Fast & Furious 6 Review

The ride must go on. Fast Five ended up being my favorite title in the series but little did I suspect that it would get surpassed so quickly. 6 takes everything I liked in the 5th film and then adds on to it. We get a lot of great fight scenes and character moments here. The series holds onto its strong family values and makes it across the finish line in record time.

The movie starts out with Hobbs realizing that he’s up against a villain group that can’t be taken down easily. Usually he doesn’t need any help but this time is an exception. He grabs some intel from one of the villains pretty easily and then sets about recruiting Dom and the old gang for one last ride.

Dom and friends are all millionaires who are having fun around the globe so it may seem hard to recruit them right? Well, not when you have the right ace up your sleeve and Hobbs has a doozy. See, there’s a photo of Dom’s old wife Letty around and it seems like she’s riding with the villains. That should be impossible since she is dead but if there’s even the slightest chance that she is still alive, Dom can’t waste it. He quickly agrees to help. Still, can these heroes stop this new villain group or are they simply outmatched here?

One thing I really liked here was how quickly everyone dropped what they were doing to help Dom. It shows that the money didn’t change them. They’re still a very close knit group and show up when the call goes out. Dom doesn’t have to talk to them for more than an instant to get them on his side. There’s no complaining, whining, or any of that. They’re just ready for action no matter what it takes.

It keeps on reinforcing the family aspect of the series. Dom always explains that these guys are his family and you don’t give up on family. You help out whenever you can with no second doubts. It’s hard to think of any series where the main characters have such a close bond. It’s just nice to see and immediately puts the film in a good spot so far as knowing who to root for and getting you personally engaged in the fight.

As always Dom is a great character here. He really doesn’t waver and hasn’t gotten sloppy in his driving skills. It’s safe to say that the film still portrays him as the best racer in the series. You could maybe make a case for Brian matching him but under pressure you want Dom on your side at all times. When the chips are down he won’t fail. The guy is also the better hand to hand fighter. Dom is a natural leader and just doesn’t back down. One of the more impressive scenes is when he’s face to face with Shaw and doesn’t even flinch when a gun is pointed at him.

Brian has his own subplot here where he breaks into a jail to try and find out what happened to Letty. Ultimately he doesn’t learn a whole lot to the point where he comes back and Dom doesn’t even want to hear what he learned. That said, it was a huge risk and Brian proved that he was willing to do whatever it took to find her again. He also proved himself in a fight as he took on several opponents at once.

Brian’s always been a fun character. He gets overshadowed by Dom but I like the guy and it’ll be sad once he’s gone. His wife Mia doesn’t get to appear much this time around but she encourages Brian to help the team out. She’s still a team player for sure. Elena also doesn’t do much here but you can pretty much see why. With Letty back on the table you can basically confirm that her romance with Dom can’t last.

It’s why I was never on board with that romance either way. It seemed like a rebound no matter how you slice it. Letty would certainly have good reason to be upset about this as well although everyone takes it in stride. Hopefully Elena returns and we can see her in more of an action setting next time.

Of course Hobbs has a big role as you’d expect. He sets the tone right away with how he beat up one of the minions in the interrogation room. That was pretty impressive and it showed that he is just as obsessed as ever with bringing crooks down. He may be a lot more by the book compared to Dom’s crew but he’s willing to be flexible. He has a pretty fun scene with Tej when they have to round up some cars. Most importantly, Hobbs can still fight and comes in clutch during the climax of the film with the 2 vs 2. As a driver he’s slightly below Dom’s crew but holds his own surprisingly well considering that isn’t really his thing.

His new teammate in this film is Riley. She’s pretty solid and gave us the first big fight scene of the film against Letty. I would have to say that was one of the better fights in the movie, there was a ton of back and forth there. It’s definitely not The best fight of course since the climax threw in some big ones but it was a blast. Riley’s also no nonsense and can fight really well. She also knows how to take a hit and keep on going. She left an excellent first impression and always leaves the opponents guessing.

Tej is pretty good at getting the cars set up and planning things out as always. He may not get quite as much to do as some of the other characters but always has good banter with Roman. Likewise, Roman is a pretty charismatic guy. Not all of his jokes land but he does have a lot of fun moments. His lack of fighting skills do get exposed at one point but he does keep getting up so you can’t doubt his determination.

Han may not get a big role during the film but it’s certainly a memorable one. He’s always got a lot of confidence in Gisele and lets her do her own thing. When she moves in on a villain he just moves onto the next one because he knows she has this covered. Gisele does well with her gun and consistently makes accurate shots from long range. She has to be the best shooter on the team by far.

Then of course you have Letty. She isn’t quite herself during the film due to some memory loss. Of course you’ll be wondering how she survived. The film explains how this happened which will answer any questions on that. It doesn’t really make sense why someone did something which allowed her to live though. She makes for a good antagonist and definitely has a lot of fighting skills. I can see a lot of potential for battles in future films as a result. She has a solid character arc.

As for Shaw, he’s a solid main villain. After watching the trailer for Hobbs & Shaw the whole time though I was waiting for a certain twist that never happened. It makes the experience pretty unique to be sure but he still stands up well as a villain in his own right. He can’t fight but is a smart villain who plans for every contingency. The heroes never make a move without him being ready for it. His futuristic cars were also impressive both in how fast they were and also for their raw strength.

The rest of his villain group wasn’t too memorable though. The one who gave Roman and Han a good fight was impressive but good luck remembering his name. The rest of the group doesn’t get a whole lot of dialogue or anything beyond their initial scene though. It is cool that the film set them up as a dark version of the main characters though. They may not have had a proper team fight but it was still cool.

The battle scenes are the best that they’ve been. My favorite fight out of all the films is probably Hobbs vs Dom from Fast Five but this one just has many fights on that level back to back. There is a lot of nonstop action here so something is always going on. You’ve got different climaxes and high tension moments with both sides making move after move. It’s all extremely entertaining and also high quality. This is definitely what you would expect from the series.

The only weakness I would say the series has is the never ending fanservice. As always whenever the heroes go for a rare drive you’ve got everyone dancing on the cars or walking right into the camera. It’d be nice if the films could tone down this aspect and just focus on the fights. It’s not as heavy as in other titles though and the positives still outweigh this negative to a pretty high degree so it shouldn’t hurt your enjoyment of the title.

The writing is on point and has a lot of good humor moments throughout. The film is fairly long and since it has a fast pace that means you can expect a whole lot of adventures here. Fast & Furious 6 just keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. It’s sort of like the non comic book version of the Avengers (2012) in terms of tone and action. Things even get pretty serious by the end as the film actually does have a body count. While the movies always end on a high note, the gang certainly goes through their share of trials. The soundtrack is also on point. The series always has a lot of different tunes that bring a lot of energy to each scene.

Finally, we can’t miss talking about the end credits scene. This was pretty hype and I always believe you should end your film with a cliffhanger like this one. It’s probably the most hype end scene since Tokyo Drift. We see an event from that film in a new light. Turns out that what happened to Han was a lot more personal than expected. It may be a retroactive change but it’s a solid way to make Tokyo Drift even more important all of a sudden. The new villain is also immediately going to be one of the better FF villains. You can tell from this scene that he means business.

