Leading up to the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice fellow local nerd and podcaster Kevin Rowe and I (Morgan Y. Evans) have been arguing heatedly over whether or not Affleck would suck or if, as Kevin wrongly asserts, this is Batman’s finest hour.
Personally, I liked the Lego Batman preview before this hot mess of a movie better than Ben Affleck’s performance, but I will say that after seeing the film, he was far from the biggest problem.
The Kingston Times has decided to humor us and run our dissenting opinions on this motion picture, a very important film for DC Comics if they are to ever come close to chasing Marvel’s massive success.
Ben Affleck always gets a bad rap, but look at his credits and you will see more hits than misses. Chasing Amy, Argo, Good Will Hunting — all these flicks won awards and great acclaim. Sure, he made a Gigli or two, but show me one actor who hasn’t.
In the case of Batman though, I think he did a tremendous job. Wearing probably the most comic-accurate Batman suit we have seen on the big screen, his take on the Dark Knight was something we haven’t seen before. Very Frank Miller-esque, and a dash of the Arkham series of video games (at least with the fight scenes). Was it the best depiction ever? I can honestly say no, it wasn’t, however I am confident that his portrayal can only get better from here.
The movie should have been titled Batmanslaughter v Superman: Dawn of Attempted Murder. Affleck’s Batman had very little regard for his enemies, and while he never outright killed anyone, what did he think would happen when he shot the fuel tank of a flamethrower with a Batarang?
Henry Cavill makes an excellent Superman, it is just too bad that he has been in nothing but bad Superman stories.
If the little girl cheering in the theater when she made her debut says anything, it’s that the world is ready for a solo Wonder Woman film and it has been for a long time. Gal Gadot was fantastic in the few minutes of screen time she had, and I am now beyond stoked to see her solo film. Hopefully it makes more money than any of these other comic book films combined and shows Marvel that we need that Black Widow movie pronto.
I think it’s funny that I liked Jesse Eisenberg as the psychotic perma-adolescent billionaire in this and not the psychotic perma-adolescent billionaire in The Social Network. Does this mean Zack Snyder is a better director than David Fincher?
Morgan Y. Evans:
This movie has a lot going for it but also a ton of face-palm moments. The greatest parts of the whole film are when Batffleck makes a goofy face as he almost crashes the Batffleck-mobile into Supes and instead the whole car gets slapped like a gnat by the Man of Steel. They missed a great opportunity to have Jay Z’s “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” play during this scene.
The same problems that plagued the third X-Men movie damage BvS. Clutter, clutter, clutter. This movie feels like a product roll-out. There are a few great scenes, like the fact that both heroes’ moms have the same name and they kind of bond over their moms, a very matriarch-friendly moment in a movie overstuffed with machismo.
Doomsday, whom nerds have waited to see on screen for years, is like a lame cave troll from Lord of The Rings and Jesse Eisenberg is almost unwatchable acting like a millennial version of Jim Carrey’s Riddler before basically becoming the babbling “Renfield of Darkseid,” as Kevin put it.
I will say that Affleck was better than Clooney, but pretty damn flat. The chunky, Frank Miller-reminiscent battle armor suit is also silly looking. I prefer Nolan and Burton’s Batmen any day, but I will say that Affleck will be OK in a series of films that seem like a big-budget toy battle.
You can’t blame DC. Marvel is so many films ahead of them that DC must be sweating. Better to throw everything at the wall at once and see what sticks then adapt for the next films. Amy Adams tries so hard to inject some depth into Lois Lane and she is a terrific actress, but most of the time is delegated to the “save Lois” trope even though she could probably kick Eisenberg’s ass sideways in real life.
Daredevil Season 2 outright destroys this film. Watchmen remains the coolest Snyder effort to date — flawed but still a pretty special experience. The best parts of this movie fly by way too fast, like the introduction of Cyborg, Wonder Woman kicking butt briefly or Jeremy Irons trying to stoically play Alfred with a straight face. Other moments, from a seconds-long Aquaman reveal with zero backstory to the almost gay-parodying hot mess of Eisenberg’s alleged Lex Luthor to Ben Affleck trying way to hard to be tough to make fanboys accept him, well … these moments will make you want to bust out the Bat Shark Repellant and run as fast as you can to buy tickets for Marvel’s Civil War.