Friday, March 25, 2016

Superman v. Batman is Just Ok, But It Made Me Hopeful for Justice League

I saw Superman vs. Batman: Dawn of Justice last night, and while I don't agree with the degree of negativity in a large portion of the reviews (some of which I suspect were at least partially composed before the movie even came out, given the hate it got and Zack Snyder gets in some quarters), a lot of the specific criticisms aren't without merit. The movie tries to do a lot and at times making this particular movie good in this particular moment seems to take a backseat to setting the dominoes in place for later scenes or future films.

The good: It's generally shot well and well-acted. Ben Affleck is both a good Bruce Wayne and a good Batman. The fight scenes in general are good, but particularly in the area of "Batman vs. normal folks" which have suffered in previous Bat films. Amy Adams as Lois Lane (though she doesn't have as much to do as I would like). Lawrence Fishburne as Perry White. The rationale and structure for how the Justice League sequels are established. The fact that Gotham and Metropolis are across a bay from each other (as suggested by numerous Silver and Bronze Age comics). The result of the battle with Doomsday (which I would not have done but is an interesting way to move forward). And Wonder Woman--pretty much everything to do with her:

The not good: The choppy nature of the first half of the film; I realize "show don't tell," but showing too much makes your film a series of vignettes. Some of that could have been handled as exposition. Batman is far from the world's greatest detective here. Luthor has a nicely set up super-villain ridiculous plan (I mean that to be complimentary) in many ways, but his final push that makes Batman go into a reason-abandoning, anti-Superman frenzy is elementary school level subterfuge. Superman standing or floating majestically instead of--well, doing something--too many times; I realize less-active-Superman is a tactic other media has often engaged in to deal with his power level (even in the DC animated stuff, Superman moves awful slooowwww at times for a guy with super-speed and super-reflexes), but it just makes you mad at him. Here his passive broodiness is suppose to convey emotional conflictedness (I guess), but they didn't sell you on that with dialogue. Lex is sometimes perfect in his manic-ness and other times overdone; my biggest complaint regarding him is that no one in story comments on his clearly mentally ill behavior until he reveals his villainous plan.

1 comment:

The Angry Lurker said...

Nice review, will still see it though despite the negativity out there!