Overall, Fast & Furious 6 was very impressive. This one is going to be extremely tough to defeat but I look forward to seeing how good 7 is. We’ve still got the full cast here so I am expecting it to be pretty good. I wonder if Brian will get a bit of a power up to keep up with Dom and Hobbs or if he will still mostly be more of a support fighter. With that stinger at the end you definitely know that 7 is about to get personal. Dom’s family will need to be ready to meet this challenge.

Overall 8/10

Justice League Review

After all these years of hype the Justice League movie is finally upon us. The series has been amazing so far despite getting critically pounded. Not every film was great, but for the most part they were all solid. This film also ended up being an excellent addition to the cinematic universe. It can be a bit of a slow burner at times but one that does build up to a great climax.

After a quick scene that I actually forgot until after the film, Justice League opens up with an action scene where Batman takes down a Parademon and realizes that the invasion is closer than ever before. This was a perfect scene to kick off the film since it immediately has the aliens show up so the heroes can form the team. While I will have a bunch of critiques coming up, there is nothing I can say about this scene. It was basically perfect from the set design to the Parademon’s special effects. After this Batman decides to track down Cyborg, The Flash, and Aquaman so that these super powered individuals can stop the invasion. Wonder Woman has been alerted to what was happening as well and shows up to help. Can this alliance really stop the armies of Apokolips?

Let’s start with the basics. The soundtrack is really good. It’s not as memorable as Man of Steel but it does a good job of sounding epic. The Wonder Woman theme returns which is always fun. I was expecting the cool Man of Steel tune but maybe next time. The graphics are also really good for the movie and that’s one area where DC really excels. I have yet to see a CBM top BVS, or this film with the backgrounds. Man of Steel and Avengers are also pretty high up in the rankings. Essentially the whole climax of Justice League is in a fiery, apocalyptic future backdrop which makes every scene even more epic.

You also have to give the film credit for most of the outfits. Batman’s is definitely one of the best he has ever had and maybe it is the best. It reminds me a lot of his look from Justice League Heroes. Superman and Wonder Woman’s costumes also look pretty sharp. I’m still not sold on Aquaman and Flash so those didn’t hit it off for me. Cyborg’s was pretty good and I actually liked the mysterious cloak/hoodie costume.

Now let’s get on to the characters. Batman is essentially the lead here. I’d say that he looks pretty good. He is still the brains of the group although his plan is typically just to get whoever he is talking to upset. It took him quite a bit to realize that the guy was Aquaman as well unless that was part of the plan. He gets beat up and saved quite a bit but his reckless self sacrifice plans are still on point. He did have a nice contingency plan for Superman again as well. When it comes to personality he’s still my 2nd favorite character as expected but he is really going to need more power ups as the films go by or he is going to have an even tougher time dealing with the villains. That is give him some prep time once again.

Superman is my favorite character as always even if they decided to go with the edgy route for this film. I don’t mind an edgy Superman if done right after all. He was comically out of character for the entirety of his first scene when he attacks the League. Sure he isn’t too thrilled about why he is around but the Superman you’d expect would just endure this quietly or at least ask some questions. Trying to seriously injure and destroy the other heroes just doesn’t seem to be in character at all. The film played it off like he was actually going to destroy Batman even using one of Batman’s edgy lines from the last film to show how the tables have turned. Later Superman is rather reluctant to help out and must be told to do so. He then does a complete 180 ad starts cracking some jokes and laughing with everyone. It’s almost like they had two different writers and the 2nd one took over just for the climax act of the film so the scenes didn’t gel well.

What both acts really got right was Superman’s power and speed though. If you’re familiar with the characters, you’ll know that Superman is way stronger than the other League members. He could beat them teaming up without using all of his power. The film demonstrates that quite nicely. Even when he’s not been able to be in the sun for a while and was likely not at full power, the heroes just couldn’t hurt him. Wonder Woman is very strong but not strong enough to actually deal damage to him. Flash is fast, but not fast enough to actually land a hit on Superman. This is essentially how every fight with Superman and the League should go and I was incredibly impressed with how Superman looked here. I get the feeling we won’t get to see him look quite as impressive ever again so remember these scenes well.

Going back to Superman’s personality for a second, it is also weird that he holds such a grudge against Batman. It’s true that only Batman called them friends and Superman was rather cold to him throughout the climax but I thought he got over that by now. Wouldn’t Superman give him a second chance or let bygones be bygones? At the very least I’d expect him to try and arrest Batman instead. I still say that Batman should have called in Martha right away. She would have ended the whole situation right away. Despite this, Superman naturally does make the hero calls in the end and he’s still the best. In a way it probably is annoying to have to save the world every other day since nobody else can do it, but Superman will get over it and be inspired again before long.

Wonder Woman naturally gets a big role as well to close out the trinity. It’s likely only second to Batman’s. Until Superman shows up she is the only power hitter of the team so she basically has to fight Steppenwolf on her own. Wonder Woman does a pretty good job of lasting and while he is a little too strong for her just having one more ally who could fight would have been very useful and could have tipped the scales. She’s certainly a solid character as well and I wouldn’t have minded if the main 3 had been the focus of the film since the rest of the League members weren’t all that good compared to them. The only scene where Wonder Woman looks bad is when she decides to go against Batman in his master plan. I’m cool with her disagreeing with him since not messing with death can be sound advice. That being said, she immediately goes for the personal attacks and brings Superman into the discussion yet when Batman responds in kind she snaps and breaks his shoulder. She can dish it out, but evidently she can’t take it. Batman’s response was also pretty on point since she did randomly vanish for a century. We can blame DC for not thinking that plotline through since it was out of character for her, but it happened so she doesn’t have a whole lot of room to counter here.

On a side note, I would have liked to have had more scenes of Batman insulting the League. He had to play ball with them since Superman wasn’t around and he was a bit of a leader for them, but it feels like a missed opportunity. If Superman had been around the whole time, Batman could have acted like the stone cold detective he usually is with subtle burns and verbal shots throughout the film. Maybe next time though and he still got his share of memorable lines. Next up is Aquaman. He’s the worst member on the team so I won’t dwell on him too much. He’s basically just a drunk guy with slight super strength who is supposed to be funny, but never quite makes it. He contributes absolutely nothing to the film. If you take him away then the events don’t change. He feels like filler throughout and the guy seems to just be around to annoy everyone. The film also tries to use him for humor which doesn’t work too well. This guy should not have been in the film and I had a feeling this would be the case ever since the first trailer.

On the humor side, I was impressed with the film. From the trailers/ the last two DC films I got the vibe that the film was going to be over the top with humor. Adding a ton of jokes here and there to liven things up. Surprisingly, the film is still pretty serious the whole time. This does feel like it’s in the same universe as Batman V Superman and the whole opening is very grim. I honestly wouldn’t have minded if the whole film was like the Batman vs Parademons scene as it’s dark out the whole time, but that brings along its own set of risks I suppose. While some of the humor can be forced, it never becomes too distracting from the film. The characters are all pretty serious during the fights as well so it’s not as if they’re distracting themselves. The film handled the balance quite well.

