General Review: Batman v Superman

Hello, Spongey here.

Well here we go guys. On this glorious weekend, we are finally experiencing the cinematic event of the year. It’s something we’ve wanted for years. That’s right, that film is…MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2!

…What, you weren’t hyped for the sequel to a 14 year old film no even talks about anymore? The film that took so long to make that the original director s too busy doing Disney Sitcoms? (I’m not making that up, seriously)

Whatever, it’s your loss. But I suppose if you want to discuss that over film coming this week that no cares about, I can cover that. Okay, jokes aside, my god is the hype real for this one. But not in the way the Studios expected.

Let’s back up. In 2013, they came out with a Superman Reboot known as Man of Steel, hoping to start off a DC Cinematic Universe to compete with Marvel. They tried with Green Lantern but um…it didn’t turn out so well.

This one was a Box Office hit ,and was mostly loved by general audiences. Everyone else…is a different story. This has been the most debated film of the decade so far. Fans love it and think it’s an amazing take on Superman while haters think it’s the worst thing ever.

I did my own take on it back when it hit DVD, and I thought it was…okay. I didn’t care for the story structures and thought some elements were odd and it needed more development, but I liked some of the concepts, some scenes were pulled off well, and most of the actors did a decent job.

In hindsight, it’s more enjoyable than when I first saw it, but It’s very much flawed. I do think the detractors are overeating a bit. At least it feels they tried with the story in some aspects, and I felt like I watched a story unfold.

Meaning it’s way better than last years Fantastic Four film. Seriously, that made me appreciate stuff like Man of Steel even more. Oh, and now I’m a bit more angry at people bitching about Supes killing people since he kind of cried about it and clearly did not want to do it.

But I suppose actually paying attention to the film is less important than bitching.

Since it was a hit, a sequel was in order but they went in a different direction. Instead of a straight forward Man of Steel sequel, they said it would be a crossover with Batman. Yes, they were really jumping the gun.

This is an idea that has been hyped since at least the 80’s but having it happen like this seemed a bit odd. Especially once they revealed this would lead right in to a Justice Legree, complete with Wonder Woman being a big player along with cameos by other characters.

It’s easy to see why this is a dumb idea. I mean it seems like they are trying to hard to do their Avengers, by just jumping into it before really planning ahead. People got more skeptical with each piece of news, and the trailers did not help at all.

And need I mention…certain casting choices? On a side note, there’s an episode of Liv and Maddie where Liv tries out for a film role in a Comic Adaption and geeks are unhappy, but after they give her a chance they find they approve, and she goes on to be in a hit film.

That’s right, a Disney Sitcom just showed more sense than most people online. That’s…sad.

Anyway, the short version there is too riding on this film and a lot of people fear it could backfire. I mean, look at Amazing Spider-Man 2. I thought it was a fine film that told it’s story pretty well.

…But it had a few too many hints at upcoming films and Sony was riding on it too much. They wanted to make tons of films following that and wanted it to be huge. But it was only a modest hit and got mixed reactions which was enough for it to be a huge failure in their eyes.

I’d hate to see history repeat itself.

But in spite of this…i was beyond hyped for this. I don’t care about the warning sides, so much of this looks awesome! Batman fighting Superman, clashing ideologies, and tons of fighting!

Even the spoiler trailer had a lot of cool stuff in it. I can’t help it! But honestly, I’m hyped simply so I can FINALLY see it and figure out how good it was. I was sick of arguing with people over the merits of a film that wasn’t out yet.

I knew this would be an interesting film, no matter what happens. It was actually my most anticipated film of 2016 for that reason, even though I know so many will end up being better.

But after all the news and worries, the film is finally out for me to lay my eyes on. The hype is real. Is this the giant mess naysayer are expecting, or is this the big clash between giants that I’m hoping for?

…Let’s finally find out.

This, is Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

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PRODUCTION:

This turned out well with Deadpool, so I’m not only breaking it down this way from now on, but I wll do production first. Especially in the big budget action films, as I do want to assure that the action is good at least, even if it is good.

So without saying anything about the actual film as a whole, how does it look? Well, I must say it looks pretty good, as you may expect from a film like this. I mean, it does look a bit dreary like Man of Steel, but it just pops out better than that one.

