and armed with a gun. He’s trying to get some kryptonite and gets caught in a trap laid out by Superman. There are soldiers wearing Superman patches that attack him, then winged robot things swarm out of the sky to overwhelm him. It’s all very heavy in the Earth 2 mythos. Yet Batman wakes up, only to receive a message from a Flash from the future who warns him about Superman and keeping Lois alive. Then he wakes up again. Was it a vision? A warning of things to come or that could come about? Who knows, but it was a tasty little bit to throw in for the comic fans and it gives you a lot to chew on.
I was also pretty impressed with the way they built up the fight between Batman and Superman. It felt believable. I could see how Batman would want to take on Superman. They also did a good job with laying out why Superman would think less of this masked vigilante in Gotham beating up criminals and calling himself a hero. Both characters have their reasons, they work through them, provide a fun little battle, then get to the good stuff as they team up with Wonder Woman for a big boss fight. Throughout the film, they lay down the foundation for the Justice League, hint at even worse villains to come, and keep the whole thing entertaining. They even go out of their way to mention how the areas they’re fighting in are relatively deserted. By the end, I don’t think Superman killed any civilians, though I’m pretty sure Batman racked up a fair score.
Ultimately, I recommend ignoring all the people who say the movie is bad or disappointing. Go see it, have a fun time, and enjoy some fun superhero storytelling. Just don’t expect to see the best thing ever. There’s action, character development, and some cool surprises. I give it a four out of five metal bikinis.