Our next League member is Flash and naturally the TV show comparisons will start the instant he appears. I’m not sure how they could have gotten his design and costume so wrong with the big budget. The TV show’s version looks superior in every way. I can’t speak for the personality since I never saw the Flash, but from the clips I’ve seen he also seems like a much better character. This one looks too young and the fact that he is a novice with his powers can be pretty grating at times. He doesn’t even feel all that fast compared to Quicksilver from the recent X-Men films. Flash would get decimated in a fight if we base it on the movies and while the nerf is okay if the writers felt like they would be getting into plot hax moments like Quicksilver vs Apocalypse, it sort of defeats the purpose of the Flash to an extent. He needed to be more confident and self assured. We got glimpses of Flash being quite intelligent, but they were very subtle and he never even got to fight in the film. He barely threw a single punch until near the very end and those may have just been tackles since it seems like he vibrated through his opponents. He’s essentially a Peter Parker ripoff right now so I’m hoping he improves for next time.

Cyborg is the final main member and he’s all right. He comes across as annoying and whiny for a while though as he’s inflated with self importance. Maybe it’s because he starts off as a Cyborg, but you don’t feel any sympathy for him. He would have died if the parts weren’t merged with him so I don’t think he has a whole lot of room to complain. Now, the process did look painful so if he talked about that then maybe I could buy into it, but he spends the whole time complaining and feeling bad for himself. It’s one big pity party with this guy and his plan at the end was really flawed as well. Without going into detail, he said he could stop the boxes by doing a cool magnetic pulse and all. The thing is, apparently he needs someone to actually push them apart as well and the only way to even have a chance is if you have a guy with Superman-like abilities…and Superman wasn’t around. The plan was for him to do it himself..but how? There’s no way he could have done it so he effectively led the team on a suicide mission. I still think of Cyborg as a Teen Titan and this film didn’t change that, but now that he’s accepted his powers he should improve quite a lot.

Unfortunately Lois Lane was a big miss in this film. Her depression over Superman’s passing is used as the excuse for why she’s not a daring reporter anymore, but this also doesn’t really work well with her character. While she’s never been all that great in this series, at least she took a lot of risks like in BVS where she went to get the spear or in Man of Steel where she broke into an alien ship. In this film she has completely given up on everything and has been reduced to a weak character. Her role is very small anyway, but it’s definitely not the Lois that I expected. Martha Kent is all right I guess, but none of her dialogue is particularly funny or heart warming despite that being the intent. The scenes of Martha and Lois chatting was easily the worst part of the film since it just felt like filler and didn’t add anything to the movie. You would basically just wait for the scenes to be over so we can get back to the plot. Fortunately this film was good at constantly shifting from scene to scene so you were usually not in one place for too long.

A human subplot that was actually decent was the family hiding in a cabin. Granted, this was also complete filler but at least it showed that some people were ready to defend themselves. The plot didn’t end exactly how I pictured with Superman showing up to save them and all, but it was still okay and didn’t last too long. Steppenwolf is basically the only villain in the film. He’s a miss as far as personality is concerned, but he’s a strong fighter which makes for an engaging antagonist. Not too many fighters use an axe so that was cool. He was really creaming the League and just about everyone else he fought aside from a certain hero. He definitely lived up to his hype and I’m eager to see how the films portray Darkseid. So far they’ve been very good at making the villains both strong and fast. I don’t think he will be an exception so Superman vs Darkseid could very well be the greatest fight in live action if handled right.

I do have to question the Amazonian tactics near the beginning though. So, they know that the box is vibrating and they also know more or less that it’s a bad sign since they fought the owners a thousand years ago. Naturally the Queen posts a few guards by it…and then sends the rest of the army to the other side of the island. Why would you do that? I think even a kid could have told you that you leave most of your army by the box that spells imminent danger. As a result, Steppenwolf tears through the few warriors that guards it. Showing her bravery, the Queen deserts her fellow sisters to get the box away and locks the cave behind her to seal their fate. Steppenwolf still destroys just about everyone as he grabs the box and leaves, but would he have fared as well against a whole army? I think he probably would have shredded them all pretty easily, but since the film played it off like the army was a threat, I think it was a tactical blunder.

The Atlanteans were just as bad and only left a few scrubs to block the box. Steppenwolf wrecked them pretty easily and ran off. Honestly the humans were the ones putting up the best effort when you think about it. At first I was also skeptical of how they beat Steppenwolf in the past as well, but since they had a lot of guest stars helping then I was fine with it. I was convinced once the flying warrior showed up and even more when the gods of old turned up. Lets face it, they did all of the work. The Atlanteans, Humans, and Amazonians were just there for moral support.

I can’t say that I cared for the action scenes where Steppenwolf was wrecking those two armies either. It’s just never very fun to have a big character crushing a ton of powerless ones unless it’s a character you really like or something. As I’m not a Steppenwolf fan, you’re just waiting for a hero to show up so it’ll be a fair fight. Then you just keep on waiting until the fight is eventually over.

So, how high does this film rank in the all time list? Well, it’s definitely below Batman V Superman and I’d put it under Man of Steel as well. After that, it’s close between this one and Avengers for third. I think this one will edge out so Avengers grabs the 4th spot and Civil War grabs number 5 which rounds out my Top 5 Live Action CBMs of all time. What gives this one the edge for 3rd are essentially the action scenes since the one thing Avengers lacked was any big fights. Again, it’s an underrated edge for DC as their fight scenes cannot be beaten.

There are two after credit scenes. Surprisingly the first one is the happy comedy one instead of vice versa. Probably a way for DC to be different from Marvel. It’s a decent scene even if it goes nowhere and the film was playing it too safe. We all know that the guy on the right who scrunched up his face during the scene won because he was taking it very seriously. The 2nd scene gets some setup going for future DC films. It should make for a pretty good plot although I definitely want Darkseid for film 2. The problem with having other villains is that I’m going to be asking the real questions the whole time…how can they handle Superman? Black Adam would solve that equation, but everyone else would get lolstomped inside 2 seconds. Especially since Superman has been heavily amped from his already impressive Man of Steel portrayal.

This is a pretty long review as it is. The thoughts keep on piling up but this review would be way too long if I jotted it all down. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to discuss something in more detail. As for miscellaneous thoughts, one area where Avengers does have the edge is in the fact that the characters were already established. As a result, it felt like a huge crossover since all of the characters were crossing over. It merged at 4 films, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America. This one in comparison only merged two, Batman/Superman and Wonder Woman. The other League members debuted in this film so it wasn’t as big and since they were newbies who hadn’t yet had their own film to save the world, they weren’t as impressive as they should be. Marvel’s formula is certainly the right one to building up a team film, but I am ultimately glad DC skipped a few steps because I don’t want to wait 5 more years for the first Justice League. Now that this one has finally been made, we can start expanding the universe more. I wouldn’t even mind if DC forgot about the spinoffs and decided to just focus on churning out Justice League film after film. It would be a pretty unique way to go about it and I’d be on board.

