Note: I’ve seen the movie a second time. It’s overall worse then I remembered. But the score is lower of one point. Click here to see my fan opinion.
After 3 years and a bunch of confusing and ‘spoilerous’ trailers, Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice (BvS) arrived among us. I think we should start with the best note from the movie: it’s better than Man Of Steel and it’s definitely better then we were expecting after such horrible trailers.
There are two ways to approach this movie: seriously, or not seriously. I decided, or happened, still don’t totally know as it could have just happened, to watch it as a no-brainer popcorn flick.
As such, we are in front of a very entertaining, dialogue filled movie that perhaps takes too much to take into the actual action, which is what the trailers promised, or generally is promised by the superhero genre (and could afflict the family audience). But when the action comes in, we are delighted by non-sense badassery that for sure isn’t a bad thing.
The Ben Affleck Batman is PG-13 violent and brutal (which means is not really brutal, that’s Daredevil for fuck’s sake), Superman is powerful as shit, the showdown between the two could be a short by itself, and the actual final showdown (like seen in the trailer dammit), shows off Wonder Woman perfectly. And I honestly liked Doomsday.
Unfortunately, the initial part of the movie wants to be a Christopher Nolan-ish dialogue filled movie with philosophical lines that actually push the spectator to actually activate his brain. Except, those lines are up in the air to make the movie look cool, which is actually the reason of the critical downfall (the movie scored 38% on RT and 47% on Metacritic as of this writing).
And Zack Snyder direction doesn’t help. We all know he is a visual artist and a relatively poor skilled storyteller, and BvS is another example of this. And we all know the critics hate him. In this movie, he goes for the parallelism between Superman and Jesus throughout very beautifully composed frames that actually recall those paintings and other forms of visual art that represent Christ. Which is relatively fine at the beginning, since you want to establish how a part of the world reacts to the presence of literally a god among us, but after a certain point becomes redundant, ridiculous and ineffective, because we all know that Superman is a christological figure even before watching the movie, so it’s completely useless to keep reminding us that.
And this the other thing that the movie gets wrong: reminding. We see for basically for the fifth time how Bruce’s parents died. We don’t need that, it literally doesn’t advance the story in any way whatsoever, it doesn’t explain why Bruce is on the verge of being a psycho. In Nolan that scene in Batman Begins explains how he became obsessed in saving people (when in reality wanted to redeem himself), while here doesn’t really do anything.
Ultimately, if you don’t know how to put together what is actually a confusing puzzle at beginning due to a poor editing (especially if you don’t know anything about Batman and Superman or, mostly, the relationship between them), it’s hard to be invested in the characters, which of course leads you into not appreciating the movie.
Also, the various actually important cameos are anti climatic. They may be cool (especially one), but they don’t serve the story, failing to tease anything, which it should have been the choice. I remember when we were waiting for The Avengers, the previous movies were teasing they would ultimately getting together, with easter eggs or lines acknowledging that, creating our anticipation of actually seeing those heroes sharing the screen together. In BvS, as you will see, too much is put in there.
And yes, in some parts it feels like Warner wants to catch up with Marvel since Marvel showed them it can work, and it’s totally understandable to make some of your assets pay off economically, would be stupid otherwise. But you have to remember to not look desperate. Even if I don’t necessarily think they are desperate to catch up, sometimes looks so much like it, that people, including critics and perhaps Hollywood executives, still think that, or, even worse, have more reason to think that. And it is a big bad thing in sense of public perception, which can reflect in box office performance eventually (hard to think will in this case however).
The marketing, also, could be called as the worst thing ever for the perception of the movie. For start, no need to show Doomsday and how Wonder Woman would come in. Plus, there was no need to show actually Wonder Woman at all. Gal Gadot wasn’t and she still not a big actress, and if you casted her and give her a random name, everyone would have believed she was a minor side character, but then BOOM she is Wonder Woman. How could have been? First Doomsday surprisingly coming in, and then Wonder Woman. Nerdgasm 100%. I know Warner had the issue to shoot Wonder Woman before Justice League. Well, they should have figured it out. Also that nightmare thing…
Other things: I liked Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, although not really continuous in performance. Jermy Irons and Laurence Fishburne are literally the comedy relief, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The Bat-mobile is gorgeous and badass, and seems to came out right out the Arkham series. Which is awesome.
I know, I know, I wrote more about what’s wrong with this movie then I about positive things. But remember what I said at the beginning: I watched it as a no-brainer movie, and it is such, although sometimes it wants to be intelligent. Therefore, I enjoyed it quite a lot for what it is. But without those spoilers, we would have talked about a even better movie, as we would have filled with surprise.
Not yet at Marvel or Fox Marvel level, BvS starts the DCEU without a proper bang, and perhaps Warner should push Justice League to figure out better what to do. Would be the best for the franchise. For the rest, switch off your brain and enjoy the ride. Won’t be disappointed. Otherwise, you should just watch another movie.
- NO BRAINER FLICK
-First Vision: 7.5/10
-Second Vision: 6.5/10
- INTELLIGENT FLICK: 5/10