Starring: Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg
Director: Zack Snyder
After so many years of waiting, we finally get this movie! But the main questions: was it worth it? Is it any good?
I left really liking this film, and the more the I think about it. The more I am disliking it. I get more disappointed thinking of all of the choices that were made that just didn’t fit in this story. I would’ve preferred a Man of Steel 2 honestly. But there’s seriously 3 movies in this one movie. There’s the Superman story continued, the origin Batman story, and the introduction for the Justice League.
Let’s start with my theater experience. I saw this movie at 11:20am in AMC in the mall. There were a lot kids freaking out. A lot of kids had to leave so that was interesting to deal with. I sat isolated on the left and had a lot of fun watching kids and parents having no idea that this film would be so dark. DC is shifting itself tonally from Marvel so it’s dark and brooding. It can be too much to handle for a lot of people, but don’t expect to laugh or see any happy times.
Okay now for the spoilers!
This movie starts out with Affleck driving through Metropolis as Bruce Wayne checking on his company building. I thought the driving was pretty cool. But then you really need to turn your brain off. We are introduced to the most boring character who means so much in the film and that’s so disappointing. The opening scene has more jump cuts than my Youtube videos and that’s saying something. I understand where the film is coming from in trying to show that there was real damage following Man of Steel, but I think we were savagely beaten over the head with it. I thought the 9/11 messages were over the top and victim blaming was alright. The film wants you to believe in this premise that Batman is sorta bordering the line of criminally insane and compassionate.
Affleck is a great Batman and probably the highlight of the film. Jeremy Irons as Alfred is also great as the two have great chemistry. Unfortunately, the film gets in its own way by making them stiff and generally angry people. I am so hurt that they had such great chemistry with 0 witty banter. Hopefully that will change in the next one, but I think Snyder has taken this character down a seriously dark path. Affleck as Bruce Wayne is fantastic as he pretends to be drunk and is a socialite. He gets distracted by women and he’s super likable. Affleck controls the screen as Batman and Snyder making him the focal point in the film is honestly part of the demise. His origin story and hallucinations take up such large chunks of time that Superman or Wonder Woman can’t be on screen. The origin story honestly should’ve been cut. Who doesn’t know his origin story? As if the Nolan trilogy hadn’t come out a few years earlier. I wouldn’t liked one reference to it and maybe a reference to the bats, not a full, convoluted backstory and 3 childhood flashbacks. The other flashbacks were interesting as they were metaphors into what Bruce Wayne is actually thinking in his head. The reference to the Flash Point paradox and to the House of Cowl’s and paradaemons were legit though! I am more excited than ever for his solo movie though! It’s going to be amazing!
Cavill as Superman is improving. Amy Adams as Lois Lane is unfortunately declining. Cavill looks like Superman, he feels like Superman. He is the full-embodiment of the character. I have no idea where Snyder is going with the character, though. Cavill is a funny guy as show in the Man from UNCLE, but here he’s still stiff but improving. The biggest flaw I have from him is that he’s kinda going against the moral standard he set up in Man of Steel. He’s not really “good” or hidden. He, as a character, is getting less boring and that’s probably the highlight from him. Cavill was definitely in Affleck’s shadow, probably a choice from Snyder. Adams fails to stay relevant. They almost felt like they wrote the movie and then went, WAIT WE FORGOT LOIS! Then proceeded to write her into the most boring scenes ever and make her completely uninteresting. The film took a huge risk at the end by killing Cavill and was admirable, but then they backed down and I lost interest once again.
The fight between Cavill and Affleck was spectacular. Then they cut it short and I was so disappointed. Kinda was an allegory for the rest of the film. I can see so much potential and then the decisions are rushed and then it’s eventually shut down before it starts.
Gadot was awesome! When she was using her whip and sword, I was almost cheering because she was so bad ass! But she has 3 lines and gets pulled in with an email and is scrolling one line at a time like Bruce is having a one sided conversation and IMing her. I was completely taken out and laughing. In that same email, she provided 3 trailers to future Justice League members. The shoe in character effectively “shoed in” 3 more characters. I was so upset she wasn’t more present. I am very excited for her solo film that just got a leaked image and looks awesome!
I’m not sold on Eisenberg as Lex Luther. I don’t know what to think because I felt like he wasn’t acting in the same style as he was in the Social Network and tried to be the Joker. I feel like it was Snyder’s decision to make him like that. He was weird scenes that he tries to be creepy especially with the Senator character. I enjoyed his bit where he peed in the cup to set up that something bad was going to happen. But his ruthlessness is unexplained as he killed his assistant? The final scene was awesome when Batman showed up in his cell and that was probably his shining moment.
On to the camera work, I thought this film was weirdly shot. They used the same bland color palette as Man of Steel. The montages were pretty great especially when Superman saves the girl in Mexico and you have a moral conflict on if you can trust this guy. And then the film lost it and went in a different direction and that theme was lost. Especially when the guy that you’re rooting for on the other side starts killing people in a brutal car chase. The shaky cam was in full force and I didn’t agree with some of the shots that Snyder chose. I did like the score in the last fight when it changed depending on which character you were following. But other than that it was forgettable.
Overall, I wanted this film to be amazing and I even lied to myself all day that it was amazing. But after watching it, I am disappointed and in dismay because the film tried to do too much. The Mad About Movies guys said it’s like a basketball game and Marvel is up by 30 so you just “start shooting 3’s”. And this 3 did not hit the mark. I think the biggest flaw in the movie is the marketing material. The trailers that got approved literally showed the entire movie. I have no idea how that happened, but seriously, whoever approved those should be fired. I think that’s the real reason critics are hating it because we’ve all seen it before. A Doomsday reveal or Wonder Woman unexpected appearance would’ve made it so much better. This film is also dark that it loses energy too easily as it gets hung up at every turn along the way.
Score: 3 out of 10