Wooweee!!! Time to get to some reviewing!!!... Oh, wait wait wait, that's too happy. Dark and brooding. Dark and brooding. Hrm. Anger. Sorrow. Beefy man grunts. Yes, it's no secret that while Marvel generally likes to stay on the lighter, happier, sillier side of things (Winter Soldier awesomely excluded), DC has been barking up the "darkness" train ever since The Dark Knight came to be, and Heath Ledger made everyone at Warner/DC billions of dollars. But a lot of people expressed concerns that Warner Brothers would try and make all of their movies this way, only to fail miserably. It didn't help when Man Of Steel garnered a lot of mixed thoughts across the board. Honestly? I thought it was pretty rad, if you remember my last crazy review. Flawed to be sure, but enjoyable. So what happened this time? Did we get more of the same, something better, or something far worse? READ BELOW!!!
Thank you for reading below. Before I begin the actual review section of my review, I feel I need to warn you that this review WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS! No, I could not avoid it this time. There is no way to talk about how good/bad this movie is without discussing all of the major events in the process. I am not sorry for saying anything I am about to say here. This is completely not held back, no filter-y goodness, so if you were expecting any kind of chill, this is not the place. You are about to enter THE no chill zone! ...
So this movie is FLAWED AS BUTT! Where the hell do I even start?... The movie begins with, stop me if you've heard this one, Bruce Wayne's parents being murdered in the street!!! Yes, holy crap, they did it again! Can you believe they seriously did this s@#t AGAIN!? I still can't believe it. They really thought that was necessary. You know, one of the things people have pointed out (especially after Spidey got rebooted for the trillionth time) is that they are beyond sick of origin stories, particularly those involving well-established characters who's history has been retold more times than the resurrection of JESUS! (Happy Easter by the way... >_> ) But hey, what does Zack Snyder care, right? He's making bank, no matter what comes out, since we've all been desperate as hell for more from DC's cinematic universe. And I admit, I'm as guilty as all of you. I ran to it. I had no idea if it would be good or not, but I still went. It was my calling; my destiny... Something something Star Wars quote.
But okay, crappy retelling of the same beginning aside, we at least also get to see Batfleck's initial beef with Superman, and it's not completely unreasonable. Bats has worked pretty much every day of his life (since that death scene we have stuck on repeat), while this freaking alien hasn't had to work a day in his life for his power. The nerve of that dirty socialist! (Go Bernie?) It also doesn't help that he's causing insane collateral damage and not really answering for it in any legal way. Fans of Power Rangers/Super Sentai are well aware of everyone usually turning a blind eye to all of this shocking destruction, but DC appears to actually want some responsibility taken for it (as did Marvel's Civil War comic). Batty bat bat bat is angry, and he wants this dangerous "god" brought down. Okay, so one character's intro is pretty accurate; how are the rest?
Now we get into Superman's character. This is a tough one to talk about, as there's already been a heeeeeell of a lot of discussion on him after Man Of Steel. I was willing to accept the controversy, and see him as "a being still learning about how to become the Superman we all know and love." I'm still trying really reeeally hard to accept that notion again, because this is obviously not the Superman we all know and love. And I AM NOT just saying that because he's capable of killing. Get that smelly thought out of your mouth this instant!!! When I say that, I'm talking about this Superman lacking any sense of optimism, inspiration, and hope. This Superman only seems to inspire more darkness. And brooding. And a surprising lack of guilt over the events in Man Of Steel. Wat? But I guess Snyder had fun creating an image of Supes as a modern day Jesus (hey, just in time for Easter!!!). In fact, I actually kind of liked that aspect of it. Seeing mixes of people protesting the hell out of this "illegal alien" (GET IT!??? AHAAAAAA!... *ahem*), and others simply touching him and feeling blessed, was... kind of cool and realistic. That had to be one of the few times I actually felt invested in what was going on here.