The subject matter makes it earn that look a lot better. But putting that aside, the action scenes are great. They are shoot very well, letting us seeing most of it and not being as quick as in some other films.

The pure scale of them is so grand that it is just made me giddy inside. Yes, the match the title promises is worth it for the most part. The action has a real energy that makes them very enjoyable. I don’t care what any says (about this and the actual film), these action bits were just cool.

The score helps make them better too. Everything I want is right in there, making for at least some good action. The effects are good too. Nothing mind blowing but the actual CGI bits work, even if some bits look a bit more dodgy then other.

Any problems I can find production wise technically would relate more to other aspects, so I’ll save it for then. This would include the editing, which I don’t even usually mention.

While Marvel still rule when it comes to action, the high energy and fun action scenes in this show that DC is no slouch either. That’s all I got for this.

WRITTING:

After Superman arrived on Earth and defeated Zod, he left quite a mess in his wake which Bruce Wayne isn’t happy with. Eventually everyone starts wondering if Superman is worthy of being their hero, and if the mysterious Batman is a vigilante on top of that. Adding a little madman with the last name of Luthor to that ,and both Kal and Bruce have a lot to deal with…

Well…I’m an interesting position. In this kind of review, the first sentence regarding my opinion will be insane, and there is a lot riding on my opinion. But in the end, it’s just a damn movie so whatever, here it.

The interesting thing about this film from the get go is that actually addresses the damage from Man of Steel. We find out more damage happened than we thought, which really puts Superman on Bruce’s bad side.

It fuels the whole film, raising questions about who are heroes should be and driving Bruce’s motivation. A lot of figured they’d use the outraged over MoS’s ending to drive the conflict in this film and it seems to run with it.

But how does it handle all of it in the end? Well, when it comes to the writing, let it be known that I think it’s……..okay. ….Just…okay.

This will be a fun review.

I’m not sure where to start, because saying that is almost a bigger blow than just saying it’s good or bad. It’s more complicated than “okay”, though as I’m a bit conflicted due to the parts I liked and disliked.

So if you are expecting a lot of angry hyperbole, then you can calm down.

I’ll focus on the negatives, because I do want to close out on the more positive stuff. There are two big problems I had with the script overall that kind of lead to the other minor ones. One is obvious based on the runtime. That being…the runtime. It is indeed way too long. Which is weird, because I’ve seen long films that feel fine, deserving that length. And with the subject matter, you think it would earn that.

And in places it does, with a lot of the things it juggles, especially with how it has to set up the conflict between the two heroes. It almost feels long enough….but then it goes on .The middle part and the final act is where it drags.

By the time it was time to do have the final battle, it felt like took forever to get here. You have to set stuff up, but it felt like the path could have been done better. I don’t know to describe it, but the way scenes flow seems a bit weak meaning it drags on more than it should.

I was not bored too much since the stuff happening was just interesting enough to keep my attention, but a few times I starting to realize that I may not even be halfway through yet. I’ve seen worse films in this regard, so its’ not a huge deal, but it is a problem.

I’d say the other big problem but…it’s the ending. Which is…a spoiler. They actually didn’t show it in the trailer, so it really is a spoiler. I will post something on Deviant Art later going into it, as I feel it’s easier to go into spoilers there instead of making a section like I normally would.

All I will say is that kind of ended on a note I …can honestly I did not care for. It actually almost left a bad taste in my mouth. I would not be saying that if I did not mean it. I’ll go into detail some other time, but when you see it, you will know what I’m talking about.

Some may like the ending, so don’t avoid it because I say it might be …divisive. Seriously, most arguments over this film will bring up this part a lot.

But back to the other parts of the writing. I can’t say any actual scene was bad per say, but I do think I wasn’t as invested I should have been. The editing is a bit jarring because of that, with some scenes early on being spliced in weirdly.

It’s hard to explain but the flow could have been better. And yes there may be too much going on especially with the you know what set up and Luthor’s convoluted plan. As for the tone, I actually think it worked.

It has more light parts than Man of Steel, as there are humorous exchanges in some parts. It earns the serious tone for the most part and felt more breeze than some of Mos, mostly because it’s not quite as preachy for the most part.

