Much like the rest of the cinema going public this weekend, I was disappointed by Batman V Superman. The title promised so much, but the execution of the film fell flat and I was left bored and frustrated. I’ll try to sum up my thoughts on the film (without comparing it to Marvel)…
To sum up, the two lead characters talk and pout into the camera for the first two hours, then they have a 10 minute fight and continue moping for the final 20 minutes. Although the fight scene is generally good, it was also a let down as there was no reason for it. The fight doesn’t make any sense in terms of the whole, and generally useless, plot.
The first two hours is spent threading together a flimsy excuse for the two heroes to dislike each other enough to have to fight it out. And even when they get there, the fight could have been avoided had Superman just spoken a little louder. Once they finally figure out the real villain is a very manic Lex Luther, there are some vague attempts at setting up some sequels and spin offs.
The only interesting part of this film is the title. We were promised an answer to the age old question: Who would win in a fight between Batman and Superman? But instead, it seems the film was a solution to tie together a few loose ends before continuing with the franchise: Superman was hanging after the last film but he can’t carry a film on his own; Batman needs an origin story but it’s really well known already, and they need to create some buzz around the Justice League spin off films. None of these things seem all that appealing, so why not promise a massive fight to drag in the punters?
The characters in this film are one dimensional, from Batman being concerned with and only with the crime in Gotham. To the point that there is LITERALLY nothing else going for him. He doesn’t host or attend any parties (except one at Luther’s house, which he attends to look for clues), there are no ladies in his life (the one female he meets, he is so preoccupied about crime in Gotham that he forgets to hit on her), he doesn’t even talk about work! I thought this guy was a billionaire businessman? Apparently not Ben Affleck, he just inherited daddy’s money and thinks about bad guys. Superman isn’t any better: he has to decide whether to continue being a hero to the ungrateful human race, however this provides little tension as he’s too good and wholesome to let us all die. However he too sits around looking sad while pondering the decision. The problem with the two leads is that both are furiously boring, that even having two doesn’t equal one good superhero.
The other characters have been added as an afterthought to assist with progressing the plot to the fight. Lois Lane has to be rescued no fewer than THREE times by Superman. Meanwhile, she contributes ZERO to the plot as a character in her own right. What she does manage to accomplish, though, is throwing a spear of kryptonite (created by Batman to kill Superman) into a small pond a few steps away from where they were fighting. Good, he’ll never think to look over here, should he decide to try and kill your bae again. But wait, Luther has unleashed a monster from Krypton on the world, and they need that spear to kill it. So off she swims to retrieve it, getting herself trapped and needing rescued from Superman. It’s so tedious. Lex Luther is a bit of a throwback from a few Batman movies ago, with his erratic and manic behaviour becoming almost cartoon-like. But I have to admit, I didn’t mind his character and ended up rooting for him. Can they just kill each other so I can go home?
We’re also introduced to Wonder Woman. She comes across as a love interest for Bruce Wayne as she is a sexy and mysterious stranger, but we are soon disappointed to discover that she is actually a superhero. It’s not bad enough she has to scamper around baring her flesh, while the boys are head to toe in armour, she is even introduced to us simply as someone Bruce might have sex with. I really want to support the female superhero here, and I understand that the costume she wears is similar to the comic book, and I get that it’s all just a bit of fun. BUT it’s really difficult when the film shows her in a power pose for a full 30 seconds before she starts fighting (what’s the hold up? You’re not on pause, that monster can still swing at you!?) and it’s really difficult when she gets knocked to the ground and again pauses for 30 seconds to pose, smiling, with her legs open.
The reason this film deserves all the fierce criticism it’s currently receiving is because this SHOULD have been the best thing we have ever seen, but it’s not. And it’s not good on purpose. They had so much opportunity to make this great, but they chose to be lazy and throw together a plot that didn’t make any sense, to include not only 1-dimensional secondary characters, but the main characters too.
And to top all that off, this film is a 12A. This is unforgivable. They could have thrown in some more swear words and they could have shown some more blood and it would have been rated a 15. Why is this such a big deal? I went to the cinema on Saturday morning during the Easter weekend and I was surrounded by very young children who’s parents had thought on this miserable, rainy Easter weekend let’s take the kids to see this kid-friendly superhero film. And these poor kids had to watch their heroes sulk and talk for 2 hours. I understand they want to distance this from light-hearted Marvel films and instead do a darker take on the genre, but they opted out and chose a misleading title and lightened the content to make it suitable for under 12s, when 90% of the film won’t entertain them.
Batman V Superman has left me concerned for the rest of DC’s offerings, let’s hope Suicide Squad isn’t as bad!