So, now Superman/Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) is working in the same news building as his love Lois Lane. And during the events of Man of Steel, Bruce Wayne was around to witness the destruction that battle made. His boss was killed and the misery he's had to live through is something he has never gotten over. And Superman is so superpowerful that the media is really questioning him, mostly because he's a big target for mass terrorism, making him a target for Wayne. One billionaire Lex Luthor played by the always amazing Jesse Eisenberg sees the two of them going together as just...perfect, blemishing. So now we have our superhero movie.
Back in 2012, before I reviewed movies, my friend took me out to see The Dark Knight Rises. And maybe it could be how young I am (the first actual superhero movie I saw was Transformers, and I saw it in 2010 on DVD) but I hadn't even seen the critically acclaimed predecessor The Dark Knight when I saw it. What I remember is The Dark Knight Rises was witty, weird, bouncy and cavaliery. Anne Hathaway was a delight as Catwoman, rescuing a bullied boy and taking a bite of his apple in the process, and a different type of chorus to start the end battle and an indefinite conclusion. Poor little Batman...especially since he has to be in this sort of movie. The idea itself isn't bad at all. Batman and Superman colliding?! It's one of the most simple-yet-brilliant movie ideas. Well, if you want to see a real showdown, I suggest and highly suggest Captain America: Civil War instead. And when I mean real, I mean real. This movie is so phoney and somber and apocalyptic rather than heart-pounding that I had to pause the film several times so I could lie down and take a break.
I remember seeing part of Man of Steel on a plane, but I didn't finish it because I was sleepy from the flight and Henry Cavill just wasn't an appealing Superman to me. I'm not trying to bully Henry Cavill...I've just yet to see a movie where I like his character, or like the movies he's in. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was also a meretricious travesty. Or maybe the writers call for him to have brave, unemotional faces, cause he's very good at that. I never really shipped him and Lois that much. If you ask me, he seemed to be zooming off and not listening to her more often than being the husband he should've been. It was suspenseful and graceful when he saves Lois from drowning; of course he'd save her, he's not a monster. And that scene was one I really enjoyed. But I could name about four different times where the choreography would simply never actually happen.
Batman and Superman battle over tragedies and events that put them to the necks, but we already know all about the misunderstandings they don't know about so it's hard to really be touched by the lengths they go to to beat the supposed "enemy". It almost seems like the movie is hoping we won't care about its unevenness as long as we get to see the two of them in one room. And I'm afraid I don't fall into that category of fanboys. I've never watched a Batman or Superman cartoon, but I still had expectations because the fight between two individuals who have so much strength and exquisiteness in the DC universe sounded amazing, but apparently the movie itself doesn't think so. This movie is so messy, slow, uneven and incoherent that the monchormatically black and shiny blue nighttime sets made me want to curl up and crash. Superhero movies aren't supposed to put you to sleep.
Movies should at least get me captivated at first, and the opening of Bruce Wayne running through a Blair-Witch-esque forest at the start in grief was nice but right after, with the Man of Steel flashback, there was horrible acting and poor choreography, especially from a girl just standing in a place no one in their right mind would stand. There's a desert interview that antagonizes Superman further but it adds nothing new to what we are told and tries to be heartwrenching and ends as pointless. Wayne and Kent meet at a party not knowing their identity about forty minutes in and you can almost feel the extras begging for something to just go down. When something feels about to go down, and they finally confront, Superman leaves with a warning, and we are back to more dreary nothingness. This movie could've been cut by more than an hour. If you want a superhero movie like that; short but at the same time mesmerizing because it isn't spending all its time gazing on a colourless New York, try Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.
So I guess the reasons I'm not giving this a lower grade is because there are, admittedly, a few action scenes that occasionally shine, especially during the last quarter. When they actually do face-off, I cared about the outcome, unsure who to root for. I mostly just rooted for whoever was being punched at that moment. And the Lex Luthor side story was one where I finally got a little bit on board and the last scene Lex is in is one where Eisenberg's acting is both funny and serious at the same time, in a way that I think will please everyone who's still watching the movie. And for the few minutes Wonder Woman is in, she battles the whatever-that-was quite well, and I didn't see the end result coming. After everything it was kind of stupid but I couldn't believe they actually went that far. So, the movie is mostly terrible in its first three quarters but the last quarter is fairly enjoyable. I'll let watchers choose what to make of that.
You know something, though? Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is advertised as a 2 1/2 hour movie but the version I saw was 3 hours, so this review may be unfair in some regards. But if it were 30 minutes shorter, I probably wouldn't have given this movie a much better grade anyway. Anyone who's a fan of Batman or Superman will see this, or has probably seen it already, and I hope they had or have a great time. But for superhero movies this year, I'd try out Captain America, Ninja Turtles, or Now You See Me 2. That movie has Eisenberg's hair just growing back after this movie.