It took me a while to put it into words, but I figured out why – to me – “Batman V Superman” doesn’t work.
It comes down to director Zack Snyder and what he thinks he is trying to do:
- Yes, he is trying to tentpole a franchise
- Yes, he is trying to rationalize how “Man of Steel” would give us characters that might not love the carnage a Superman brings with him
- Yes, he has to show us how these disparate personalities would have to learn to work together.
- Yes, he has to try and follow beloved (?) storylines.
The problem becomes, when he made “Watchmen”, he discarded roughly one-third of the story (the Tales of the Black Freighter) and told the basic plot. This allowed him to construct a narrative that was at least consistent from beginning to end. People, including Alan Moore, may have hated his style choice, but at least he got a consistent movie out of that decision.
Here, it seems like he decided to keep every little nugget he could from each origin story he came across. We got Batman’s AGAIN. There was a little bit more of Superman’s, including a story from his dad. Doomsday’s was altered from the comics, but we still got a full story that fit this narrative. We only got an oral version of Lex Luthor’s, spread out over the first two hours.
Luckily, Wonder Woman’s getting her own film, so we only got a clue about her origin story. I liked the subtle treatment they gave her reveal. It actually should be a better movie.
As to the other JLA members, HERE’S THE FLASH! HERE’S AQUAMAN! HAVE YOU HEARD OF CYBORG?!?! ENJOY THE WAIT!!!
Once the guts of approximately 14 different comics had been spilled, and a meandering plot involving Holly Hunter that could have taken five minutes and less subtlety, it was time for BIG FIGHT #1!
The actual Batman V Superman was, I thought, actually pretty good. Nice action plus storyline plausibility…
…until Lois shows up, points out their similarities, and tells them about why they must knock it off and fight a common enemy. Then it falls apart for a little bit, while they go through a sober version of a drunken Irish, ‘I LOVE YOU!” back-and-forth before – oh yeah – Doomsday is coming.
This gives us the big Wonder Woman reveal. as I said, I like her, and think it’ll be a fine solo movie. It’s a good fight, and it takes the three of them to finish him off, the conclusion of which gives us the direct walk-to for the solo movies and the inevitable JLA conclusion against Darkseid.
Once the action finishes, there’s about three or four “Return of the King” false finishes before the actual ending, which again drives you to madness because it reinforces every belief that they could have shaved 30-40 minutes off of this film and made it work a lot better.
Viewability scale: (Theatre-full price / Theatre-half-price / Stream / Wait for TV / Nope / Eye Cancer)
Because I have misguided faith that the other movies in the series will be better, watching it without commercial interruption, and from the comfort of home, will provide you the most enjoyable experience with this film. I went to the theatre because my wife was doing the easter baking, and being allergic to cocoa meant I had to go out to avoid a reaction. So, I guess, what I’m saying is that this movie was better than anaphylaxis.