Friday, March 25, 2016

Review: 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice'

I really didn't want to be one of those people who seemed to hate "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" before I saw it, so I tried — I really, really tried — to keep an open mind going into it. When I saw some reviews on twitter after its premiere from DC fans who called it "amazing," I admit it. I became hopeful.  There was a part of me that actually believed it could be true.

Oh, disappointment is a horrible beast.



I won't get into too many spoilers, so I'll try to be as general as possible in my assessment. Also, I might give spoilers. I might not, but you've been warned.

Oh, before I start, "Walking Dead" fans like me will get excited and weirded out for a minute because Bruce Wayne's parents are played by the actors who play Maggie and Negan. I mean, how cool and weird is that?!? Maggie and Negan!

Anyway.

First of all, I still want to punch Zach Snyder in the face. His version of Superman is so much less than what the character deserves, and it's glaringly obvious in this movie. In "Batman v Superman," Clark/Supes is very sloppy and feels like an empty shell of this iconic character. I realize in this story that he's very young at being Superman and therefore prone to making mistakes, but honestly guys, I don't get the feeling he's trying very hard to improve. He spends way too much time focused on saving Lois, which I kind of love because I'm a big Lois-Clark shipper, but no, because it's kind of taken to the extreme here in a way that makes both of them come across as dumber than bricks. Plus, it's been 18 months since the events of "Man of Steel." I would expect a lot more remorse from Clark considering the amount of destruction and loss of life from his battle with Zod. There are a few glimpses of it here and there, but it's brushed off far too easily. He is still very brooding and kind of mopey, but I think it's mainly because mostly everyone in this movie hates him. Yep, a good part of the world hates Superman. WHAT?!?



Batman, of course, seems to hate him most of all because of what went down in Metropolis in "Man of Steel." That's the basic setup of this movie, which shows, by the way, a lot of favoritism for the Dark Knight. This is basically a Batman movie with Superman and some other Justice League cameos thrown in because.

I am predisposed to dislike any movie with Superman as a main character that then proceeds to torture, dehumanize, and degrade him for about 75% of the story. My heart hurt, y'all. It seriously did, and I teared up more than once because the hatred shown toward Superman is so tangible. My guy goes through a lot in this movie. There are some light scenes between him and Lois that gave me hope, but blip, and they're gone and both he and I were depressed again.

Lois Lane also suffers at Snyder's hands this time around. She did a lot of dumb things that are not very Lois Lane-like.

Snyder, I want to punch you in the face so bad right now.



Wonder Woman is, hands down, the best part of this movie. Gal Gadot did a great job bringing her to the big screen, and Snyder — amazingly — did not screw her up. Granted, she's only briefly in the movie and that's mostly as Diana Prince, but who cares? She's awesome. I did like the way they introduced the other Justice League characters, although my friend who is not a big DC fan like me had no idea that it was The Flash in a certain dream sequence with Bruce. I also went, "Wait. Is that The Flash? Or Zoom? Who is that?" while it was happening. I also had no idea what he was saying, mostly. Yeah, I don't think any of it had anything to do with the plot. *sighs*

By the way, there are a lot of dream sequences in this movie, and basically none of them make sense.

I am on the fence about Lex Luther as played by Jesse Eisenberg. He is immensely unlikable. He gives rambling speeches that are abstract and disjointed, but I guess it's supposed to show how crazy he is. I don't even know. This is the most despicable version of Lex Luther I've ever seen anyway, so I guess he did a good job. What he does to Martha Kent is...I can't even. Actually, what he does to Holly Hunter's character is gross and...I can't even.

I'm curious if fans of Batman end up loving this movie because I can see why they would.  My theater was full of DC fanboys when I saw it. I know because I overheard some of their conversations beforehand. None of them had very high expectations. Afterward, I overheard one say, "Well, that was about what I expected." Another loved it and was raving about it. Mostly, they were, "Meh. It was OK." I won't begin to guess whether you will like it, and it's OK if you do. I've seen some arguments by both haters and lovers, so yes, some people loved this movie. There was no standing ovation in my screening. No one clapped, ever. There was simply silence, followed by a few sighs.

I will give props to the fight between Batman and Superman when it happens. I thought it was well done, mostly.

OK. So here are some really big spoilers for this movie. If you're a comic book fan, you probably already know some of this because of Doomsday being in the movie, plus the Internet, but whatever.

Ready? If not, skip ahead to the end of spoiler note now.

OK.



Snyder tosses in the Death of Superman plot.  The movie ends after a double funeral for Clark and Superman. SNYDER KILLED SUPERMAN. Yes, I know he's not really dead, I read the comics, but to sit through 2 and 1/2 hours of Superman being tortured only to watch him die was almost more than I could take. It's also very hard to watch in live action as opposed to seeing on a comic book page. It really affected me. I was seriously, seriously depressed leaving this movie.

This movie is so dark. I would not take kids to see it, especially younger than 13. Why? It is hopeless and depressing, that's why. This is absolutely an adult movie in that regard.

Also, there are a ton of hints about Darkseid being the villain coming up for the Justice League movie. Lex's crazy speech about the dark coming confirms it, and I did notice that the box that creates Cyborg appears to be the Darkseid technology from the comics, although I don't know much about Cyborg and I don't think that's his real origin story, but OK. And the last shot of the movie is dirt lifting away from Clark's coffin, which I suppose is a shout-out to Darkseid, although I'll be honest and admit I didn't understand that at all. Was that because of Darkseid?

***END OF MAJOR SPOILERS***

Also, if you do go see this movie, don't sit through the entire credits because there isn't a teaser to the Justice League movie after them. Trust me. I checked.

Don't worry. I still love you, Henry Cavill, and thank you for that all-too-brief shot of your naked chest in that one scene. Seriously. I needed it.

That's it. That's enough.

Now I'll go weep silently in the corner so my cat can judge me.
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