« on: April 8, 2016, 12:29 PM »
I saw this during the week and I've been digesting it. Was this movie good? Yes. Was it great? I'm not prepared to go quite that far.
I liked how Bruce Wayne/Batman's angle of the story was portrayed. Personally, I'm still a little disappointed that they were unable to continue with the Christian Bale/Nolan parternership, but that's done. All of that being said, I think that Affleck did a good job of portraying the character. This iteration of Batman has clearly been at this for a long time. He's suffered personally and has shut himself down to a degree because of the mounting personal toll. And I think it's also led him to take an attitude of "fight for your life" where he has made the moral compromise that using deadly force can be justified in particular circumstances. Batman's fighting style seemed updated and still very brutal. Although there were points where he seemed a little too strong.
The setup for Batman's story arc seemed to parallel the way people reacted to the September 11th attacks. There was a paradigm shift following a mass tragedy. But in Bruce Wayne/Batman's mind, the threat was an alien who was so powerful that he could lay waste to cities. And when he ran into that ash cloud to rescue people from Wayne Financial? You could not help but see the parallels drawn by the falling of the World Trade Center in 2001. Personally, that's something that doesn't sit well with me since I saw that ash cloud first hand on the day of that attack. But it was nonetheless a powerful storytelling device.
As for Superman's end of the story? The personal conflict is there, too. Although he's presented with the notion of whether he should be this savior for humanity. It's interesting to see that the relationship between him and Lois Lane has been accelerated. And I think it was because of that relationship that Lex Luthor was able to figure out who Superman was, and how to attack the vulnerable points in his life like his girlfriend and mother. Let's face it, too. A different hairstyle and glasses are not going to cut it in maintaining a secret identity. This is 2016, and facial recognition software would be able to tell anyone with a decent photo of Superman just who he really is. I don't know that I would call that a "plot hole" (a term that I've come to find really irksome from the current generation of armchair film critics) as much as a dated aspect of the design of the Superman character.
Luthor was thoroughly douchey, although I suspect that was the intent. He recognized the world changing aspect of having this Kryptonian tech on Earth and sought to gain control of it for his own ends. Hence the acquisition of the Kryptonite, and the move to experiment on Zod's body and get access to the scout ship. As for the creation of Doomsday? I have to plead some ignorance since I've never really been a DC guy. Doomsday seemed like a major global threat. This certainly provided the right moment for Superman to team up with Batman and Wonder Woman. And Luthor's files on the other "meta humans" seemed like an interesting way to introduce a range of characters without a full slate of origin stories.
And then there were the critics and the reviews. I think that a lot of them set out to compare this movie to something else, whether it was the Nolan Batman trilogy or the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or previous Superman projects, or whatever else. Was that fair to THIS project? Probably not. But that's the studio's cross to bear when they seem so intent to regularly reboot these properties because they don't have a solid grasp on creating a big picture universe that can involve these characters who regularly cross over into one another's storylines.
Then there are the genre film fans. And I think there are some that have clearly chosen sides in the decades old DC vs Marvel school of thought. As far as movies go, Marvel has had the more solid footing in terms of crafting a movie & TV universe that has tied things together in a somewhat cohesive fashion. And they've been pretty successful, despite a number of early missteps. I think the MCU combined with fans who aggressively use social media made for a climate where it was going to be tough for a DC cinematic universe launch to be successful. At least tougher than when the first Iron Man film came out. Launching a comic movie universe when there's no competition is one thing. Launching a second movie universe when one has been in existance for close to 10 years (with a number of films that have further developed those characters) makes for an uphill battle for the new venture. Looking at "Dawn of Justice" on it's own, I think it's okay. But when the comparisons with the MCU start coming in? It's going to get heated. And I really think that's been one of the root causes for the hostility towards this project.