And then there's Lex... Played by Jesse Eisenberg... Yes, that guy from The Social Network. Look, I have no problems with this guy's acting ability, and feel free to disagree with me (you always do whether I tell you that you can or not!), but I did not understand choosing him to play Lex Luthor. If anything, his character resembled more of the Joker than anything else. Did he secretly get rejected to play that role in Suicide Squad and want to piss off everyone in the studio? Because that would actually be hilarious and make a lot of sense, unlike his motivation here. Speaking of which..., what the hell was Lex's motivation in this movie!??? It wasn't clear at any point. If someone came into this having never read/watched a Superman story in their life, they wouldn't even have the proper tools to make guesses with!
Let me just get right into this "plot" discussion, right here and now. Why is that little word in quotes? Because I'm still trying to find it! I think it went missing some time ago, and we'll end up seeing it listed on our milk cartons soon. The first hour and a half of this movie was SLOOOOOOW. It was so slow, even Bruce Wayne fell asleep during the movie; TWICE!!!! (BOOM, he's still got it! Yes he does!) I still cannot get over how slow of an actual buildup we got here. Instead of creating tension between these two behemoths we call men, I just kept staring blankly at the screen, wondering when I was going to start caring about either one of them. It almost happened with Batsy, but rarely ever with Supesy. My point is it basically NEVER HAPPENED. You could say this was likely the result of Snyder trying to cram too much together, and you'd probably be right. When Marvel started putting all of its characters together to start up The Avengers, they were already well established, with at least one movie or more under their belts. Here, we have a brand new Batman (with the re-done dead parents origin (yes I am going to keep talking about how annoying that is)), a return to the controversial and borderline unlikeable Superman from Man Of Steel, and a very brief introduction into Wonder Woman's character, all in this one measly little (albeit long) movie. DC and Warner Brothers are trying way too hard to rush into things and catch up to Marvel, and it shows.
So once we finally get past all of the buildup, what do we end up with? Well, you start with some seriously bulky man fighting, complete with small Dark Knight Returns references scattered about. I would have been more excited for the fight, had I not been so burned out by the uneventful beginnings of the damn thing. But once it happened, it got pretty real. Some parts of it were actually pretty tactful too. So why did I still have an issue? No, it's not because I'm a Marvel character! Why would you even ask that!? God, you are an ass... It was the substance, or lack thereof. Remember when I said I felt no emotional attachment to any of these characters? Well, that created a problem for me. I absolutely didn't feel anything for either character, so I had no drive while watching these two compare schlong sizes. And again, I attribute this to Snyder trying to cram too many things together and make a sandwich so big, only Shaggy and Scooby would try to eat it.
Who wins the fight? Well, Bats definitely had the upper hand (which has already led to Batman fans once again proclaiming from the rooftops that their lord and savior, Bruce Wayne is the supreme overlord of comic book characters), but the final moment is interrupted when Campbell's Chicken Noodle SUPE starts calling out his mother's name, Martha. This causes Batman to freak the f@#k out, and ask him where he heard that name. After Amy Adams finally runs over and tells him who it is, Batman suddenly has this huge change of heart for reasons I still don't really get... So because he too has a mother named Martha, he can't possibly be evil? Or maybe it's more about his previous oath to prevent what happened to him from happening to anyone else? Is that what the hell he was getting at??? Because if there's another message there, consider it lost on me. I didn't see it, and that's not just because the eyeholes in my mask look weird as hell. So apparently if her name was something else, like "Cynthia," they'd all be dead now. *insert more question marks here*
But wait, what about Wonder Woman, and that weird monster zombie Zod thing that kind of looks like Doomsday? Yeah... Yeah. So let's go back to that nonsensical stuff I was talking about this entire review, and therefore, never actually stopped talking about. Lex acquires the body of the now deceased General Zod, and uses Kryptonian technology to literally turn him into Doomsday, because why not, right!? But instead of actually looking like Doomsday (who is supposed to be a totally different character by the way!), he was basically a bulky Ninja Turtle instead. Though to be fair, he DID make giant crystals come out of himself from all directions, so he almost looked like a Ninja Turtle that inherited Doomsday's powers... almost. Wonder Woman ended up being the best thing about the whole damn movie, and that's sad, because she was only in it for what felt like ten minutes! Her entrance may have been one of the only scenes to actually get a smile out of me. I know everybody was judgmental as all hell when she was announced for the part, but I admit, she pulled it off! What was with that pornographic pose she did though!? You know the one I'm talking about, where she got knocked down and kind of splayed herself out there and smiled? Yeah... What?... Was that supposed to be more of that "empowerment" like we saw in Sucker Punch? I don't know. I just don't freaking know.
