I remember how excited I was upon learning of DCWB’s upcoming project that will pit their two iconic characters -Batman and Superman, up against one another. Of course the trailers sparked further interests. So now, here we are.
In BvS, (or as I would refer to the film being: Man of Steel 2.5) Batman feeling very skeptical of Superman, goes on a personal vendetta to “Humble” the Kryptonian Savior once and for all but not without a little push from a Billionaire Mad Scientist. As the film starts off, we see that all too familiar scenario reintroducing the tragic event that will forever change young Bruce Wayne’s Life.
After leaving the theater which i presume the Movie the Wayne’s had seen, was John Boorman’s (Excalibur according to the adjacent poster.) In typical Snyderesque fashion, we see both Thomas and Martha Wayne gunned down by a petty robber and in between are sequences of Bruce running from his decreased parents’ graves while the rest of the intro credits roll. Fast not so forward to yet, another tragic event- the battle of the Kryptonians within Metropolis as seen in Man of Steel.
In a scene that mirrored real tragic events such as the September 11th attacks, Bruce witnesses the disaster personally as he tries to save those who were within the vicinity of a crumbling Wayne Industries building and is not too happy with Kal El taking residency on the planet earth since he holds him responsible for so many senseless casualties. (Since Bruce was in the midst of the crumbling debris, clouds of ash and smoke, would it mean that eventually, he will develop Cancer? Oh wait he can’t, he’s effing Batman!)
What further drives the wheels in motion is how many look upon him as this savior who can turn on Mankind just as easily as protecting them. Bruce’s skepticism is reinforced from a nightmare that pays homage to the Videogame Injustice: Gods among us. Ok now that I got most of the premise out of the way here’s what I liked and disliked about BvS:
The DC Trinity shot of course!
The first half of the film’s pacing was dull to the extent of me checking my watch due to dragging story and slow buildup. There nice breaks in the middle like Batman taking down Human Traffickers and branding one of the head baddies (With a hot Batarang) as if making him his Bitch.
Bruce looking at what seems to be Jason Todd’s uniform with the words “The jokes on you Batman” tagged on the Robin costume. Of course this eludes to Jason being killed by the Joker.
There’s a decent amount of fan service to be had which ranges from the Batmobile lifted from the Arkham Knight Videogame, Wayne’s gutted Mansion caused by Ras a Ghul in Batman Begins to a few shots referenced from the excellent Dark Knight Returns comic. The fight between Superman and an armored Batman in particular.
Although there were a few Easter eggs thrown about, some could have been fleshed out even more, especially when it came to the upcoming roster of the Justice League. Fans of Jason Momoa will be disappointed to learn that he appears for only 3 seconds and I’m still not totally convinced of him being cast as Aquaman. If I had my way, I would have gone with Liam McIntyre of Spartacus Vengeance.
Speaking of casting I have to mention that my skepticism of Jesse Eisenberg for Lex Luthor was not unfounded. He didn’t deliver a poor performance actually he was quite good but not as Luthor! His character came off too douchey which Luthor is not and if you ask me, Eisenberg would make for a great Riddler. He wasn’t up to par as say Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk in Netflix’s Daredevil.
Gal Gadot’s role as Wonder Woman was more of a cameo but she wasn’t as bad I originally thought when laying my eyes on that promotional poster. The audience cheered for her the most and the Lady can hold her own against the likes of the resurrected General Zod now transformed into Doomsday. just think of a hybrid of the Hulk and X-Men’s Cyclops with a very bad temper and you’ll get the idea.
One would think Doomsday would have a modicum of intelligence since he is fused with Luthor’s , “Magic Blood”. It was good to see Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth and the fact that he’s a Gearhead and a smartass makes him cooler instead of Michael Caine’s melodramatic version.
Now for the Meat of the Potatoes – Ben Affleck or as many would refer to him as Batfleck. Ben kicked ass literally as the Dark Knight! He got the right voice for Batman, agility, fighting prowess and when you add the fucking cape and cowl, Affleck in my opinion is the best Batman thus far! Keaton and Bale, kindly step aside there’s a new Caped Crusader in town and he’s not taking any prisoners! For those who bitched about “Neck snapping Supes” Batman’s methods of taking down the baddies are much worse. Machine gunning, throwing some guys into a live grenade and setting some dude on fire demonstrates that Bats does not play nice at all. This isn’t your BIFF! POW! ZAM! Batman nosiree. He’s a fucking Beast!
While Henry Cavil does an adequate job as the Man of Steel, he was the weakest link of DC’s Triumvirate to the extent that I wasn’t too excited when he and Batfleck finally came to blows. Amy Adams as much as she tries is not really a convincing Lois Lane aesthetically speaking.
I can’t help but laugh at the familiar method of “shoehorning” a villain at the last minute i.e. Venom in Spiderman 3 or Two Face from the Dark Knight and there’s a trope first witnessed from The Wrath of Khan and X2 afterwards when one of the major characters perform a noble sacrifice followed by another trope towards the very end. But to be fair, said scene was somewhat based on one of the most controversial stories in Comicdom.
Yup, there were an abundance of rehashed ideas thrown about, especially if you’re familiar with some of the more prolific issues. but with that being said, BvS still has more originality and depth than The Force Awakens and with the film venturing toward dark territory, you can’t expect any “cabin scenes”. To be honest BvS if not weighed down by a dismal 1st act, pompous Luthor theme, 8 second archived photos of Wonder Woman, one too many dream sequences and Eisenberg’s weak casting, it would have fared much better. As it is, its passable but barely.
Hopefully, the Justice League film will fare much better, but if Zac and his wife Deborah Snyder continues to go down this semi uninspired path with problematic pacing, it’s not worth the hype or the wait.
I hear George Miller is still available.
In the meantime, “Captain, you’re up”.