This is a big year for comic book based movies. I do have to admit that I’m more of a Marvel fan, so nothing can quite top the anticipation for “Captain America: Civil War”, but I was looking forward to “Batman v Superman”, since the previous Batman trilogy was great and I was curious to see what Ben Affleck did with the character. I’m not very familiar with DC comic books though, so I thought I’d do more of a general impressions post than an in-depth review.
First of all, I have to start by saying that I’ve never seen “Man of Steel”. I would like to have a good reason for that, but I’m going to have to be honest with you: I haven’t seen it because I deeply dislike Henry Cavill. Do I have a genuine motive for disliking him? Previous to seeing “Batman v Superman” no, but after sitting at the movie theater watching this man making the same four facial expressions for three hours, I feel like now I do. Who was the casting director that decided he was the top choice for playing Superman? I don’t know much about Superman, but I remember seeing “Smallville” and even Tom Welling, who is also not a great actor, had more charisma than Cavill. Which isn’t that difficult, seeing as this guy has the charisma of a potato. This deeply annoyed me, and made me forget complaints about Affleck’s portrayal of Batman, which now that I think about it, might have been the whole point of choosing to cast Cavill in this role.
Now that I’ve gotten this rant out of the way, I can start talking about the actual movie. For most of it, I felt like I was watching one big trailer. Superhero movies do have a tendency to cram a lot of things into a short amount of time and end up being very superficial about everything, especially when it’s movies about groups of heroes. There’s just not enough time to cover everyone in-depth, but I think audiences have learned to deal with this because we get the individual movies that do give more development to the characters. However, this was a three-hour movie about two heroes, and still I felt like all we got was a couple of cliché lines to make it seem like the characters are much more deep than they look. I was deeply disappointed by Lois Lane, and it’s frankly surprising that such a weak portrayal of a woman is being made in 2016, when discussions about representation are all the rage. She does have room to be a good and relevant character, but is instead relegated to playing the damsel in distress. The introduction of the other heroes in the Justice League was also poorly thought out. You have the possibly major characters in the franchise being introduced in a 2-minute sequence, and apparently the villain has designed logos for all of them? This is where Marvel’s school of post-credit scenes would have been a good fit. Just tease the audience, you don’t have to give them everything.
The editing choice of alternating between all the different places was an attempt to make the movie fast-paced and energetic, but it failed. Instead, it ended up looking extremely trailer-like: a bunch of disconnected scenes put together in order to create maximum impact, but not actually conveying any real meaning. I had high hopes for the soundtrack since Hans Zimmer is always a favorite, but even that felt out of place here. It all sounded too big and meant to make the audience feel, but it can’t succeed in that when what’s being shown is as superficial as it gets.
I do feel like the fact that I’m not a big DC fan played a part in why I wasn’t too fond of this movie, but I also feel like even Marvel movies which I didn’t particularly care for (I’m looking at you, “Age of Ultron”) had better reasoning behind them. The characters’ motives didn’t feel genuine here, and the acting wasn’t at all convincing. Even Jesse Eisenberg, who I’m a big fan of, didn’t manage to sell his character. I do wonder if reading the comics makes any difference in the overall opinion of this movie, but I also think that movie adaptations have to stand on their own feet. I would really like to hear your thoughts about it, as I wasn’t expecting disliking it so heavily!
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