And can we talk about Superman's sixth sense for whenever Louis is in any kind of danger? It started out crazy, and just got flat out comical by the end (pun unintentional, but I will now roll with it). We're supposed to believe that while they're fighting the final major villain of the movie, he hears the beating on some wreckage underwater, and immediately knows it's Louis in danger? WHAT. THE. F@#K. It was made EVEN WORSE when he got her out of the water, and proceeded to sit there and say "I love you..." and sweet music was playing, all while there was an insane amount of carnage going on directly in front of them! I literally said out loud, "Is this really the time!?????"
There's so many other issues I had with the movie's plot, structure, and characterizations, but I won't even bother. It's not worth going into all of it. My jokes practically wrote themselves this time (which is great for business, but BAD for the fans!). I also want to make it very clear that despite all of these grievances, I still did not hate the movie. "Wait, what!? How can that be!? You just spent this whole time basically squatting over and taking a proverbial dump all over it!" Well, hold on a second there!... And also, eww. For one thing, the effects (minus some poorly crafted CGI) actually looked great! The dark tone of the DC universe under Frank Miller's influence was actually captured perfectly here. There were also some nice hints thrown in about the future movies to come, courtesy of quick shots with Flash, Cyborg, Aquaman, and even a possible reference to Darkseid in said dream sequence that I still hated. And once it came down to the big daddy's going at it, things actually picked up quite a bit. The action was also very well done, especially if you noticed all of the little Dark Knight Returns moments placed throughout the fight. My personal favorite was the quick second where Battie Battie Bats n' Free posed in the style of the cover for Dark Knight Returns, issue #1. Oh, you didn't catch that? Who's the true fan now!!!? Hahahahahaha... (I have no life, please kill me).
One more thing I have to say here, as I think many already feel the same way about... This film basically suffered from what I like to call "Spider-Man 3 Syndrome." (Yes, I am going to copyright that; don't even think about touching it!) It tries to do WAY too many things at once, and even tried to fit in the entire string of major moments from The Death of Superman storyline. WHY!? You're trying to set up an entire cinematic universe, and you begin by giving us a half-assed version of the most influential Superman stories of all time??? Also, I'm pretty sure Snyder just doesn't like Superman at all. Guy's had it out for him since day 1. It's a conspiracy, man!!! *adjusts tinfoil hat into place*
So to sum up every excruciating detail I listed above. The movie is far from unwatchable, but I feel the level of quality is not even CLOSE to what we've come to expect for superhero movies these days. I'm all for dark, goth, and broody, but it has to be done well, and this simply was not. The last third of the movie is the reason to go; it's just hard to feel any kind of tension or excitement over characters that they couldn't even develop properly. I mean, I never care who lives or dies in general (D-Pooly, represent!), but at least I can tell when I'm SUPPOSED to in the movies! This failed in that regard too. And the plot holes. Dear Lord, those were "plot black holes" we were dealing with. I mean, it's great they were all able to fight Doomsday through two empty cities, but we have no idea WHY they were empty... *huff huff* Okay, okay. I'm really done this time. Oh my God. Just breathe. Breathe, you ugly bastard, breathe...
5 Prayers For Better Sequels Out Of 10
Guys, I understand that a plot doesn't have to be hand-fed to its audience, as I like-a da' foreign films. But there has to actually BE a plot hidden underneath it in the first place. The lack of focus just killed this one for me. I'll gladly re-watch Batman kicking Superman in the face a thousand times once the blu ray is out, but this was no masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination. Glad to say Affleck isn't the one who screwed it up though. Good on him! But... everything else... Just... I'm going to need therapy after all the ranting I've been doing. I need to lie down. Everything is so dark. Dark... and broody... O_O