While a few horses certainly seemed to get hit during the battle with Steppenwolf, the film at least had the dignity to not have them be bleeding or crying out in pain. The film was actually surprisingly tame throughout and that’s something I have to give it credit for. There is some language but it’s all very mild for the film. We get one or two mild fanservice shots for Wonder Woman but the film also managed to restrain itself in this area and at least we didn’t have random bath scenes like in BVS. On the whole you can see that this film didn’t really have any major negatives which is essential to being known as an amazing film. Most of the minor stuff I listed above barely even register on the scale. Even the boring scenes or jokes that may not have been funny weren’t bad enough either. The film was very close to being perfect and while I can think of alternate plots that would have been more fun (Like Superman being around during the whole film) the movie did a great job with what it had. Perhaps the gaps of no action will be more noticeable in a re-watch, but maybe not. As a huge DC fan I was pretty invested from start to finish and I imagine this would be the case on a re-watch as well. What can I say, at the end of the day, I’m a big fan of the Justice League so naturally I’ll get an extra kick out of this film. It’s also why I’m a little more critical on it at times, but I think I did a good job of still keeping a very positive tone on it throughout this review. At the end of the day, all films can be a little bit better, but if it’s a 7 or higher, it means that I am satisfied with the result. (Even more so with a 9)

Overall, This was a great film. Once Superman showed up, it became an amazing one. Honestly, Superman’s depiction in terms of strength was enough for me to know that this would be one of the all time greats. He’s my favorite comic book character and I’ve always considered him to quite easily be the strongest character of all as well. DC has continued to surpass my expectations when it comes to fights and power levels. They are simply unmatched and when you have a character like Superman that just makes a lot of sense. I highly recommend checking this film out. It may not be quite as intense as Batman vs Superman or Man of Steel, but it did get the end of the world vibe just right. Something is always happening and the atmosphere is always tense. I will eagerly await the next Justice League or Superman film. It’ll also be nice to see if DC can save Aquaman and Flash in future films, but I feel like sticking to films where Superman can show his stuff is the safest option.

Overall 9/10

Wonder Woman (2017) Review

All right, it’s time to check out DC’s latest film in its big film continuity. It scored 2 mega hits with Man of Steel and Batman V Superman, but then delivered one of the worst films of all time in this genre with Suicide Squad. Clearly it’s been an all or nothing gamble thus far. Well, DC tried to stay with this motto for a while, but ultimately they had to cave in. Critics demolished their older films for being too serious so DC had to fall in line. This was their first attempt to make a film that’s more like a Marvel film with a large increase in humor and a lighter tone. It works to an extent and this film is fun, but a considerable step down from the first two. I’ve been a little cautious about this new tone as Justice League also looks like it’s going to be very jokey, but perhaps it’s good that they switched sooner rather than later. The dark tone worked surprisingly well for Batman V Superman, but typically it’s a recipe for disaster. This is the safer option for the series especially if they want the critics on their side. That being said, I hope we still get a lot of action.

The film starts off with a long prologue of Wonder Woman growing up on Paradise Island and deciding that she wants to be a warrior. She trains in secret and quickly grows to be the strongest on the island. One day, Steve Trevor crashes on the island along with a bunch of Germans so the Amazonian warriors are forced to fight back. They suffer many losses but drive back the intruders. Steve pleads his case to return to Europe to expose the German deeds and potentially end the war with a book that he has found and Wonder Woman decides to go with him. She believes that Ares is secretly behind this war and that destroying him will finally Make Humanity Great Again! Steve doesn’t believe her, but he now has a ticket to get off the island so he agrees to take her to Ares. Can the two of them stop the war?

There’s definitely a lot to say about a big film like this so I guess lets start with the positives. The big climax was pretty great. I had been worried that we wouldn’t have any real villains during the movie and it would just be Wonder Woman beating up helpless soldiers the whole time. Fortunately, we did get a big boss in the end. It should be obvious who the villain is, but I won’t say just in case. We got some tributes to Man of Steel with the imagery and seeing the super fight was intense. The speed and punches were at a high level and still show that DC has the best fights. Wonder Woman’s use of her lasso in the battle was great as well and her bracelets are definitely going to be very useful in future films.

Also, the film gets the sword out of the picture for the climax so Wonder Woman has to fight in hand to hand combat. I can safely say that this is how Wonder Woman should always be fighting. Hand to hand is just the most satisfying for fighters like her, Superman, and the other heavy hitters. It makes their strength feel more real. Now, you can make the case that there is a bit of power level fluctuations in this fight as WW’s opponent is initially much faster than her along with being much stronger as well but suddenly can’t dodge. We can chalk that up to arrogance on his part of just plot hax. Either way, the fight and visuals were on point so it’s not really a big deal.

Speaking of the visuals, those were definitely pretty solid. Wonder Woman’s lasso certainly glowed rather well and seeing it used in combat was fun. The video game esque combos that Wonder Woman got off it was certainly cool. The fiery landscape at the end was also very epic. DC seems to like it as we’ve now gotten this landscape for BVS, Wonder Woman, and it’s confirmed for Justice League as we see it in the trailer. It’s a great background so I wouldn’t mind if they used it for all future films. It just works really well.

Time to quickly mention a moment in the film that felt rather convenient. This was when Wonder Woman decided to raid the Amazonian armory and steal the artifacts. Why was there a random brick sticking out on the wall so she could grab it? I don’t get the purpose of that brick as it would just make stealing from the place a little easier. There were like 4 or 5 others that I saw as Wonder Woman crashed so maybe it was a design thing for the tower? It’s not like it mattered since she could climb it on her own, but I was a little puzzled.

One plot element that didn’t make sense as well in a more major way was how Paradise Island has no defenses. Apparently you can just wander near the barrier and walk right in. Once you’re through, then the illusion fades. If it’s that easy, I can’t believe that more people haven’t gotten through. So either the Amazons have been murdering everyone who’s gotten through (That wouldn’t be too hard to believe, but they acted as if a man hasn’t shown up in a long time) or they’ve just been lucky. Regardless, I think it would have made more sense to have had an actual physical barrier or gusts of wind that typically blow everyone else back. That way, Steve crashing there could still work since he would be going so fast that the winds couldn’t stop him.

Okay, time to talk about the iffy parts in the film. Roughly the first 100 minutes are pretty slow. I had my phone off and my watch is still broken so I couldn’t record the exact time, but it’s not a very exciting start. Wonder Woman training on the island isn’t exciting, but I suppose it’s necessary so the average viewer can get used to the character. As long as origin stories are done once and then never brought back again, then I’m okay with them. Every character has to go through the motions at some point although Hulk still did it best by just including it in the intro. That being said, most films counter this by starting off with a big action sequence. I feel like that would have been useful for this film. Have Wonder Woman start off with a cool fight in the present time as she beats up some super powered crooks or something and then have her reminisce about the good ole days.

Once Steve lands on the island, things go south. The film’s writing is particularly bad as we get very long flirting conversations. Since the Amazons haven’t seen a man in a while, the film plays up this angle extremely hard. It just keeps coming back and back over and over again. The whole boat ride is basically about this as well as Wonder Woman’s conversation with Steve while he was bathing. The film goes for some misdirects by having Steve misinterpret what’s happening half the time, but these scenes are just filler and not very well handled filler at that.

One plot I’ve never cared for much was the “I don’t know about human culture so I’m going to take everything literally and get into a bunch of crazy situations” trope. This one isn’t as exaggerated as other versions that I’ve seen through the years, but it is surprisingly high up. Wonder Woman doesn’t know that you can’t undress in public, but she’s read a lot of rather mature novels. She gets into a lot of trouble by waving her sword around and falling for Steve’s flirtations. I should mention that the romance is pretty bad as you’d expect. It was expected of course since Steve Rogers was about to get in the plane for the last time….I mean Steve Trevor. He got to have some fun before dying this way.