So the people saying it sucks the fun out of everything are a bit wrong, like with MoS, the writing is more problematic than the tone. With that said, some of the funny parts could have been better, and sometimes the serious bits lead to the actors being slightly wooden with their line reads.

As for the Justice Leauge set up, it’s mixed. It fit in slightly better than I thought, and wasn’t amazingly intrusive…but also felt forced in some parts, and took up too much time in a way. Again, it’s hard to explain. But it could have been worse.

Now onto the positives. I do like the themes a lot. I like the reasons the two have for disliking each other, as Bruce feels Superman caused too much destruction. It’s interesting seeing everyone disuses the two heroes, as it leads to interesting ideas.

The ideas really hold up a lot of the scenes are they kept me invested more than some of the other stuff. And when it comes down to it, the payoff is enjoyable. I mentioend with with the production, but the battles are just fun.

There’s just something I like about them. Maybe I’ll like then less if I watch it without the hype of these two giants fighting, but for now I think they did that well. Even with the wonky set up, it was too cool to not enjoy.

So, as a whole the writing is…on the mixed side. It feels too long, juggling a bit too much with some sloppy editing bits in places, but also have enthralling action and brings up interesting ideas, handling Batman especially well for the most part.

If you just want to see some cool fighting, if you are patient enough you wil lget that. And if you like the ideas enough, there will be enough to chew on in that regard. But if you were worried it mgiht get too big or be sloppy…you might end up begin right.

This is sounding negative, but nothing bored or panned me as I was watching and I was invested enough due to what was going on, and I very much enjoyed the action. But I felt like I was waiting too long to get the meat, and the ending was honestly a tun off.

It makes for a script that’s…okay. I’ve seen more bloated films, and at least it tries hard in some areas, but I do feel like it could have been better. It gave me some stuff I wanted, but left me cold in other areas.

I’ll go more into my reaction vs most people’s in the final thoughts. But as a whole, the writing can be mixed, to say the least.

CHARECTERS:

With the script having it’s share of pacing problems, you may think the characters are equally as mixed. You would be right, some are good, and some are not as interesting.

Let’s start with Kal El/Superman/Clark Kent, played by Henry Cavil. As a character, he is more likable than in Man of Steel, as he is to deal with all this crap going on. Cavil’s performance is more mixed this time though. When it cones, he’s charming and feels like Superman, but sometimes he’s too wooden.

The writing can be blamed for this in a way. Superman isn’t the best here, as I feel like he didn’t develop as much as I wanted. His scenes are weaker than Batman’s due to not having as much weight. Yet another thing I can’t explain, but Superman was only okay here. But he wasn’t ruined at least.

Then we have Bruce Wayne/Batman, played by Ben Affleck. Okay, since this was announced, Ben’s casting caused a lot of worry. You may wonder how it payed off. Well, I have to say he…did a good job!

I am so glad I get to say that, in spite of the film’s problems. He plays an older Batman (Maybe not as old as Dark Knight Returns, but still a bit old) who has been out there for a bit and is just dealing with powerful alien who has caused all this damage. Ben Aflleck pulls that off very well and his scenes work the best because he can juggle the lighter bits with Alfred, and the serious parts.

While Batman’s portrayal is not perfect, he does work since he gets more focus and develop than Superman in the end. Ben was part of making him likable, which makes me so happy. I’m sure people who dislike the film won’t say Ben saved it, but most will agree he did the best with what he was given.

The character himself is solid, even if I wouldn’t say he’s my favorite Batman ,due to how things pay off by the end. Still, I liked Batman and Ben Affleck did a surprisingly good job.

Speaking of controversial casting choices, we have Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luther. He was…kind of mixed. On his own, he was kind of enjoyable because of how crazy and funny he is. As Lex…he’s kind of bad, because he’s more like the Joker than Lex Luther. The character himself was a bit too laughable for this kind of movie.

He isn’t developed very well, being a bit forced in sometimes and not having the best motivation. With this kind of film, you better writing on the villain to match the other deep themes you want to tackle.

