SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY! In the red corner, he can leap buildings in a single bound, he’s faster than a speeding bullet, he’s more powerful than a steam locomotive, it’s SUPERMAN!!! And in the black corner, because everything he owns has to be black, the dark night of Gotham City, BATMAN!!! Let’s get ready to set up for 10 more movies!
Disclaimer – This review has many, MANY spoilers, so if you really want to see the movie, go now.
Batman against Superman – the fight of the millennium – so many people have waited months to see this epic fight on the silver screen, and they had to wait even longer to see the conclusion – a whopping 2 hours before any real action between the two gods even happened. I’ll talk about that action later, since it’s just as bad as the movie.
But you should probably get a short-but-not-short plot summary because the movie has about as many twists and turns as a labyrinth in a labyrinth in a labyrinth in a labyrinth…First off, it’s the end of Man of Steel, there’s Bruce Wayne, saving a guy that a beam fell on, because Superman was fighting another kryptonian guy that was trying to destroy the world. Then, after a loving moment between Lois Lane and Superman, it shows how Batman is starting to go a little nuts. Bat crazy, you could say. He’s starting to brand the criminals he apprehends – as in hot metal on their skin, leaving a burn mark in the shape of a bat. He’s pretty crazy, but the film doesn’t do so well to explain it, making him more of the hero than superman.
There are the two sides, one is a god that can destroy everything if he wanted to, but doesn’t because he likes people, and a crazy old man with a wise old butler that tells him he’s stupid. Constantly. But those are not the only players in this 160 minute game of chess. Enter Lex Luthor, genius with a big to do list, with his second goal being world domination (the first is staying rich and creepy). The film shows Lex as an unlikable kid in his mid-20’s who gets what he wants all the time, and can’t handle people that are better than him. He also has a vendetta against Superman, because he doesn’t like the idea of someone coming down to Earth and being called its hero. He plans to bring some kryptonite to his labs to make weapons to take on Superman — or so the film makes you think. He also purchases the rights to the crashed kryptonian ship in the middle of Metropolis, for “research about Superman’s people,” otherwise known as “I’m gonna make a monster to kill Superman.”
Throughout the movie, there are many points in which Lex makes Superman seem less reliable than he really is. For instance, the government wishes to put restrictions on what he does, so they take him to the Capitol to discuss it. Remember that guy from the beginning that the beam fell on? He is there, wheelchair ridden, given to him personally by — you guessed it — Lex Luthor. So, in the middle of the trial, while a senator is giving a speech about how Superman deserves to have certain restrictions the wheelchair blows up, leaving only Superman standing. This lead the public to believe that — for some reason — he was behind it all. Yet another reason of him being the bad guy, and less for Batman.
So you get about an hour and a half in – not even close to the end – and Batman and Wonder Woman meet up. She gives him her email, and Batman finds out about three more superheroes: Aqua-man, the Flash, and Cyborg. This is obviously a set up to their coming movies, and the upcoming Justice League movie. These introductions take way longer than they should, with about 2 minutes each. That’s 6 minutes that could be the fight scene between Batman and Superman! It was obviously a shameless plug, but was – I have to admit – somewhat entertaining, if a bit overdone.
30 minutes of Batman-getting-and-making-weapons-out-of-kryptonite later, Superman meets Lex Luthor on top of his building, with Lex having just kidnapped Superman’s mother. He tells him that if he brings him the head of batman, nothing more will happen to her. So Superman looks behind himself, to see the Bat Signal. He goes over there to try and reason with Batman, but he is met with hostility. This gives the audience the hope of the fight they were waiting 2 hours for. And they were right.
Now, onto the strengths and weaknesses of this movie.
Batman’s point of view is overdone throughout the movie, and it is unneeded to make that side prominent. Superman, however, is very unrepresented as the good guy in the movie. He is attacked (metaphorically) for a good sum of the movie, and it doesn’t do much to show that he has a valid side to be on. The movie shows how Batman is a bit crazy, but suffers due to not showing it more clearly.
Though there are many negatives about this movie, one point in it is very good, and underrated: Ben Affleck’s Batman. Affleck’s performance is one of the saving grace’s of the film, and is actually quite good, given Affleck’s record of bad movies (Armageddon, Daredevil, Shakespeare in Love, etc.). He may have been good in other movies, but this is one of his best performances to date. His portrayal of a lesser than sane Bruce Wayne is better than most expected, giving life to the character, rather than just reading lines and not looking at the camera.
To conclude, Batman v Superman is a film not too different from a soap opera. It has too many characters that still are too stereotypical to care about, it runs for far too long, it’s set up is not as good as the action, and it has little positives other than the fan base built around it. Like sand through the 2-and-a-half-hourglass, so are the days of DC comics.
Let’s just hope Marvel will do better with Captain America: Civil War.