Another issue here is the supporting cast. Don’t bother to learn any of their names since they are complete throwaways. Steve figures that to break into Germany they’re going to need some men. So he picks up a drunk punching bag who used to be a sniper but is too traumatized to shoot anymore and is only good for singing. We get a liar whose whole strength is being charismatic, but there is never a chance to use this skill except for a drive through enemy territory where the villains are so inept that they let a guy in without a passport. Finally we have an Indian who is good at stealing cars and making smoke signals. These are not interesting characters nor are they good ones. The Indian is the only one who is somewhat tolerable as he doesn’t actually do anything…but then why is he in the film? Any scene with the singer is pretty bad and he really should have been cut out. The liar guy is also just bad as he’s only good for bringing us the beer scenes and we really didn’t even need those. The slow dance could be cut out as well.

I think it’s fair to say that the humor is also pretty bad. I suppose it’s a little better than Guardians as it’s handled with more tact and we don’t have a character like Drax running around, but it’s not really funny either. I can’t say that I really laughed at any of the scenes. The funniest moment of the film would probably be when Steve pretends that he can’t hear his boss and hangs up. I rather like that trope and it’s one that has lived through the test of time.

One problem that this film has to an extent comes back to the fact that there is no villain until the final 20-30 minutes. Because of that, most of the action scenes are of Wonder Woman beating up humans. It’s a slight problem because it makes the fights less exciting. For example, how engaged would you be if Superman breaks into an enemy base and beats up all of the minions? It’s just so easy that it’s not as exciting as it could be. It depends on your mileage as we did have a lot of people cheering in the theater as Wonder Woman took them down. The scene of her breaking a tower to stop a sniper got a lot of applause as well. At the same time, for me there is less enthusiasm because that’s just so easy for her. It’s why I was thrilled for the last fight because it meant that she could finally have a challenge. I think I’ve basically covered everything now.

Meanwhile, the Amazons better hope that they never have to fight a real opponent. Despite their tough talk and camaraderie they wouldn’t last very long against any army. Their island suffered losses to a very small battalion of German troops. What this effectively says is that any army could easily defeat them if they wished to do so. It seems like Wonder Woman is the only one with any actual super powers since she is the chosen one. The rest have to constantly keep their guard up or they’ll be shot.

The film is never boring though so that’s always a good thing. Even if the dialogue isn’t always my favorite, it doesn’t feel like the film ever slows down to a halt. Part of that is the novelty of finally having a Wonder Woman film and the other part is the visuals. It’s an entertaining film and it’s why I’d have greater hopes for a sequel since it would ideally take place in modern day. The old World War 1 days may be a better backdrop than the Jungle or the Wild West, but it’s still nowhere close to a nice high tech city.

One worrisome thing to keep in mind is that the film doesn’t explain why Wonder Woman abandoned humanity. We learn in Batman V Superman that she kind of grew bored of them and only came out of retirement on a whim. I was expecting the film to end with her being jaded with humanity and going back to the island, but I suppose a sequel would delve into that. The reason why I’d be worried about this is because I want her sequel to take place in the present. Hopefully they can just briefly mention it or make some kind of excuse for why nobody’s heard of her. I mean, she’s not exactly stealthy based on this film or even the ending where she jumps across buildings striking a battle pose. Something just doesn’t add up here.

As for the soundtrack, it’s definitely pretty sharp. There are a lot of fast paced rock themes that are fun to listen to. Wonder Woman’s signature tune plays a few times and the end credits theme of the film is good as well. Throughout the movie the soundtrack was consistently rapid which is certainly my style. DC’s been hitting it out of the park in this area for sure. Hopefully we’ll get some more epic tunes like this in Justice League.

I suppose we can’t end the review without talking about Etta Candy. Her role was a lot smaller than I had expected, but that’s fine. She was a reasonably good character and she took the situation in stride the whole time. Candy’s the kind of person who always makes for a good friend. I didn’t talk about Steve much either, but I wasn’t a fan. He’s basically your average Captain Kirk. He fights for what’s right and makes the tough calls, but always finds time to flirt now and again. Wonder Woman’s a great lead and certainly makes for a contrast to Batman and Superman as she murders everyone in her path. As a warrior that’s just how it goes and especially in war time. The first villain, Doctor Poison is basically just your average scientist so there’s not much to say about her. She came and went. Hopefully she would not return for a sequel since I want to stick to fighters who can fight back. Adding in Aresia to the 2nd film would make sense if you ask me. She would be a great opponent.

Overall, Wonder Woman is a good film. It has a pretty great climax and Wonder Woman herself is a good lead. The film tripped up a bit with the below average writing and supporting cast, but that wasn’t enough to destroy the film. There’s no after credits scene I’m afraid, but I suppose DC didn’t want people to claim they were copying Marvel. Hopefully Justice League has one though. If you haven’t seen it yet, then you should definitely check the film out. Low replay value is an issue with the film, but it’s not something that would affect you on a first viewing. Wonder Woman will certainly play a major role in upcoming films so you’ll want to see her origin first hand.

Overall 6/10

Batman V Superman Dawn of Justice Review

All right, here we go! This is a film that I’ve been hyped for ever since it was announced. Man of Steel is still one of the greatest comic book films of all time and I teeter between it and Avengers quite a lot. One day I may say that Avengers is better and the next I’ll go back to Man of Steel. It’s a tough choice since Man of Steel obliterates Avengers when it comes to action while Avengers has the better dialogue. At the time of this writing it’s safe to say that I’m going with Man of Steel, but who knows in the future I suppose. You may have heard, but this film has been critically panned and everyone is complaining about the film. I’m not surprised though. Ever since the very beginning of the film’s announcement, I knew that it would be too much for the general audience. This isn’t Deadpool, where the dirty jokes and over the top violence will keep the audience smiling. This isn’t even the Avengers where you have a joke every 30 seconds to make you smile. Batman V Superman is simply an action movie that pits the two most popular superheroes of all time against each other and it succeeds! It doesn’t need any fluff to keep you entertained. Technically my review has no real spoilers in my opinion…but I recommend watching the film first just in case.

Although, it was fun to see the coincidences as I walked into the theater. For starters, there were a few people who left the earlier showing about 30 minutes early. How do I know? Well, I got there around 2 and a half hours early to wait in the line with many other die hard DC fans. There was even some Street Fighter music blasting in the background. Then, when I walked into the film, there was a little kid kicking my seat the entire time. I’m guessing that a critic must have hired her to stop me from having the ultimate theater experience that I was expecting. All right, with the premise out of the way, let’s launch into the film.

Superman’s infamous battle with General Zod destroyed a large part of Metropolis and also crushed one of the big Wayne Enterprises buildings. There were thousands of fatalities as critics of the first film were quick to point out. I certainly don’t buy the reasoning that Superman could have lured Zod away. Both combatants were at around equal strength so good luck stopping fatalities in that situation. The neck snap is another issue altogether and Pokemon actually did a homage to the final fight, but with the correct ending in Mewtwo vs Genesect. An excellent movie in its own right as well. Either way, Batman blames Superman for what happened and has decided that the Man of Steel must die.

Superman is struggling with regaining his confidence because a lot of people are doubting him. He goes into a terrorist area to save Lois Lane, but then he’s framed for destroying a bunch of terrorists because they were shot while he was in the area. First, I have to point out how unrealistic this is. Superman doesn’t use guns so how was this really a set up? The only way it can possibly work is if the bodies were completely ground to dust so there was no evidence, but there was nothing said to even hint at this so it seems like people just ignored the evidence lying inside of the victims. The whole thing was just a little laughable.

