Fighting itselfby JalenAnderson
Batman V Superman is not a good movie. Is it Green Lantern bad? No, because to Snyder's and his teams credit, they have some business making a superhero movie. But not being as bad one of arguably the worst major motion pictures in 20 years isn't a hard hurdle. No, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (inappropriate title for most of the movie) is bad because it's Snyder, Goyer, Terrio, DC and WB at their worst as artists and a business. BvS is a HOT mess stemming from trying to play catch up to Marvel, while also trying to be some supposed opposite it, which is apparently the opposite of good.
Set roughly a year and a half after the events of Man of Steel, we have an unsure world. Superman is still doing his super thing (with the same amount of disregard for human life) and certain people, Batman, Lex Luthor, and the United States government don't trust him to stay the good guy, or something. It's all really vague beyond what happened in Man of Steel. The destruction of Metropolis understandably has people weary of a damn near god, but the 18 month gap of what Superman has been up to is left super vague. The story revolves around Lex Luthor's - played ANNOYINGLY by Jessie Eisenberg- vague hatred of superman....or god....or his dad. At the same time we have Ben Affleck's Batman also hating superman for being..... best way to describe it is "Super and not from around here." So we have Lex manipulate both characters into fighting each other through various means, by which he would succeed regardless of who wins. If you saw the trailer, you know that Batman and Superman make up (over a dumb reason that i'm not gonna spoil, you need to feel my headache) and fight a version of Doomsday created by Luthor as a backup. Also Wonder Woman is in it for 15 minutes, and Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman are shoehorned in for LITERALLY 1 minute of screen time in a LAZY reveal (literally a character sees them on a computer). The world building here is abysmal, and I'm not sure if the movie needed to be 20 minutes shorter, or 30 minutes longer. It's obvious that the movie and the script have been cut and revised to all hell. So what we end up with is a 2.5 hour movie of a VERY basic plot somehow made way more complicated than it needed to be. The main problem is that the the movie is narratively is all over the place and unfocused; too many plot holes, to many "wait, what" moments, to many unanswered questions. Yes I know there Blu-Ray R-cut is 3 hours, but I shouldn't have to pay more and see a DIFFERENT version to understand this version.
Yes Ben Affleck is great as Batman. I don't know why people were worried, he's a good actor. He brings a certain darkness and plain weight and dimension to the character that Bale, Clooney, Kilmer and Keaton couldn't do. It's refreshing to see. HOWEVER, the actual CHARACTER of Batman/Bruce Wayne is a different story. This Batman is an asshole. A murderous asshole. He straight murders people. This is a problem both morally, thematically, and logically. Am I supposed to side with a dude who guns down and fucking brands people? How is he any better than superman if he kills so freely. HOW IS THE JOKER ALIVE IF THIS BATMAN IS OK WITH KILLING??? Snyder and Goyer's obsession with darkness and being contrarians is becoming a problem. Batman being a killer takes away from the complicated morals of what he does in the comics and is one of his BASIC character traits. Why would I root for him? Henry Cavill as Superman is given bugger all to do in this movie. His character has developed in no way from Man of Steel. Remember this is supposed to be 18 months in the future. 18 months of being Superman and saving people, and we're still asked the same questions of "where do I belong" as in the first movie. Cavill isn't a bad actor, he's working with what he has but he's written as so bland, unlikable and whiney that it's hard to connect with him on any emotional level. Eisenberg is as bad as he looks. I don't know which came first, a badly written character or bad casting, but god damn did they mess this one up. The character is annoying, unclear, annoying, badly written, and annoying. It seems to me that Eisenberg is channelling the Joker if the Joker was played by Jim Carrey playing the Riddler. Think about that for a second. Look I GET what the movie was going for; the young misanthrope billionaire, the way of Zuckerberg or Martin Shkreli, but that's not Lex Luthor, and just because Eisenberg could do it in The Social Network doesn't mean he can do it here. He was bad, pure and simple. The saving graces as far as characters go were the side characters. Jeremy Irons is good as Alfred, who here is portrayed as a genius mechanic besides being a faithful servant. Amy Adams is still killing it as Lois Lane, no matter how much the script attempts to ruin her. Gadot is good as Wonder Woman (yes i consider a side character based on screen-time), She's not great, but she's good. I hope her character is fleshed out in her solo pic. Not gonna bother to talk about Cyborg, Aquaman or The Flash as they didn't add anything to the movie besides to have Batman say "we need to find them" at the end.
The movie looks pretty, I can give it that, but that SHOULD come as a given as a 250 million dollar movie, and Zack Snyder at the helm. There are some beautiful shots and scenes in this movie, most of which are completely devoid of diegetic sound (There's a great montage of superman saving people in Slowmo). The hand to hand combat scenes are well done. Zack Snyder knows how to direct up close, dirty fight scenes, and the one involving Batman vs a warehouse full of dudes is admittedly pretty good, even if he straight murders some dudes in it (He literally stabs one dude in the chest, and blows up another). My complaints on the technical side have to do with editing. It's obvious this movie was cut to hell, so there are scenes that feel like they were definitely written to be longer. Some scenes just end abruptly; there's a distinct lack of transition between scenes. We may take establishing shots for granted, but you notice the absence of them.
Batman V Superman is a reaction. It's a reaction to the success of Marvel, it is trying to be the same, and different in the same breath and is choking on it's own idiocy. Is this movie the worst movie ever. Not by a long shot, but it is a big, dreary mess, and not a good sign for the future of DC. I just Hope David Ayer can save us. Batman and Superman sure as hell can't. Or won't.