So while the trailer didn’t excite me, this film is still one of my most anticipated for the year. It’s been a long time coming. One thing in its favor is that I came in with expectations low, so the film itself had a lot of opportunity to exceed them. I would say that it did.
And I’ll tell you now. Once the credits start rolling, if you want to get a 10 minute head start on doing whatever it is you plan on doing when the film is over, go ahead. 90% of my theatre waited to see if there were post credit scenes with groans of disappointment as a result. If you ever needed a reminder that this is DC and not Marvel, there you have it. Comparisons are a way of life in this lopsided franchise duopoly.
Fast Forward two years since Superman (played by Henry Cavill) and Zod (played by Michael Shannon) battled it out for the sake of humanity. Metropolis and the world aren’t quite the same. There’s a general feeling of ambivalence about the Man of Steel with people feeling he’s as much of a threat as he is a savior. Bruce Wayne (played by Ben Affleck) feels he’s the former and sets out on a mission to neutralize him. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor (played by Jesse Eisenberg) has is own evil plans that will once again threaten mankind.
What I Liked:
I very much enjoyed watching Cavill reprise his role. He didn’t miss a beat since the last time he donned the cape. And yet again he wears the suit more than well. The character faces harder truths so I thought there was a nice amount of evolution and drama. I thought the interactions with Lois were good. They weren’t overdone and you believed in them. They were definitely more appealing this time around as a couple than they were in Man of Steel.
Based on what Cavill was saying in terms of this being more of a Batman movie, I thought Superman would be too secondary. In reality he gets plenty of time and is written to have the best development of the three superheroes so I was pleased there. I thought they did a good job with his laser beam eyes too. There were better sequences here than in Man of Steel.
Jeremy Irons was an excellent choice to cast as Alfred. He’s a scene-stealer for sure. I love that he took the Alfred we know and love and then put his own stamp on the character. I’m looking forward to seeing more of him next time around. He is a worthy successor to Michael Caine.
There wasn’t a lot of comedy, but Laurence Fishburne at least gave us a few laugh out loud moments with a couple of funny lines.
What I Didn’t Like:
I feel like they could have shaved off 20 minutes. Including the credits, I got out of my seat exactly 2.5 hours after it began.
Aside from the beginning where it does start with a bang, you’re waiting a good hour and change before you see any other action and there isn’t enough suspensefulness to make up for it. I’m all for a good story, but there wasn’t a lot of depth to the script to justify the action gap. It could have used more balance. I don’t mind Nolanesque attempts, but it’s difficult to be on that level and I don’t feel like this film got there.
The fight choreography wasn’t as memorable for me as Man of Steel. Batman’s bulky suit made the action feel slower. And there is a lot of CGI which more often than not takes away some authenticity. One of the rare times it worked well was in Man of Steel during Supermans’s showdown with Faora Ul. Just watch these if you need a refresher:
And my personal favorite because What. A. Badass.
There were no fight scenes as good as these this time around which was kind of a bummer.
Batfleck. I was disappointed in his casting from the get go, so he had a lot of ground to make up for me to come around. Since I’ve had time to accept it, I guess I could say I’m neutral towards him, but I still didn’t find myself liking the character much. But I do give Affleck full props for hitting the gym. His physique is in incredible form here. But in general I still feel like Josh Brolin or someone else would have brought something more to the role.
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. I still don’t know what to make of the character and she’s another one where the casting choice disappointed me. Here she’s one note and has very little personality. Gina Carano (my personal pick) would have brought the Badass with a capital B. I wasn’t very impressed with her fighting. I’ll have to wait for the Wonder Woman film to ultimately decide how I feel about it, but much like Batfleck, I was indifferent towards her character.
Aaaaand I save the best for last. Jessie Eisenberg. He was a disappointing choice when he was announced. He was even worse than I was expecting in the trailer, And now that the film is out, I can confidently say he’s insufferable as Lex Luther and I don’t know what anybody was thinking who hired him. He is by far the worst casting decision of the whole lot.
I love Batman and I love Superman when they’re done right. Quite often I’ll finish these movies and can’t wait to see them again. This time around I think I can wait to see it again, but if you’re a fan of the franchise and want to get hyped for Justice League, then this is the best teaser you’re going to get. It’s worth a go ‘round at least once.
Rating: 3.5/ 5 stars