I saw Batman v Superman last Thursday, and meant to get a post up more quickly, but it took me this long to digest all the Snyder-y goodness packed into those two-and-a-half hours of sheer cinematic bludgeoning.
Let me list some of things I loved about this movie (there may be spoilers):
- I was very happy when Superman broke the fourth wall and addressed the audience, admitting that he was completely out of character killing Zod at the end of Man of Steel, and apologized for the resulting disillusionment of the next generation of Superman fans. But the following 20-minute discussion with Batman about why heroes don't kill was even better, and validated my faith in Snyder that he never really thought that Superman killing could ever be appropriate. (In general, the in-depth treatment of all the issues raised in the movie was much appreciated; I was so relieved Snyder didn't just gloss over these points to focus on grandiose, emotionally-laden set pieces with little meaningful content or narrative coherence.)
- Jesse Eisenberg's subtle, delicately nuanced portrayal of Lex Luthor added the gravitas necessary to offset the goofy antics of the title heroes. Most of the film was a bright and giddy celebration of fun-filled adventure and superheroics, and it needed Luthor to lend it solemnity to give it the careful balance between unrestrained joy and emotional depth we've come to expect from Zack Snyder.
- Speaking of lighthearted fun, I howled at Batman and Superman's impromptu vaudeville-style tap routine to the Beatles' "Martha My Dear." It allowed Affleck and Cavill the opportunity to show off their dance skills, which will cme in handy in Justice League (which my sources tell me will be a broad reworking of A Chorus Line, Snyder's favorite Broadway-themed movie other than all the others).
- Wonder Woman was integrated very well throughout the entire movie. I was so afraid she'd be shoehorned into the end of the movie to clean up after the boys nearly killed each other (silly, right?), or used for gratuitous eye-candy earlier, but I should have known Snyder was better that. (That would have been a real sucker punch indeed.)
- The dream sequence where Batman turns into the Punisher and then Superman turns into the Punisher and then one Punisher goes all Punisher on the other Punisher but it's even better because it's Batman and Superman and everyone really wants them to be the Punisher because wow the Punisher's just so awesome and... yeah. The seven-year-old in me who really doesn't understand Batman or Superman loved that part.
- My favorite moment: before the final throwdown, when Superman shouted "Speedos!" into Bruce Wayne's pool and Aquaman jumped out and said, "hey, I'm in a movie!"
I could go on, but I'll leave something for my review of the R-rated cut, in which I hope Batman and Superman can really cut loose and engage in some more uncharacteristically brutal violence and the rumored epic breakdance battle, which was too intense for PG-13. (Wait until you see Batman pop and lock... and load!)