Recently, I told a friend of mine "I feel like I've discussed and thought about Batman v. Superman in three days... more then I have Man of Steel in three years." It's mentally exhausted me, but at this point, it's the only thing I've got. And it's best for me to get in soon and share my opinion about this movie before it gets to late and people'll respond to my blog with a "ugh we've heard enough about this movie."
Therefore, before fatigue reaches 11, here is my review of Man of Steel.
When I say that Batman v. Superman is potentially the best superhero film since 2008, I don't mean that Batman v. Superman is a masterpiece. I do not mean that Batman v. Superman is art. I do not mean Batman v. Superman is perfect. I mean that Batman v. Superman is the best superhero film since 2008. Hell, I do not mean that Batman v. Superman is definitely the best in the genre since 2008. I mean that it is a contender for the best superhero film since 2008. Plain and simple.
It's easy to point to The Avengers and call it great. It's easy to look at the first Iron Man and call it the best superhero movie. It's easy to look at Guardians of The Galaxy and say "this is the best superhero film Marvel has produced." This movies were fun, entertaining, fan pleasing, surprising and action filled. But what does the best superhero movie really mean?
We can pretend that all of our "best superhero films" are the pinnacle of the genre because they're critically and commercially successful popcorn flicks that we enjoy. They're simple, but effective. Then we can point to a movie like Batman v. Superman, which attempts to communicate something, and nitpick it for every story detail that it did wrong (there are a lot of story details that are wrong in this movie). But by doing so, you're merely focusing on what the film did wrong, not what it did right.
But take a second and look at where Batman v. Superman succeeds. In succeeds in areas most other movies in the genre do not succeed in. At the end of the day, we do not share mind, body, and, above all, experience. And my personal experience is as a film fan. Batman v. Superman is strong through the lens of a film fan. And I don't mean that it's an amazing movie.
This is indeed a very flawed movie, but what I mean is that as a superhero movie in the eyes of a film fan, Batman v. Superman is what I want out of a superhero movie. A lot of the critiques flung against this movie are actually why I love it.
Batman v. Superman is dark, and gritty. It is The Empire Strikes Back of superhero films. I remember before I entered the movie I promised myself to make a mental note of whenever the movie blew my mind. The first mental note I made was roughly 2 minutes into the movie. It happened again, and again, and again and again. I don't mean to say this movie will blow your mind, put by personal experience with this movie set it apart from every other superhero movie. There were literally moments in this film which shocked me that they went that dark for a superhero movie.
I don't want to spoil it for the people who haven't seen the movie, so I'll put it in a spoiler mark:
Martha Kent's photos when her mouth was tied up, for example. Straight out of a horror film O.o
It has a tone that sets it apart from other superhero movies. Not to mention that the darkness in this film is genuinely dark, not pseudo dark. In Man of Steel, Superman snaps Zod's neck, but in the next scene he doesn't give a crap about it. That isn't dark. That's pseudo dark. Batman v. Superman didn't suffer from that problem, IMO.
What else surprised me about Batman v. Superman is that it treats it's subject like a real life matter. You've probably seen it mentioned in the official review of the movie on this site that the movie brings you down even when characters are doing heroic things, and yes, that happens in the movie. But they do it to make a point. People are questioning Superman's place in the earth. If you don't like this style of filmmaking for a DC movie, if you want superheroes that inspire people, this film is horrible for that. But my the end of the movie, I couldn't help but feel that Snyder brought his realistic viewpoint of superheroes full circle. That said, this movie is being panned by critics and fans, which is a shame because I can't help but feel that even if it isn't your cup of tea, it is by no measure a bad movie, and this movie opens up room for heroes to be "inspiring" and "heroic."
That said, the movie is far from perfect. Zack Snyder is a master and substance and there are a lot of scenes in this movie that will bring me back again and again. But he needs strong writing to balance him out. The plot holes in this movie are criminal. You might've heard from critics and fans that you'll be pondering on a lot of "how's, why's and what's" after you leave the theatre.
Unfortunately, yes, that is true. It hampers what could've been an amazing movie.
Visually, this is a beautifully realised film. It's beautifully shot and a lot of the cinematography cemented it as the best looking superhero film.
As expected from a Zack Snyder film, the action sequences are beautiful, & although many have panned Snyder's tendency to use CGI instead of practical effects, watching the trinity fight side by side, as well as the amazing cinematography, far outmatched Snyder's penchant towards computer generated action sequences. However, a lot of editing choices in this film were very wonky, to say the least. I noticed a lot of cuts were made too soon. Occasionally, the movie played out like a trailer (in more ways then one. Occasionally poor editing, as well as playing out like a trailer for The Justice League).
Ben Affleck is the best live action Batman and made his way into my favourite castings in a CBM. I'll need to let the movie sink in more to know where I'd rank him exactly, though. But he was a badass. The first time he shows in this movie felt a lot like a horror movie. Wonder Woman stole the show in the third act of the movie, and Henry Cavill again, did a good job as Superman. And brought a lot of emotion to the table.
EDIT: Batman v. Superman is also a strong superhero film because it isn't created to appeal to the masses. It's a film with a lot of originality that had the balls to go that dark. If all they hoped for is pleasing the masses, I wouldn't have had someone in the theatre behind me crying, goddamn it!
Batman v. Superman is the occasional comic book movie that I would call strong as a standalone film. It falters in the writing aspect of the movie: the amount of plot holes in the movie are hard to measure, but this movie actually made me think. That's not something you can say about every other superhero movie. The movie is being panned by critics and fans. And although I understand their complaints to an extent, a 31% on Rotten Tomatoes proves that, that site isn't for me.
And the fans are making it out to be a travesty when it isn't. It's a really good movie. It should've been better in areas of the movie such as the writing, but the critics are not recommending it.
Which doesn't make much sense to me. A critic's job isn't just to tell you if he liked the movie, but if he would recommend it. At the end of the day, that's the point of a critic, IMO. I'd recommend this movie to DC fans. But I wouldn't recommend it to people looking for merely superhero escapism.
This movie almost made my cry, though.