Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Dollar Movie Reviews : Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice
Hey there interwebz!
Today is the kickoff of a new segment on here called "Dollar Movie Reviews". I usually rarely go see new movies until they hit the dollar theater (about 2 months later). So DMR is here for your late and spoiler-filled reviews. Let's start off with Zack Snyder's Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
I feel like I can sum up this movie in about 3 words.
I went into this movie with high hopes. I love the Justice League, I liked Man of Steel, and I was excited to see Wonder Woman, Batfleck, and the cameos by Aquaman and the Flash. Boy, was I in for.....something.
We start off with another retelling of Batman's origins and though I was enticed by the grittiness, it felt more like goofy than troubling. The movie also starts the story in pseudo-daydreamy flashbacks. I wasn't sure where they were going with it, but I didn't judge too hard yet.
We then get the first glimpse of Batfleck. Here's what I liked: Ben Affleck looks amazing as Bruce Wayne. If Bruce stepped out of the comics, he would be Ben. I was now getting excited to see how they would make this terrific casting shine.
We start off with Batman and Superman's first encounter. It involves a falling Wayne building, a kid's trapped mother, and an employee of Bruce's getting crushed. At this point, I was tearing up and was excited for how emotional this was making me.
We see Lois and Superman in a hostage situation that has Supes saving her and so far everything is pretty okay. Everything seemed normal, and this is the scene where, it's pretty obvious, we are going to have to remember the details for later.
After this time, it gets kind of fuzzy for me. We spend 2 and a half hours on the storyline of a senator who is against Superman's destruction of the city. We see the world make Superman be out to be a destroyer rather than a hero. But it focuses so much on this one senator, who ends up befreneming Lex Luthor.
Lex (Jesse Eisenberg) is just awkward. He tries to come off as scary and manipulative, but mostly comes off as a whiny trust-fund kid. It's pretty grating to watch any scene he's in. This is not the Lex I know. When the original Lex (think animated series) got sick from prolonged exposure to Kryptonite, he still tries to come off as intimidating. This Lex tries to be a weaker version of Jared Leto's Joker and would probably sit in bed crying about his dad.
Anyway, he hosts a party where he invites Clark, Bruce, and (in the first appearance) Diana. Bruce, being guided by Jeremy Iron's Alfred, tries to get into Lex's private rooms, and then is caught by Mercy.
Mercy is one of my all-time favorite characters in the DCU. Her casting in this was great and she has such a strong character in other materials, that I was looking forward to seeing how she was going to contribute to this movie. She confronts Bruce and then returns upstairs. So....I guess they're building her up, right?
Superman catches news about how a small girl in Mexico is trapped in a fabric factory during the Dia de los Muertos celebrations.
A small girl, let's say 5, is trapped in a fabric factory in the late night during one of the biggest celebrations in Mexico? Somehow, this doesn't add up and if they're implying what I think they are implying, it's not cool. It's also something that is kind of a throwaway line, said in Spanish, so it is easy for many viewers to miss.
Superman saves the girl and the entire crowd starts praising him like he's some sort of god. At this point, I'm kind of irritated. It's very clear they are using Mexican cultural attire (the calavera face paint especially) to make the scene seem creepy and symbolic. It's also implied that Mexican citizens are falling over to worship a new god. As a Mexican-American woman, this is pretty dated and really annoying to see in a huge movie like this. Our culture shouldn't be used as an aesthetic.
A lot of this movie is based on symbolism, and if symbolism were salt, this would be a mine. It shoves it down your throat and tries to seem deep while just coming off confusing.
We spend more time focused on the senator from before and then during a meeting between her, the world, and Superman, Lex plants a bomb in the building. Obviously, everyone but Superman dies but guess who else was in the explosion. Mercy!
Yup. They took a character who once ran Lexcorp when Lex was being a brat, who once kicked Superman's ass, and who is basically one of the best female characters ever created, and delegated her to a throwaway casualty.
I'm already done with this movie, now but we still have another hour to go. That's another problem with this movie. It is about 3 hours long and most of that is spent on storylines not involving any of the main characters, only to lose those characters in an explosion.
We see Diana being pursued by Bruce because she's just so gosh-darn fascinating. However, when they finally get to the five minutes of her actually being Wonder Woman, we get no sort of background information on her. She's just some lady in a dress who has a lasso and can yell a lot. Also, we get an upskirt shot of her during battle. I almost walked out of the theater as soon as that happened. Upskirt shots are not cool anyway, but to spend the time talking about how cool she is and then to focus on her skirt during combat is just....ugh.
When I walked in the theater, there was a woman who was waiting on her boyfriend to get there. I myself, had wanted to see this movie more than Jonathan and chose to go there. There were groups of ladies next to us (who walked out halfway through). And our characters are treated like this? I understand it's Batman vs. Superman but even the random shirtless sequences of them was just mindless pandering. Why is it so difficult to have strong female characters?
Also, Doomsday look like ET covered in snot and our glimpse of the Flash and Aquaman was so hastily added that there was no context to it shown other than "Look we told you they'd be in here so uh....here".
My rating: 2 out of 10, only because the costume design, Batfleck's casting, and the score.
If you saw this, what did you think? If you haven't, are you planning on it? Let's chat about this in the comments!