‘Batman V Superman’: Were Critics Too Harsh? | Film Review
The thing about hype is that it ruins the experience to such a damaging extent. When it comes to something that looks too good to be true, more often than not, it is. Batman v Superman is no exception to this rule, but perhaps critics were a little too harsh with this epic superhero flick.
The most glaring issue that the film possesses is consistency. It struggles with trying to show both heroes in different ways that they end up eclipsing one another.
On the one hand, we see Batman as this angry guy with trust issues, whereas Superman is this bad guy/misunderstood alien who takes the blame for all the screw-ups around him. Trying to cram as many characters and plot devices into the scene as possible, the film becomes a battle for screen time rather than hero supremacy.
Other issues include the roles of some of the characters, particularly Lex Luthor (played by Jesse Eisenberg) who has basically become this jittery and angst-y version of the Joker. The use of Doomsday was also a complete letdown; his role is minimised to accommodate the upcoming Justice League movie, taking away many of his menacing features.
However, in spite of the scathing story problems, the scenes between Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck were exemplary and filled with tension. Batman as a character is a true homage to his darker comic book counter-part, and Superman is portrayed as more problematic and melancholy, a depiction that is a far cry from his goody-two-shoes self.
The fight scenes, which were criticised for their heavy use of special effects and CGI, are understandable: it’s difficult to portray a fight between gods in a traditional sense. Though the pacing suffers here and there, especially with trying to fit in Bruce’s origin story, the current timeline and reason for such a fight is both believable and exciting.
The film also draws notable inspiration from various comic book storylines including The Dark Knight Returns, Superman: Doomsday, and Injustice: Gods Among Us.
Overall, the film is worth watching and should not be put in the same league as last year’s Fantastic Four, for example. Zack Snyder strives to stick to the source material through and through, but trying to make something as original as possible without some level of predictability will, understandably, pose as a challenge.
Hopefully the film will still go ahead with its transition to the Justice League movie, and will carry more consistency and a much better story that’s on par with 2012’s Avengers.
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