Following on from Man of Steel, I spent Thursday re-watching Batman V Superman for the first time since watching it in the cinema, and this time I watched the Ultimate edition, with an added half hour or so. When I first saw this film, I had such low expectations, I didn’t like Man of Steel the first time round (check out my last post to see how that has changed), the reviews were awful and I hadn’t followed any of the hype. The only reason I saw it was because Tabby, myself and a friend has just got Cineworld cards, and could see anything we wanted at any time. We watched Jungle Book and then just on the spur of the moment decided to watch Batman V Superman. I remember thinking, at least I will be able to laugh at it.
I went into the film the first time with such low expectations that I suppose anything would have been a surprise. I ended up really enjoying it and thought that Jessie Eisenberg was fantastic as Lex Luther. That was all I really remember about the first time watching it, thinking it was much better than I thought and the cast was fantastic.
So going into it a second time, I wasn’t sure what to expect. For all I knew it was just low expectations that made me enjoy it the first time round. This time I thought it was even better. The Ultimate Edition comes in at around 3 hours and it genuinely doesn’t feel that long and the additions make it more cohesive. The film starts showing the origins of Batman, which to be honest is something that we don’t ever need to see again in film, everyone knows the story by now so it’s just wasted time. After that it shows the ending of Man of Steel from Bruce Wayne’s perspective, which is a perfect way to set up why Batman would want to kill Superman. It works so well.
In the opening scene you can completely understand why Batman would want to kill Superman. It sets up the rest of the film perfectly. We then get to see Clark Kent investigate the Batman and the harm he’s caused some of the citizens of Gotham and it’s completely understandable why he would want to kill Batman. Behind everything is a plan, orchestrated by Lex Luthor. I don’t want to give too much away, beyond that. It’s dark and twisted and I really enjoyed it.
For me personally, the stand out performance is Jessie Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. I know that some people have criticised him for being more like the Joker than Luthor, but in an interpretation of the characters where Superman and Batman have both killed people, then this doesn’t bother me at all. It works in the context of the film. I think he holds the whole film together. Ben Affleck is also a brilliant Bruce Wayne and Batman. He feels like an aged Batman and it’s a real shame that we aren’t going to get a solo film with him in the cowl.
I think the score to this film is a bit mixed. What I mean by that is when Wonder Woman finally appears and her music kicks in, it elevates the whole score from being forgettable and makes it feel more evident that the film series doesn’t have anything close to John William’s score to the Christopher Reeve Superman films. It works for the most part, but the Wonder Woman theme is far beyond the best piece of music in the film.
Overall I think the film is really good. It is messy at points and it probably could be cut down a little, but I think the script by Chris Terrio and David Goyer works really well and Snyder’s direction gives the film a distinctive tone and it works very well as a sequel to Man of Steel.
My re-watching so far has made me re-evaluate Man of Steel as a better film and I enjoyed Batman V Superman even more than the first time. My next post will be about the Grand Finale, Zack Snyder’s Justice League. I thought that Whedon’s Justice League was fine. It wasn’t brilliant and wasn’t horrible. A by the numbers superhero film with lots of one liners that don’t work. A disappointment following Batman V Superman but ok in it’s own right. Not something I would recommend and quite forgettable. Come back next time to see what I think about the 4 hour version.
Thanks for reading and until next time,