Is Superman v. Batman any good?
The short answer is not really.
This movie had so much hype around it and just as much concern about Zack Snyder’s ability to muck things up. Man of Steel, the supposed jumpoff for the DC Universe was mediocre and a confusingly dark film. The criticism was mainly that it was too busy, or maybe that it failed to do Superman justice. The point is that it just didn’t resonate with audiences. When he was announced as the director for Batman v. Superman, red flags went up and after seeing this film they were well deserved.
First let’s talk about the good.
We got to see Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman on screen for the first time and if Green Lantern wouldn’t have been an epic fail he would have been there, too. Batman was edgy, darker like most of the Batman fans liked. Wonder Woman was a beast and not some powder puff like early naysayers expected. Superman was okay, but he was on par with what we were given with Man of Steel.
Other than that – let’s move on to the bad. Wonder Woman was bad ass and gets a pass.
First off, Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor was bad, just wrong on so many levels. The character went from Joker level insanity to seriousness inconsistently throughout. His motivations were unclear, and when you did figure some of them out you were scratching your head. He was horribly miscast for an iconic role. Lex Luthor is an intellectual who is calculating and his motivations for hating Superman are always clear no matter what the story arc is. Jesse spent the movie making me want to get up and leave, but for the sake of this review I stayed.
Batman killed people, and that isn’t a bad thing really. He has always been on the edge and him snapping isn’t a deal breaker. His fighting was top notch, and Ben Affleck is Bruce Wayne from now on. The problem is how much, and why he hated Superman and how it felt forced. We got some detective work which is finally back in his repertoire and we want more please. It’s just that Batman is a symbol just like Superman. He is the every man that we identify with. He is a killer in this film and I don’t identify with that side of him. No one really wanted him to kill, just kick ass. Still, most of the time he was spot on as Bruce Wayne and for that Affleck gets a high five.
Superman is grossly mishandled again. This superhero is supposed to be the symbol of hope in the DC Universe (DCU) and so far they have made him in to the bad guy inadvertently. Say what you want about Henry Cavill but he looks the part and makes the best of the mediocre scripts presented to him. Speaking of the script, what the hell Warner Bros? You crammed Dark Knight Returns and Death of Superman in to one bloated, messy movie. The death of Superman could have been a trilogy on its own. Dark Knight returns is for sure a trilogy, or at least two films. Let me back up….
Superman’s sacrifice at the end of the film wasn’t appreciated or recognized by Metropolis. People hated him and there was no redemption or acknowledgement in this film that they forgave and mourned him. His death in the comics was mourned by the world. He was the great protector, a symbol of hope as I have said before. He stood for truth and justice, but in this film he hadn’t earned that death story line. A bad guy died in the eyes of many so – oh well. Stupid move and you blew your load there WB.
The fight was unnecessary and meaningless. This was an excuse for WB to market to Batman fan boys. Why? It’s simple. The Batman films and merchandise are proven to be big time money makers. This film was a Batman film and it showed. Superman fans cringed at the laughable thought of Batman having a chance even with Kryptonite. By the time Kryptonite takes effect it would be too late. Bats would be a puddle of melted rich boy from Clark Kent’s laser vision. Wait, let me back up again. They have ruined any credibility Superman has as the powerful being we all know and love. He is weak and his character is diminished. He got beat by a human with gadgets and a little bit of Kryptonite. Nothing they do will ever make him the Superman we deserve.
The fight also took place in an area that Batman setup specifically to give him advantages. He had Kryptonite and a suit to help him fight Superman who knew he was walking in to a trap but he had no choice since his mother’s life was at stake. Still, when the fight ended, and Superman told Batman that his mother was in danger, Batman stopped before killing him because their mom’s had the same name. WTF WB? Superman embarrassed Batman in the first “fight”, but this fight was simply to appease fanboys and sell more Batman merchandise. It will take ALOT of making amends to clean up the atrocious handling of the Man of Steel by Zack Snyder’s writing team.
Speaking of Snyder. This guy needs to stay the hell away from any future films involving Batman and Superman. He doesn’t understand them at all and it shows. Marvel is superior in every way to DC films because they have directors who get “it”. They know what we want and they give fans the stories they know and love the right way. Snyder’s worlds are dark, dreary, and devoid of hope, or humor. He is not capable of making a good superhero film. See Watchmen, Man of Steel, and Batman v. Superman’s Rotten Tomato scores. Then see Marvel’s. Marvel can do something that they cannot and that is receive fan AND critical praise. Fix it, DC.
WB is now desperately trying to spin their flop in to a win. It will make money but now fans are skeptical that DC can even be brought efficiently to the big screen. Green Lantern, Man of Steel, and now this critical dud. They have been sending out PR to sites about initial positive fan reaction, but let’s not forget. Star Wars Episode 1 received the same initial fan freak out, but on repeat viewing the reality set in that it was not a good film. I have seen this film twice hoping that upon a second viewing I would like it. Nope.
1100 + words later let me rate this film. It gets a 3 out of 10 stars. While it is bad it is nowhere near as bad as Fantastic Four so that’s a win. See this film if you love Batman and have to see everything he is in, or skip it if you want to keep your love for DC in tact.