Let’s start off by saying that none of us are fans of Man of Steel. We went into that movie with high hopes and were all left feeling confused and mildly enraged. To us, that didn’t feel like Superman in any sense. Needless to say, when we discovered that DC would be making an entire Justice League around that Superman, we instantly had a negative bias. Couple that with Zack Snyder as a director and we were even less thrilled. Ever since the first preview, we’ve been moaning and groaning over this movie and how awful it was going to turn out; which was then reinforced by the critic reviews. As of writing this, it’s currently sitting at a 29% on Rotten Tomatoes. None of us wanted to see this, but we did anyway while trying to keep an open mind about it– maybe the critics were just too harsh.
You know how Marvel spent years building up a cinematic universe over the course of several films leading to the Avengers, and is still continuing to do that even after? Zack Snyder basically sat down with DC and said, “I can do all that in one film” and by God, he did. Turns out, there’s a reason Marvel didn’t do that. It’s because doing so would have resulted in an unfocused mess that tried to do too many things at once. And wouldn’t you know it, that’s exactly how BvS turned out!
Let’s take away everything for a moment here and focus on Snyder’s continuous flaw with every single movie he makes: He tries to do too much. If you thought Sucker Punch or Watchmen were bad, then prepare to have you face blown off. BvS feels like every DC comic from the late 80s through early 90s got smashed into one movie and was slowly force fed to you over the course of 2.5 hours. This results in an unfocused movie that’s not really sure what it wants to do, even after it’s figured it out. The plot is almost entirely lacking until the final act when everything finally comes together. Unfortunately, it’s not one of those movies where everything comes together and you feel great about it when it finally does; no… this comes together in a way that four trains would at an intersection. It’s a loud and messy explosion-fest. In fact, the more I think about it, the less anything makes sense. Lex never has any motives and everything moves along like one big happy accident. There’s also a couple scenes that just juxtapose themselves into the story and serve almost no purpose whatsoever. They begin and end abruptly and leave those with no comic knowledge in the dark because they’re seemingly random. Hell, even with comic knowledge, they’re still confusing in terms of why they even exist at all.
It’s like Snyder took all of his favorite moments from comics he’s read, threw them into a movie, and pretended there was a reason for doing so.
I don’t know where they found Henry Cavill, but his Superman is the most uninteresting character in the film. When he’s on screen, an already boring movie somehow becomes even more of a snore-fest. Throw in Amy Adams as Lois Lane, and the scenes become cringe-worthy. They have zero on-screen chemistry, making their romance the most unbelievable thing in this movie. Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor (Jr.) was kind of cute at fist, but quickly became annoying one I realized he should have been cast as the Riddler instead of Superman’s major villain. Affleck was an interesting Batman and Bruce Wayne and I think most would have liked to see more out of that. Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was perfect and wasn’t afforded enough screen-time.
Oh, and the CGI is some of the worst I’ve seen in a long time. You can practically see the green suits and little white balls.
As much as we all hate to admit it though, there are a few good scenes in the film. In fact, every scene that didn’t serve any purpose and added to the several unnecessary subplots that led nowhere, were actually really cool. Too bad they were pointless. The “Bruce’s parents are murdered” scene might have been one of my favorites put to film. Too bad it’s emotional effect is squandered by reminding us it happened several times. The teaser scene in the middle of the movie showing The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg were all really well done– especially Cyborg’s, but it feels out-placed and easily could have been an after-credits scene.
Overall, Snyder feels like this generation’s George Lucas. He has a lot of good ideas and knows how to execute them stylistically, especially when it comes to comic books. But, he’s always left unchecked with no one to say, “Yeah, maybe we don’t need this scene here,” which results in The Phantom Menace.
Is this the worst comic book movie we’ve seen? Maybe not, because we can at least say that there were things we liked about it. Is it still a disaster? Oh yeah.