Kasey asked me to provide a movie review for Superman v. Batman: Dawn of Justice. Before reading, please note the following items which will context:
- I will see anything with Superman in it, and almost anything with Batman in it. To be clear, this is not hyperbole. If you made a sweded Superman movie in your basement, and sent me a copy, I would watch it. I am also open to watch your home videos from you as a child in your Superman costume.
- I believe films, like food, should be judged according to the category to which they belong. A steak should be judged as a steak, a candy bar as a candy bar. Citizen Kane cannot be compared to Stomp the Yard even though both are excellent films.
- I consider the Fast and the Furious franchise to be some of the most incredible cinematic experiences of our time and national treasures. They also happen to be the one set of films that transcend item 3.
- This review will include spoilers.
Good things about the movie:
- It has Superman.
- It has Batman.
- My brother went with me and we got peanut butter M&Ms.
- My brother laughed hysterically and loudly at inappropriate times.
- Ben Affleck is really, really good as a tired, old Batman. He also looks excellent during his Crossfit training montage, providing hope to middle aged men everywhere that if we too get personal trainers, personal chefs, and wheelbarrows of performance enhancing drugs, we can look great in our 40s. I also appreciate him training in the specific movements he plans on using in the fight against Superman.
- Jeremy Irons is a great Alfred. Not as good as Michael Caine, but excellent nonetheless. This part made me sad that I don’t have a butler and/or a bff to make me drinks and fix my cars/armored suits.
- Diane Lane appears to have aged well.
Bad Things about the movie:
- Jimmy Olsen is killed, but its not clear unless you go to IMDB that he was Jimmy Olsen. Its dumb to kill an iconic character for no reason, even dumber to make his identity ambiguous.
- Eisenberg as Lex Luthor was hot garbage. He had no real plan. The “plans” he did have were convoluted and without any clear purpose. Also Eisenberg appeared to be playing a combination of Rain Man meets the Joker. Having said that, if Snyder predicted the rise of Donald Trump and was using Luther as satire on the rise of idiocy, I retract all negative comments and kneel before him.
- Superman kills unnecessarily. I get that Superman has killed before (Zod in Man of Steel), I get it. But not killing is central to his character and the killing should at least be acknowledged.
- Batman kills a ton of people, like a ton, most of which were unnecessary. He also starts branding people which is dumb, but simulatneously made me want to get a Batman Brand on my lower back. This is all done without really remarking on the fact that someone who is known for not killing is doing a lot of killing.
- Doomsday looks like he was made out of Play-Doh. I don’t know if you have ever seen Jason and the Argonauts from 1963, but Doomsday looks remarkably similar to one of the skeletons from the film. Only problem is, its not 1963.
- Superman dies because he doesn’t ask Wonder Woman to hold the kryptonite spear. The world loses its greatest hero because no one thinks to say, “Hey Superman, you hold Doomsday and Wonder Woman can hold the spear that is poisonous to you. Cool?”
- Superman is already signed up for a sequel NEXT YEAR, so instead of the death having great import, it just feels stupid.
- The Flash looks dumb. The dude looks like he belongs in Brooklyn.
- Amy Adams doesn’t cut it as Lois Lane. First, it seems like a stipulation to dating Superman would be avoiding harm. I get the need for independence but it seems like in this case, you eitherbreak up or get a job as a columnist. Lets not have the person who is trying to protect the whole world distracted by one person’s propensity to get into trouble for no reason. I will note that I am incredibly biased. When Lois Lane was played by Teri Hatcher, I got why Superman was so distracted.
- Superman scowls the whole movie. Clark Kent also scowls the whole movie. Certainly Superman has a lot on his mind, but he also gets to fly around, shoot laser beams, and punch through walls. Those are all fun things. He also saves people. Maybe its just me, but when I help someone load their groceries into their car, it makes me feel good. I have a little smile on my face. I would think that if I ever saved someone’s life, that smile would get even bigger. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe helping so many people makes you smile so hard that your smile wraps around into a permanent, everlasting scowl. If this is true, I wish Snyder would have provided some clues to support the smile to scowl metamorphosis, because that would cleared a lot of things up.
- Having noted all of these things, my primary criticism is that Snyder doesn’t get Superman. Superman, at his best, is not an angst-filled mope. He is the last boy scout. Just a really nice dude from Kansas, who was raised by nice people from Kansas, who happens to have the ability to fly and shoot lasers out of his eyes. He just wants to help people because thats what nice Kansas farmers do. We have tons of angst filled superheroes, including but not limited to the following, Batman, Daredevil, Punisher, Wolverine, etc. Just let Superman be a nice dude who wants to help everyone. Come on Zach, its ok, just this one time.
A couple of additional notes:
- Zach Snyder plans to release an “R” rated, extended cut version of the film. Perfect. Because what the film was really missing was full frontal Affleck and additional violence.
- I will watch each of the films that DC and Snyder releases in the theater. I will expect them to be bad, but I will still go. Why not? I have been a Jazz, Cougar, and Cubs fan my whole life, so at this point, I enjoy being disappointed. Some religions have self-flagellation, I have Zach Snyder.
- There were a bunch of 5 year old kids at the movie. Too bad they didn’t get to see that uncut version.