When I walked into the theater to see Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, I wasn’t super thrilled. The critics haven’t been impressed and the fans have taken every opportunity to dump all over it. Here’s my overwhelming thought once I left my seat:
Everyone needs to cool their jets.
Now before you get all huffy puffy let me tell you that I am not a comic book expert. I am more acquainted than than the average person, but neither Batman nor Superman were my jam growing up. It was only a few years ago I started delving into Batman’s past and so don’t crucify me for saying something that offends you deep in your comic-loving soul.
Was the movie fantastic? No, but it wasn’t nearly as terrible as fans are saying. I understand why people are upset that the film is increasingly violent but what did you expect when you saw that Zack Snyder was directing? Snyder is known for his beautiful shots and his ultra visceral action sequences. He’s also known for putting his own spin on things and taking liberties with well-known characters, so…why are we acting shocked?
Of course the film starts off with that terrible sequence we’re all too familiar with when Bruce Wayne’s parents, Thomas and Martha, are killed and Bruce is forced to grow up too quickly. We see that he’s spent many years being the Batman and has been through many terrible things. Ben Affleck is genuinely good as the hardened vigilante who seems more pissed off than ever. He’s taking down criminals and now branding his own symbol into them showing that he’s getting over the idea that people are all good. He begins to resent Superman and his way of do-gooding whilst casually eliminating the lives of innocent people throughout Metropolis and he formulates a way to end him.
Meanwhile, Superman is finding himself in a bit of internal conflict. He wants to be the guy at the Daily Planet who comes home and cooks dinner for his girlfriend, Lois Lane, but he has to deal with a mix of admiration and hatred and the overwhelming need to use his powers for good. He’s beginning to resent Superman as well.
And Lex Luthor? Again, don’t hate me, but I liked Jesse Eisenberg. Was he a bit too Joker-esque? Sure, but he also brought a more frightening sense of psychopathy to the table…the kind that bubbles beneath the surface before boiling over. Eisenberg’s performance was eerie, heartless and promising. It would be nice to see him again.
Also, Wonder Woman was everything. Gal Gadot killed it. Her performance was outstanding and the introduction of her character (minus a few prolonged, unnecessary pan shots) was so great. People were squealing in the theater. She is mainly the reason I am willing to see Justice League.
So here’s the bottom line: take in the film with a grain of salt. Feel free to be super cynical and talk about how badly they got Superman and Batman wrong, but you were the one that bought the ticket with Zack Snyder’s name on it. Loosen up, relax in that seat and get a beer if you are able and try to enjoy the movie for what it is: a marquee with two big names.
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