March 28, 2016
This is definitely one of the most highly anticipated films for this year. These are two very iconic superheros from the DC Universe, each with their own sets of successful solo movies, who are joining forces for this one big film. The trailers promised a spectacular action-packed superhero flick, who is the DC fan who wouldn't be excited?
Batman sees Superman's godlike powers as displayed in the destructive battle in Metropolis as a threat to humanity. The eccentric magnate Lex Luthor also seeks to destroy Superman so he goes through great lengths to obtain Kryptonian technology to destroy him. Superman was forced to defend himself, his loved ones and his honor as he is attacked and provoked on all sides. As a monumental battle to the death ensues between the two heroes, Luthor unleashes his Kryptonian monster Doomsday to seal his lunatic megalomaniac ambition.
The climactic fight scenes were really the centerpiece of this film. Zac Snyder fulfills high audience expectations for those last thirty minutes of pure super-mayhem. When Wonder Woman entered the action, wow! This guest appearance should really have been a surprise, instead of being revealed in the trailers. However, the two-hour long story that led up to these fights could have been more substantial, especially about Superman's side of the story, which was under-developed.
This is more of a Batman film than a Superman film. The story starts with Batman's traumatic childhood memories. Despite initial apprehensions about Ben Affleck being totally wrong as Bruce Wayne, he actually pulls off the Bat-angst creditably well. Henry Cavill was the same dark Superman we saw in "Man of Steel". His motivations and decisions here were not too clearly defined and at times, uncharacteristic. We understand where Batman was coming from, but not Superman. All he wants is to just stop Batman's vigilantism in Gotham and he wants to destroy the Bat?
Some story points were too weird. Why is Lex Luthor acting that way? Jesse Eisenberg plays him more like the Joker or the Riddler than the Luthor we know from before. Why was Lois Lane behaving that way? Where is the confident Lois in the comics? Amy Adams played her so weakly, a damsel-in-distress here many times by her own fault. The most head-scratching moment for me was the reason why the Batman v Superman fight broke up was the mention of a woman's name. Really now?
Overall, I was entertained by this film, despite its shortcomings in storytelling. That moment with Senator Finch (Holly Hunter) and the glass of Granny's Peach Tea was very effective in its ominous tension. A most exciting moment was that email with the files depicting future superhuman colleagues was so exciting to see. The foundations are clearly being laid for a Justice League movie and I am really looking forward to that one. The concluding act was steeped in drama and emotion. 8/10.