A bomb also goes off just when Superman is about to make a speech to try and defend himself so that’s essentially the last straw for Batman. Once he gets his hands on some Kryptonite, then it’s time for the fight to begin. The third plot is about Lex Luthor as he continues to make a mockery of the original comic book character. This was one of the biggest miscasts that I’ve ever seen. This guy just can’t play Lex and he probably shouldn’t play any comic book character again after this. He’s always shaking and trying to have an epic moment, but they all fall flat.

Then from the trailer you know that the film ultimately ends with the three heroes taking on Doomsday. There was a lot of controversy about the trailer showing too much, but I always chuckle at the notion. A trailer can’t show too much. Ultimately, you want to know as much of the film as possible or at least the hype moments. Without Doomsday, the trailer would not have been quite as good. This way you get to be hyped up for a few months rather than a few minutes while watching the film. Throw in your spoilers, twists, after credit scenes, and everything else into the trailers. If it makes them more epic, then you’ve succeeded. Dialogue is a different matter. You want to have the big lines, but I feel like using the comedy lines in a trailer can be tricky since you know that they’re coming so you won’t laugh or even break a smile when you hear them again. I’d say that Marvel’s typically the guiltiest of this as DC doesn’t believe in jokes anyway.

Let’s take a look at some of the critical lines in the film and how they hold up. “Be their hero Clark, be their Angel, be their monument, be anything they need you to be…….or be none of it. You don’t owe this world a thing. You never did.” The first part of the line is fairly good. Sometimes you have to sacrifice what you want to do in order to do what you should do. Of course, it also sounds a little extreme and part of Superman’s problem in this film is that he’s essentially letting himself become a bit of an angel figure for the people. As a Christian throughout his comic history, Superman definitely wouldn’t let himself be presented in that way. Still, the overall message of being a hero and a symbol to people is something that Superman’s always done and you would expect Martha to give him some sound advice here. Instead…she tells him that he can just not do that? To abandon Earth because he doesn’t owe them anything. Gee..I wouldn’t want her to be pep talking my Super Smash Bros crew! It’s similar to how Pa Kent told Superman to let everyone die in the first film. It just comes off as a terrible thing to say and maybe the intention is to show that the world has corrupted them too since that’s a bit of a moral here, but it’s a shame that it comes at the expense of these two characters. Corrupted Ma Kent was really terrible in this film.

Next line is Bruce Wayne’s iconic line about Clark Kent and the Daily Planet being hypocritical. *quote grabbed from IMDB* “The Daily Planet criticizing those who think they’re above the law is a little hypocritical, wouldn’t you say? Considering every time your hero saves a cat out of a tree, you write a puff piece editorial about an alien that could burn the whole place down.” Bruce Wayne is trying to sound really tough and menacing here, but the actual line doesn’t really make any sense if you ask me. Since when has Superman been above the law? I highly doubt that Bruce would have simply allowed a friend to have been killed in a terrorist war camp if he had been around. If he’s referring to Superman attacking General Zod, then he’s no better than the masses as there wasn’t another choice. All Superman has been doing is helping people and mitigating global disasters so Bruce just comes off as desperate here. He’s the one killing all of the random minions, not Superman. I never agreed with the line from the start, but then again…I tend to disagree with just about everything that Batman does in this film.

Finally, let’s get into Lex Luthor’s philosophical question. He states that if God is All Powerful, then he cannot be All Good. If he is All Good, then he is not All Powerful. After all, then why do bad things happen to people? Well, that’s a question you will likely get asked a lot as a Christian. It can get followed up by other gems like why give humans free will if they will just use it to commit atrocious crimes and if he knows all, then do our decisions even matter? Well, humanity without free will is not really much of anything. If we didn’t have free will, we’d basically be robots so we essentially wouldn’t exist. Free will is a necessity and it is the right thing to do, even if it means that life’s going to be hard for most of us. Your decisions naturally do matter. God knows what you will do, but you do not, nor does anyone else. You still have to live your life in the best way possible and you should strive to be the best Christian possible. Finally, God can be All Good and All Powerful without contradicting either statement. It’s well within his power to stop all wrong doings, but doing so would certainly violate free will and that would not be the right thing to do. It would be the easy move to make, but we have to learn from our mistakes and willingly choose to follow him. Otherwise the whole endeavor is pointless anyway.

Those were the big lines so now let’s tackle the more specific positives and negatives of the film. There are a bunch of them to get through here so lets start! An easy positive is certainly the fight scenes in the movie. I loved the battles in Man of Steel even if they were ahead of their time. Movie goers and critics aren’t quite ready for these high levels of CGI. As a huge video game fan, I’ve had time to get used to them and I feel like they more accurately show off the true powers of a titan like Superman than if they went for a more realistic hand to hand battle. In fact, I’d say that this style has severely made characters like Thor and Hulk look weaker than they should. At this point in time, I don’t even consider DC vs Marvel in terms of live action fighting capabilities to even be a debate. Superman would effortlessly crush the Avengers. Look at how Thor had to retreat from an array of bullets or how the Hulk took a lot of damage against the Abomination. Superman’s already fought opponents far stronger and faster than any Marvel counterparts. That’s why it’s important to have a good action scene.

The battles in Man of Steel and Batman V Superman are the best comic book fight scenes of all time. There is nothing even comparable or remotely close to it. The best Marvel fight scene to date is Kurse vs Thor and even that fight was still very quick and was over before you knew it. We don’t have a chance to have battles quite as insanely awesome as in Man of Steel for the most part since Batman can’t move at those speeds anyway, but the final fight with Doomsday is pretty close and it was a blast to see. Whenever there is an action scene in this film, it delivers.

I also greatly enjoyed the soundtrack. Wonder Woman’s theme is naturally the standout one. When she appears it really compliments her big scene of saving Batman. It’s an action scene with a sort of nostalgic undertone that’s hard to place, but gives the theme some depth. Batman’s theme is also fairly good although it’s a little less obvious that it’s his theme. There’s also what I call the “Justice League” theme that shows up for all of the big cameos and hype moments leading into Justice League. It was hard not to laugh when it first played as someone was looking at a photograph since it’s intense rock and felt a little out of place, but I’m always up for a good tune. It can play during a very emotional moment and I’d still be okay with it. There should never be silence when there could be a good theme playing instead. The whole film feels very epic and thematic as a result of these themes and since Man of Steel also delivered with a lot of incredible tunes (Or one good one that kept on repeating over and over again) in Man of Steel, I hope to see this trend continue in Justice League.

