So far, my only loyalty or emotional investment towards DC belong solely to some Vertigo’s titles…. and Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. Which means I haven’t watch Man of Steel and is in no rush to watch BvS. Had it not been for an offer from Komrikmania, I’m not going to watch it until at least Saturday. Thanks to their contagious hype too, I wound up enjoying this movie for than I thought I would. Though I still wound up pouring salt all over it on second viewing.
After experiencing the Metropolis disaster first hand, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) fears what further effect Superman (Henry Cavill) may wrought on earth. Deciding the alien shouldn’t be left unchecked, he took it upon himself to face the man of steel with the assistance of ever-faithful but still sassy Alfred Pennyworth (Jeremy Irons).
But he’s not alone, because young genius Lex Luthor Jr. (Jesse Eisenberg) have the same idea in mind and he’s more than willing to take extreme measures.
Okay, so I did went into the theater with a very low expectation set in place. My only bet for salvation were just Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor and/or Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. I mean, with that kind of trailer, and Zack Snyder’s track record, I sure as hell wasn’t expecting any surprises or strong narrative. I just want fun, and thank
Doom fuck I got just that.
Aside from the somber tone, this movie would be right at home if it’s released on July among other summer blockbusters. Because it’s your typical “sit back, enjoy the fights, and fuck the story” kind of movie. Snyder does know how to work those cameras for slow-mo abuse and aesthetic pleasure, with a knack for top notch action scenes. Those Batman’s solo fight scene could give Nolan a run for his money because they were grounded, brutal, and showed the kind of savagery Bale’s Batman couldn’t afford. Affleck’s Batman is forged with bitter experiences and his self righteous fury is clear from each bone crunching punch. He plays dirty all right, and that is why I think I just might fall for this Batman. And I do appreciate his killer streaks more upon second viewing, liking how he is willing to sacrifice or maybe just don’t give a flying fuck for few lives. Even if it’s not exactly faithful to the comic and Snyder’s explanation about it send some of my fanboy friends to a fit of rage. But I do like this Batman and enjoy most of his on-screen presence, except for that “You will” scene because it’s just meh.
But even Batman’s endeavor could not compare to his much awaited duel with Superman. Or that final battle between Doomsday against Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. You all know it’s coming, right? You’ve watched the trailer. Rest easy though, for the trailer mercifully leave out just how epic it actually was. Or, to be exact, how much of a badass Gal Gadot’s Amazonian Princess is. Holy mother of god, if it wasn’t for her there would barely be a fight. And I mean it. She is the one doing most of the heavy lifting during the fight, and she looks like she enjoy every fucking second of it. Her bearing makes it clear how she enjoys facing off again an opponent who could actually make her work. While her civilian persona is a seductress most would willingly bow to, her warrior self is one that you would eagerly kneel for. And that makes her the only female persona that Snyder got right. Then of course, there is Superman. Without undermining his contribution to the fight, his was the most unexceptional out of the three. This is not just my bias speaking, but there’s something really wrong when I try to recall his fighting scenes and what comes to mind are his struggle during his weakened state. I suppose it is refreshing though, to see the all-powerful false god driven to such desperation. But even until the end, I feel no sympathy towards him and his suppo
So there you have it, two out of three titular heroes with admirable fighting scenes and one with okay action scenes. If you’re looking for fun, those would make your 2,5 hours worth it. But if you’re a casual moviegoers slash non-fans looking for more…. don’t. It is not Michael Bay’s “wham-bam-thank you ma’am” fiasco, but it basically is a compilation of short movies being stitched together. Often a scene have no correlation with the one after it, like Chris Terrio and David Goyer just want to make sure you’ve got all the information they want to give regardless of the flow. Plus, it’s so predictable to the point where I wish they would focus on few things and make it really works instead of eagerly trying to tell everything all at once with mediocre result at best. Half-hearted resolution I could tolerate, but combined with cringe-worthy scenes and cheesy-as-fuck dialogues…. I’m done. Thankfully, that predictability means I was right about Lex Luthor being the saving grace of this movie. One of his line towards the end made me reconsider just how much of the story was actually the result of his meddling. A little voice in my head said almost all of it were his carefully considered doing, though maybe it’s my inner fangirl wishing for another evil mastermind on-screen crush. Really, though, should Jaguar ever expand their “It’s good to be bad” campaign to non-British, Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor would be a perfect choice.
