Review: Batman v. Superman (mostly spoiler-free)

A quick disclaimer: I did not have high hopes for this movie when I walked into the theater. Can you blame me? Critics have not been kind with their reviews and director Zack Snyder (Suckerpunch, Watchmen) had been hinting that the characters in the movie would not be like we were used to.

I’m very pleased to say I, super critical movie fan that I am, was wrong. The critics were wrong for the most part. (I’m not even sure we were watching the same movie?)

You can tell it’s a Zack Snyder movie, from the opening scenes with dramatic slow-mo shots of items falling to the ground. However, this tactic stopped standing out in my mind as the action started picking up–both because the movie was that riveting and also because apparently Snyder has grown up a bit since Suckerpunch and has learned that there is a time and a place for that and that time/place is not every two seconds.

By and far, the highlights for me were those in which we got hints for the Justice League movie to come–Aquaman glimpsed in footage of a shipwreck, Flash being heroic and timey-wimey, Cyborg’s creation, and of course Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman being an absolutely fucking amazing hero. She held her own better than any of the boys, I will tell you that. Seriously. If we don’t get our Wonder Woman movie pretty soon, I’ll lead the riots. Can we stop pretending that people don’t care about female superheroes? They do.

As for the character changes to Bruce and Clark–and the unlikely casting of Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor…I was pleasantly surprised. I felt like the changes fit in the world that we were given, and Ben Affleck is a superb older-and-fed-up Batman. Eisenberg himself played a much more Joker-esque Lex Luthor (but with a more solid logic) but it was fitting to me. Furthermore, I felt like the characters’ motivations and reactions to being put into situations worked much better than critics are giving credit for.

My only complaints are a few moments of disbelief here and there, namely, aside from the weird dream sequences Bruce fell into a few times in the movie. They didn’t fit, they felt weird and confusing, and they didn’t particularly serve any purpose. At all.

I would also like to go on the record saying Clark’s spidey sense for when Lois is in jeopardy  was the biggest thing that had me throwing my hands up in confusion. She was little more than a damsel in distress/person throwing important plot points in inconvenient places. I did like Amy Adams as her, however, mostly because I like Amy Adams. Lois will always have dark hair to me.

As far as plot goes, I’m not sure what Lois’s whole bullet plot arc was about–and why it was included. What did it do? Was it just to make her seem like more than a damsel in distress? Hint at what Lexcorp does (other than sponsor libraries)? Show her loyalty to her man?

A few quick stats from my viewing:

  • Number of times I worried about Lois Lane’s impractical footwear: 4 times
  • Number of times I found myself murmering “rude!” aloud in the theater when Superman was, well, rude: 5
  • Number of times I clutched my friend next to me about Wonder Woman’s amazingness: somewhere around 11?

In short, ignore what critics say and go give it a chance…and onward to Wonder Woman.

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