Batman V Superman - The Riles Review
Well there’s not really much of an introduction to do. The title sort of tells you everything. The movie could also be called Two Super Jacked Guys Flip Tires and Punch Each Other in the Jaw and this introduction would remain the same. So… Here we are.
Batman is old and weary and everyone kind of hates him and Superman, especially Lex Luthor. So Batman and Superman end up tussling it out. There you go.
I’m sure you could do a much better introduction, or if you’re a fan you could get into the finer details of all the drama, but if you’re just gonna walk in to catch a flick you’re up to speed now, so you’re welcome. The story sort of moves along fairly well, even if half of it is just comic book name dropping and stepping stones for the next connected movies that they’re going to make. Those stepping stones aren’t very subtle either, it starts with a pretty good one, but then every reference after that is just in your face, just short of having a “buy tickets now” label at the bottom of the screen. But if you’re a comic book mega fan this thing is going to make you explode, because it’s all about the fan service here.
The dialogue is pretty on the chin too. You don’t need to work hard to decipher meaning from what they’re saying, because it’s all very clear and cuts the bullshit. Whenever they do try to say something sombre or a little deeper, it never really clicks. So they’ve sort of gotten stuck in this mediocre middle ground for their dialogue, and even though it moves the story along, it doesn’t do much more for you than that (although Ben Affleck’s “1%” line is pretty awesome).
The performances are good, especially from Batman and Superman, as you’d hope. Ben Affleck brings a good level of aggression and anxiety to the role, and makes a great Batman. Henry Cavill is quite good at doing the ‘lost little boy’ thing for Superman, and actually makes that work really well. There’s some deeper character work for these two than you’d expect, but it’s nothing ground-breaking for a superhero movie, like the previous Batman films. Jesse Eisenberg gives everything he can throw at the role of Lex Luthor. Some of it sticks, a lot of it is a little too much. All the supports are pretty good too, especially Amy Adams, even if they’re just background noise most of the time. She’s one of the best actresses today, and makes the melodrama between her and Superman bearable. Laurence Fishbourne’s character had an annoying habit of talking only in front page headlines, which might not be so abnormal for the editor of a newspaper, but it got annoying after headline number three. It was like he had no idea of what was actually happening. He would blurt them out and then just walk away or hit a new topic. They were more like spasms than journalistic strokes of genius.
But for the shortcomings in the writing, it’s a gorgeous movie to watch. Zack Snyder and company sure know how to make pretty films, regardless of what you think of them. The special effects are extremely effective, and blend seamlessly so you never really feel that moment of disconnect, where you know you’re watching something drawn on a computer. All of the fights are pretty epic too. They’re not really tense situations, because you can always guess who’s going to win, but they’re fun to watch. The final fight has sort of a half assed explanation, I suppose if you didn’t read the comic book that is, but it’s pretty slick. If the film wasn’t so damn long, this would be one tight, thrilling movie to watch.
Wrapping it up...
So if you like the comic, or you’re sort of absorbed by the whole connected universe schtick that’s happening nowadays, this will make you very, very happy. If you’re just looking for some pure graphic escapism as well, this will probably make you mildly happy. It’s an okay movie. If it wasn’t so long, at like two and a half hours, most of the issues could be excusable. But it’s quite indulgent, and not in the best of ways. Man of Steel never really set my hair on fire, so I wasn’t running to see this either. In fact if it didn’t have Ben Affleck in it I probably wouldn’t have seen it at all. But I did, and the world is still turning.
Batman Vs Superman - 6/10