Haters Gonna Hate: Why ‘Batman v Superman’ is a Pretty Good Movie
Despite the bad reviews, Batman v Superman is definitely worth watching.
So what did everyone expect? It’s a big budget, multiple character superhero film from the Hollywood blockbuster-churning machine. Perhaps it’s because of all the bad reviews and disappointed fanboy rants doing the rounds, but I quite liked Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
It was entertaining, stood up to its promise and teased the Justice League in an oh so tantalising way.
Superman is a God and That’s Okay
Indestructible, alone and nearly all-powerful. Kal-el is stranded in an adopted world and has a sense of manifest destiny. And why not? He is beyond the control of any earthly power and enjoys immense longevity, if not functional immortality. A creature like that is bound to be worshipped. He is also dangerous. He has the ability to destroy the world as we know it.
The film takes Superman beyond the goody-two-shoes morality of 1950s America and explores the dangers of an all-powerful leader, a constant feature in the comic books as the character has evolved over the decades.
And the person to take Superman on isn’t another alien or a “metahuman”. It has to be a man.
Bruce Wayne, The God-Killer
Batman is older, wiser and a whole lot more jaded than he was in the Dark Knight Trilogy. He is also part of a universe where people with extraordinary abilities exist. He watches as Superman’s fight with fellow aliens destroys a city and kills thousands.
Ben Affleck is a pretty good Bruce Wayne/Batman. Tired, old and a bit of an ass, he plays the older version of the character from the comic books as well as can be. While most people seemed to hate it, even the mild comic relief provided by Alfred (played by Jeremy Irons) worked for me. After 20 years on the job, he knows that he isn’t ending crime in Gotham city. And he knows the moral ambiguity of his vigilante, extra-legal approach to crime fighting.
Okay, so it isn’t as real or interesting a character as Nolan’s Batman. But hey, it’s an ensemble cast now, and the characters are just a vehicle for the spectacle. And watching Batman beat the living daylights out of Mr All Powerful Farmboy is deeply satisfying.
She is enigmatic, attractive and seriously powerful. We want more.
Okay, Lex Luthor is a Pain
Jesse Eisenberg gives you a masterclass in overacting. Lex Luthor’s motives, besides being insane, are unclear. The character seems to be a clumsily contrived plot point to make both Superman and Batman look good. Why is Lex Luthor a world-destroying maniac? The film had the time to go into Bruce Wayne’s childhood trauma and the murder of his parents (a story we are all too familiar by now), why not give a few minutes to the main villain’s motivation?
The Avengers started slow and built up to a New York destroying extravaganza. This film sets up the Justice League. Is it perfect? Of course not. Could it have been shorter and better edited? Yes. But it’s certainly worth the price of the ticket.
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