So I finally saw Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice today and I’ll like to put down my thoughts before reading any reviews. I mean, I’ve read the titles of reviews, which means I already went into the movie expecting something, but before I read other people’s opinions, I want to write down my own.
As I said, I’ve read the titles of reviews and the titles all painted a pretty bleak picture. So I went into the movie not really expecting to like it aside from the Wonder Woman stuff and...well, I was pleasantly surprised. My overall judgment of the movie? It’s not bad. It is, on the whole, a popcorn flick. Two and a half hours of punching and explosions and fighting and slow motion and kickass musical cues and more slow motion and more explosions and more fighting and Jesse Eisenberg being delightfully insane.
Oh, right, that’s probably going to be my Unpopular Opinion: I thought Jesse Eisenberg was great as Lex Luthor. The movie didn’t give me any motivations and I didn’t care about them. All it gave me was him being a mad scientist extraordinaire and also delightfully unhinged. When he revealed that he knew Superman’s secret identity, well, that was a shocker. (At that point, I may have said, “Well, either Luthor is going to die or Superman is and we know it ain’t gonna to be Superman.” Boy, how wrong I was. Oops, spoilers!)
Now, saying that it’s not bad is not the same as saying that it’s good. The movie is good for what it is, which is a popcorn flick that you don’t think that hard about. Because one you start to think hard about the movie, it kind of collapses under its own angsty weight.
Some things that don’t make sense:
- The hearings on Superman because he saved Lois in Egypt...and some mercenaries then killed some villagers? Because Superman was suddenly there? Huh? How is that his fault? He went in, saved Lois, then left. How is the actions of warlords and mercenaries his fault? I mean, he didn’t even do an Iron Man!
- The mercenaries working for Lex Luthor used special bullets and that’s how Lois realized it was Lex. Except...why? Why were they using special bullets? I mean, wouldn’t regular bullets have worked just as well? Did they have to use special bullets to kill random terrorists?
- Holly Hunter’s Senator is holding hearings on Superman. She invites Superman to the hearing. Tensions are high. Nobody checks that one guy’s wheelchair for a bomb. NOBODY.
- Also, did Lex Luthor pee in a jar and arrange it to be placed on her desk? I mean, I totally think this Lex would do that, but wouldn’t that smell bad? Wouldn’t she know right away that it was a jar of piss? Also, the image of Lex Luthor pissing in a jar and handing it to an underling to place on her desk just delights me.
- Goddammit, Mercy Graves was wasted. There she was, all through the beginning of the movie! And I was waiting for her to do something! And then she dies! Lex basically killed her for no reason! “Hold my seat.” No, no, Lex, you have to say, “You know, Mercy, let’s not stick around here, it’s boring.” You save Mercy for the next movie people!
- Clark hallucinates his father. Because...I guess that’s just what he does. I mean, the hallucinated Jonathan Kent had a better speech than the real Jonathan Kent ever did, but that was still kind of weird.
- All of Bruce Wayne’s dreams were bizarre. Did we really need to see the black ooze seeping from his mother’s grave? Do you not think we would have got it that his mother and Clark’s mother have the same name?
- Batman is clearly killing people. I mean, not when he’s fighting them (although I could tell that some people are going to have cracked skulls), but when he’s driving. He’s crashing into cars and flipping cars and goddamn, those people in the cars are totes dead. And then he uses the Batplane to blow up some other cars and those people are totes dead, too. But I bet when Alfred brought those deaths to him, Bruce was totally like this.
And now for the good parts:
- Once again, Amy Adams as Lois Lane was awesome. When she cares about something, you care about something.
- Jeremy Irons as Alfred! Oh my god, he was great. I mean, I wished he had more snark, but the fact that he just called Bruce out on his bullshit all the time was awesome. Listen to Alfred, you little shit.
- Gal Gadot as Diana was good. Her early appearances were nice and then her fight with Doomsday was pretty epic. I mean, I don’t think I needed to see her on the plane being called “Ms. Prince,” because I think the entire audience got that she was Wonder Woman by then, but still.
- Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. Again: delightfully insane.
- Oh, right, the cameos. They were all pretty nice, although I think I enjoyed Miles Dyson the best. Plus: Mother Box!
And now for the mixed bag:
- Henry Cavill as Clark/Superman was, again, okay, but...it did seem, at times, like he was trying to emote a little too hard. Like he was pushing the emotions out through his anus. (Wow, what a weird metaphor.) During his fight with Batman, he seemed really angry that Batman was fighting him...even though he knew that Batman was totally going to be fighting him. With green farts. (I’m sorry, but that’s what they looked like.) When he’s Clark, he acts perfectly fine, but when he’s Superman, suddenly he’s stiff as a board.
- Ben Affleck as Bruce/Batman. Okay, like Cavill, Affleck was good as Bruce Wayne, but as Batman...he needed work. He just wasn’t that menacing to me. And his anger at Superman seemed...weird. I know that it was Lex manipulating him, but I was expecting Lex to reveal that he had been pumping Bruce with fear gas or something, because Batman seriously had a hate-on for Superman for, like, very little reason. Yeah, yeah, that building was destroyed, but, you know, Zod would have destroyed all of the buildings had Superman not been there.
I did appreciate how, in the last fight, everyone was all, “It’s the end of the work day, so nobody’s still around!” (Despite everyone still being there at the Daily Planet.) And “He’s bringing him to space!” which actually was pretty nice of Superman. And then “It’s on Stryker’s Island, which is uninhabited!” (Too bad Batman totally led them back to Gotham, which means that a ton of people died. Which is totally Batman’s fault. He couldn’t just go and retrieve the spear quickly? He had to lead him to the spear? God Batman is dense.)
So there are my two cents. Agree? Disagree?
Now I have to go back to my petition to get Rachel Bloom as Power Girl.