Since the previews for this movie have come out, fans and critics alike have been finding ways to bring down this movie. Whether it be the choice of Ben Affleck as the new Caped Crusader or Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, most wrote this movie off before it even hit theaters. From time to time, I did, but as a DC Comics fan, I was going to see it with realistic expectations. The hype was strong for this one and in my opinion, it delivered for what I expected. The plot had flaws and there was a lot of things revealed that didn’t necessarily have to be, but as a whole, the movie was enjoyable. Let’s dive into the different aspects of this one, in no particular order. If you haven’t seen this, I am going to spoil things, so stop reading now…or keep reading and ruin it for yourself. Not my choice!
- Ben Affleck as Batman – When Affleck was tabbed as the new Batman, like most folks, I had doubts…a lot of them. As the movie inched closer to opening though, I became okay with the idea because I wasn’t necessarily blown away by Christian Bale. I loved the Dark Knight Trilogy, but was definitely open to options after finding out Bale was not going to return. Affleck’s performance was great from my viewpoint. He nailed the older, refined version of Batman/Bruce Wayne that was the highlight of Frank Miller’s Dark Knight comics in the 80’s. To be honest, I’d watch a solo Batman film with Affleck as the star. I wouldn’t give him any awards, but I thoroughly enjoyed his depiction of Batman and look forward to seeing him suit up again in future DC flicks.
- Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor – This character choice was the one I disliked from the beginning, but I was surprised at how I didn’t really mind Eisenberg’s Luthor. He is different than the past Lex characters that include Michael Rosenbaum in Smallville, Kevin Spacey in Superman Returns and Gene Hackman in Superman with Christopher Reeve. His acting came off as a Zuckerburg/Joker mix, but for a younger Lex, I really didn’t mind most if it. How he already had created logos for Wonder Woman, Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman is beyond me, but that’s a thought for another day. Eisenberg’s best moment came on the roof of Lexcorp, when he and Superman faced off after the abduction of Martha Kent. Again, not in love with Eisenberg as Lex, but I really didn’t have a huge problem with it.
- Henry Cavill as Superman – I’ll make this one brief, since this is his second stint as Superman. I think, as a Clark Kent/Superman, Cavill is almost too muscular to make the character believable as both. I know that its comics and heros and blah blah blah, but the Clark Kent/nerd side of him really doesn’t do it for me like Reeve or even Brandon Routh and Tom Welling. Cavill is a serviceable Superman, I’ve seen better and worse, but he was better this time than in Man of Steel. I’m intrigued as to how exactly he recovers from the fight with Doomsday.
- The plot – I could write paragraph upon paragraph arguing with myself about what worked and what didn’t, but once the action started and the film got into the meat of the movie, the plot didn’t bother me. It surely wasn’t great though. Keep in mind, this movie is the base for DC and the Justice League, so it wasn’t going to be perfect. The idea of Bruce Wayne disliking Superman made sense for the most part. After the battle with Zod in Metropolis, what sort of danger did Superman bring to the world? No one really knew and Wayne wasn’t going to wait around and find out. So, they fought. How the fight ended and they became friends/allies? Yawn.
- Batman vs. Superman – Once the two met and the battle began, I was actually pretty underwhelmed at the fight. Batman used kryptonite in a variety of different ways and the two exchanged blows, but I’ve seen more interesting fights on Arrow. Not impressed. How the two became allies a let down for me. Why couldn’t Superman have just said at the beginning, “Hey Bruce, Lex is holding my mom hostage and told me I could either kill you or she dies. Can you help me save her without me having to kill you?” Instead, the two duked it out and right as Batman was about to stab Superman in the heart, Clark blurted out “He’s gonna kill Martha!”. Coincidentally, Martha was also Bruce Wayne’s moms’ name, so Batman had an epiphany, realized that him and Clark’s mom had the same name and just like that, BEST FRIENDS. Of course, none other than Lois Lane (ugh) came along to tell a nearly-victorious Batman that Martha was Clark’s moms’ name cause this movie seemingly had to involve Lane in everything.
