Movie Review: “Batman vs Superman”

Batman vs Superman movie poster

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

OVERALL: This is a fine and enjoyable movie. Good cast, beautiful cinematography, and the Big Three of the DC universe: Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, on screen together at last. Just go and enjoy.

Oh and WONDER WOMAN!!

POINTS: Personally I think the reason people are being negative about this movie is because it is a good/ok movie and not an EPIC movie like I think people wanted. It is not the Avengers. Zach Snyder, the director, is not Joss Whedon. Whedon is a group of characters storyteller and Snyder is all about soaking up the visuals with visceral impact. Snyder’s true style is 300, did a perfect job in Watchmen, showed great chops in Sucker Punch, and tends to dwell on his eye and not the moving forward of a story. Will I always see his work? Yes. He likes women. His wife is his producer, and his visual eye is GORGEOUS! He has a slower rhythm to his movies than I think we are used to, so I think that bothers some people. It does not bother me. He shows the visual life of his movies and when filming comic books, he is all about the visual story telling. Drink it in and enjoy, people. Accept that is who he is. IMHO.

The cast, BTW, is perfect. Henry Cavill has proven before that he is a fine Superman. He is both brawny and powerful AND perfectly nerdy as Clark Kent. He even seems to shrink when playing Kent and expanding when Superman.

Everyone get over your negativity about Ben Affleck playing Batman. Just stop now. He was good! As a friend of mine said, he was a perfect older brooding Batman. With his Batman I got the sense of his, for lack of a better word, mortality. He wasn’t a super ninja, he just worked out hard and had amazing hardware. He HAD to push himself. Plus his suit bulked him up, making him menacing and giving him a “dark knight” silhouette. I believed he had to rely on his tech more than other Batmans and that worked for me. I also liked that in this movie we get to experience Bruce Wayne’s intelligence and cunning. Let’s face it, as a young boy shared with Hubby and I before the movie “Batman has the intelligence.” It’s true. And it was good to see his intelligence and cunning at work. Also a big salute to Affleck’s face. It changed shape in this role. I almost didn’t recognize him. He transformed. Well done! I look forward to seeing him play Batman again.

Finally Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. I must admit I was not happy with her casting as she is very skinny and I think WW should be BIG. I am very happy to say I was wrong. When she is Wonder Woman, Gadot looks 300 lbs of muscle on a 7 foot frame channeling decades of Wonder Woman Amazon warrior fury and Xena all in one. Huzzah!!! I am now super excited for her Wonder Woman movie. I also liked that she showed smarts and cunning too. You got the sense that Wonder Woman, aka Diana Prince, was also smart like Batman and was a survivor.

Oh and Wonder Woman appears with screaming electric guitars!!!!!

PITFALLS: Hmmmm….. movie has a slower visual rhythm than usual and that might bog some people down. There are also lots of flashbacks/dream sequences and if that bothers you, well be prepared. Those do not bother me at all. I like exposition.

Except, ok, there was one part of a dream sequence where I thought “WTF?” But eh.

FEMALE CHARACTER(S): Let us take a moment to applaud Amy Adams as Lois Lane. I really like Adams for this role because she is all woman and NOT little girl. She holds her own and you have a sense that Lois knows who she is as a woman. I love how she expresses her love for Clark/Superman in look and touch and action as well as words. Just perfect. She is also not a damsel in distress and I really like that. Well done Ms. Adams!

I also like Diane Lane as Martha Kent. She too feels like a well rounded character with her own story and life that just happens to intersect with Clark/Superman. She even gets to be humorous. Good job.

Shout out also to Holly Hunter as the senator from Kentucky, Senator Finch. I love how you finally understood the Senator’s moral compass – and it is a good one. Also I could watch a whole movie about Senator Finch so yeah, Snyder, make a short about her for the DVD/Blu-Ray release of Batman vs Superman. Please.

Adams, Lane, and Hunter get to be women, not fashion models crammed into acting roles. They get to display their considerable acting chops and intelligence and that makes their characters interesting a cool! This makes me very very very happy. (Yeah, I love the Snyders.)

CULTURAL PITFALL(S): Yes there were some PoC in the movie but there could have been more. Also more women in just the background roles would have been good too.

HIGH POINT(S):

1.) Where is Kent? At one point Perry White looks around his newspaper office and asks “Where is Kent?” People shake their heads and shrug their shoulders ’cause they just don’t know. It is so funny.

2.) Jeremy Irons as Alfred.  For me, Jeremy Irons was a new take on Alfred. He wasn’t just the fussy old man/butler, he was the sexy older man inventor! We see Alfred doing a lot of the work on the Bat devices.  Even nodded to the Batman voice change by checking and then rewiring the mic for his suit. Plus Alfred has some great one liners. Very fun interpretation of Alfred.

3.) Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. Oh just well done. His performance was reminiscent of Heath Ledger’s Joker. Crazy and brilliant and messed-up. I loved his villain. He was bad enough to go against Batman and Superman. It worked. Also Eisenberg has a special place in the hearts of Bloomington, Indiana residents has he has helped in fundraising for Middle Way House. Check out his Website I’m With Jesse. Well done sir!!!

4.) Hero Shots of the DC Trinity. I love a good hero shot, whether still or moving. A hero shot for me is when the heros are being displayed as HEROS. Just makes me happy. There are several wonderful hero shots at the end of the movie. Snyder being so visual of course gave us good ones. My favorite though, was the one at the beginning before our heroes knew about each other. Very wonderful and happy making.

5.) Introduction of Justice League. Ooooooooo so fun! You get to see future Justice League members and that was so exciting. The comic book nerd in me was soooo happy.

6.) Wonder Woman with screaming electric guitars. Yes, I know, this should be a band name. This moment happens and it is GOOD. The audience cheered  – I of course joined in. It was great. Even people who didn’t like the movie LOVED this moment and Wonder Woman and wanted more.

BECHDEL TEST (Website): 3 of 3. Martha Kent and Lois Lane do talk and you know they have been fond of each other for a while. We came really close when Lois Lane and Wonder Woman had a really beautiful look between the two of them. You know those two are going to be friends.

RACIAL BECHDEL TEST (Website): 2 of 3. Hooray for Laurence Fishburne playing Perry White and Tao Okamoto as Mercy Graves. However they never speak to one another. *sigh*

IMDB: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – IMDB

OFFICIAL MOVIE WEBSITE:  Batman vs Superman Official Movie Website  |  Facebook: Batman v Superman  |  Twitter: Batman v Superman

DVD/BLU-RAY WORTHY: Yes!

LION PAW PRINTS:  3.5 of 5. Wonder Woman and the screaming electric guitars adds a .5.

LINKS:

NEW “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” Trailer

Batman vs Superman movie poster with Wonder Woman!

This poster has Wonder Woman.

WONDER WOMAN Featurette – First Footage (2017) DC Superhero Movie HD – [Note: This also plays an Aquaman and Flash featurette too! -CFR]

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Gal Gadot Talks Wonder Woman’s Evolution

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