REVIEW: 'Batman v Superman' dazzles but falls short of hype
Raving Geeks co-hosts discuss what did, didn't work in latest DC Comics romp
Pegged as the ultimate gladiator match in the history of comic book movies, "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" continues the story left off from 2014's "Man Of Steel."
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Starring: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Jeremy Irons and Laurence Fishburne
Directed by Zack Snyder
Written by Chris Terrio and David Goyer
Tyler Guza: 3.75 out of 5 stars
Ben Solis: 4 out of 5 stars
The second installment of DC Comics cinematic universe, "Batman v Superman" finds Clark Kent and Superman (Henry Cavill) dealing with his place as earth's beloved savior. Yet not everyone is buying it, including Bruce Wayne and his alter ego, Batman — as played by Ben Affleck.
"Batman v Superman" is mired in pre-release controversy: casting Affleck, poor villain choices and character overload come to mind.
Raving Geeks co-hosts Ben Solis and Tyler Guza saw the movie in an press early screening, and their reactions are mixed, to put it lightly. Here's what they thought of the film:
So Geeks, what were your initial impressions of the film?
Tyler Guza: 'Batman v Superman' is a good movie, but it's not great. The best word I could use to describe it is dense. It has great moments, but I feel poor pacing and editing took away from the story being told. That said, it set up the greater DC Comics movie universe well, and I am excited to see what is coming next.
Ben Solis: I thought it was a feast for the eyes and told a really great story. The film is paced at break-neck speed, but that's due in part to how much they needed to show you the two and a half-hour time slot. It suffers as a standalone film, but works perfectly in the context of building this universe. Excited to see the longer, R-rated director's cut.
In terms of story, how did it fit together for you?
TG: I feel that this question is tough because there are great story points, and then some I could have done without. Most of these points are tied to spoilers. Non-comic readers might have issues finding the plot, but as the film progresses, it starts to lay itself out more clearly.
BS: Honestly, I thought the story was spot on. I love the books they chose to adapt, but also the continuation of the 'Man Of Steel' pieces established in the last movie. The political themes were intriguing, and the isolated-from-humanity god bit works well in this universe — despite what critics and fellow fanboys say about this storyline.
What character stole the show for you?
TG: For me, Ben Affleck's portrayal of Batman was the shining star in this movie. From the opening scene of the movie, you are locked in with his issues with Superman. I feel that we finally see the definitive version of Batman in the cinematic medium. Also, it is worth mentioning Laurence Fishburne as Perry White. Every line his character spoke was great.
BS: Ben Affleck was near perfect casting for Bruce Wayne and Batman. Affleck is definitely a worthy successor to Christian Bale, and I can't wait to see him in more films as the Caped Crusader. Gal Gadot blew me away. She doesn't have much screentime, but what she does have shows me that Wonder Woman is in good hands. Jesse Eisenberg was sinister as Lex Luthor.
Which characterization didn't work for you?
TG: Sadly, I have to say that Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. That doesn't mean he was bad, I just was looking for a different version of the character than what they offered. They did, however, make a consistent choice with the character direction, and stuck to it.
BS: I love Henry Cavill's Superman, but I think his role suffers here. He wasn't bad in any way, but he felt a bit hollow. On the flip side, I really enjoy him as being detached from humanity in this string of movies. My favorite Superman books touch on this aspect. I just don't buy the savior of humanity jig.
Did it live up to the hype, and did Zack Snyder fulfill your expectations?
TG: Did the movie live up to the hype I built for it? No, but as someone who has DC Comics engraved in their DNA, my hype was set very high. I still left the theater happy and excited for the solo movies in the years to come. I truly feel this is a movie that will benefit from multiple viewings.
BS: As much as I liked it, no, I don't think it lived up as the 'greatest comic book story ever told.' Nor do I think it should have been. It was above average, but not perfect. The dark tone will turn off Marvel movie fans, kids and families. Fans of Man Of Steel and Zack Snyder's "Watchmen" will really love this. General audiences might not.