- Amy Adams as Lois Lane – Since when I started watching Smallville, which is really my Superman memory as a kid, the love triangles always seemed to overwhelm a lot of the episodes. Whether it was Lana or Lois or Chloe, I found myself rolling my eyes on numerous occasions. Amy Adams is a great Lois as a reporter, but I hate how involved she was in everything and how it didn’t really phase her. Also, does Clark have a special frequency in his brain to hear her when she needs him? As Superman, how do you leave a fight with Doomsday to save one person? Eye roller. Whether it was a battle of epic proportion between Superman/Batman/Wonder Woman and Doomsday or just simply being pushed off a building, nothing really seemed to ever phase her and for some reason, that bothered me. I get adding a romance side to movies like this, but the mushy gushy stuff while the battle was going on was just nonsense. Sorry, Lois, but a kiss on the cheek ain’t gonna save your boy now.
- Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman – Out of all of the JL characters slated to get their own movies in the coming years, we got a good look at Wonder Woman and it was awesome. Once Bruce Wayne hacked into Lex’s computers and found out who she was, the Doomsday battle brought out Diana Prince in her full uniform, which was a great moment, even though it was in nearly every preview. With one of the coolest mythologies in the Justice League, her solo movie should be great. Her presence really brought the Doomsday fight to a different level.
- The reveal of the rest of the Justice League – It almost took me a few minutes to realize that the person in Bruce Wayne’s dream or nap or whatever was actually the Flash. I am a huge fan of the Grant Gustin Flash, so I’m not sure what to expect from Ezra Miller, but the first glimpse we got at the Flash seemed to be him reaching out to Wayne from the future. It was a neat moment, but the Flash suit sure looked weird. The other heroes were revealed via computer. Bruce Wayne hacked into Luthor’s encrypted files and found that Lex had a metahuman file that conveniently already had all of the logos of Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Flash and Cyborg. Aquaman’s cameo was rather weak, as his metahuman file just showed a glimpse of him under water and exploding into some ship. Cyborg’s reveal was awesome and involved Silas Stone actually experimenting on his then dead son. Once he found the correct technology, Victor Stone was transformed from just one half of a man to Cyborg. Did all of this need to be crammed into the movie? No. Was it cool to see? Sure.
- The Doomsday Battle – There are many mysteries as to how Doomsday was created and this version was unlike one I’ve seen before. Lex gained access to the Kryptonian ship seen in Man of Steel and mixed his blood with the remains of General Zod to create Doomsday. When Doomsday broke out of his bubble, I was underwhelmed at what he looked like, but as he consumed more energy, he regained his form that is seen across comic in which he’s featured. The last time I’ve seen Doomsday on a screen was in Smallville season 8. The entire season build up to a fight of about a minute and a half between Clark and the beast and it was disappointing. This didn’t disappoint, in my opinion. As Doomsday gained strength, Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman joined forces to defeat him. Prior to Batman and WW, Superman tried forcing Doomsday into space, which was a cool part of the fight, and the President decided to nuke them both to save lives of millions. Doomsday returned to the surface, but Superman remained in space until the sun replenished his abilities. Once all three battled Doomsday and realized only one thing could kill him, Superman took the dagger. Bruce Wayne had created a kryptonite saber he planned to use on Superman, but after they became bff’s, he had no use for it. Superman used all of his strength, grabbed the dagger that was laced with radioactive pieces of his home world and drove it into Doomsday’s stomach. As the beast began to die, he shoved one of his spikes into Superman’s heart, sending him to his death, reminding me fondly of the Death of Superman comic. It was really a fantastic battle with a ton of action. Definitely the highlight of this one.
Final Thoughts: All in all, I really enjoyed the movie. It was a step in the right direction for DC, laid a base for films to come and paid tribute to some comics as well, most notably Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Saga and The Death of Superman. Any comic book fan out there that is a long-time DC follower hopefully enjoyed the movie, even at the two hour and 30 minute duration. Also, I didn’t really feel like writing much more since its nearly midnight.
DC’s next movie, Suicide Squad, comes out in August while we’ll have to wait for Wonder Woman until June 2017. The Justice League movie is set to release in November 2017 with separate Flash (2018), Aquaman (2018), Green Lantern (2020) and Cyborg (2020) movies to follow in the coming years.