Let’s dip into the negatives for a second. We do get a random bath scene with Lois as she and Superman try to talk about the bad situation that he’s in, but it feels really unnecessary. Superman can’t even give her a decent response and just pulls a cop out by jumping in. Avengers didn’t have to use any phony gimmicks like this to try and grab ticket sales and you don’t need this scene. It’s just a waste of time and they could have used the extra time for more fight scenes or something. The romance also doesn’t work because Superman and Lois hardly talk to each other and don’t even seem all that close. It’s not the romance that we needed, but I suppose that it’s the one we deserved considering the Rotten Tomatoes score. (I admit that I’ll never grow out of that Dark Knight reference)

Let’s talk about our first main character, Lex Luthor. I knew that he’d be a disgrace to the great villain right when I saw the trailer and I was not wrong. My hunches are usually right on the money with this kind of thing. Why is it so hard to adapt a villain properly nowadays? Mandarin, Ultron, Joker, etc. Lately we just don’t know how to bring the big villains onto the big screen without embarrassing ourselves either a lot or a little. In Luthor’s case, he’s the worst villain yet and only Joker may give him a run for his money in Suicide Squad. Luthor is essentially a comic relief Luthor who may be a little smart, but he’s so over the top that it just doesn’t matter. One of the most face palm worthy moments was when he forced a senator type guy to eat a candy. Seriously…whyyyyyyyyy. There’s not much to say about how bad this guy is except for the fact that it looks like he’ll unfortunately return for some other titles in the future. I’m just glad that he didn’t end up getting any supernatural powers at the end. I was worried that the film was going to go there for a minute or two and that would have been truly devastating! We need an actor/personality switch for this guy pronto. It was the biggest failing of the movie and Lex is the worst character by far.

Time to talk about the big controversial character in the film..Batman! We grew up with a Batman who didn’t use guns and who didn’t kill people under any circumstances. This Batman doesn’t believe in that since he’s based on the Miller version who is jaded with the world and is willing to murder anyone in his way. Now, he’s not quite as extreme as I was worried he’d be, but Batman does murder/torture people. He uses guns openly to take out many soldiers in the future where morals have been pushed to the wayside and in the present he uses his Bat Car armaments as well as his plane to kill a lot of minions. Even in the hand to hand fight scene it’s heavily implied that he broke some people based on how they landed. This Batman is pretty petty at times as well. In one scene a minion managed to stab him so Batman quickly picked the guy up and grabbed the spear so he could stab him through a wall. That ought to teach him eh! Alfred even lets us know that Batman was not always like this, but things have changed. It seems that Robin was the last straw.
What’s supposed to make you feel better about this is the fact that Batman only murders criminals. Think of it this way. Batman has finally become the vigilante that the cops always feared he would be and they actually support him this time. Yes, the cops are finally on Batman’s side for once now that he is willing to cross the line and deal out lethal punishment. We even see the aftermath of when he breaks into a lab and let’s just say that the fight seemed to have gotten pretty deadly. Again, the film tried to show us that we can sympathize with him because the people that he tortures by branding a logo on their body are the worst of the worst from the criminals. In the end, that’s not how Batman should operate and slowly but surely, the films are trying to make our superheroes cross the line more and more by placing them in tough moral situations. What happened to Superheroes making the right decisions no matter the cost?

Still……Batman was pretty likable. He just feels more like a villain or a hero who is willing to become a villain in order to seek vengeance. See, let’s not take Batman at his word about how he needs to protect the future by murdering Superman. He just wants to kill the guy because Superman destroyed a lot of his employees and friends during the fight in Man of Steel. He feels like he owes something to the fallen and he has to avenge them no matter the cost. No matter how you look at it, revenge is really the only thing that he’s after and that can still be a compelling reason to follow. I’ve always thought that the concept of doing something evil and beforehand knowing that it was so in order to potentially save others even if they don’t know it to be an interesting plot point. It’s been used several times like Homura’s final actions in Madoka Magica Rebellion or the Question’s attempt to kill Lex Luthor over in Justice League. Still, when you really cut to the chase, willingly committing such an act makes you just as guilty as any other criminal. A sin by any other name is still a sin. It’s fun to follow Batman’s story arc from his perspective and that’s what makes the first half so interesting, but I was certainly never in doubt that I had chosen the right side with Superman.

Batman’s Bruce Wayne persona was handled pretty well. He attends events as part of his strategy and never goes overboard with trying to prove that he’s not Batman. It’s pretty futile anyway as just about everyone seems to know who he is. The last straw was the fact that a certain villain knows his identity and tricks him consistently throughout the film. I mean really? Isn’t Batman supposed to be some kind of detective? He certainly gets suckered a lot here and even Wonder Woman is able to steal his encryption device with ease. She does have super speed which gives her a bit of an advantage, but you feel bad for Batman. Things really don’t go his way at first. He does believe that he’s fighting for the human race in his justifications though so at least he gets the cool Rocky type montage as he works out to prepare for his fist fight with Superman.

Superman is another interesting figure. He’s still not sure what he should be doing. He’s used by multiple characters and he refuses to ever come to his own defense when people accuse him. Superman’s extremely out of character and the fact that he so openly talks about killing Batman when, let’s face it, the villain’s not going to keep his end of the deal is just sad. I mean come on guys. I could write a better Superman when I was three. He also really plays up the savior aspect although part of it is the fact that the director loved to use slow-mo cam whenever possible. Superman’s always striking a pose of looking up at the sky or slowly floating down from it. When he arrives at the court hearings, he stays in the air for a few good minutes so everyone could see him before he landed. I mean, the facial expressions can crack you up a lot during the movie, but it’s unintentional. It’s definitely hilarious to see Batman and Superman constantly glaring at each other like in the future segment. I remember people making fun of that a lot when it first came out in the trailer.

The film still got Superman’s power levels right for the most part. The whole taking a hostage at gun point should have absolutely no effect on someone with Superman’s level of speed and it doesn’t. Superman is able to take Doomsday into space and honestly that probably would have been the end of it if the government hadn’t intervened, but that did a good job of showing off Superman’s high level of regeneration when next to the sun. Superman’s a hard guy to keep down after all and he’s still the strongest comic book character of all time. He’s also the most morally sound one, which is something that I wish the film had showed a little more. His line about how nobody stays good on this planet is a terrible one. Superman’s whole character arc is that he always does the right thing no matter how tough it is. Don’t start having him admit that he may not be able to succeed or that he’ll eventually be forced into making the wrong call. That’s just not Superman.

Wonder Woman got the biggest role from the superheroes after Batman and Superman. She had the best theme in the film and she gets a good role in the final battle with Doomsday. She seems fairly strong physically so I hope to see more of that in Justice League. I’m still not crazy about her using a sword since I feel like it undermines her strength a bit like with Thor, but she is evidently still powerful enough to restrain Doomsday even if just for a little bit so that’s a good start and she has a lot of speed. She was definitely portrayed well here and she doesn’t have to have as much drama as the other two. She was actually having fun during the whole film until she finally decided to step in and fight. What were the other two doing? Well, Batman was brooding a lot and getting ready to possibly die while Superman was doubting himself and feeling sad the entire time. It’s easy to see who is handling the situation best here. Although, I do wish that Wonder Woman had been told about the dream of the future instead of Batman just saying that the League would be needed soon.

Let’s not forget the side characters like Lois Lane and Perry. Lois was pretty good as she did her best to exonerate Superman and put herself in the line of fire a lot. It did ultimately make things dicey for Superman, but a reporter’s got to do what she’s got to do I suppose. She came through in the clutch for the team near the end when she revealed the truth about Superman’s cryptic words. She still may not seem a whole lot like the Lois from the comics, but she’s a good character. I actually liked Perry as well even if he’s comically bad. He doesn’t stand for the right things anymore and doesn’t want to ruffle any feathers. Neither does the government so maybe everyone just doesn’t mind letting themselves get stopped by the powers of a profitable company. Perry was always giving Clark Kent the wrong advice so we’ll see if he changes his tune after the heroes helped save the world or if he’ll hey even more extreme. Either way, he was pretty entertaining though.

