1: As a kid I always dreamed of a Superman film featuring Senate hearings and a jar of piss. Now I can check that one off the bucket list.
2: I’m not sure who’s to blame for the editing, but it’s awful. The film jumps from scene to scene with zero thought as to how they might flow. You would think a scene of Daily Planet editor Perry White saying “Where does Clark Kent always get off to?” would be followed by a scene of Clark/Superman (spoiler, sorry) off doing something. You’d be wrong about that one.
3: We get it Perry White, the newspaper business is dying, and you’re terrible at writing headlines. No need to belabor the point during every scene you appear in.
4: There is a kernel of a good movie somewhere in the bloated mess of a film. Unfortunately it’s buried deep.
5: Scary Batman is scary. The single best part of the movie is Batman being Batman on a group of criminals. This is a Batman like we’ve never seen on film before. He’s fast, terrifying and brutal. Batman/Bruce Wayne (again, spoilers, sorry) are enjoyable to watch work. I’ll happily go see a stand-alone Batfleck movie.
5(a): Ben Affleck is really terrible at looking like he’s driving/flying things. His acting prowess does not extend to any scene involving a steering wheel.
5(b): Batman, while the peak of human performance cannot, and I repeat cannot, hook a car to the back of the Batmobile, drag it several blocks and fling it with perfect accuracy to kill some goons. In a movie that asks us to believe in super powers, aliens, and the idea that we might want to see any future DC films, this is the least believable part.
6: Every second Jesse Eisenberg is on screen as Lex Luthor is like nails on a chalkboard. His performance is baffling. He doesn’t come across as evil, just nuts, and annoyingly so. Brian Cranston was originally rumored to be Lex Luthor, and that would have been amazing.
6(a): The one positive moment (and I do mean moment) with Lex is when he pushes Lois Lane off a building to call Superman. That was clever. (I probably should have said “spoiler alert” there, but let’s be honest, Lois Lane is not going to end up as a smear on the pavement in the middle of the movie, and knowing it happens going in will not ruin the movie for you. The rest of the movie will ruin the movie for you.)
7: Mopey Superman is mopey. I loved Man of Steel, and there are shades of what made that movie good here, but they are weighed down by WB’s need to introduce an entire DC universe in this one film.
8: When they first announced this film three years ago it felt odd. Instead of going the Marvel route to success by slowly building a universe, DC was just going to drop everything on us at once. In one film we get a new Batman, Wonder Woman, Lex Luthor, glimpses of Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg, foreshadowing of Darkseid, oh and Doomsday too. It was just too much. And I know who all those characters are. I can’t imagine the experience seeing this film and having literally no idea what’s happening. It took Marvel years to build their universe, and in that time we were able to care about the characters. This felt like an avalanche of crap no one asked for, and at the end you just have a giant mess.
8(a): There’s a point at the end when I was disappointed Ben Affleck didn’t look at the camera and say “Justice League, coming November 2017,” and then wink. Because it really felt like it would have been appropriate.
9: There were just so many moments where I stared at the screen wondering what I was seeing and why. And most of the time the film never answers the why part. Blame whomever you like, but it’s a perplexing movie.
10: The 1989 Batman was one of the biggest film events of my childhood. If you stopped 9-year-old me and told me that one day I would see Batman and Superman on screen together I wouldn’t have believed you. If you’d told the younger me that my reaction to the film would be “meh” I would have said you were crazy.
11: Director Zach Snyder has some incredible visual chops, but his storytelling ability is severely lacking in this one.
12: The last thirty minutes were simultaneously the most interesting of the film, and also just a big CG punch-fest. I generally dislike CG punch-fests, so the fact that it was the most entertaining part for me is telling. That being said, I was shocked at how boring watching Superman and Batman throw each other through walls is.
13: At multiple points I looked over at my kids to see them not even looking at the screen. Clearly a very engaging cinema experience.
14: I counted three different points where I was asking “how is this happening” only for the film to yell “haha, it was a dream, fooled you!” I mean I’m fine with that once, but three times seems like poor writing.
15: Watching the reactions to the film (both audience and critical) has been more fun than watching the film itself. Seeing the audience quietly file out is a marked departure from the fun of the Marvel films or even an experience like seeing last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
16: Give this one a big pass. The redeeming moments it has just aren’t enough to justify the investment of your time. It does such poor job making you care about anything on screen so it all just comes across as noise.