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Mar
29

Batman v Superman v The World

bvs2Even before any details about this movie became public knowledge, the fans and would-be fans were up in arms. Bets were quickly placed, I told you so’s were being prepped, humble pies were being baked. There was no way this movie was going to make everyone happy. There was definitely going to be a lot of hate, a lot of love, and a lot of memes.  So it comes to no surprise that the actual release of the film created a whirlwind of opposing opinions…. here is mine.

What makes a good comic book movie? Is it the adherence to the source material? The credibility of the cast and the special effects? Do you want to be a told a story you already know and love or do you want to be introduced to something new? For that matter, should comic book movies be judged differently than other movies? If you are reading this there is a very good chance that you are a nerd/geek of sorts and you can’t help but approach comic book movies with pre-existing bias… and considering the subject matter of this movie you must have had one hell of a list.

BvSss

A Prologue of sorts

Lets rewind the clock a bit. This movie has been fighting an uphill battle since the beginning, something that should be addressed.
• Aug 22nd 2013 – Ben Affleck revealed as the next actor to don the cowl, alongside Henry Cavill in the unnamed Man of Steel sequel. Fans instantly lose their minds and start raging about what a failure Daredevil was… even though 10 years had passed since. Personally I was surprised by the choice but figured Hey why not.
• December 4th 2013 – Gal Gadot revealed as Wonder Woman. Again the internet erupts with naysayers. I must admit, I was one of them. Aside from the casting choice I was bummed out to see that this was not going to be a Supes/Bats buddy flick.
• January 31st 2014 – Jesse Eisenberg officially cast as Lex Luthor. Umm… what??
• June 14th, 2014 – Jason Momoa cast as Aquaman. Yea he’s pretty badass…. but… what?!
• May 21st 2014 – The movie gets an official title. Batman v Superman : Dawn of Justice. I thought this was supposed to be a Man of Steel sequel!? And they are going to be fighting each other?? No! This is all wrong!!

Time went on, photos were leaked, trailers released. Some fans got more and more hyped with each new revelation, some fans got more and more disappointed. The movie was definitely taking a lot from Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns, but it was also serving as a jumping off point for a Justice League story… maybe that was part of the problem, trying to be many things to many people. And while DC fans battled it out on forums and Facebook walls, Marvel fans laughed.

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“Hey God, its me Ben.”

So heres the thing. I have not seen the movie. Not yet. Been too busy,
I am sitting here in my Superman hoodie and Batman t-shirt writing down my thoughts before I go see it in a few hours. I am not excited. It’s not that I am expecting the movie to be bad but I just don’t think its going to be what I want it to be. With that said, seeing so many opposing responses to the movie has actually upped my expectations. Some say its amazing and straight out of the comics. Some say its a waste of time and Snyder should be set on fire. Whenever anyone had asked me what I thought about it based on the trailers my reply was that no one needed this movie. There was no neeeed for a Batman VS Supes movies. Here’s hoping I am wrong.
I want it to be good. Oh I really, really want it to be good.
Off I go to see the movie! Hopefully I can still get one of those cool collector cups! >_<

The actual REVIEW. No Spoilers

The journey started off on a positive note as I was able to get a cool cup with a Superman figurine on top. They were sold out of the Batmans, no surprise. Though it was early on a Monday the theater was full, ended up sitting closer to the front than I would have cared for but thats OK. Two seats to my left sat a kid that couldn’t have been any older than 9, he was pretty psyched.
Walked out of the place 3hrs later, feeling super dazed and confused. My mind was a blur of thoughts on how I was going to tackle this review. So much to say, so many conflicting feelings. Although the movie was marketed as a gladiator battle between The Dark Knight and the Man of Steel, I feel like the real battle was going on inside…my heart haha. A battle between what I really wanted the movie to be,and how badly I wanted to like the movie. Needless to say, the outcome wasn’t so good.

WWgg

The Good

A round of applause for the design team! Everything looked great. The new take on Batman, the somewhat different look on Supes, and oh that WonderWoman! Everyone looked the part and looked very sharp.
The new Batfleck was as good a Batman as he could have been, I have no beef with Ben on any of this. He delivered. Gal Gadot’s WW was probably the highlight of the whole thing, she brought the few moments of light to the otherwise dark world Snyder created for us. I have high hopes for that WonderWoman solo project!
The visuals is really where the movie got to shine, there were many moments that were practically ripped right out of a comicbook panel, which was great.
Unfortunately this is all I got for the positive. It looked pretty.

The Bad

Remember that kid I mentioned? The one sitting 2 seats down from me? Well, he didn’t say anything at the end of the movie. I had heard him through the movie whisper things like “That’s Wonder Woman!” when we first see her walking around all incognito… but that was pretty much it. I mention this because that’s how I felt at the end of it all, I think that’s how most people felt. There was no clapping, there was no cheering at any point throughout the film. Why? Well I would say because everything was just too damn dark.

