Warner Bros. finally released the much hyped Batman v. Superman, and because of the numerous negative reviews it received, I went to see it out of curiosity. Unfortunately, after watching the film I can understand what gave rise to them.
This isn’t the first time I’ve gone to see a film because of negative reviews. There’s just something inside of me that wants to see for myself whether or not a film based on an iconic franchise is as bad as other people say it is. I went to see the Fant4stic Four reboot for the same reason. While I understood all of the reasons behind the negative reviews for Fant4stic Four I couldn’t quite understand it for Batman v. Superman (henceforth referred to as BVS). But before you get mad at me, at least hear me out.
WARNING: This post contains major spoilers regarding Batman v. Superman. So fly away like the man in the blue suit or climb into your Batmobile and drive away. You have been warned!
The first thing you’re going to notice about BVS is how the narrative of the film tries to make two iconic DC comic book characters face each other. Warner Bros. is trying to create a shared universe like the MCU and that means a lot of characters need to be introduced, even if it’s just in small cameos. It also means that you won’t care about half of the characters if you aren’t already familiar with their comic book counterparts. Most of my friends don’t know about Aquaman and Cyborg, so their little cameos didn’t give rise to any reaction from them.
I’m going to be honest from the start: I’m not a fan of Henry Cavill’s Superman. I’m just not. His acting abilities simply don’t give Superman the humanity that is an essential part of his character. However, I did like the narrative route BVS took with Superman. He’s being hailed as a God by many around the world, but his strength has also given rise to fear. The fact that he has unlimited power and is a potential threat is what pits Ben Affleck’s Batman and Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor against him.
I was pleasantly surprised by Ben Affleck playing an older and more mature Batman. I liked him in the role and look forward to seeing him in more movies in the shared DC Universe. Who I’m on the fence about is Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor. Having read the comics I’m familiar with Luthor being an evil genius. In BVS Eisenberg’s Luthor, though still an evil genius, brings a lot of crazy to the table. His acting reminded me of his portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg from The Social Network. Lex is clearly psychologically troubled in Batman v. Superman and I guess the script wanted to make him understandable to the audience by taking such a route.
If you’re someone who’s wanted to watch BVS just to see Batman and Superman fight it out with each other, then be ready to be disappointed. Their fight scene didn’t take place until quite late in the almost three-hour long film, and while it was entertaining, it could feel a bit repetitive to some. The only thing that helped me through the fight scene was the fact Batman won. I mean, he’s Batman! Of course he was going to win!
The biggest battle is at the end when Batman and Superman confront Lex’s artificially bred Doomsday. That’s also when we get to see Wonder Woman being awesome. The whole theater erupted in applause when Gal Gadot came on screen as Diana Prince ready to fight.
BVS is mostly a film where characters just talk. It has its moments but it seems to just jump from one location to the next in order to allow characters to interact with each other. It could have done with a lot more action, but then again that’s just my opinion. So, is BVS as bad a film as critics say? I don’t really think so, though it definitely isn’t like any of the MCU films because Warner Bros. is clearly going for a darker environment.
For me BVS is a watchable film if you are a fan of the characters. It does have its moments but just like X-Men: Days of Future Past it could have had a shorter run time. I fell asleep during most of the Superman scenes. However, if you aren’t into the Caped Crusader or the friendly Kryptonian then you’re probably going to come out of the theater disappointed for having wasted nearly three hours of your life. If you just want to experience the action then I recommend waiting for the Blu-ray release.
Some more thoughts and questions.
- It is clear that Gal Gadot was the only saving grace in Batman v. Superman. Even though she wasn’t in the film as much as I wanted her to be, it was enough to make me look forward to her solo-film. She’s an amazing warrior and I want to see more of her. She also used her magical lasso in the film and it was awesome to watch. Also, can Diana fly? I’m not sure. She was capable of leaping incredible distances, but can she fly? Or she did fly but it looked like a jump to me? Someone help me with this.
- Lex kidnapping Clark’s mother led to him battling Batman. What I couldn’t understand was how Clark couldn’t hear his mother from wherever Lex was holding her. He knew where Lois was and could swoop in to save her, so why not do the same for his mother as well? The whole blackmailing thing felt forced. And don’t even get me started on Bruce and Clark bonding over the fact that both their mothers have the same name.
- Lex having files on metahumans helped sow the seeds for Justice League. While Aquaman and Cyborg had small cameos it was Ezra Miller’s Flash that had more to do in the film. We know Darkseid is coming and I liked that BVS used Flash to warn Bruce Wayne about it. I’m looking forward to Flash’s solo film partly because it will be the first time a studio gave a huge comic book property to an out queer male actor. The Flash also told Bruce that Lois Lane was the key to something important, although Lois was pushed to being a damsel in distress in BVS, which was glaringly obvious with Wonder Woman there. But at least we can look forward to Lois having a bigger role in upcoming movies.
- Killing Superman just looked weird to me. I get that he sacrificed himself but couldn’t he have asked Diana to use the Kryptonite spear on Doomsday? Sigh! Let’s see how the world changes after realizing that Superman is no more. Before you begin to cry do realize that Superman isn’t actually dead and will come back soon enough.
- And I rather not talk about Doomsday’s design. It was probably the worst CGI villain ever.
Have you watched Batman v. Superman yet? What did you think of it? Let us know!
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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