I recently got to see the film Batman v Superman. I never did a review. Why? Because that film is TERRIBLE. It’s one of the bafflingly-bad movies I have seen in a very long time. I mean, how is it they were able to fuck that up? How could they possibly fuck up a concept that an animated film did perfectly (The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2)? It was a film that was so bad that I was genuinely impressed. Zack Snyder had to try and make a movie that incomprehensibly terrible. My favorite bit was the training montage. How a scene that ridiculous was expected to be taken seriously is beyond me. How did Armoured Skeptic put it?
I’m gonna drag this tire, ’cause I’m Batman! I’m gonna hit this tire with a hammer, ’cause I’m Batman!
My score for that movie would likely have been a 4 or 5. However, in comes along this movie. A movie that so many people have been stoked for, and not only did it deliver, but it did so in a way that only a movie done by these two directors could have. I am in love with this movie, and now I mean to talk about it.
The plot goes that after a botched mission where Cap and the rest of the Avengers end up blowing up a good deal of innocent people, the UN decides that they have let them go about their business without oversight for long enough. A piece of legislation is drafted that splits the Avengers in two. This wouldn’t be so bad, except things go from bad to worse when there is an attack on the signing ceremony. Implicated in the attack is the Captain’s old friend, Bucky. As the plot thickens, friends are pitted against friends, and a newcomer with a Jones for vengeance is out for Bucky’s blood. Who’s right? Well, just like the last film these two directed, the answers aren’t especially clear.
I did a review where I talked about how much I loved Winter Soldier. Not only did it take some hard looks at the concept of a superhero, but it also had a very bittersweet tone where you don’t know if the good guys truly won or not by the end. I loved that. I’m getting SO tired of these by-the-numbers superhero films. There are a fuck-ton of them, and each is more uninspired than the last. But the other thing I loved about that movie was the action. Not only was it slick. Not only was it well-choreographed, but it was so visceral! It felt like there were people actually getting hurt. These two are back, and it is every bit as perfect as I could have asked for. To date, this is my favorite superhero film. It has everything I have wanted and more.
What things truly stood out? I could talk about how good all the elements of this film were, but the reality is that that would get a bit redundant. I will say that this is the best film for the kind of film it can be. So while it may seem cheap, I can’t give this film a perfect score. It is still a superhero movie, and that comes with all the hangups that this genre has. With that being said, certain things about this movie were just awesome.
First is Black Panther. When I first saw this character, I was entranced. This guy is nine kinds of cool! The fight sequences with him were just amazing. This guy and how badass he is genuinely stole a lot of the show, for me. What’s more, he is an interesting character. They make him a very unique guy, with his need for revenge and his pain being at the forefront. Hell, even when he isn’t in costume, this dude is eight kinds of cool. But here’s something I want to talk about, and this won’t be particularly well-received – how is this guy going to star in his own movie? I mean, what is there for him to overcome? He’s a badass warrior and a king of a nation. It’s kind of hard to see where his character can go from there. I will give his upcoming film (or did they cancel that? I could have swore I heard something about that. Let me know in the Comments) a fair shake, but I am a little skeptical of where his character can go from the top of the mountain.
Next up is the ultimate fight between the various heroes. I cannot tell you how nice it is to have a superhero film where the climax isn’t just a fight against waves of nameless thugs. Now it’s a battle of ideals, with both sides having good points and being unable to come together. However, the big showdown is nine kinds of cool. I am so glad that we had the Russo brothers directing this. Only they could have made it so that every part of the fight look like it was part of a larger tapestry of battle. The pacing of that battle was perfect. It kept building and building, then comes crashing down in a perfect wave of tension-busting. It’s a genuinely emotional scene, where you have Tony Stark getting genuinely angry and looking hurt.
One thing I have to say is that the way each character is addressed and their motivations looked at is so nice. For a cast this large, this film could have glossed over a lot and felt half-done. But they didn’t. This is a LONG superhero movie, and all the better. It gives us time to really get to know everybody and why they believe the way they do. It makes choosing whose side you’re on that much harder. Both sides have legit points.
But the thing I love most is how the film comes together. Just like the last film, it’s bittersweet. There is the final battle, which I won’t spoil for the people who haven’t seen it. Let’s just say that I did NOT see that coming, and it blew me away. Not only was the emotional energy peaked, but it kept building and building, to the point that when it all comes crashing down, you feel like you are coming down with it.
All in all, as I said, this is the best superhero film I have seen, to date. I have wanted a movie like this for so long. After all the boredom of superhero films, this year is really shining. I honestly can’t wait to see what’s next. For those who haven’t seen it, do. I guarantee you, it is worth every minute.
9 out of 10