Monday, May 9, 2016
A Study in Super Heroes: Part One -- Batman vs Superman (review)
I'm not going to go through the movie the way I usually do with these things. Let's just say the story was... flimsy. Like a balsa wood airplane, the kind you get at the supermarket for... I was going to say for $0.99, but I bet those planes cost more than that, now. They're great for the first half a dozen or so throws, then things start falling off, then they start refusing to go back into their assigned places, right before they start splintering. Basically, you get one good afternoon of play with one before it goes into the trash. This movie is like that, good for one afternoon of play before the plot falls apart and you begin to wonder what actually happened.
Of course, what actually happened was a contrived scenario to get Batman and Superman to fight. Um... yeah... That's all I'm going to say about that.
Let's do this:
Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne. In fact, you could say that was the awesome. Definitely the best part of the movie. Affleck should have always been Batman. Or, I should say, Bruce. He's great as Batman, too, but, face it, that's the easy part. The part every previous star of the Batman movies since Burton's Batman came out has failed at has been portraying a convincing Bruce Wayne. [Okay, well, Clooney was a good Wayne, but the Batman fail in that one was so epic (no fault of Clooney's (seriously? nipples on the suit?)) that it has discolored everything about it.]
The opening sequence giving Batman's origin. Again.
The dream sequence Batman has of the future where Superman has taken over the world. It was long and added nothing to the movie. I get that they were trying to... I don't know... incorporate more of Miller's Dark Knight, but that sequence was gratuitous and pointless.
Wayne as an alcoholic. No, it's not stated, but it's certainly implicit. And dumb.
Surprisingly, Henry Cavill as Superman. I don't think much of Cavill just on a general basis. I thought he was adequate in Man of Steel and horrible in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., although, to be fair, it was a pretty awful movie, so it may not have been his fault. However, he pulled off a fairly convincing portrayal of a brooding Superman, unsure of himself and his place in the world.
Basically everything to do with Lois Lane.
Look, I like Amy Adams. I think she's a great actress. But Lois is supposed to be a strong, forceful personality, and Adams doesn't bring that to the table. She's just too tentative. Plus, in this, she's often Lois ex machina, showing up at opportune moments to deliver vital information. Or whatever.
Jesse Eisenberg as the Joker. Oh, wait, he wasn't the Joker? Well, he gave a great performance as whoever it was he was supposed to be.
Lex Luthor. Or Alexander Luthor, Jr. The character played by Eisenberg. The character is completely inexplicable. He's a perfect example of how DC or Warner Brothers or whoever has written themselves into a hole they can't get out of because they continue to do everything from a pantsing standpoint. They killed Lex and they killed the Joker, so they just make up a new character with the same name as the villain they want to use and tack a Jr. onto it. Lame.
Gal Godot as Wonder Woman. I don't really understand all the fanboy rage over Godot in this role. She looked good as Wonder Woman and pulled off the character more than adequately.
Wonder Woman. Why is she even in this film? It would have been just as plausible and, possibly, more believable, if she'd just shown up for the fight sequence. That's really the only believable moment for her being in the movie, anyway. They just need her in the movie because she's part of the Holy Trinity of super heroes and, if Warner Brothers wants to pull off a Justice League movie, they have to center it around all three of those heroes: Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman.
Perry White. There are no words for how poorly they have translated White into this movie, and Fishburne does nothing to help the character out.
Jeremy Irons as Alfred.
Doomsday. Everything about Doomsday. There's nothing about the character or his origin in the movie that rises above stupid. Mostly, it's moronic.
It's not a horrible movie. That's really the best thing that can be said about it. And I'd rather watch it again than to ever think about seeing, say, The Revenant again. Or Green Lantern. It's probably even worth it to see it on the big screen. But it's not a good movie. It's not even brain candy. At best, it's a piece of that hard candy your grandmother kept in a dish on the end table under the lamp, but it's all melted together, and you can't get any of it out without getting a knife or something and, then, once you have the broken piece you finally pry out of the reef-like structure, you can't tell what it's supposed to taste like, because you have parts of three or four different pieces of candy all stuck together. You try to suck on it but you end spitting it out into the metal trashcan next to the table where it sticks to the bottom and you try in vain to pretend that it wasn't you who spit it in there. [Not based on any actual event that ever happened to me.]