This has been out, what, a month? But to be fair…
Spoilers, cursing and stories of cell phones thrown at the screen ahead…
So first, this is not the worst thing I’ve ever seen. Relax fanboys. Honestly, it’s not even in the conversation of ‘worst live action film with Batman in the title’ (your legacy is safe Joel Schumacher).
What killed me (not as a Batman fan but as a storyteller) watching this though: the epic superhero movie Warners wanted (and needed) is inside this movie. They shot it. I don’t doubt at all looking at what’s onscreen the confidence was high. Call it ‘film geek frustration’ if you want, but I think one or two more full edits would have gone a LONG way into fixing most of the issues.
So let’s break it down, starting with the good:
- I believe in Ben Affleck. If you wanted to argue he’s been the best so far at being both an above average and believable Bruce Wayne AND Dark Knight, I might not have a problem with that. The sequence of him mimicking my workout routine and doing pull-ups with a monster truck tire chained to his waist, I was impressed. And he’s a very credible filmmaker behind the camera. When HE’S in the director’s chair telling one of my stories? Sign me up. I’m already there.
- Believe it or not, I had a legit fist pump during this film. Heroes are only as good as the villains they have to overcome, so when Lex threw that one two punch of pushing Lois off the skyscraper THEN revealing he kidnapped Ma Kent…YES!!! Figure out and go after the people the Boy Scout can’t imagine living without! That’s WAY more compelling and relatable than Kryptonite! That could have been a movie by itself! (I know, I know…)
- This is Snyder’s strength: there are some really great images and stills you can grab from this film. (Most of them were rushed into the trailer, but still.) The first time the Trilogy stands together. The Dark Knight scouting the crime scene. The Boy Scout floating in the sky is always cool.
So it’s not all bad. But having said that…
- Film geek talking, but I lost track of how many times I said to myself ‘This isn’t so bad, they’re gaining momentum,’ followed by ‘WHAT. WAS. THAT.’ Starting with the end of that opening montage of my parents being killed for the umpteenth time, and ending with Doomsday about to destroy of all of us and giving me and Wonder Woman all they can handle, and Lois pulling the ‘Please Baby Don’t Go’ move. REALLY? HUMANITY IS ABOUT TO BE WIPED OUT, AND YOUR BOYFRIEND IS LITERALLY OUR ONLY HOPE AND YOU’RE TRYING TO STOP HIM?!? GET THE PHUCK OUT OF HERE LOIS!!!! (Yes that’s when my phone went flying.)
- You don’t want to be a Marvel copycat. Good move, smart move. But…I mean…no humor? Like not even some a few more ad-libs? It’s a comic book movie guys. Why so serious?
- I loved Lex’s dialogue, and you already know how I feel about his plan. The characterization by Eisenberg (who I generally like) not so much. And I’m all the way down for trying something a little bit different to freshen up/modernize these characters (as I slip my headshot to WB Casting for Green Lantern), but this version of Lex, nope. Loved the intellect, but not enough ‘strength’.
So final verdict: some cool stuff in there that almost immediately gets cancelled out by something absurd (even by comic book standards).