Free Shipping on Bulk Ammo -- TargetSportsUSA.Com!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Batman Punches Superman: Dawn of Injustice

I've now seen Deadpool three times in the theatre: Once at the normal cinema I go to, once in IMAX (my first IMAX movie!) and once with a friend that came to visit. I'm also looking forward to Captain America: Civil War. I bring these up because I do not have the mixed feelings for the vast majority of Marvel films that I do for Batman vs. Superman. And it can't be just that I'm a Marvel fanboy -- I love Batman and the Bat-family more than I do any one particular Marvel hero, even RDJ's Tony Stark.

(Erin says: It's true. He practically has a fetish for Batgirl.)

But if I'm honest, I've never been a Superman fan to begin with. The Reeves films were variable in quality, with the first one being the only truly good one (minus the time travel sequence), and Superman Returns actually put me to sleep despite the absolute perfection of casting Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor. I honestly didn't think Man of Steel was that bad, but then... I'm not a fan of Superman, so that's probably why. So continuing the Man of Steel thread into BvS was really my only interest as far as Superman is concerned, and BvS was definitely a Man of Steel sequel... for all that's worth. No, the reason I forked out the cash for two IMAX tickets (You're welcome, Jacob) was Batfleck.

I have spoken previously on the subject of Batfleck, and I stand by my previous words. Ben Affleck as Batman was inspired. There has not been a Batman on film yet that had the physicality, the stature, and the cold rage that drives a Batman that Ben Affleck brought to the role. No one yet has looked the part so much and made me believe the role so much. I'm ready to say that Batfleck currently has my Number 2 slot, behind the Arkham/Animated Batman of Kevin Conroy. Any part of this film that has either Batman or Alfred in it could easily be cut out and still be good watch on its own.

Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman is pretty great, too (when she's there). This is the first time I've seen a live-action Wonder Woman I enjoyed, and she had far too little screen time.

This is what we've been missing from cinematic Batman.

The rest of the cast does not fare as well:
  • Henry Cavill looks the part still, but falls utterly flat. He's basically got two emotions: Mope and Rage. As I've mentioned, I'm not even a Superman fan, but even I know that Superman operates on a much broader range than that, and with an air of underlying optimism at all times. 
  • Jesse Eisenberg is hopelessly mis-cast as Luthor, even taking into account he's not technically Lex but rather his son Alexander. Eisenberg would have been much better served being cast in the inevitable Batfleck movie as The Riddler, as his performance is much closer in line to Arkham's deranged, SAW-esque version of Riddler than any previous Luthor. 
  • Amy Adams is basically forgettable as Lois Lane, and Laurence Fishburne's Perry White has somehow turned into a caricature of himself.
The story and pacing of the movie is all over the place, and has the feel of two movies that were forced into one due to budgetary constraints. There's a difference between “X happens, which leads to Y, which leads to Z” and “X happens, then Y happens, then Z happens” and this movie is definitely the latter.

I hate to lay the blame at the feet of any one person in particular, yet I can't help but question Zach Snyder on this. He says he understands and loves the characters, but it genuinely feels like he read only two stories -- Injustice: Gods Among Us and The Dark Knight Returns -- and ran with those. Not only are these stories out of comic-book continuity, the are also set in worlds in which things have gone horribly wrong and the characters are forced to take actions they would not normally otherwise take.

In Injustice, the Joker murders Lois Lane and Superman completely loses it, gravely injuring Batman who tries to stop him and seizing world power with a coalition of super-powered heroes. In Dark Knight, government overreach leads to a near-totalitarian state with Superman a government puppet, prompting Batman to finally take him down. While gripping stories, neither of these are accurate portrayals of Batman and Superman. 

In short, BvS isn't as bad as Rotten Tomatoes and the drama-addicted movie critics would have you believe, and it has some quite excellent scenes, but the movie has some real problems. I'd genuinely recommend watching it at some point, but rent it rather than paying to see it in theatres. As of this writing, a Batman film starring and directed by Affleck has been confirmed, and Suicide Squad is still coming fairly soon, so I can only hope that Dawn of Justice serves its primary purpose of serving as a springboard for a larger DC universe, and that it will bring us films of tMCU or Nolanverse quality instead of more bombs like Green Lantern or Man of Steel.

Prior to this, I had some level of faith in Zach Snyder. I didn't hate Sucker Punch (unlike most everyone else), and Watchmen and 300 were good movies. But this isn't a promising start to DC's cinematic universe.

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Fine Print

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Creative Commons License

Erin Palette is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to