THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE CONTAINS MANY IF NOT ALL THE SPOILERS FROM BATMAN V SUPERMAN! IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE MOVIE YET FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY STOP READING!
Unless you want to read the spoilers, we don’t judge.
It is very hard for me to write this review. I saw this movie twice, once this past Monday thanks to a free fan pass screening since I saw the IMAX trailer a year ago, and again with my girlfriend who really wanted to see it Thursday night. I wanted to write this on Monday night but there was a review embargo and I didn’t want the lawyers at Warner Bros. suing me for all I have, then the embargo was lifted and to say they didn’t like it is an understatement. The critics flat out DESTROYED BvS (Batman V Superman) and as of this point in time it has a 29% on Rotten Tomatoes. People are still going to see this movie and so far people (from what I have observed from talking to people at Wonder Con and on seeing people’s reaction on my Facebook feed) is that audiences either love it or hate it. Trust me, Alan, Norman and myself get into it in episode 57 of the podcast, but here is my own, personal review on BvS.
First of all, I must say that I enjoyed the movie. Do I have some issues with it? Oh hell yes I do. I have quite a few issues with it, however they weren’t so drastic that I wasn’t able to enjoy the film. The movie starts off with a flashback sequence of Bruce watching his parents die, which was short and sweet and I liked how Snyder symbolized Bruce’s “rise” to become the Batman. I was also happy that the origin of Batman was quick, since audience’s have seen Bruce Wayne’s catalyst for becoming Batman about 4 or 5 times in the past 20 or so years. Then we get to see Bruce Wayne fly into Metropolis via helicopter to see Superman fighting Zod during the climax of Man of Steel. Now here is where I actually do something I thought I wasn’t going to do. The opening scene of the where Bruce is dodging the destruction of Metropolis actually made me like Man of Steel less. Now I like, not love, Man of Steel and seeing the total destruction of the city Superman was supposed to protect kinda hurt, especially since Superman is my favorite super hero of all time. But seeing Bruce Wayne being heroic while not wearing the cowl was pretty cool, and you can see the point where Bruce starts to distrust, and maybe even hate Superman for all the death and destruction he has caused.
If you saw the trailer that premiered on the Jimmy Kimmel show I am sad to say you know the rest of the plot of the movie, however there are some scenes and a few plot twists that the trailer left out. My 2 biggest complaints for BvS are Doomsday and Batman getting people killed. First lets tackle Doomsday, the one thing the marketing team should have NOT shown us in a trailer. Seeing Wonder Woman was awesome, that was surprise enough, but seeing a creature like Doomsday, and designing him like a bridge troll from Lord of the Rings was a very bad idea. His origin I am OK with. In the comics he was the subject of horrific experiments by a mad scientist on Krypton, became a killing machine, fled Krypton, fought a different race of aliens, lost, then crash landed on Earth and slept until he fought Superman and killed him. Having Lex Luthor create Doomsday from the body of Zod was a change that made sense to me. However I don’t think Doomsday should have even been in this movie. Sure he does do the impossible and kill Superman but in the comics he beats Superman to death, not stab him with his own arm bone. To me, Doomsday should have been in a solo Superman movie, not in the first team up with Batman and Wonder Woman. Also he doesn’t have the power to absorb and shoot out energy, all Doomsday can do power wise is heal, and has super strength that is on par with Superman. Giving him the power to shoot energy out of his face (no I’m not kidding) really bothered me.
Batman as a whole was awesome, however there were some parts where Batman was doing stuff that was NOT Batman like. Now let me be crystal clear about this, this isn’t Ben Affleck’s fault. I think that Ben Affleck did an amazing job as Batman and I am looking forward to him doing the cowl again. The guys who wrote and directed however I need to pick up some books and read. Batman does not kill. He does everything in his power to not take a life. Sure some bad guys are dumb enough to get themselves killed but not because they were fighting Batman. There were 2 main scenes I can think of were Batman was responsible for getting guys killed. The chase scene with the Batmobile, and the scene in the ware house where he saves Martha. The guys with the gun turrets aren’t getting up since their cars literally exploded right under them. Also the Russian gangster, who literally exploded thanks to Batman shooting another guys gun at him, isn’t getting up from that. Even those who don’t read the comics know that Batman doesn’t use a gun. Yes in the early days he did but the times changed and the Batman everyone knows and loves today would never fire a gun. The only time I can think of Batman using a firearm with live and lethal ammo is in Final Crisis where he used a gun with a bullet that was made to kill Darkseid. Other than that he doesn’t kill, and seeing him blast his way through some bad guys with some explosions thrown in there doesn’t help.
