What can I say about the long-awaited superhero crossover? Well, I can start by saying I’ve never been a fan of Superman, Batman or DC Comics. So, I guess my review will be without the comparison of the film adaptation to the original work.
Before reading on, there are some minor spoilers ahead, for those who have yet to see the movie.
Let me begin by praising Ben Affleck. I know there was a lot of negative feedback when it was announced that he had been chosen for the part, but I never gritted my teeth too much. I loved Christian Bale in the role, but I have always been somewhat of an Affleck advocate. I’ve never stood up and said he was a great actor, but he has proven solid in certain roles. This aged, jaded Bruce Wayne, slash suicidal, kamikaze Dark Knight is a very brooding and dry character, and Affleck often brings those qualities to his roles because, judging by interviews, he is sort of that way, anyhow.
Zack Snyder added some artistic atmosphere absent in the Christopher Nolan films and shot far superior action scenes, which is his forte. But, I feel like that’s about where the good times stop.
It’s okay that Batman himself was dry, but that didn’t mean the entire film had to be. The story didn’t have much of a dynamic building up to the anti-climatic showdown–a battle which wasn’t even the finale of the film. I get it that it wasn’t just about the two heroes doing battle, but it was also about the conflicting methods to the philosophies of each individual. However, there was no real selling point and the sudden switch in the direction of the film as to why the fight stops was too easy and not very compelling.
Most of all, the film is not original in visuals or plot. Snyder revisits his adaptation of Watchmen to offer us the Dr. Manhattan plot as to why the world would turn against Superman, gives us a bland Wonder Woman that was dressed exactly like Xena, and an end-boss that looks like nothing more than a redux version of the Kraken/Cave Troll/Cronus and ends up in a scene reminiscent of King Kong, accompanied by yet another comic book film nuclear missile launch into space (speaking of that–how many times have we seen our heroes stranded in outer space, floating just above the Earth in recent years?), resulting in an all-out CG war that did look pretty cool, at times, but kind of seems like more of a validation of the initial fear mankind had in regards to having these super-humans on the planet, instead of curing that concern and giving the world a reason to think Superman is good to have around. So, in the end, what have we learned? That, since this battle was way more catastrophic than the clash with Zod, and with yet another MetaHuman in our midst, we have even more reason to fear for the safety of our planet since their capacity to cause chaos is far greater than we realized; and, now we have also learned that Batman is about ten-times as dangerous as the city of Gotham thought, giving them even more reason to vilify his vigilante ways. Oops…
By the way, without giving too much away: Since when is Superman Scottish? And did they really march all the way from the city out through the cornfields of Kansas? What the Hell?
Also, I am predicting a connection between Lex Luthor and Jared Leto’s Joker from Suicide Squad. The similarities are uncanny: the behavior; the posture; the body language; the voice and speech; and even the part where Luthor held the pictures like he was holding a row of playing cards. I wonder if they’re going to do a change-up and make them brothers, since no one really knows the Joker’s identity. It’s either that or the Luthor character was just another example of the film’s lack of originality.
I’ll give the cast credit, though. The acting was very good. The direction wasn’t horrible but could have been better. The screenplay was the real disappointment and I can say that it’s a good thing they released this film in March.
2.75 out of 5.