I am in a slightly confused state right now. I just watched Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, the latest in the long line of American superhero movies. Now, I do not think it was a great movie. For that matter, Zack Snyder has never been a great director in comparison to, say, a Nolan. But he surely is an efficient dire for capable of pulling off big, CGI driven projects as he has done in the past with 300 and Watchmen. So, I do not really get the extreme hostility it is experiencing. I have read rants that claim it to be the worst film ever made. It surely was not so. It delivers all the usual action and thrills expected from an average film of this genre.
I personally feel that much of the hostility comes from dedicated followers of the comic books who want the films to exactly recreate the ideal characters and ideologies representative Ted in the comic books. Now, I do sympathise with them but I am not really a comic book fan myself and so I am looking at it from an average filmgoers point of view, the one who has no idea who Frank Miller or Alan Moore is.
The basic story of the film is about the growing enmity between the two superheroes. The seeds of doubts are down by the villain Lex Luthor who makes Batman suspicious of each other. At the same time he also works to create a monster of his own to take on these heroes. So, the heroes keep trying to outsmart each other while their enemies gain strength, preparing the ground for a grand showdown.
As for the positives, the Snyder has expectedly pulled off the grand action sequences with ease. Especially the scenes where both of them fight each other are more than adequate, at least for me. Also, let us not forget the cameos by Wonder Woman and some other beloved characters during the climactic battle. Also, Henry Cavill, who has already established himself as the Superman and erased the traumatic memories of an actor called Brandon Rough, further establishes himself as a the worthy successor of Christopher Reeves. I did not also mind Ben Affleck’s Batman, a slightly ageing and worn out version of the dark knight immortalised by Christian Bale. And yes, I am looking forward to the independent Wonder Woman film now.
So, what did not work? Well, to begin with, in a film with two heavy duty superheroes, they needed a stronger villain, not an evil college nerd. I would love to see Jesse Eisenberg playing the nerd again and again, he was so perfectly cast as one in the Social Network. But for this role he comes across as a bit too light. Also, the comparison with Heath Ledger’s iconic Joker are inevitable. even Tom Hardy could not match it. So, Eisenberg is a far cry! In fact in some scenes he was eerily reminiscent of SRK from his Darr and Bazigar days! Do not believe me? Well, just watch it then let me know!
The other problem is that the film remains just that, a film on comic book superheroes, with not much left for the adult audience beyond that niche. As it has been pointed out by many, the original Batman Vs Superman comic book is a classic because it is not a mere comic book but a sociopolitical commentary showing clash of fascism and socialism. Even the f Snyder intended to show such things, he does not really manage to do so.
So, overall, this remains a mirroring attempt with no serious food for thought or any serious emotional impact despite the nature of its climax. But still, I think if can be watched once for all the action it delivers although it just remains a basic entertainer with minimal intellectual or creative ambition.