So today I went to see Batman vs. Superman and firstly, I really liked it.
When I first heard about it and when I saw the trailers, I wasn’t really sure if I was going to like the film, because it seems a bit cheesy. Especially with many film franchises just milking action film series nowadays, I’ve grown to feel slightly negative about this type of film recently. HOWEVER, I was wrong i) to be judgmental and bias, but more importantly ii) because the fight between Batman and Superman was actually already written in the comics. I’m sure there are many DC fans out there who have already seen the film and read the comics and knew this was supposed to happen; they may also be cursing at how stupid I am for not knowing. But you should know that I am not well acquainted with DC comics (or Marvel comics, for that matter), like many of the people who have or are planning to see this film. Anyway, I shall proceed to say what I intended to for whoever may be interested in reading this.
Casting and recasting
The recasting of Batman sparked debate long before the trailer came out. Many people seemed unsure about Ben Affleck as Batman. Such apprehension appear to mainly be due to
- concerns whether Affleck would be suitable to play a character like Batman, or more general dislike…etc. towards him;
- the fact that people are used to Christian Bale. This is hardly surprising given that it’s natural to prefer something you are familiar to and are used to – if a certain character was first seen to be portrayed by a certain actor in a certain way, it would be difficult for the impression of said character to be shifted to another, as portrayed by a new actor. However, Batman has been portrayed by several different actors throughout the history of Batman filmography…thus, this factor is less likely compared to the next one
- the fact that many people liked Christian Bale’s Batman. Of course, not everyone liked Bale’s Batman, but I think I can say that at least his preparation for playing the character (as well as for many other characters he has portrayed in the past) should be respected. I think he played Batman quite well, but whilst many people whilst Ben Affleck’s Batman may not be what everyone had hoped for, neither was Christian Bale’s. Yes Bale may have expressed Bruce Wayne’s dark and tortured past, his anguish and pain quite well, but it’s actually different to how Batman is supposed to be . In this respect, Ben Affleck’s depiction was closer to what Batman should be like, in the comics.
Alfred was quite a bit younger in this film than in the Dark Knight trilogy (played by Michael Cane), some have even likened the new Alfred (Jeremy Irons) to Robert Downey Jr.! Alfred, in this film, seems more involved with the making of all the tech and cool inventions such as fixing the suit and surveillance, which is also closer to the comics than the trilogy. Lucius Fox helps Bruce Wayne manage his business, and to finance Bruce’s operations, but he does not help him invent or maintain any of his gadgets. Obviously having Morgan Freeman in the cast makes people want to watch the film more, but I think there should be merit for films that keep to the originals.
Jesse Eisenberg was really good as Lex Luthor in my opinion. It is very easy for ‘insanity’ to go wrong in acting. People often seem to think that acting insane, psychotic, psychopathic…etc. is easy, but often these portrayals become unconvincing, cheesy and superficial. From his stutters and twitches to his lack of control in his speech, emotion and behaviour, Jesse Eisenberg played crazy well. Although I don’t think he was as convincing as Heath Ledger was as the Joker, the Joker and Lex Luthor can be argued to be ‘different types of crazy’. Moreover, just because he may not be as good as another actor, doesn’t mean he wasn’t good.
Similarly, I thought Gal Gadot was a very good Wonder Woman. I am SO GLAD it was not Angelina Jolie or even worse, Megan Fox. Don’t get me wrong, I like Angelina Jolie, but honestly I don’t think she’s suit the role. Whilst she is has played cool, sexy and strong women (of course not exclusively these) roles, I think Gal Gadot embodied the elegance, strength, knowledge and confidence of Wonder Woman better than Jolie would – it’s simply whether someone’s image would fit the role. Megan Fox is just trashy and not even that good at acting, and I don’t think she hot.
Comparing DC and Marvel
Now, fans of the DC comics and Marvel comics have been debating about which series is better, most popularly about which series has the better hero(es). But this is not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about people comparing whether they like DC films or Marvel films more purely as the films and their characters, rather than their individual ‘powers’.
Honestly, I don’t think the series should be compared like that because they have different aims and messages. Whilst Marvel films have gone with a more comedic route (especially with the Avengers films), DC films go for a more serious route. Often, the DC hereos face questions and hardships such as choosing what is the right thing to do when the city and people you are trying to save, doubts you. They face problems like the struggles you will face being a white knight, as well as those being the dark knight. What does it feel like to be loved, and then feared because of the power you’re born with, because of who you are? On the other hand, heroes in the Marvel films more have to choose whether they should ultimately risk their own lives for another race – the controversial and often hateful human race. They also face struggles related to friendship and loyalty, love and romance…etc.
Personally, my favourite films are almost always serious ones. Yes, I enjoy watching rom-coms, comedies more generally, cute films and feel good films. But when a film can haunt me, or make me leave the cinema thinking or feeling slightly sad, that’s when I’m truly impressed. So as you can guess, I rated Batman vs. Superman quite highly. I say this film specifically because it’s not like there weren’t shit DC films (*cough Green Lantern *cough*). Anyway, I’m not saying I didn’t like Marvel films – I do, I really like Marvel films, but they do have the help of a dazzling cast. Robert Downey Jr. is the best example. I can never imagine anyone else being Iron Man; he is Iron Man. But then again, it’s not like I’ve ever seen anyone else be Iron Man…Oh well. I think I’ve made my point already; if you are to read on, beware of spoilers. Below are simply some of my thoughts of things that I saw in the film that you may not want to know if you’ve not yet seen the film.
Here it goes!
I really liked the way film introduced the other superheroes that they are making upcoming films for. I think it was simple, but got the point across; it also made (at least me) people excited about these upcoming projects! These superheroes include the Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg and Wonder Woman. Although I’m sure the more eager ones among us have already read about this or known ages ago through footage or whatnot, it’s very exciting to see what they may have in store for the audience in the near future.
Personally, I am most excited and happy about Ezra Miller as The Flash. Ezra Miller is such an awesome actor and I think he deserves to be better known. He is better known for his involvement as supporting actor in The Perks of Being A Wallflower, and one of the leading actors in We Need To Talk About Kevin. Not only was his performance thrilling in the later film, he’s also very attractive (hahahahaha) and has bulked up for his upcoming role as The Flash!
The other thing is casting the mighty Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) as Aquaman! Aquaman is said to be potentially one of the strongest DC superheroes because he lives and fights in water, and a massive massive portion of Earth is water. But then again, we’ve got Wonder Woman on land, who’s also possibly one of the stronger DC superheroes FULLSTOP.
Obviously there were flaws in this film, but there are flaws in many other (often great) films too. Certain ‘flaws’ such as straying from original written plot-lines or the lack of depth in character development can be justified by the lack of time (film-makers only have 2 hours to present their story and characters to you) and visual aesthetic. To me, Batman vs. Superman was fun to watch, though some may argue it had a slow start. It also provided a good foundation for future films, and showed one of the great battles from the DC universe. There are many interesting characters that have room for development, and many questions left unanswered, but this just makes the upcoming films more exciting in my opinion. Lex Luthor was brilliantly cast, and if you have read the comics, you’d know that he will become one of the main DC villains later on. To conclude, I liked it, and I cannot wait for the next one to come out.