The movie weighs in at 2hours and 31minutes, a bit on the long side, which you unfortunately feel. The pacing and layering of separate story arcs just leaves the film feeling contrived and convoluted. Watching the movie I felt that I SHOULD have been interested and invested in the story and the characters but I just wasn’t. I sat down with my over-sized BvS cup of Coke and huge popcorn eager to force myself to like the movie and failed. Ultimately I feel like they tried too hard.

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The movie simultaneously serves as a sequel to Man of Steel, an introduction to the new Batman and Wonder Woman, a peek at Aquaman, Flash and Cyborg, and a launching pad for some sort of Justice League flick. I’m not saying its impossible to pull off but in order for it to work it has to be fluid and natural, connecting the dots via a nice wavy line, opposed to the jagged lightning bolt that makes up this story.

I had said earlier that Ben was good, by that what I mostly mean is that he is not the one to blame for the movie disappointing. He did what he could with what he was given. I just don’t feel like any of the characters had any real depth to them. I just felt indifferent towards them all and thats probably the worst review I can give any of them. Other than hating Jeese Eisenberg for what he did to Lex I feel like the roles could have gone to almost anyone without changing the final product. All Ben had to do was play a grouchy old Bruce Wayne, be beefy, and shout a lot. Henry pretty much did the same thing. Once more leaving Gal Gadot as the tiny light in this metaphorical sea of darkness.

bros

Nope. None of this. Not even close.

I understand we no longer live in the days of The SuperFriends. I get that. I get that somewhere along the way it was decided that people wanted a grittier hero, I don’t agree, but it is what it is. Here’s the thing though, if you make Superman dark and gritty, then you have to make Batman even darker and gritty-er than ever before! The outcome is a world where Superman and Batman are far from BFFs, what you get is 2 powerful, arrogant, close-minded men that can’t seem to get their own heads out of their asses.
You have a Superman that seems to do more harm than good, doesn’t smile or save cats from trees, many folks don’t like him and he doesn’t give a flying %#*! Meanwhile he disapproves of Batman’s brutality towards criminals and approaches the matter with much aggression.
Batman on the flipside is mean to the point of being a villain and is more than eager to murder the superpowered alien that claims to be on the side of the angels. Oh and now everyone is rocking the Bale voice. Then you factor in Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor which is more of a Joker/Jar Jar Binks character than anything else, who also thinks he is in the right.
You don’t have anyone to root for. There is no clear HERO here, just a bunch of jerks with tunnel vision.
Well, theres Wonder Woman, but we don’t know enough about her just yet…

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I guess I must be reading the wrong comics…

I wanted a Superman AND Batman movie, none of this versus nonsense. Actually, scratch that, I wanted a Superman MoS sequel that cleaned up the mess the first one left behind, not a blatant attempt at pulling in more fans by adding Batman… but if they felt they had to use the Bat to fill seats… they should have at least made them buds.

Of course they haven’t always been friendly in the comics. Things changed around 1985 with Crisis on Infinite Earths, and then Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and John Bryne’s Man of Steel in ’86… I guess thats what they are drawing from here.
Its understandable that there would be some rivalry between the two but there should also be a level of respect, which I feel was completely missing in BvS.
Maybe thats what it is. Snyder gave us one of those UFC matches where the fighters are complete jerks with no respect for the game.
Personally I’m a huge fan of stories that depict these two as opposites that come together to create something truly amazing. The best of both worlds. Personally I really loved the Jeph Loeb run of books but I get that that may be too fun and childish for the troubled world we live in. Which is why Marvel movies are doing so poorly, too much fun.

Is my problem that I was looking for something in the vein of movies that Marvel is putting out? I don’t think so. I wouldn’t have minded a laugh or two, I would have loved a moment that genuinely made me want to cheer and applaud…. didn’t get it though.

Conclusion

I’m really curious about what kids thought about the movie. Sure its probably not FOR kids, though the toy aisles say otherwise. You have little Timmy and Suzie over here with their toys in hand all excited to watch their favorite heroes on the big screen…. and they get this dark mess about false Gods and the hopelessness of life. Where was the happy ending? What will be Suzie’s favorite part? Okay fine, its not for kids, its for adults. Well, I don’t think it was too enjoyable for the adult that is already tired of the disturbing headlines he reads in the paper and was looking for a nice escape with some familiar friends. Maybe I am being too naive. Maybe the Superman I was hoping to see doesn’t exist anymore, I don’t know. The movie did make tons of monies though, and everyone is talking about it. That’s good, right?

What carries the movie is the same thing that ultimately drowns it, its the iconic characters that we’ve known our whole lives. Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are THE iconic super heroes. They are your hero’s heroes. So of course we are all excited to see more of them, to see them on the big screen in ways we have never seen them before. Unfortunately what this movie delivers isn’t quite what anyone needed.

bVsRATING

Being generous here.

1 ping

  1. Batman V Superman: What Dreams Are Made Of » Not Enough Nerds says:

    […] should definitely check out Hugo’s review on this movie. He left the theatres with very valid but different feelings from me. So what should […]

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