After seeing Batman V Superman, the matter of defending my more positive stance in the inevitable debating was admittedly tricky… One drunken guy at the pub we went to afterwards said that I was a Michael Bay fanboy who gets hypnotized by explosions, which nearly triggered my gag reflex and made me want to send a stake into his heart but, when all said and done, I really would defend this movie for bringing the entertainment I wanted it to.
I really enjoyed seeing Batman V Superman with some good friends last month: with such an ‘event film’, it’s always great to have a communal experience… especially when it shreds apart any dream of a shared opinion.
This is a phenomena that has been true across the entirety of who has seen BvS: a divide that possesses much more conflict than the one that was advertised to be in the movie itself. At this point, I should probably re-emphasise that I liked the film. However, if an opinion could be averaged out, I’d say that the result would say that Dawn of Justice was like a soggy muesli with occasional bits of the most delicious chocolate popping up.
Critically, that was my opinion. However, I turned my snooty ‘critic’ button off and, honestly, had a great time with it, warts and all! Ben Affleck was absolutely on-the-(box office)-money, when he said that Bats V Supes was “one for the fans, not the critics”. If you can get over how scenes are put together and horrendous filler dialogue (filmmaking students may need a hug afterwards), then BvS is an absolute nerdgasmic beast of a movie that is just full of stuff! Appropriate for its UK release on Good Friday, fans will need to bring a sizeable basket for the number of Easter Eggs tucked into the story. Well, I say ‘tucked in’: I mean ‘mercilessly turkey-stuffed in, as if the movie is an over-saturated suitcase that has still successfully been zipped closed with pissed-Emperor-Palpatine-level force’. Now, that may sound like a bad thing but.. it isn’t totally. Like a dedicated model rail-roader, who has put too many felt-trees down to actually see the train-track, you will still be in admiration for the attention to detail.
The way in which the ‘ungood’ aspects correspond with the more ‘very-unbad’ ones will vary on an individual basis. For instance, whilst some may say “the terrific performances really covered up how badly-written the words they said were,” others may say “those performances were really wasted on that lazy screen-writing.” Whilst some may say “the movie was great on Batman’s merits alone,” others may say “I paid attention to some of Batman’s bits, anyway.” Whilst some may say “the emotional conflicts and mutuality between the two leads were fleshed-out really well,” others will definitely say “fucking Martha.” However, one thing nobody coming out of the cinema will ever do is ask Lex Luthor for some his nan’s peach-tea.
So, where do I stand on all this? Well, as may be apparent, my least favourite aspect was the screen-writing. Whilst there are a few very strong monologues given to the cast’s lucky few to really grill in their I’m-a-very-talented-actor-give-me-some-Oscar-movies oven, for the most part, it feels that writers Goyer and Terrio geeked out so much about some really great lines they came up with that they just filled out the rest like a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet of ‘conversation words’.
The other thing I brought up was the way the film is edited together. Much like the writing, the editing seemed to also get so excitable over the stunning scenes that they managed to steam out – this is a beautiful film to look at and definitely worth the ticket to be witnessed on a massive screen – that the gaps between those scenes are just too much mayonnaise to get to get to the actual filling. Either that or a series of good scenes put together like a series of ‘greatest hits’ tracks that struggle to flow together as a cohesive album.
However, before ‘DC v Marvel’ idealists come along and throw me over to the ‘Marvel’ side of the wall, I’m a Humpty-Dumpty who has a leg hanging either side, my overall reaction is served with a smile. I knew my expectations going in and, coming out, they were actually surpassed and enjoyed and appreciated what I was given. As I wrote in the title, it’s a great story that just isn’t told that well, but that’s good enough for me!