Watching the 182 minute long extended cut of BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (2016), is a bit like going into a Whataburger and ordering a triple meat burger with bacon and cheese, a large order of fries, a giant size Dr. Pepper and a large chocolate shake for the road. At first, all that food looks and sounds really, really good but about halfway through your meal, you realize that it is entirely too much food for one human being. You neither want nor like what you're consuming.
I never saw this one in the theater last year because, as regular reader will recall, I no longer see movies in the theater. But when I ran across a Blu-ray edition of BVS at Half Price Books the other day, I decided I'd go for it.
I watched it this afternoon and the extended version is a real butt numb-er. It goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on. I don't know how it compares to the theatrical release so I can't say if it's an improvement or not. But if this 3 hour plus behemoth is better in any way, it's still one hot mess of a movie.
I won't reiterate the plot here because I'm sure most of you have already seen it but I will comment on a few things that bothered me. Only a few? And, to be fair, some stuff I liked.
Jimmy Olsen is a CIA agent? WTF? But don't worry about this plot point, because he's dead. There goes the Jimmy Olsen spin-off film.
Jeremy Irons is a good Alfred. I've always liked him as an actor and he's good here. Also liked the ultra-modern lakeside Wayne Manor (Manor-ette?) But who was the woman in bed with Bruce and what happened to her? She's clearly there and then she's not and no word is ever said about her.
No problem with Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman. The opening sequence of the film had a 9/11 resonance, reminding us that a real hero runs towards the danger, not away from it.
Hated, hated, hated Jesse Eisenberg as the tourettes afflicted Lex Luthor. What a bunch of crap. An annoying performance by an utterly annoying actor. When, oh when, are filmmakers ever going to get Luthor right?
The Hans Zimmer score was horrendous. Enough with the damn heavenly chorus/chanting choir vocals shit. That musical cliche is used in everything these days and it's terrible. Also hated the way the score changed to an electric guitar rock sound when Wonder Woman finally appeared in her warrior get up.
Liked Amy Adams as Lois Lane. Ditto Diane Lane as Martha Kent.
Poor Holly Hunter as Senator Fisk sounds like her dentures are slipping. Either that or she's had a slight stroke.
Henry Cavill is okay as Superman/Clark Kent. He's physically better than Brandon Routh but nowhere near as good as Christopher Reeve. Hate the muted colors on the suit but dig the long, flowing cape, upon which there should be a yellow "S".
Superman and Batman don't kill. But hey, that ideal got tossed out a few movies back. Between this one and MAN OF STEEL, you have to wonder what the body count caused by both Superman and Batman adds up to, to say nothing of the property damage.
Gotham is just across the bay from Metropolis? When did that happen? And what happened to the Gotham City PD and Commissioner Gordon? There's still a bat signal atop a derelict building in Gotham City. Is this supposed to be GCPD headquarters?
Gal Gadot makes a terrific Wonder Woman. She's one of the best things about the movie. Her upcoming solo film looks promising.
Liked the Bat-armor with it's echoes of THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS. But how come, after fighting Superman and having the armor seriously damaged and torn, Bruce has time to put on his regular (and cool looking) Batman suit before flying off in the Bat Plane to rescue Martha Kent? Isn't it a race against time to save her life?
Seriously, Superman and Batman quit beating the shit out of each other because their mothers have the same name?
Doomsday was well realized as a CGI special effect but the big showdown between this now Kryptonian monster and the big three was over long and tiresome. Plus, it was hard to tell exactly what was going on in some shots.
What's with the dream sequence Bruce has while waiting for the files to download? The giant Omega letter in the sand and the appearance of what appear to be para-demons hints at Darkseid being the big baddie in the Justice League film.
So Superman is dead. Again. We know how that will turn out so his "death" has little or no meaning here, despite taking up gobs of screen time.
When is Batman going to be shown as the world's greatest detective rather than a lunatic with fancy toys who dresses up like a bat and beats the shit out of bad guys? And Superman is no dummy either. But here, they're both played like tools by Luthor without either one of them giving any real thoughtful analysis to what might be behind all of this confused and confusing chicanery. Violence is the answer here, not brains.
The special effects are impressive but why does so much of the movie have to take place at night and in the rain? This mess is dark enough already.
Bottom line is, I just don't care for this iteration of these two characters. I like Batman alright but this version of Superman sucks. He's way too brooding and emo, conflicted with angst and other psychological bullshit. He's more menace than hero, a flaw which Luthor takes full advantage of. I want to see a happier, sunnier Man of Steel, one who says that he's "a friend" and that he's here to fight for "truth, justice and the American Way" and you believe him.
I really like it when these two characters look like this
Someday, hopefully, someone will make a movie about these guys.