Like many people, I was super excited for this movie. We’ve waited YEARS to see these two not just cross onscreen paths, but duke it out. I’ll do my best to express what I thought spoiler free, but there might be some.
Before I get in to things, I can’t say this was a bad movie. It was two and half hours long(!) and it didn’t feel like it while I was in the theater. Any movie that accomplishes that isn’t a train wreck in my book.
What I liked
There were a few things they did that I thought were actually really good. I liked all of the new characters, the most surprising being Lex Luthor because the previews made me think I was going to hate him. The actress playing Wonder Woman did great, in my opinion. There were tons of hidden things in the movie, but they did a nice tease for the rest of the Justice League with their symbols on a computer program.
I thought the pacing of the movie was really done. I saw another review that said they were confused because it jumped around too much, but I feel that’s a side effect of not knowing the characters ahead of the movie. If you don’t know anything about these characters, you might get lost. Like I said before, it didn’t feel like I was in the theater for 3 hours, and that’s one of the best compliments I can give a movie this long.
A lot of people are heaping praise on Affleck’s Batman right now, and I thought it was fine. I don’t really see what separated him apart from everybody else in a single performance, but it’s not like he sucked either. I actually think everybody did a fine job acting wise.
What I didn’t like
I didn’t want to lead with this, but there were things I didn’t like that far outweighed what I did like. There will be some spoilers in this section. You’ve been warned.
Too much nothing happened in this movie. I know that sounds weird after my comment about the pacing, so let me elaborate. There was a LOT of time spent on story development. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but when Batman and Superman have barely been in the movie in the first 90 minutes, that’s a problem for me. The biggest thing of the movie was about how the planet should handle Superman, which may be a legitimate point to make, but I came to see him fight Batman.
One thing that’s extremely frustrating about this movie is it’s lack of explaining things. I almost wanted to walk out during the opening scene because it was weird as Hell, and they didn’t explain what was going on until the very end of it. There’s no explanation for why Batman keeps having dream sequences. There’s no explanation behind Lex Luthor’s motivations for his actions in the movie. How does Lex Luthor know everybody’s identity? How does Bruce Wayne know who Clark Kent is? I can totally understand Clark knowing who Bruce is, but why would a rich playboy know the low man on the totem pole at the neighboring city’s newspaper? There were a lot of other things that could have used more detail, but those were really the most egregious to me.
They also made the heroes seem really dumb at some points. During the fight with Doomsday, they point out the fact that their attacks are making him stronger, but they just keep attacking him the same way. I don’t think a strategist like Batman would do that. Also, remember earlier when I said the main point of the movie was about how the planet should handle Superman? They show him expressing concern over the destruction to Metropolis during Man of Steel, and whether he should fight like that to protect people for a large portion of the movie. So what’s the first thing he does when Doomsday shows up? Punch him in to a gigantic explosion. I guess he didn’t really learn anything at all…
Finally, and this is really the biggest problem with this film, is there is a serious lack of Batman fighting Superman. The title of the movie is freaking Batman vs. Superman, and they only have one fight scene that lasts just a few minutes. Seriously, every fight scene in Daredevil is better than this. They even had a tease, where I was sure they would fight, but Supes just threatens Bats and flies away. This is really my biggest problem with the movie, and why I would say I didn’t really like it. I like character and story development, but when I buy a ticket to see Batman vs. Superman, that’s what I expect to get. Instead I got Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent acting all smarmy and like they know what’s best for everybody else. If I wanted to watch a “political thriller”, it’s election season, and those people act way more outrageous.
As I said before, I wouldn’t say this was a bad movie, but I definitely wouldn’t say it’s a good Batman vs. Superman movie.