By now you’ve likely heard more than a few opinions on “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” And I won’t sugarcoat it, there’s not a lot of love for the dueling heroes. If nothing else, you probably saw Zer’s thoughts on the film’s destruction of basic laws of the DC Universe. (If you haven’t go fix that now.)
So today, I’ll only be saying nice things about this movie…
This could be a very short review…
Don’t worry, this won’t be a blood bath, because in spite of the long, long, long list of confounding things about this movie, I didn’t hate it. Here we go…
It doesn’t take long to get to the strange choices made in “Batman v Superman” which opens with another imagining of that Batman defining moment, his parents being killed outside the theater. To be clear, the scene is beautiful, and …but the purpose of this beautiful scene seems to be to remind us that Bruce’s mother’s name was Martha…you know (just like Superman’s mom!).
Thus begins the weak plot, which restarts moments later with a flashback to the final scene of “Man of Steel,” this time from Bruce Wayne’s perspective who apparently was visiting the Metropolis Wayne Enterprise offices that day, journeying all the way from Gotham, which is apparently across the harbor from Metropolis. Nerds, correct me if I’m wrong, but the two cities don’t usually sit on top of each other, right?
Again, this is a very cool scene, and leads into the whole “Is Superman a hero or a menace?” theme nicely, but the fact that Batman’s opinion falls on the “menace” side of that argument doesn’t quite follow…in my opinion.
And that kids, pretty much sums up the whole movie, beautiful scenes placed in odd ways with Batman behaving in an unexplained very un-Batman-like way.
Finally, the elephant in the room, from the moment his casting was announced there was a lot of speculation around whether or not Ben Affleck would be a good Batman or not. Now that I’ve seen him in the role, I still don’t feel like I can answer that question. Batman was so not Batman in this movie, and I can’t tell you if that was the actor or the story…but I’m inclined to go with the story on this one. So, Mr. Affleck, you get another shot.
Okay now I have to say nice things (other that nice thing I said about how beautiful most of the scenes are on their own). Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg), Alfred (Jeremy Irons), and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) are all phenomenal. Lex is almost a cross between the infamous villain and the Riddler, and it totally works. His manic manipulation of these two heroes almost makes the confusing plot make sense. Irons’ Alfred is the most tech savvy I’ve seen and the most level-headed one in that cave (it’s a short list, but it’s true). Finally Wonder Woman’s entrance with her Lasso of Truth is everything I wanted it to be and more. These small but incredible beacons of excellence are why I will continue to hope that the other DC movies ahead will learn from the mistakes of this one.
Finally, I need to get one thing off my chest. The posters and marketing for this movie asked one question: #WhoWillWin
And I’d like to answer that question. No one. This is not a judgement on the film (we’ll get there), it’s an answer that anyone who knows a thing about the characters of Batman and Superman will tell you. When these two symbols of heroism, selflessness, and the greater good decide to duke it out, no one wins…but to be clear if Superman were to be possessed by an evil spirit and decide that he needed to destroy Batman, calling it a battle would be a kindness.