Updated 4/1/16 (see below).
Yesterday was the day I’d been waiting for with mixed emotions: the premiere of Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Thrilled to once again see my beloved superhero on the big screen; anxious at the possibility of him being relegated to second best by that annoying bat. Don’t get me wrong: I like Batman. I like him a lot. But I love Superman more. I got over initial qualms about Man of Steel nearly three years ago and ended up loving it. So, this time, despite my mixed feelings, I was excited for the premiere.
Now, having seen the movie, I still have mixed emotions, just different ones.
I don’t know how movie reviewers do write ups without spoiling the whole shebang. To tell you everything I loved and didn’t love (hate is too strong a word) about the movie would give it all away. My intention is to keep this post SPOILER-FREE. It will not, however, be unbiased; I’ve already told you I love Supes. You’ve been warned.
All I could say last night after the movie:
So, I realize my “verdict” isn’t exactly a raving review, but it’s the best I could come up with at the time. Every moment I lay awake trying to fall asleep and every moment I awoke during the night was consumed with thoughts of the movie. Yes, I’m a big nerd; we’ve established this already.
Director Zack Snyder is a comic book guy … meaning he knows his source material. The movie stays true to a couple of major comic book arcs of days gone by. That’s good or bad, depending on whether you liked those arcs. Part of my issue last night was I was remembering one of those arcs slightly wrong, which threw me into a silent, sulking tailspin until my tired but geeky brain reconnected the dots correctly.
Here’s what matters:
Cavill is super again; in fact, he’s even better the second time around. Yes, he can be my Superman.
Affleck does just fine as a crusty old Batman.
Gadot rocks it as Wonder Woman (shut your face, all you “too skinny” body shamers).
And, as for Eisenberg as Alexander Luthor: I think he’s the character folks are going to be the most divided over: either loving his portrayal or not. I think he knocked it out of the park. Anybody complaining probably just didn’t like his hair (or simply that he had any), which is about as silly as me hating on Amy Adams for not being a brunette.
The things I worried about going in to the movie:
- That the powers that be would make movie-studio-golden-boy Batman somehow defeat my Superman, thereby answering the age-old question of “who would win in a fight” in Technicolor and 3D for all the world to see.
- That the movie would essentially be another Batman movie, of which we’ve had PLENTY. Can’t my boy get his day in the sun without being overshadowed by batwings?
- That the next generation of fanboys (and girls), i.e., kids, will pick the Bat over the Boy Scout. It seriously bothers me that kids don’t want to be Superman anymore. I know, first world problems.
Those same worries after the movie:
- Without getting too much into it and spoiling the whole thing, I’ll just say I’m satisfied with how this played out. That’s it; I can’t say any more than that.
- The first 20 minutes is all Batman. Granted, it’s a 2 and ½ hour movie, but still. Also, Affleck gets top billing. And, of course, it’s Batman vs. Superman, instead of the other way around.
- [Intentionally omitting a response because anything I say will give too much away].
Things I worry about now, having seen the movie:
- There will be MORE Batman movies. More movies where he’s the center of attention. I shouldn’t be hating on any superhero movie potential. And, I’ll see them all, of course. It’s just, see the first #3 above.
- Of course, that first one is in direct contradiction to this second worry: That those movie reviewers I mentioned earlier will flex their critical muscles, focusing on negative opinions and scare people off. Basically, that bad reviews will put a damper on, maybe even kill our chances of seeing more of the same and new DC heroes brought to life. I don’t want to have to wait another 30 years to see Supes on the big screen.
- That the average movie-goer, the non-comic-booker, basically the masses, will think that … or even that …. (yeah, I can’t really share that either, though I bet the comic-booker knows what I’m not saying).
So, yeah, I need to see it again. And I think everyone should go see it, critics be damned. Come on, folks, don’t kill my Superman.
Update 4/1/16, after second viewing:
So I was finally able to go see the movie for a second time yesterday, and I’m so glad I did. The second time around was infinitely better. Perhaps it was because there were no surprises and the shock had worn off, although I still cried at parts. Nevertheless, it was even better the second time around, and I’d go again in a heartbeat. THAT’S why it breaking all the box office records. So, in my best Shawn & Gus sing-songy voice (Psych) to critics and haters: suck it.