IMPORTANT: Spoilers ahead!!(Not a lot of them, but enough that I feel I should mention it)
Superhero movies are one of the hottest trends in Hollywood. But if The Avengers taught us anything, is that one superhero by himself is not that big anymore. However, when you put together arguably the two biggest superheroes of all time, its go time.
Batman v Superman was one of the most hyped movies of all time. It was announced over two years ago and has been one of the most talked about movies in recent history. From casting Ben Affleck as Batman to Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, seemingly every movethe studio made was being followed. And that is what is hurting the movie so much now. But more about that later on. Now, onto the movie.
First, let’s start with what everyone is wondering. How did Ben Affleck do as Batman? The answer: pretty good actually. It’s hard to compare it to Christian Bale’s version of the Dark Knight, considering how different they are. Affleck’s Batman is older, worn down, and is much darker and more of a vigilante, even killing criminals at times. Personally I love that director Zack Snyder went there, knowing Affleck is better at playing noir type roles than he is at action ones (Daredevil aside).
For the other performances, I’ve always been a huge fan of Henry Cavill’s Superman, mostly because he is not necessarily the clean cut, bland guy Superman always is. We see more of that in this movie. Clark Kent is still trying to cope with being Superman and with both being loved and hated at the same time. On Jesse Eisenberg’s case, it’s a bit hard. I like what he was trying to do, but my problem with him is the same problem I have with the whole movie: Good intentions and I can see the potential for greatness, but his performance ends up being too over the top, too messy and kinda falls flat at times. I can’t comment much on Gal Gadot’s portrayal of Wonder Woman since she barely had any lines. I like what I see from her and she should be a solid Wonder Woman at worst.
Now let’s move to the mise en scene and cinematography. I really enjoyed the way Snyder portrayed Metropolis and Gotham. He could’ve gone with the typical “tale of two cities” shots, but Snyder did more than that. He embraced that but also put his personal twist, with music and editing helping that case. I love the noir elements he adds. Things like having a hero in a semi post-apocalyptic world to the fact that he shoots Gotham with a blue lens to give it a more grim and raw effect. Nolan did it in “The Dark Knight Rises” and worked wonderfully then. One criticism me and one friend had was that the movie was too Michael Bay-ish. Snyder overdid it with the explosions, pan shots and action editing overall. This is an uncommon flaw of Snyder, who usually loves slow motion rather than fast editing like Bay does. I want to believe that this was because of his desire to deliver and meet action movie expectations rather than focus on his own. Hopefully, it will change by the time The Justice League comes.
Finally, let’s move to the dialogue/story, and this is where I have the biggest problem with the movie. I feel the dialogue was to “meh” and the story was just plain confusing. Talking to other friends who watched the movie, we all agreed the movie was a bit too messy and complicated. But there’s one big thing that is worth noting, and that is that this is the first movie of the rest of the series. This is DC’s Avengers. And while Avengers was great, it was also a bit messy. And that is because in this cases, the first movies are always gonna be messy and the studio knows it. Look at the new Star Wars. All it does is set up plot lines for the next movies, which is exactly what Batman v Superman does. But back to the story. I enjoyed the way they set up Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg. I can’t wait for Jason Momoa’s Aquaman and Ezra Miller’s Flash, who both had brief cameos in this movie(I’m a big Ezra Miller fan. Since his early indie days to “Perks of Being A Wallflower,” the guy can bring it). The end felt a bit rushed, and I feel they wasted Doomsday, who is arguably DC’s strongest bad guy, who was more of a side villain than the main one.
In conclusion, superhero movies are the hottest trend in Hollywood. You need no creativity since the story is already written, and there are always going to be a box office success, even the bad ones (looking at you and your $220 million Green Lantern). However, the bad part of it is that the expectations are always going to be sky high by livelong fans of said superheroes who don’t want you to butcher their idols with corny catchphrases and a lot of CGI (now I’m looking at you, Michael Bay). Well, like I said, Batman v Superman was hyped. Did it live up to expectations? Probably not, but I also vehemently disagree that it is a bad movie. It’s a solid movie in what should be the worst movie of the new series (if not done correctly, Wonder Woman could easily take that tittle away from it). From Snyder’s noir vision of Gotham , to Jesse Eisenberg’s psycho Lex Luthor, there’s things that have a lot of potential , but don’t quite work in this movie. I am not super worried about the upcoming DC movies, but let’s say that so far, I have much more confidence in Joss Wheldon and Marvel than I do on Zack Snyder and DC.
FINAL RATING: 3.5 out of 5. “Superhero movies are like pizza. Even the bad ones are still pretty good(Except Green Lantern. And X Men 3. And Spider-man 3. Wow this quote is really falling apart). -Gerardo E. Aldana