For years, the idea of these two iconic comic book characters appearing together on the silver screen was the epitome of artistic ecstasy – a serious nerdgasm. Spectacle… Epic are the words used to describe such a union, and so for many a comic book fan and superhero genre lovers many questions arise. Can this movie live up to the hype? Can this film truly launch the DC movie universe? And ultimately – is it a great/good movie?
Let’s begin with the things that worked for this movie. Ben Affleck as Batman is the best aspect of the film. His character is the most developed, with purpose and fully realized motivations that flow from the beginning of the movie, becoming the thread of this film – and perhaps the whole DCU. Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman is also a positive feel for the film, she just doesn’t have enough development/reasons why she comes to Metropolis, to make her worthwhile for this movie – as if she is just a very elaborate plot point to introduce the Justice League.
Amy Adams as Lois Lane continues to give a fine performance, even though her importance to these movies and the DCU are grossly overstated and beyond context as she has more screen time than everyone except Batman. Overall, Batman V Superman is a good action movie, with great fight scenes and a high stylized imagery but its failings are major – weighing it down like a large albatross around its proverbial “super” neck. So as Wonder Woman’s lasso surrounds me now… I am forced to tell the truth about the film.
The major problem of the film, and maybe to the whole underpinning of the entire DCU, is Zack Synder. He is a very good visual director but his ability to tell a story is lackluster! Because of his shortcomings, he handcuffs the whole film. The movie is very choppy, with bad pacing, average storytelling and very bad music/score that kills this movie. There are parts/scenes that are pigeonholed into the story, that don’t move the plot along and just bog down the movie.
The fear of most that the second trailer gave away the whole movie rings true as “Batman V Superman” barely serves us more meat than the trailers, lacking the necessary character development that makes us want to care for them beyond the obvious and the situations that they find themselves into – none more so than with Lex Luthor. Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Lex is a different take on this villain, which is ok but it isn’t different from the way he plays almost every character he portrays. Without good reasoning/motivation for his “evil” he just becomes ‘Jesse being Jesse.’
If not for the last 3rd of the movie, many would be disappointed with this incarnation of these super friends but it is the final 3rd of the film that makes the experience worthwhile. Should you see this movie? Yes! If you want to see this movie… see it early or the surprises will be spoiled for you.
Can it live up to the hype? Yes for those who see it early, as once more people see it, the feedback and spoiler mentality will hinder your desire to see it in theaters – and the staying power will not be as long as anticipated.
Can it launch the DCU? Yes, as the film doesn’t hinder the plans of a fully realized comic book movie universe. Even though the Justice League information is just thrown in, you still will come out of this movie wanting to see more from these meta-humans.
And lastly is it a great/good movie??? The answer is no. It has good action, some very exciting points and this alliteration of Batman may become the best one yet but the lack of good storytelling, convenient plot points and forced scenes ultimately stop this film from becoming one of the better superhero movies that we have seen.
So as Batman says to Superman, “Do you bleed? You will! “And he did.
Darryl King is a video director, film writer and avid Marvel/DC comic book/movie lover. Check out his reviews of DEADPOOL, Zoolander 2, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and his primer guide to Batman V Superman right here on MMT.