It took me a while to get around to seeing this one. What with all the reviews flying around can you blame me? But I’ve finally got around to it and if I had to waste two and half hours watching this I figured I might as well waste a few more writing this review.
Okay before we go any further I should say spoilers to follow and I think you can guess whether I liked it from the opening paragraph so no angry comments underneath complaining that I ruined Lex Luthors jar of piss joke, okay?
So let’s start with the good, don’t worry I don’t think it will take long. Now I love to go to these kind of movies to spot my favourite characters both big and small, background and foreground, full blown
shield scene stealing appearance to cleverly worded name drops. It was fairly easy here as there only seems to be one and that is the eminent Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth. He acts well and he’s written well proving that Zack Snyder does get the DC library he has been entrusted with. Seriously I think he might beat Michael ‘let me tell you about your father’ Cane. It’s just a shame that Zack seems to have spent this whole time brushing up on this one single character.
Okay that’s not quite true, I mean Wonder Woman isn’t that bad. Though considering she’s only on screen for five to ten minutes and she has a huge job pulling the plot and characters together I don’t think they had time to write her poorly.
Now this may be a Superman sequel but he gets top billing and for good reasons. We start with the death of Ma and Pa Wayne, just in case you missed the last fifty or so years of pop culture and we go on from there. Now Batman hates Superman as you probably saw from the trailers because he knocked down his building and in fact the general idea of Batman assembling a contingency plan to take a hero down isn’t that out of character for him but even he gets mangled by Zack ‘Sucker Punch is a nuanced movie’ Snyder. From dragging flaming wrecked cars behind him still full of presumably deceased corpses, to not noticing he’s being tailed by a towering six foot something guy in a suit about three feet behind him. All of this means that gone is the expected patch up between Bruce and Clark as they realise that they aren’t so different or that they are after the same thing as he decides to hold off on killing him when it comes down to it because their Mummies share the same first name. Something he demands he explain whilst choking the life out of him with his foot on his throat. Though to be fare I think Bruce is suffering from severe sleep deprivation in this movie going off the amount of nightmares he’s having. Seriously, drag the old sensory deprivation tank out if it will help.
By the way in case you can’t tell we’re past the good stuff.
Lex is no longer the egotist lashing out on the embodiment he only pretends to be, now he’s a cackling angry atheist lashing out for no real reason. You know how that other, good, Batman and Superman movie starred Lex and Joker as the bad guys. Well I think Zack came up with the bright idea of just sticking them together and calling it a day. Seriously Gene Hackman would tell him to try a little subtly and stop gnawing the set wall.
That leaves us with Superman. If like me you were disappointed not in snapping Zod’s neck but in the general disregard for human life in ‘Man of Steel’ as Clark happily keeps the fight to the crowded metropolis and flies through buildings shooting lasers off like it’s nobodies business. For those like me hoping that the writer and or character might have learnt from this and grown a little. Wrong! In fact he’s as bad as ever only now people have cottoned on to this and are using it against him. Not that anybody really needs to use anything against him. Lex’s machinations to get the two to fight seems more than a little pointless as they seem destined to clash anyway. Why they seem so destined to clash, I don’t know maybe Batman has more twitter followers.
But that’s only because some dick called Bruce Wayne already got the twitter handle ‘Superman’ and just uses it to tweet how stupid Superman is.
Don’t expect any of the smaller characters to be any better served or even loyal to their on-screen appearances by the way. Remember how “Robin Hood #2” was always telling Clark to let family members and school buses full of kids to die rather than risk revealing himself. Well apparently Clark’s now waxing lyrical about how his Dad was always telling him to save people. I get if you can’t stick to the comics Zack but at least stick to your own movies. But this can be dropped into the same category of the ham fisted line of “this part of the city is deserted” they repeat for at least two completely separate sections of two complete separate cities to try and get the internet off their back.
The plot staggers all over and could easily loose almost an hour I reckon. As for setting up the DCU it does a terrible job. I mean I get that we couldn’t have a mid credits sequence where J’onn J’onzz appears to tell them about the ‘Justice League initiative’ but surely we could have done something better than this, anything. The other Justice league members show up as youtube videos Wonder Woman watches in her hotel room when she could be helping. Also we’ve got to tease Darkseid, which explains that weird bit you probably saw in the trailer where Batman was wondering around the Mad Max set in a trench coat. Wait no it doesn’t.
If you’re not going to explain things Zack then try to tease, not confuse. Why Batman can foresee Parademons or why Lex thinks he’s gonna arrive like Santy Clause with a ringing of bells nobody knows.
P.S If you’re wondering why I haven’t used any actual shots from the movie in this review it’s because it looks terrible. Seriously, Doomsday looks like a Cave Troll.