I watched the trailers for this with some trepidation.
I was tweeting about it last week:
Am I going to hate Batman v Superman?
— Ray Foley (@rayfoleyshow) March 11, 2016
And the answer is: no! Actually, it’s really good up to a point. That point is the one where the director asks himself “Oh shit, how are we supposed to end this?”
SPOILER ALERT! Just in case you don’t want it ruined. I won’t go into too much detail but there are a few giveaways here.
Any good? I think (director) Zack Snyder’s films are generally beautiful rubbish, but this is mostly good. In fact, I spent most of this film thinking about writing this and how much I was looking forward telling you that it is actually really good! And then the final third of the film happened. It’s two-and-a-half hours long and well, here’s the big obvious spoiler: it’s the story of how Batman and Superman become enemies and get into a big fight. That’s most of the film: setting that up and then they go toe-to-toe. But what happens after that? Well, that’s when it goes off the rails.
Does Henry Cavill take his top off? Does the pope shit in the woods?
What about Ben Affleck as Batman? On the scale of shit Batmans (Batmen?) with Clooney and Kilmer being shittest and Keaton and Bale the least shittest, I’d put him above the worst, but not as good as the best. He’s fine. He’s BIG, he’s not Bruce Wayne as I would prefer him, but he’s… grand. But that’s okay. This film should be taken on its own, apart from the other films. This is a new, older Batman in the “universe” of 2013’s Man of Steel, and he’s part of a ensemble here. This is not a Batman movie. If it was, I would have more of a problem with it. Also, if you had an issue with Christian Bale’s “Batman” voice, you’ll love what they do with Affleck’s as Batman. He has a voice changer. Nuts.
Who else is in it? Amy Adams who was never right for the Lois Lane job IMO, but I guess was a big enough name willing to play the part in 2013, so she’s back. Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, the butler. Irons is really great in this. So much so, that you can’t help but feel he’s too good for this role. Jesse Eisenberg plays a not-bald Lex Luthor and Laurence Fishburne as Perry, the Daily Planet editor. Solid. Doomsday is in it too.
Doomsday was THE comic book villain of my teens. He wasn’t just bad, he was a bad bad badass. He was the guy who could kill Superman! And anyone else who was in the vicinity. He was a rock star bad guy. But in this he’s a really shit version of him adapted to suit the film.
And notable mention to my latest man-crush, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the deceased Thomas Wayne. Look at that smile.
Is it weird to have Batman fighting Superman? Aren’t they both good guys? No, it’s not weird. They do a very good job of giving this context, especially the opening scene. When you see it, it makes sense. Actually, it might be worth watching the end of Man of Steel before you go and see this. It sets it up.
Isn’t Wonder Woman in this? Yes, played by unknown (to me anyway) Gal Gadot.
When she was announced, I thought she was the wrong person to play WW because (in my view) she looks more like a catwalk model than a comic book hero:
But I then I shut my stupid mouth for the battle scenes – she was really good in them, to the point that I was looking forward to her own film.
On that note, they make MASSIVE but hugely irrelevant and nonsensical references to the Justice League and other future movies and I would prefer it if they just told the one story and used a Marvel-style post-credits cutscene at the end to tease the other films. There will only be a tiny minority of comic fans who get what they’re referring to because it makes very little sense. But maybe that’s just me.
Anything else? Yeah, you can see Gotham from Metropolis. Like, you can see the Bat Signal from a tall building in Metropolis. Which completely ruined my mental image of the DC comics map. And Gotham isn’t dark and gothic like it should be.
Do you give scores? I didn’t know you could even spell. 6.5 out of 10. I predict some very negative reviews of this (particularly the end), but for me, maybe because it’s not as bad as I expected, it’s definitely no Avengers or Deadpool, but it’s good.