There will be spoilers, if you want an unspoiler review hit the googles.
First the high points of the flick:
Jeremy Irons as Alfred and Laurence Fishburne as Perry white were excellent. They acted well their characters were far more interesting than their screen time would dictate…great actors turning in really good performances. You could almost believe that Perry White knows Kent is Superman..he must know. Alfred playing off of batman, making comments about random things was done very well.
Gal Gadot made an excellent wonder woman. When she was announced for the part there was quite a bit of uproar from fans on various websites and social media. People thought she needed to have a different body type to play the character, bigger boobs essentially and some wanted her to be “american”. I didn’t really care for the most part. WW is not a character I followed or had much interest in, beyond the origin story of the character by it’s creator (if you have the urge, google how the creator came up with the idea of wonder woman…some interesting stuff there about bondage and so forth). I looked at some pictures of Gadot online and thought she was an attractive woman but whatever…hot chics are a dime a dozen in movies. She was on screen for a very limited amount of time, but when she was there she was dead sexy. She delivered her lines in a confident sexy way, her dresses were sexy…she exuded sex appeal from every pixel each time she was on the screen. I think that’s important because uber nerds didn’t seem to think she could pull it off. Then, in the final battle scene she puts on the WW costume and it’s easy to accept her as a legit super hero instead of some huge breasted play boy centerfold that is trying to act tough. She legit looked like she could kick ass, then put on an evening gown and make jaws drop. The casting of her in this role was perfect and she delivered in a most excellent fashion.
Affleck as batman…was pretty damn good. I liked him a lot more than Bale. He didn’t do the jacked up voice…on purpose. When he was dressed as batman he had some kind of vibrating piece of equipment that altered his voice, which was somewhat interesting. He looked very seasoned but wasn’t the geriatric version of bruce wayne that we saw in the dark knight rises. He put some effort in to be a detective and find information on various things. There was some gadgetry that came in handy…overall it was a decent believable batman.
The fight scene between batman and superman was pretty good. It’s weird to say a superhero fight is too “fantastical” for me, but in the final fight that’s what it became (more on that later). This fight between the 2 stars was more believable than the last. One of the big things I want out of a movie is to believe it could be real. If I have to suspend disbelief for awhile and put effort in to imagining that their world they are trying to create could actually maybe be possible…then the movie fails for me. That’s true for any flick. Not that things have to be rooted in fact, but I have to be able to buy in to it. The first fight was believable. Superman is beating the living shit out of batman when he’s at full strength. He’s not pulling off crazy moves, just straight forward punch and smash. Batman isn’t contorting in various shapes to avoid it…in fact he can’t avoid it at all…he gets pummeled. You can buy that superman is beating on him but holding back so he doesn’t kill him. You feel the beating that batman is taking. Then when bats gasses him, superman starts taking an ass kicking. Again, you feel the beating…feel that he’s going to die. It’s done very well.
There is also the fight scene for batman in the warehouse when he’s trying to free martha. He’s fighting normal men and it’s, again, believable. He’s not outright owning them. He’s a better fighter but they get some shots in. One guy shoots him in the back of the head with a hand gun and you see the usefulness of the bat suit. He gets stabbed, knocked down…etc. It seems a bit more grounded.
I liked some of the senate debate and tv debate about superman’s role and affect on world politics, what he does to various crisis areas and so forth. Some of the debate got a little dry…but the news blurbs on the tv in various backgrounds was cool.
What I didn’t like…
Enhanced CGI muscles. It looks to me like they enhanced the muscle and definition of both superman and batman in some scenes. Both actors go pretty ripped in preparing for this role, I don’t think they needed to look like body builders.
Lex Luthor felt like a combination between lex and the joker. I never really got my head around his hatred for superman. In some incarnations he’s just a genius thief, in others he has a legitmat goal to rule the nation/world and in some he has a fear that superman is going to overall harm the world. In this one, he seemed bat shit crazy and you kind of accepted that he was a genius without anything really backing it up. There also wasn’t any real depth to the character. I think if they had focused less on the BvS part of this and more on just the S part, they would have been able to develop the character and give us a feel for why he’s doing what he’s doing. I want to know his driving motivation for going after Superman.
I think overall they tried to take too big a step in 1 movie. They tried to go from a post superman world to a conflict with batman to a team up with multiple heroes all in one flick. I think this would have been much more successful if that had been broken up in to two movies. Lets see how superman handles the world post his destruction of metropolis, and lets also have batman in the background gathering intel. Have him meet up with clark a couple of times, have him break in to lex’s computers and pour through that data, find wonder woman..make contact…etc. Have him investigate the “meta humans” and how to defeat them. All of that can easily be done in the background. Put the main focus of this movie on Superman and the moral dilemma he’s facing. Does he protect humanity from itself? how does he deal with this bad publicity? etc…. There is just no moral jump for superman, he is essentially still a powerful dick that does whatever he wants without any real morality guiding him. There was all this destruction in the first movie and people talking about the financial and death toll it took on the city/world…but as soon as he fights batman at the end he’s throwing him through buildings and busting shit up again. There is no connection made in his head to try to minimize the collateral damage.
I thought over all, Superman’s character is weak. Right now we are dealing with a character whom in action I would compare to a early 20’s man trying to “find his place in the world”…but in physical appearance we have a 35 year old man. The behavior we are seeing from this character is far less mature than his physical age would lead us to believe. In popular media (Smallville, old superman movies) we are trained to expect different actions from what we are seeing in this one man.
I also don’t like that in the 18 months that have passed between the movies that superman didn’t really learn how to fight. Granted he just smashes through everything and there is nothing earthly that can stop him….but the threat from zod and his boys should have shown this guy that there are other things in the universe that will kick his ass…why not learn how to fight.
Why is all this alien technology left all over the place? I would have expected superman to take a couple of months or whatever to clean it up. Maybe this movie could have started with him hunting down rogue kryptonian tech. It would have given him something to do other than save kittens, and it would build in some conflict between the gov/people that want to study this shit and superman playing parent saying “you’re not ready” or even in a position to say “this government can have it, this government/person can’t”
Batman’s dream sequence was a bit confusing. Catching everything takes a couple of viewings as well as some outside knowledge of what comes in the comics. Seeing the post apocalyptic world with Batman having his own guys, Superman having his and them apposing each other was interesting but it seemed thrown in for no really good reason in this movie. Clearly it’s a connection to what’s to come in this universe…but it just adds to the overall confusion of everything. The batman fight sequence in the dream was horrible. It was slow, sloppy, unbelievable and wreaked of choreography. Maybe it was just me, on a 2nd watching I might appreciate it more…but out of the gate I really didn’t like that sequence.
I’m not even going to talk about the flash showing up, made no sense unless you research outside of the movie.
The last fight was bad IMO. As I mentioned before, I like to be able to think that a movie I’m watching -could- happen. This was so cartoony that I couldn’t handle it. It felt just like it came out of the movie “the 300” (same director). They spent so much time hitting one superhero poster pose after another that it brought you out of any immersion you might have felt.
When there was acting and dialogue it wasn’t too bad. Perry White, Alfred, Batman and WW all did well on the screen. I’m not entirely sold on this Lois Lane but I think it’s more because they are not giving her room to move. They just throw her in places and don’t spend any time with the character letting her develop. She seems permanently stuck in superhero girlfriend mode. Which seems really odd since you have one powerful female character in WW, but then weaken a traditionally strong female character in LL.
This movie would have been much better if it was developed over a 4-5hr stretch and broke up in to two flicks. As it stands it’s just too much stuff packed in and as a result everything suffers.