Which means, in my humble opinion, Jesse Eisenberg gave a stellar performance as Lex Luthor. His Luthor was manic, psychotic, and he’s one bad day away from flipping over the line completely. He’s a repressed frenzied ball of energy, bouncing here and there until he finally let loose and lashes his insanity out. Both intimidating and intriguing, he have no moral restriction which allow him to fully use his brilliant mind. In short, his performance was delicious and impossible to not fall for. To match this, you have Gal Gadot and Ben Affleck. While Gadot excel as the warrior princess, her portrayal of civilian Diana Prince as enchanting seductress wasn’t one to be mess with either. This is a confident woman who knows she can take down everyone and everything on her way, and Gal Gadot made it clear despite her little screen time. Only question left now is whether or not she’ll be able to hold her own in the upcoming Wonder Woman movie. Affleck, though, was a surprise. His Batman is bitter, determined, worn out, with just the right amount of mean streak. Some would say this is how Batman looks like without his Robin. If I admire Bale’s Batman, Batffleck is one I could actually like and develop emotional attachment for. But because he spent most of his time doing vigilante works, his Batman and Bruce Wayne was almost indistinguishable, for better or worse.
Then, you know, come the not so attractive parts. Neither Superman nor Clark Kent ever had any appeal for me, and even Henry Cavill couldn’t make it work. His Supes wasn’t all “knight in shining armor with no fault”, he was gloomy and tad selfish with bubbling emotions just underneath the surface. But even despite all that he’s still the good guy I can’t relate to. Or maybe all those cringe-worthy romantic scenes with Lois marred his image in my eyes to the point of near-unsalvageable. By extension, Amy Adams’ Lois Lane wasn’t impressive either. I swear to god, she’s a liner away from being those damsel in distress I abhor so much. There were two particular scenes where I just want to bash her head to nearest wall because she is that annoying. Luckily, we have Jeremy Irons’ Alfred Pennyworth who was armed with so much sass and wit he made me want to cry with joy. He was cucumber cool under all kind of situation, he had no qualms chiding Bruce, and that voice with that British accent is what sealed my loyalty to #TeamAlfred in this fiasco. Truly, Bruce wouldn’t survive without Alfred and it is about time Alfred got his overdue credit. Aside from them, though, only three more characters were worth mentioning: Laurence Fishburne’s Perry White as the archetypal newspaper editor, Okamoto’s Mercy Graves (purely because she’s my type of female eye candy), and Callan Mulvey’s Anatoli Knyazev because… have you switched your allegiance, Rollins?
So, was Batman v Superman worth watching? It was. Those brutal fight scenes and Wonder Woman’s appearance was still as good during second viewing. That smooth-as-fuck Justice League also doesn’t hurt. But it still is a classic Zack Snyder movie: all style and no substance. Which means you shouldn’t go expecting more than fun, just sit back and let Lex Luthor, Wonder Woman, and Alfred Pennyworth blow your mind. Because BvS’ supporting characters are far more intriguing than the two mains. At least the scoring was as badass as the Amazonian Princess, thanks to Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL wonderful collaboration. Or in other words, those scoring deserves a far better movie. For better viewing experience, though, I’d recommend going with DC fans. I wouldn’t enjoy it this much if it’s not for their hype. Or go with Marvel fans, and have fun dishing this movie with them.
Director: Zack Snyder. Writers: Chris Terrio & David S. Goyer. Released on: 23 March 2016. Casts: Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons, Amy Adams.