This film gives us a lot of glimpses into the future of what DC is planning. We get cameos for three other Justice League members. One of them is horribly miscast though. Unfortunately he has black hair. Not blond and not red, but black. Seriously? You can’t even properly get a character’s appearance right anymore? Let’s just say that a certain TV show did really well with this guy so I would expect better from a big budget film although I had already called the fact a long time ago that the show wouldn’t be surpassed here. The suit and actor look much better in the show and people are already very used to that version so it’s going to be a little dicey. Another character’s only cameo was a lot of yelling so no comment there. As for the third, he’s not miscast per say, but he looked terrible since he seemed to be confused in his own element and he was very slow. The scene was horribly filmed for some reason. Well…I’m sure they’ll look better in their own films….probably. I just want Green Lantern at this point so he can keep everyone in check.

Batman also gets a vision of the future or a possible future. There are many theories about this and I can think of at least 6 myself, but that’s practically a cop out so let’s go with the most likely one. Darkseid is going to wage a war on Earth and without the Justice League in existence, what will happen is that they will take over and they will convince/trick Superman into joining them by framing Batman for murdering Lois Lane based on the whole “You took her from me!” line. That’s why Batman is told that he needs to form the League. If the League is available from the get go, then this will never happen so I don’t expect the scene to directly ever come into being. Since the League will be there to prevent this from happening in the first place, I’m confident that Darkseid’s war won’t be as successful. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be surprised if the films want to use the really old and beaten Superman is evil trope, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and will say that they avoid it this time.

This film is about two hours and a half do it decides to use the first 100 or so minutes on build up before the actual fight starts. I’m fine with this because the set up is where you start to get the hype going. Naturally, both characters don’t get along and they do meet before the actual fight. Batman’s plot is very interesting to follow and the whole movie went by incredibly fast. I would have easily watched the film even if it was another hour or two longer. If anything, that would have been nice to have explored more options, set up Justice League a bit more, or just to give us another Batman vs Superman fight.

Their fight happens near the end of the film and it’s pretty hype. Naturally, there is a ton of plot hax here, but as I mentioned before the film, I didn’t really care who won. Batman has his prep time meme that I love so much and if he won it would give his fans more ammo to use against Superman in all future debates. I’m fine with Superman winning as well since he’s physically got the massive edge and he could beat Batman in a heartbeat. Either way I would probably call plot hax. Suffice it to say, Batman does get prep time for this fight and there is a clear winner. There is no tie or a similar cop out like that, which I was thrilled about. Nothing’s worse than seeing the film just take the easy way out so that they don’t anger the fans. *coughIron Man vs Thor. Vision vs Thor. Thor vs Hulk.cough* Either way, I think you’ll be satisfied with the fight, even considering that one of the fighters wasn’t doing all that much fighting which made the fight a little more lopsided.

Afterwards, the plan to save someone was a little sketchy though. Considering that there were only about 5 minutes and how close the whole thing was, it was a super risky plan. In fact, it’s a plan that should not have worked. The instant that everyone started to get attacked outside, I’m pretty sure that the hostage would have been destroyed. It certainly made more sense for Superman to have done the whole thing on his own, but superheroes are typically lucky I suppose. They only aren’t when it’s relevant to the plot. Whenever a villain tells the hero to freeze and they basically say “lol no” as they run towards the villain and punch him out, it seems like plot hax. The villain could have easily just have shot and the whole thing would not have boded well for the heroes. Still, it’s just something that happens I suppose. On a slightly smaller level of plot hax, I have to say that it was iffy how easily Lex infiltrated the alien ship. Kryptonian tech is a lot better than that so it was a bit of a disappointing scene.

Doomsday certainly did not disappoint as the big villain. It would have been awesome if he had talked like in the Justice League show, but maybe next time. He adapts so you never know if he’ll appear again someday. He made for a great villain even if the fight had some plot hax with how Superman suddenly stopped using his speed and focused on power. It was a credit to his endurance though since Superman was pretty exhausted when the fight first started. Doomsday’s great energy blasts were certainly thrilling to see on the big screen and I look forward to seeing how Darkseid is handled. I definitely trust these guys to accurately show off his design. Picture Thanos and Apocalypse, but even cooler.

Finally, I’ll also give DC credit for not making this film overly violent and gritty like their animated films. I actually didn’t find the film all that violent at all since it was basically bloodless like The Dark Knight. In fact, I’d say that the Dark Knight was more violent thanks to the pencil scene. There was nothing like that here which would make you wince or look away. Most of it is very stylized and that’s why I would actually say that they handled the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents a lot better than any other film or show. They died in basically the least violent way possible. The climax is all hype as well with terrific action and no unnecessary elements.

DC vs Marvel has always been a big debate through the years. DC has always won on the animated front even if Marvel has the current edge while Marvel had the edge in live action. Man of Steel is the greatest comic book film live action-wise, but Marvel would win through sheer numbers. Well, that’s no longer the case. With Batman V Superman in the books now, the tides have turned and DC now wins in this area as well. I don’t see Marvel mounting a comeback..ever really. Unless DC goes on a huge downwards slide, these two films should be able to keep them afloat and the rivalry has finally ended. With this, DC beats Marvel in every area under which they compete. Good games Marvel. You can keep your high RT scores and big universe, but I’ll take DC’s cheat codes of throwing in their 3 biggest characters without all of the individual movies and set up. If it works, why not right?

That’s not to say that all of DC’s films are going to be fantastic after this though. I still think that Suicide Squad is going to be quite bad and the trailer still looks really sad. That is a film that I have absolutely no hopes for, but at least the bar is set really low so there’s always the slim shot that it could surprise me. There’s the possibility right? Marvel’s films are consistently good so I’ll give them credit there. DC’s are all over the place with hit or miss titles, but when they hit, they hit quite effectively!
Overall, Batman V Superman was a blast. Honestly, I doubt I even came close to touching on everything here, but the film review really would go on forever otherwise so if you have any specific questions about something that was not addressed, feel free to leave a comment. I still think that the film should have been called Batman Vs Superman, but I guess the S got lost in the budget cuts. I really look forward to Justice League and seeing Superman get to team up with some of the other heroes. He needs to prove that he’s faster than the Flash and stronger than any other character. That’s part of what makes him the ultimate hero, but they also need to make him nicer and more talkative like the Superman that we know. Rather than brooding and striking poses as if he was Batman, Superman needs to show his leadership qualities as well. As for Batman, he needs to start murdering less. It’s possible that I’m over analyzing the ending, but I feel like he is starting to show some development there so that would be awesome if true. Don’t listen to the bad reviews. Critics/General Audience viewers just weren’t ready for this one yet. You have to realize that the action scenes and plot move at a very quick pace and a lot of things happen so if it’s overwhelming for you, then you may want to take a few more months to prepare yourself first. Play some memory games and Chess battles first to warm yourself before walking in. Then prepare yourself for epicness and a next gen experience! Oh and I almost forgot, no worries if you were sad about the property damage and loss of life last time because the character makes sure to constantly remind us that the areas where they fight are uninhabited so there are basically no fatalities this time around. See, the heroes still care about the little guys even when the world is at stake. That’s what being a hero truly is!

Overall 9/10

Update 12/2/2019 I realized that I had not actually put any film with the 10 star title. This one claims victory in that arena with a slight win over Infinity War and Man of Steel.

Overall 10/10