*Very very mild spoilers*
By the end of this post, you’ll have taken up more time than the producers behind Batman Vs. Superman took to write the entire film.
Honestly, I’m not entirely sure who to “go after” for this disaster of a film. Do I lambaste Zack Snyder, who likely had to juggle the wishes of many, MANY studio executives in the making of this film? Or do I criticise the writers, who did a poor job executing many of the ideas littered throughout the film?
I can confidently say that I’ve never even come close to falling asleep during my time in a cinema. I’ve got this unique brand of energy when sat there watching a film, that frequently causes my mind to wander into realms that make the ending of Ant-Man look normal. I can also confidently say that this film doused my aforementioned energy and very nearly put me to sleep, for a variety of reasons.
Let’s reflect back on the many trailers a second. Remember that scene with the Robin outfit, that caused the internet to overflow with so many theories that it made Charlie from It’s Always Sunny look sane with his “theory board”?
Well, I can only assume the marketing team held Zack Snyder at gunpoint, and forced him to add that scene for no other reason that to stir up the hype among the public. Because that scene literally serves no other purpose throughout the entire, bloated running course of the film.
This is what I was talking about when I said I wasn’t sure whether to criticise Zack Snyder, as he likely had to juggle the wishes of many studio heads in the production of this film. Remember that we’ve seen this very recently, within the last year in fact, when Joss Whedon claimed that making Age of Ultron almost broke him as he had to satisfy so many wishes from Marvel.
There are sadly many other scenes within the film like this, that serve no purpose in the film other than to raise hype among the public. There’s a scene I won’t spoil for you that does this, but it’s the Easter egg closet to conquer all other Easter egg closets.
Also, let’s not forget that Snyder allegedly cut almost half an hour of material from the film I just saw. Considering the variety of pointless scenes he leaves in, I’d be extremely interested to know what didn’t make the cut. Oh, but he did cut Jena Malone, so screw you Snyder.
What I’m basically trying to get at, without spoiling the film, is that Batman Vs. Superman is incredibly meandering and wasteful in it’s nearly three hour run time, not to mention that certain characters and plot points are incredibly under-developed.
This film was obviously meant to establish the DC Cinematic Universe going forward, and after seeing this I’ll admit I’m incredibly worried about it. Superman and Wonder Woman never even speak to each other for Christ’s sake, and the dialogue between Batman and Wonder Woman feels like it was crafted by an incredibly inept PR team.
Again though, I feel like many of the problems littered throughout Batman Vs. Superman link back to Snyder. The film starts out with Bruce Wayne racing through the crumbling streets of Metropolis, likely reigniting painful memories for many audience members of that final fight in Man of Steel.
However Snyder seems to have this almost childish fascination with explosions. I’m not saying he’s Michael Bay, but in both the opening scene and the final climatic fight in the film he takes care to show explosions from almost every dramatic angle possible.
If only he’d taken this much care with the majority of the characters and the actors, then Batman Vs. Superman might have actually stood a chance of being a decent film. Jesse Eisenberg seemingly thinks that this is a spiritual sequel to The Social Network, and that he’s playing a slightly more insane version of Mark Zuckerberg in this film.
Whereas Eisenberg is almost painfully miscast as Lex Luthor, there’s something really off with Gal Gadot’s portrayal of Wonder Woman. After seeing her acting in the Fast and Furious films I actually thought her casting as Wonder Woman was some twisted joke. Sadly, it wasn’t.
Sure, her acting is a hell of a lot better in Batman Vs. Superman than it previously was in Fast and Furious, but Gadot definitely doesn’t feel like a natural fit for Wonder Woman. Remember how Marvel were going to cast Tom Cruise as Iron Man? This feels incredibly like that, where you get the feeling there’s someone else out there who’d work far better in the role.
But cautiously rejoice, fellow Batman fans, for there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a dim light, no doubt, but it’s got the necessary equipment to carry the DC Cinematic Universe from here on out.
What I’m referring to is Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman. This casting caused a massive controversy, which I always found hilarious as Affleck is by far the most creditable actor in the entire DCCU.
Anyway, while neither the script or direction ever really allow Affleck to come into his own as Batman, you can’t help but feel like he’s just waiting to be given the opportunity to burst out of the cocoon that the producers currently have locked him away in.
And this opportunity will undoubtedly come in the form of the next standalone Batman film, which is reportedly being both directed and written by Affleck. I’m honestly excited to see what Affleck can conjure up for us, and whether or not the entire thing can be a general return to form for the Oscar winner.
Batman Vs. Superman had almost infinite potential, pitting two giants of the screen against each other. But in the end, as Linkin Park would say, it doesn’t even matter, because almost every great idea is utterly squandered by an inept director and team of producers.