You may be asking yourself, “If Ben liked this movie why has he been bashing it for the last 2 paragraphs?” Well that’s because I wanted to save the best parts for last. The acting by Cavill, Affleck, and Gadot was spot on. Each actor knew what they were doing and played their parts perfectly. I could almost hear the nay sayers who have been hating on Affleck shut up the instant he put on the cowl. My small problem with Cavill is that he can play an amazing Superman, but his Clark Kent is still too much like Superman. In the comics Clark always wanted to do the right thing, as he does in this movie by trying to write about Batman’s civil liberty infringing, but he’s a bit of a wimp and carries himself like a mortal reporter. With Affleck I can tell when he is in “playboy” mode and when he is in “stealth detective” mode. Gadot thus far was Wonder Woman nailed perfectly and I am eagerly awaiting her movie. Eisenberg’s Luthor was good, granted he played Lex a lot more eccentric and crazy than I would have liked, but you could tell that there is something very wrong with Lex and that he is hiding something. This younger, more eccentric Luthor is growing on me, but I must say I kind of miss the cold, calculating businessman/scientist that Lex Luthor is in the comics, but at least they kept in his pure hatred for Superman.
The other thing I liked what this film did is introduce the Justice League main players with cameos. Fans were scared that the film was going to be too cramped with characters and the film was going to be a huge cluster fuck like Amazing Spider-Man 2 was. However it wasn’t. We were introduced to Apokolips and Parademons thanks to a super trip dream sequence, followed by the Flash talking to Bruce in another trip dream sequence. We saw Aquaman for the first time and we saw how Silas Stone heal his almost dead son with a Mother Box (yes that was a Mother Box) and turn him into Cyborg. We also saw Flash stop a robbery in a grocery store as well. Then that was it, no more screen time for these characters until Justice League. The story went back to Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, and the ending set up Justice League.
Now comes the part where I say if you should go see it or not because the movie is either amazing or sucks so bad you should avoid it like the plague. The thing is, I don’t know what to say. I personally enjoyed it, I liked how you could see Superman do the right thing but things keep happening to him that the world seems to hate him more. I like how Batman doesn’t trust him and does everything he can to take down Superman only to realize he truly is a good person and is trying to do the right thing. I don’t like how the fight was supposed to be the climax and instead really only lasted a good 15-20 minutes. I don’t like how Doomsday was portrayed, and I certainly don’t like how there were times Batman was responsible for getting people killed. I really don’t like how this movie was marketed as being a huge fight between Batman and Superman and the catalyst was that Luthor was forcing Superman to fight otherwise his mother would die. I did like how Lex revealed that he knew Superman’s secret identity though, I loved that little twist. With that being said I say this. If you are a casual comic reader, you might like this movie. If you have read the comics and know the lore, you will either love this movie, or hate its guts. If you are expecting something along the lines of the Marvel movies, just do yourself and everyone else a favor and don’t compare the two because you will HATE it. Other than that I would say this is a movie you should see for yourself and decide wether you like it or not. I would also say try to avoid reading the reviews other critics have written because you might actually enjoy the movie. If you’re interested in seeing it in theaters, I’d say go see it. If you want to wait and rent it when it comes out on DVD, then do that instead. I can’t say this enough that I personally liked it and had a good time watching it. I understand that this may get me some hate mail but honestly I don’t care. I was entertained and I can’t wait for Justice League. If a movie doesn’t entertain me, then that is a movie that truly sucks. One more thing though, they did brighten up Superman’s costume this time, so that’s a plus.