Batman v Superman - Review

Batman v Superman - Review

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Trailer

Review (Spoiler Free)

When the internet said that Ben Affleck would be a terrible Batman, I disagreed,  I thought he'd be an awesome Batman. And if there is one thing this movie does really well, it's Batman! 

As a comic book fan and general nerd - Batfleck, you nailed it.

So once again the internet is up in arms about the apparent mess this movie is. Much like my thoughts about Affleck as Batman, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I really enjoyed this movie. Sure it has a couple of questionable plot points, though what movie doesn't. We live in a world where Netflix serves us up 10 hours of content which we devour in one or two sittings. Movies, are different, you have to take some liberties, and that's what this film does. 

So my advice to you if you still haven't seen this movie is:

  • Re-watch Superman: Man of Steel 
  • Go and watch Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (With a large tub of popcorn) 
  • Make up your own mind about whether you liked it or not 

Some context 

You can't really talk about Batman v Superman without talking about Christopher Nolan's Batman. You also can't really talk about Batman v Superman without talking about Marvel. So lets begin... 

Christopher Nolan's Batman was a coming of age story. Bruce Wayne was discovering what it's like to be Bruce Wayne, he was discovering what it's like to be a hero, he was discovering what it was like to try and live both lives in parallel. Also the Nolan Batman is widely considered by a lot of people to be the best Batman, which I completely endorse. Christian Bale brought us an epic hero, Heath Ledger brought us a very disturbing Joker and Tom Hardy brought us a unique take on Bane. And at the time the Batman movies were like nothing we had seen before as an audience, they were dark and they were edgy.  However, now we live in a highly saturated market of superhero movies and television shows!

So Marvel. Marvel has taken a strategic approach to the Marvel universe. What Batman v Superman has tried to do in two movies. Marvel has done in about 12!  And credit to Marvel, those 12 movies are mostly awesome. If you need a refresher, those movies were: 

  1. Iron Man | 2008 
  2. The Incredible Hulk | 2008
  3. Iron Man 2 | 2011 
  4. Thor | 2011 
  5. Captain America: The First Avenger | 2011
  6. The Avengers | 2012 
  7. Iron Man 3 | 2013 
  8. Thor: The Dark World  | 2014
  9. Captain America: The Winter Solider | 2014
  10. Guardians of the Galaxy | 2014 
  11. The Avengers: Age of Ultron | 2015 
  12. Antman | 2015

Plus another nine movies coming out before 2020! So when people make a comparison to the Avengers and Justice League, they're coming from different places. Sure, if it was my studio money, I would much prefer the Marvel route, though that's not Warner Brothers have decided to do, they've decided to fast track a Justice League universe before this bubble pops, and for some (well, a lot!) people that's left a bitter taste in their mouth.

The story 

The main plot to Batman v Superman is basically Batman deciding that Superman needs to be put in check, he's an alien, he's dangerous and thousands of people have died since he arrived on earth. And I would almost go as far to say that this is more of a Batman movie than it is a Superman one.

So we've got Batman trying to deal with Superman. Though Batman is older than any movie version of Batman we've seen before. Which means he's seen some things, he's got some skills. You can basically take from that as he's a real bad ass. The fight scenes will not disappoint.

Then we have Superman, who I haven't mentioned at all yet! He's trying to figure out what his purpose is, and to tell you the truth, it's a different Superman to one you may be used to. Superman normally stands for good, he stands for humanity, no matter what the odds or what society brands him as. Though in this universe he's much darker. There are several moments were you can tell he would give it all up for a normal life. The question I have for you is this, does this Superman reflect the current state of the messed up world we live in? If an alien being was to arrive today what would he/she/it think... especially when Mr Trump welcomes them?

Then you've got the introduction of Wonder Woman, who though looks like she's going to be an awesome character, her actually story left a little to be desired with more questions than answers. Again, her fight scenes do not disappoint. We also have a Wonder Woman in the works which based on Gal Dot's performance here should be something to look forward to.

Then you've got the main villain - Lex Luthor, which in another disturbing twist - His character is pretty similar to his portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg on the Social Network. What does that say about Mark Zuckerberg, is he our modern day Lex Luthor? Though joking aside, Lex was an interesting character to see in a modern environment, it will be great to see where they take him next.

We also started to get a flavour of the other 'Meta-Humans' which includes Aquaman, Flash and Cyborg. Though thankfully not enough to fully de-rail the story. In my view, you probably could of left them out. The scenes were so light, it could of been dealt with in a line of dialogue i.e. Bruce Wayne: "There are more out there, we're going to need there help" 

So overall I think there are a few scenes and decisions that have derailed this otherwise great film. And being the veteran movie maker I am (not), I actually believe most of the apparent issues probably could of be solved with some different editing choices.

Closing thoughts

One thing I wonder about is Zack Synder. Does Zack sit at home drowning his sorrows about the internets backlash of his movie? Or does he ignore it? In a world where kids get "achieved" for everything they do, how can hope to have epic movies in the future if we don't let people take chances. Yes this isn't as good as the Marvel Universe right now, though they've made 12 movies to get to this point. Do we really get the right as society to burn down the village every time someone doesn't get it 100% right?

So though the critics and most of the internet are hating it, I actually really enjoyed it. In fact I promised a friend I'd go with him, so I'll be doing round two in the next few weeks. I'm also looking forward to the Directors Cut as I think that may sharpen up this whole story and better prepare us for what the DC universe has to offer.

For me I give this film a 7/10 

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