I must admit that I’m the first person here in Hollywood that really wants this industry to slow down on the giant monster and superhero movies. Of course I was excited about seeing “Batman vs. Superman” because it’s Batman vs. Superman, but it was really “Deadpool” that only came out a whopping month ago that gave me a glimmer of hope that they could finally find a way of switching up the superhero genre. I mean seriously, “Deadpool” just came out a month ago, followed this week by “Batman vs. Superman”, and next month we have the new Captain America, or Avengers 2.5. Why the new Captain America has to feature all of the other Avengers is something I don’t truly understand, but that and “Batman vs. Superman” have that in common. Too many characters. While I would say “Batman vs. Superman” was a solid 8 out of 10, it was really the audience and the experience that gave it an extra point. I attended a Warner Bros. laser IMAX screening with about 1000 people all dressed up and decked out, ready for a fight, and even without going into spoiler territory, there are multiple fights, and they are all epic, especially one in the rain. Rain just makes a fight more real. At the end of the day an audience can help boost or lower your morale, so it really got me going every time a character was introduced or first shown, the audience applauded, when seen together, the audience applauded, and when they fought, the cheers shifted between Batman and Superman, and that my friends, was a groovy experience.
Without spoiling it, I will say even though the story is a tad convoluted, it really felt like the fastest two and a half hours of my life. For any fans of our two featured superheroes, you’ll be pleased to know I think I’ve completely bought Henry Cavill as Superman, and he is utilized in every which way that he can be. The same can be said for Batman, who really gets to play with his many, many new and upgraded gadgets. Even though Superman gets way more story and character development than Batman, they got it right when it came to Ben Affleck as Batman. In this version they stray away from the core foundation of Batman and all I’ll say is right from the get go, we don’t have to deal with any backstory we’ve heard time and time again. In fact, in many ways, it’s being told in a different way than it’s ever been told. I loved that it was only 5 minutes into the movie, there was already action, blood was boiling, and these two characters really hated each other, which I was scared would take way too long to start and then before you know it they’re chilling at the bar. Affleck annihilates the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman because he’s this angry, bitter, tormented, and honestly just pissed off person who’s hellbent on taking down Superman, with good reason. From his eyes, to way he grits his teeth, to even his Batman voice, Affleck totally owns Batman. I won’t say in a better way, but in a different way than we’ve seen Batman portrayed. It would have been nice to see more of the two interact on whatever terms but putting all this into a two and a half hour action movie I can honestly say that while convoluted at times, the music, CGI, coordination, and every single action scene had me completely captivated.
It was interesting hearing the audience pick their sides and cheer along, but I’ll also tell you without saying anything at all that their are many surprises that’ll make you go, “What?” or just scream, “Hell yeah!” The thing I especially love about the movie which makes sense since Zack Snyder announced there will be an R rated version, is how truly brutal the fights are in this movie. There are moments where Batman is so brutal it’s kind of like watching a horror movie where a killer has been shot 9 times, stabbed repeatedly, limbs are missing, etc., but after you’ve killed the killer you still feel the need to throw the gun in the guy’s face when he’s out of bullets. It’s not good enough he bashed the bad guys skull in he really adds insult to injury and I loved it! He’s just a really pissed off guy. I even noticed at certain points during fights that the blood was so abundant it had been corrected to a brown color for probably no other reason than to avoid an R rating. So for all of you guys expecting a fight, you not only get that epic fight, you get about three of them however the entire film is really just an insane action film. Will it live up to this epic 3 year hype? It did for me. Honestly, I was having my doubts much like the rest of us fanboys.
For purposes of seeing this film you don’t need to see any prior Batman film, but if you have, you’re awesome and 50 gold stars for you. However, and I know it’s painful, but I highly recommend rewatching “Man of Steel” as it is heavily incorporated into this film, and I was a tad bit rusty. My biggest problem as well as many fans with “Man of Steel” was the final battle with Zod and Superman. Superman basically destroys Metropolis instead of just killing Zod. Too many skyscrapers fell, and too many lives were lost, which left the world wondering, “Is Superman to be trusted?” That’s basically the plot of the movie in a nutshell. To find out who Batman ends up siding with, you’ll have to watch the movie. I guess because “Batman vs. Superman” is coming right off of “Man of Steel” and since Batman is getting reintroduced, it makes sense to focus on Superman. We do have returning cast from “Man of Steel” which incorporates Amy Adams as our favorite reporter who’s always in danger, Louis Lane. It also brought back, much to my delight, a fairly good bit of Laurence Fishburne, who was the only one in two and a half hours, to make anyone in the audience laugh. I do wish the movie had a bit more humor, but I also truly appreciate how shockingly dark the film is. Amy Adams went from being the leading lady to being pretty sidelined. Diane Lane returns as Superman’s mom, Martha, who oddly isn’t quite as sidelined, and is actually given a few things to do. Once again, notice that these are all side characters that revolve around Superman. When it comes to Batman and Wonder Woman, at one point there’s a smirk on each of their faces, but that’s about as much romance Batman gets in this film. I really didn’t like how they treated his butler Alfred. Jeremy Irons was underused and therefore I feel a let down.
In the end guys, it’s one hell of a non-stop ride. There comes a moment in every action movie where you can tell they’re preparing for the final battle, but when I looked at my watch and noticed I was two hours in, my jaw dropped to the floor because of how fast paced the movie was. Once again, hats off to Zack Snyder, who didn’t write the movie, but did a damn good job directing it. Once again, I was totally shocked but very into just how dark and brutal the film was. Like I said, some characters don’t work like Lex Luthor, and Amy Adams is nothing more than a damsel in distress at this point, but everything else fleshes out so well that even I can look past some of its flaws. I can promise you it’s better than Man of Steel. I do feel like DC was trying to mash too much into one movie but in the end it works, and it’s awesome. Without saying what the comments were, I stood in the lobby while everyone was leaving, and it was so cool to see people and hear people say, “Dude, did you see the ____?” or, “That was ____ in the _____!” Obviously I have to censor those things, but keep an eye out for everything that happens, because even I missed a few gems in “Batman vs. Superman.” You can catch it worldwide this Friday and once again, I suggest, even if you don’t like going to prime showtimes, I’d see it at a time when you know there’s going to be a decent crowd, because it turned a movie into an experience, and that’s pretty cool. Plus, I had no idea Gotham City was right next to Metropolis?
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Review by Kory Davis