To say that I was excited to see BvS:DOJ is a bit of an understatement. I was part of the minority who liked Man of Steel (oh hell, I am also one of the only people who enjoyed Superman Returns) and when this movie was announced, my interest was immediately piqued.
After seeing it last night, I have to say that it was everything I expected. I keep reading how the reviews of the film have been a bit negative and the cast/crew have said the movie was made for fans. That may seem like something people say when a movie is bad, but that is not the case here. This is not one of those movies where you can say “oh, even if you do not like comic book movies, you will still find it good” or anything like that. You definitely need to be a fan of the characters.
I am going to warn you now that there will definitely be spoilers from here on out.
The big question everyone asks is why would they fight. The movie does a great job of building this up. Bruce Wayne is in Metropolis the day of Zod/Superman’s big battle. His building is hit and a bunch of his people die. He tries to save them, but to no avail. Again, if you did not see Man of Steel, this could have been slightly confusing. As time goes on, Bruce becomes more angry about the fact that this happened. He becomes Batman again and is trying to find a way to stop Superman if the day ever comes where they need it.
The movie is mostly about Bruce Wayne trying to acquire kryptonite and come up with a way to stop Superman. While this is happening, Clark is questioning his place in this world. At the same time, Lex Luthor is pulling the strings to help change the public’s opinion of their hero. Meanwhile, Bruce keeps running into a beautiful, but mysterious woman who seems to be looking for the same thing as himself. And Lois is trying to prove that someone is trying to set Superman up. Oh, and Clark wants to look into the Bat-vigilante of Gotham because he does not approve of his method. This does seem like there is a ton going on and at times you can definitely feel the weight of all these story lines.
This is something I want to give Zack Snyder credit for: he definitely tried to ask the big questions in this film. This is something Marvel shies away from, I mean they may ask them, but they do not dive in headfirst. BvS:DoJ definitely is not afraid. What kind of world would we live in if there was a being like Superman? What ramifications would there be if a being like that could just drop into a foreign country and stop a crime, even if that crime is being committed by a government. Does another country consider it an act of war if Superman tries to stop something they do?
Or what about our own advancement. Not America, but humans. At one point we see Superman save a NASA rocket when it explodes on lift-off. Should he allow us to stumble at times in order to make progress? Even if it costs lives. Does the movie answer all of these questions? No, but it asks them. And I suppose it is up to us to find those answers. This movie does a great job of showing us Bruce’s anger and how he could get to the point of being willing to kill Superman. Unfortunately, the movie does not convince us of why he should not. When Clark Kent questions Bruce about Batman’s violent methods, Bruce gives him a lecture, but never once mentions that Superman murdered Zod. Also, when Superman is shown saving people all over the world, the movie makes it seem creepy. Either the people worship him or he almost has an angry look (I am thinking about the NASA save). I guess that could be us seeing it from Bruce’s point of view.
Alright, enough of the in-depth analysis. Time for the stuff I loved/hated.
-Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. She was perfect. Beautiful and absolutely badass. My favorite part of the movie was when Doomsday hits her and goes flying, when she gets up she is smiling. To me that truly captures Wonder Woman. She loves battle and even more so, loves when she finds a worthy opponent.
-Ben Affleck. I was definitely excited when they cast him as Batman. And he lived up to and exceeded the expectations. His older, wiser Batman was fantastic. And I am hoping that if/when they do the standalone Batman film (is Ben still directing?) that it focuses on those younger years. About his battle with the Joker and whatever happened to Robin…or do you think we get some of that in Suicide Squad?
-I was not a fan of Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. He was just too out there crazy. Lex needs to be cold, ruthless, manipulative. He should be the dark version of Bruce Wayne. Which is why it is always cool in the comics when those two go up against each other.
-I did enjoy his line at the end about this episode getting someone’s attention out there. I am guessing he means Darkseid. I also wonder if Bruce’s nightmares of a world where Superman rules over them (where we see a giant Omega sign in the ground) were somehow being sent from the New God of Apokolips…
-I also loved the way they worked Doomsday into the movie. For those that do not follow the comics, Doomsday was actually created on Krypton. Long before Kal-El and the family were even conceived.
-The little introductions to the other JLers. I think Aquaman looked the coolest (a line that has never been uttered in the history of the world), but the others were pretty close. Also, during one of Bruce’s nightmares, was that actually the future Flash coming to warn him about Lois or was that just part of his dream?
-Jeremy Irons was pretty good as Alfred. I mean, he was no Michael Caine, but he definitely pulled off some very funny lines. And they used the character well as a stand-in for us. When he questions Bruce as to why he is going to war with Superman and then tries to explain that they are on the same side, that is what we should be saying to him as well. So kudos to Jeremy Irons for really pushing that through.
So yeah, I definitely enjoyed the movie. I cannot wait to see the Ultimate Cut on Blu-Ray when it comes out. More violence and an even longer movie!