Alright, let’s get this done with.
Batman v Superman aims to do so many things, incorporates so many ideas, aims so high, that ultimately it just falls face down upon it’s own expectations and ambitions. To put things mildly, it is a grave disappointment.
The story in itself isn’t too bad, however the canvas is pretty large. The movie uses the Battle of Metropolis as a clever springboard to build arguments and incorporates its fallout very well. You get snippets of both the heroes going around serving warm justice while everyone else is busy talking and commenting upon their actions. The majority of the first half is nothing but a build up towards the movie’s title.
Herein lies the first big issue, it’s too scattered to make a definite logical sense-it lacks a certain sense of clarity. Very loosely based upon The Dark Knight Returns, there are way too many narratives trying to converge, each along with it’s glaring loopholes in the writing. The direct result of this is that a viewer is never really convinced by the arguments put forward by either side. Both sides are unconvincing and the viewer must leapfrog the logic to form his/ her own opinion rather than be given solid groundwork for these arguments. The direction of the movie is cringe-worthy, but it does shine through in bits and pieces. Great cinematography, characters and landscapes looks fantastic! Sometimes it is bang on target-it provides hope for better things to come, while other times it is bland-you’ll be scratching your head wondering, “Really? Is this how it’s gonna go next?” There are a few elegant and believable scenes coupled with neatly executed twists and reveals here and there which make sure that the viewer never really loses complete interest and is willing to skip to the next stone. There are great dialogues hidden in between as well. The movie could have done with a few more one-liners, it tries to nail the dark theme so hard that it turns out to be completely humourless. Finally, the fact that they keep pushing the justice league agenda throughout the already crammed up movie doesn’t help at all either. Maybe studios could learn to first do the job at hand and then think about the future.
But then the story isn’t what WB wanted to sell this on, it could have only been a plus point. It was all about Supes and Batsy squaring off against each other which soon turns into The Trinity against Doomsday. So, as long as the action sequences would satisfy the appetite of the viewer, everything else will be considered nitpicking. The final act is completely action packed, and it builds up so well aesthetically speaking. Does it deliver? No. A face-palm sums up the conclusion of the greatest gladiator match. And finally when Doomsday shows up, you’ll be left scratching your head watching The Trinity put up such a generic fight against a one-dimensional super-villain. It is a literal torture to watch Doomsday in action. The only good part is the poses that these three strike.
The movie does a good enough job with the portrayal of the Bat, aptly executed by Ben Affleck, its influences clearly visible from Frank Miller’s work. It checks all the right points, especially the solo action sequences. Is he better than Bale? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves and let him prove it through a better movie maybe.
Wonder Woman is great, although I wouldn’t call her a show stealer. Her sequences before her costumed revel are much better compared to the latter. It seems like her appearance in the trailers wasn’t a good idea and that it could have been curtailed for a much bigger impact later on.
Superman. He is simply there. He exists. Punching and Flying. Saving Louis. Pretty much that. He doesn’t even get to speak his side. At least not in a way you’d expect one of your leads to. You hardly understand his thinking, his character build-up is very very shallow. And the couple of opportunities wherein he could shine have been rushed and eventually turn out to be lame. It’s a fall from grace compared to Man of Steel.
On a closing note, make no mistake. The movie will draw crowds, plenty will be satisfied with the outcome, call it a one time watch. It’s too big a movie to fail. To sum up the problems though, the whole movie is a false hope and the viewer is again and again left with false build ups leading to underwhelming proceeds. The movie starts on top of a mountain and never stops until it reaches the floodplains. Then, it starts digging in. It’s going to hurt a lot of people as well. Like a broken heart. Moments of glory depicted in the comics and animated series are reduced to ashes. They never live up. They let you down.
Go watch it once, at least it’s better than Green Lantern.