I realized I have a bias for writing about movies that I like. So I need to fix this — here is a review of a movie I admit to not being a fan of.
I was very optimistic about this movie, to the point we watched it twice to make sure it was as bad the second time as it was the first (and I regret giving them my money so much). I have to admit that I was looking forward to “Batfleck.” But this movie did not deliver for me.
No joke, when I watched this movie, I felt like I was drunk. The irony being I didn’t drink while or before watching the film — but I felt like I watched the film through a haze, or like my memory and perception might be impaired. The film plot felt very incomplete, and while it had some entertainment value, I easily could have slept through parts of it and missed very little.
First of all, we get the backstory of Batman for those who have been living under a rock for the past several decades. Okay, I get it. The people need to know Batman’s tragic origin story. Later we see that origin story being a key turning point in plot, because basically, Batfleck loses his murder-boner when he hears his mom’s name: Martha. But honestly, good character development can be accomplished without writing a novella. Most of the good bits of Batman’s character arc can be found in Ben Affleck’s performance than in any flashback storytelling.
Superman also has very little to show with character development. We get a post-General Zod world in which Superman is both revered and feared for his alien powers, but otherwise we just see him getting into a bathtub with Lois Lane, fully clothed, like the weirdo that we already know he is. I don’t care how objectively attractive you make a superhero, you can’t make up for terrible storytelling. Henry Cavill, stop looking at us like that, you can’t distract us from your few terribly written lines! *tries to look away…*
Also on the side of female characters, Amy Adams added a little value to moving the story along I guess, providing the usual damsel in distress we expect to see in Superman movies, with some marginal help while Superman is getting kryptonite sprayed into his eyes — but overall her involvement was rushed and incomplete. Gal Gadot, on the other hand, was beautiful and mysterious, though still left us with more questions than answers. I will also say her fight sequence is easily one of the better ones in the film. She did provide some movement, plot-wise, toward subsequent Justice League movies as well.
Lex Luthor was a rather underdeveloped villain. Many critics reamed Jesse Eisenberg’s performance, but honestly, even his character development seemed to have an apparent shred of depth and mystery compared to the shallow and basic character development of the main heroes. Jesse Eisenberg is good at portraying cerebral, self-centered geniuses, I guess (or maybe that’s just his face…).
Ben Affleck might be the only saving grace of this film. His performance as Bruce Wayne added the darkness and grit to the character that previous Christian Bale films could only attempt with the terrible voice emulator tool he supposedly had on his mask (what, was he belching into a mic or something?). Batfleck is brooding, obsessive, and angry, making us question whether Batman is truly a hero we want to get behind (which is the whole point of the movie).
Anyway, the two main superheroes literally stop killing each other because they are both orphans whose moms are both Martha’s. Maybe it was supposed to be a moment of profound bonding but, as Ryan put it, “brought the movie to a screeching halt.” And for a movie that is literally named after the two superheroes, it was disappointing to see the film’s climax completely ruin any enthusiasm you may have had for them. The movie did more service to the auxiliary characters than it ever did for the main ones.
I have not yet seen the extended version of the film, and I’m hoping that version closes up much of the plot holes. I think post-BvS Lex Luthor will be a lot more promising than the current one, and Batfleck will have a lot more to offer in the coming Justice League movies. I’m also really excited for Wonderwoman, and hope that Gal Gadot delivers on her character as well. For a crappy movie, it did surprisingly well at helping me get excited about every other DC movie. But probably not for the reason they had in mind. I want any possible better movie from the DC universe.
Overall Score: C (barely passable, but entertaining)