batmen



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I’m in Ohio now! Medical school starts next month, which is scary.

So I watched the Ultimate edition of Batman v Superman the other day. And, well…


HOPEFULLY OBVIOUS SPOILER ALERT


Things that are better (or were already good and I just want to talk about them)

  • Most of those extra 30 minutes go towards filling out the weird 5-second scenes that made the original movie so difficult to follow.
  • The overall story, as a result, is much more cohesive. For example, that whole desert scene with Superman and Lois at the beginning of the movie has a lot added to it and as a result the whole “We’re mad at Superman and holding a hearing” thing makes way more sense.
  • Batfleck was a pleasant surprise. Apart from a couple (admittedly not-so-minor) quibbles that were really more the writing than the acting (which I will get to shortly), Affleck did a great job with the old, grizzled Batman. Though I still think Jeremy Irons would have been an awesome Batman. He was an excellent Alfred, anyway.
  • Similarly, Gal Gadot did a great job as Wonder Woman. Her mannerisms, that little head tilt, everything was great.
  • The action scenes are still really good. I don’t think anyone’s disputing that Zack Snyder can do a good action scene (the issue is, you know, everything else). The titular Batman vs. Superman fight, the warehouse fight, they’re all really well done.

Things that aren’t better (or didn’t change and I just want to talk about them)

  • Yeah, let’s get right to it: Batman still straight-up murders a bunch of people. They added a brief scene where they try to justify the Bat-branding (I think they added it, anyway – it might have been in the original) but there’s still no comment on him actually crushing a man with the Batmobile. Honestly, I can wrap my head around the Bat-murder if I really try (He’s an older, more jaded Batman, Robin got killed, bla bla maybe he’s finally been pushed over that line that separated him from the criminals [even though that’s one of the major things that made Batman an interesting character; something that Snyder apparently forgot or didn’t realize in the first place]) – but the movie doesn’t even try to explain why he’s just going around killing everything.
  • The Batman origin scene. I’m not even complaining about the fact that every single Batman movie ever made feels like it needs to show us the deaths of Thomas and Martha. No, I’m complaining about the utterly inexplicable decision to have Thomas Wayne fight back against an armed mugger. That single decision turned the scene from ‘tragic and senseless deaths’ to ‘yeah, he was kind of asking to get shot by trying to punch the guy’.
  • Jesse Eisenberg is still a terrible Lex Luthor. I’d forgotten how cringey his performance is, full of edgy, angsty teenage lines like “NOW GOD BENDS TO MY WILL” and “IF MAN WON’T KILL GOD, THE DEVIL WILL DO IT”. Ugh. I’m fairly sure they could have edited in Luthor from the Superman animated series and it would have been better.
  • Hey, speaking of iffy characters, the Flash and his terrible Flashstache. It was only on-screen for about five seconds, but those were some really unfortunate seconds. Look, I can wrap my head around not casting Grant Gustin (AKA TV Flash) – something something it’d raise weird questions about the TV show continuity (though now that I think of it, they did something at the end of Season 2 that would theoretically have cleared that right up) – and I realize we have no idea whether Ezra Miller is gonna be good or not just based on that brief cameo, but seriously? A goatee? He’s the fastest man alive, I’m pretty sure he can take a moment to shave.

THE VERDICT

… I don’t know. I really don’t. On the one hand, it’s a movie that I really want to like. Affleck and Gadot do a really good job with their characters, Cavill is a good Superman (nothing awe-inspiring, but not terrible either), Jeremy Irons is a badass and I’m afraid he might use his Jeremy Irons psychic powers to read this and then be mad at me – but there’s just so many things wrong with the movie. If you haven’t seen it, you like superheros, and you can stomach the three hour runtime, there’s worse ways to spend your time.