Okay I’ve finally made it through all three hours of Batman versus Superman :Dawn of Justice and, well, I’m annoyed.
Annoyed because there was a lot that was good about the film, but it is buried under so many bad decisions, dunderheaded character moments, and shallow, impact-less cgi.
So let’s cut to the quick here: who decided to make Batman a cretin? Batman is a superhero who doesn’t have superpowers, he relies on his intelligence, his guile, his innovation. He originated in Detective Stories for heaven’s sake, he’s, ultimately, a detective.
So why would be successfully attach a tracking device to a truck, then immediately engage that truck in a ferocious gun, bomb, and vehicular attack? Why the casual brutality, the branding of villains and whimsical murder? Where was the tailing and investigation into Superman? He’d easily figure out the Lois Lane relationship, seeing as Supes seemed to enjoy moping on her balcony in full get up.
Instead, all we got was “Vengeance!!!”
How was this gotten so wrong?
Next, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luther. Firstly the performance is incredibly annoying, all ticks and twitches and “Hey look at me, I’m crazy” touches. Second, what the heck was his motivation? What was his end game? Why did he feel the need to kill off his Japanese henchwoman? All I could figure out was: “I don’t like Superman”.
The film then decided to spend too much of its time setting up the Justice League movie – introducing the ‘meta-humans’ with a sub-plot involving Wonder Woman. The film kept having this attractive woman appearing all over the place but not explaining who she was until the ’email’ sequence in the middle (for fans) and the end (for Supes and the Big B). This could have been fun fan service, if the marketing dudes had bothered to keep it a secret. but they didn’t. instead they put her, in the new Wonder Woman outfit, on the poster.
That alone was a pretty dumb move, but this film needed a lot more careful examination of the motives behind it’s titular heroes: Superman and Batman. It did not need another character added (who also is missing any form of character arc, motivation or, well, character) who only seemed to exist to add a link to other characters and set up the next two movies.
Grr. I’m not a massive fan of Civil War, but look how Marvel introduced Spiderman in that film. You just know him from pretty much his first appearance on screen, and the moment he appears in the suit, you love him and root for him. Wonder Woman… not so much, yet this is the longest running female comic book character in history!
Hey ho, this blog may end up massive if I go through all the problems I have with this movie, and I’m not a comic book fan!
Let’s do some generic ones then:
Wonder Woman never receives a scratch. Bearing in mind she’s wearing a swimsuit and get thrown through buildings, it would be interesting to see her get scratched up then heal or something (hey, here’s an idea, if Bats saw that it would further help his character arc from vengance to understanding – but no, that’s all done with the word “Martha”).
Martha – seriously??!
Hey Bats, when beating up Supes, demolishing four massive stone columns with your enemy’s head isn’t a good idea as columns, usually, hold up the roof of the building your demolishing. Oh, no, wait…
Right, final one. The CGI for the climax , huge explosions, large chunks of Metropolis destroyed, but there is no sense of loss of life. There’s no humans, no one, the city is empty. Except in the opening scene, which is all that drives Barman’s motive for the film. Where’s the humanity?
I guess that’s my biggest problem with the film, it looks pretty, but without soul looks aren’t enough. And soul comes from character, and this movie has none. It’s shallow.
What a missed opportunity.