I thought Zod was handled better in that regard, even if he wasn’t perfect. On his own, he was enjoyable but maybe not in the right. He just wasn’t the great villain we needed for this film, honestly.

We all know Wonder Woman is in this, played by Gal Gadot, so I may as well mention here. Spoilers are why I cannot go into detail, but in short…she’s okay. She was look and act badass to help the action but it does add to the bloated problem.

Gal’s acting is mixed. Sometimes she’s enjoyable, other times she is stilted. Nothing terrible, but I think she will do better in her own film when she has more to work with. Can’t say more than that.

The rest are on the minor side, so I’ll just breeze by most of them. There’s Alfred, played by Jeremy Irons. He’s not given a lot to do, but his scenes were enjoyable. He’s good in the way Alfred is always good: He’s nice help as well as a good snarker. If he had more to do, I would love him more but as it is, he’s good.

Lois Lane, played by Amy Adams is…weaker than in Man of Steel, in some ways. She was more charming when she given the chance, but her character had less to do and I buy their romance less than before, honestly.

Also, as per tradition, she has to get saved a few times. After MoS at least tried to avoid it, it’s sad that they are back to that. She’s just okay I guess. Everyone else from Lawerence Fishbourne as Perry White, or Holly Hunter as June Finch is fine, but just don’t do enough for me to analze them.

Which is fine, the big heroes should be the focus and to an extent, they are. I just like it when I have tons of character to go into, instead of having this section end too quickly. Oh, and as one trailer spoiled, Doomsday showed up.

Not much to say without spoiling but…he’s there.

The characters are mixed as the writing itself. Batman himself is written well with Ben Affleck doing well, but the others switch between charming and interesting, and just dull or odd in the case of Lex.

When it counts, they can work but perhaps more development would not hurt. But hey, at least Ben Affleck proved himself!

Final Thoughts:

I am in a very strange position here. As a whole Batman v Superman isn’t really bad at all, and some of the detractors are going too far with their assessments. They aren’t too wrong as it can be over bloated, with sloppy writing in places, a weak ending and some characters not being developed enough.

However, it has plenty of things to like as it is has exciting action and some good themes along with a Solid Batman with Ben Affleck proving himself to be good in the role. I am sounding more negative than I really am, because I was engaging in a way.

But thinking about it, the whole thing does start to get weaker due to the ending and how things play out. It’s way better than some people claim, even if I do see why some don’t care for it. Trust me, plenty of the negative reviewers are being fair and nice. Even with the assholes thrown in.

I think it’s…okay. I enjoyed some of it, and I wasn’t too annoyed or bored most of the time. However, some parts did leave me cold, especially the ending. I am glad I saw it because I got some really good action and interesting scenes and ideas.

But I do wish it was better, because I do want to love it due to what it does right. I think it’s not as bad as some may say, but I do want to be honest and say I could not call it flat out good. I could almost say I enjoyed/tolerated it mostly, but I would be lying if I said it was rock solid.

Despite everything I say, I would recommend it. It’s too big of an occasion to miss due to the awesome parts it has, and I do think DC deserves a chance to fix possible issues in sequels or spin offs.

We’ll still have Suicide Squad either way.

Ignore anything people and see the film for yourself if you did wish to see it. It’s got some good to it, and it’s not bad at all. Just…flawed. It does hurt a lot to say all this, because I want to prove people wrong and say it’s good, like with Amazing Spider-Man 2.

But I must be honest, and while I certainly did not dislike it, it has room for improvements. With all that said, this film is just okay. Kind of disappointing, but also kind of satisfying.

Take all of that for what it’s worth.

WRITING: C+

PRODUCTION: B+

CHARACTERS: C+

OVERALL: B-. A bit too nice but since it was watchable and has it’s highs, I will be fair. This could change overtime, of course.

So…there we go. Let the chips fall where they may. …At least we have Civil War in a couple months.

See ya.

(SPOILER Discussion: http://spongey444.deviantart.com/journal/Batman-v-Superman-SPOILER-Stuff-599236115 )

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About Spongey444

I'm 20 and I'm a slightly below average man who can barely spell. I mostly spend my time watching TV and movies, hence why i ended doing a blog all about those things. I tend to have weird tastes, but I like think I'm just fair on things.
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