Writing a Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice movie review four months after it premiered is kind of my thing.
The 11-year-old and I ventured into scary territory last night: we watched Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice – the extended version and of course, Zack Snyder made this movie three goddamn hours long.
Carl and the 13-year-old wouldn’t even watch this with us. They probably have something in their brain warning them of stuff like impending doom.
I had to watch BvS for myself so I could justify not liking it.
I don’t know where to start.
It wasn’t. . . bad? Or perhaps it was just so terrible, my mind is blocking all the painful memories.
So we watched the extended version, thirty minutes that wasn’t part of the theatrical cut. It’ll be interesting to watch the theatrical version to see if it makes sense without the extra scenes.
It’s obvious Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer had a hand in this movie – their DNA is all over it, especially Batman’s side.
There was a lot going on, like several people just vomited their ideas onto the screen and no one wanted to stick around to clean that shit up.
The movie would’ve fared better had Snyder, Goyer and Chris Terio (the other credited screenplay writer) weren’t tasked with trying to introduce the Justice League world. It was so obvious and heavy handed – a parent forcing a child to eat food he doesn’t want to eat.
And because of this, the Batman V. Superman was bloated and too long – the theatrical cut is 2.5 hours and I think that’s still still too long.
The pacing and storytelling would’ve gelled better if we could just focus on the increasing friction between Batman and Superman, but even that was given to us in uneven increments, interspersed with unnecessary Batman dream sequences (Hi – I’m Ben Affleck and I’m intense!) and again, Justice League intros.
I was also distracted by Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. There are numerous five second shots of her throughout the film doing random things with little to no dialogue. Okay, Snyder, I get it. We’re supposed to believe that she’s mysterious, but those edits are more annoying than anything else.
I know Wonder Woman is in this movie – they put her in the goddamn promo posters. Just give her a bigger role early on and I would’ve believed the big climactic scene where she joins forces with Batman and Superman more. Instead, that scene plays out awkwardly.
I’m not saying it was perfect, but I liked how the Nolans and Goyer used Anne Hathaway’s Cat Woman role as a key figure in structuring The Dark Knight Rises story. Just saying.
And there’s the rub: there’s so much Nolan/Goyer going on, I kept comparing it to past Nolan Batman movies. And when Snyder’s ideas did show up, it was too reminiscent of Michael Bay.
There’s a scene towards the beginning where Metropolis is getting destroyed and Supermand and General Zod are battling one another in the sky and these flames are hurtling towards the city. It reminded me of the first Transformers movie when the Transformers arrive on Earth like huge meteor showers, along with the Michael Bay filters, of course.
Ugh – Affleck. I don’t like him as Batman. I know I’m biased towards Christian Bale. Affleck’s Batman is so angry/tortured/’roided out that his emotional complexity becomes one-sided and I don’t buy it. Maybe if this movie was a character study without the frivolous dream sequences, I’d empathize more.
There was something about Bale’s Batman that I gravitated towards immediately. Maybe it was a number of things – his Batman was: fragile, vulnerable, full of pain and tried to hide behind his alter ego, regretful… emotionally complex.
But, I did get three movies to see Bale’s Batman evolve.
Affleck’s Batman just has one setting: intense all the time. It would’ve been nice to see a more toned down, nuanced performance.
In the climax, we see Batman pivot from rage to sadness to understanding and eventually acceptance in his role and I don’t buy it because we haven’t seen those emotions before in the movie, so it comes off as robotic.
Henry Cavill’s Superman hasn’t improved. He continues to be one dimensional. He definitely has the Superman look down, but there’s something about his portrayal I can’t warm up to.
Even when Superman is asking Batman for help, it seems like Cavill is too arrogant. His acting reminds me of a frat boy.
Amy Adams is gorgeous as always, but her talent is wasted in this role. She’s mainly used as the damsel in distress constantly and it’s tiring.
Lois Lane is a strong, smart, stubborn character and all I got from this movie was a woman always waiting on Superman to help her in her time of need.
I would’ve like to see more of Gal Gadot because her Wonder Woman looks the most rounded and believable out of the bunch.
Jeremy Irons as Alfred (and also taking on the role of Lucious Fox since he’s always fixing Batman’s toys): okay. He plays Batman’s devil’s advocate, but I kept looking for Michael Caine.
The boy and I may watch the theatrical cut tonight with Carl to make comparisons. Or maybe I’ll just go to sleep and rest my brain.