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Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #308 - Batman vs. Superman vs. Deadpool
So, I had been gearing up to write this review of Batman vs. Superman, but it had not yet fully congealed into a substance in my head.
I was going to crib from this: SCALZI ON BATMAN vs. SUPERMAN, which I rather liked and agreed with much of.
And then, Sunday (Mother's Day), I watched Deadpool.
Congealed to substance.
I have never been a big Deadpool fan. I am not an avid reader of Deadpool solo comics, and I am still not 100% clear on Deadpool's origin. He showed up recently in Uncanny Avengers, and I remember asking in the comics shop: "so what is the deal with this guy again?"
Deadpool is a better comic book film than Superman v. Batman... oh wait, Batman vs. Superman. Because it has to be alphabetical?
WHY? Deadpool works in the same way The Guardians of the Galaxy works. It knows it's goofy, it embraces goofy, it twists the goofy, AND it delivers a clear and organic, SINGLE story.
There are things to like about Batman vs. Superman. There are many arresting visuals, especially for comic fans. There's the introduction of the Justice League heroes. There's Wonder Woman. Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor does not suck. Ben Affleck's Batman does not suck. Jeremy Irons as Alfred. I could do a longer list. The Batcave was cool.
But Batman vs. Superman suffers from two major problems: Blockbuster Syndrome and Story Fragmentation.
Batman vs. Superman does not really unify as a single, organic story. Sure, there's a through line for the narrative, sort of, but it's fractured by an episodic feel. If Batman vs. Superman was truly episode two of an ongoing saga and gave itself over completely to being an episode, then it might work better. But as a single story with a beginning, middle, and end, with rising action and denoument, it fails utterly and completely.
Batman vs. Superman also suffers from Blockbuster Syndrome. It knows its supposed to be a huge, blockbuster of a film, and so it tries to be too many things. Having Batman and Superman fight would have been enough for a film. Lex Luthor manipulating that to happen would have worked, but adding Wonder Woman and Doomsday is too much. Or maybe, just Doomsday because Wonder Woman could have worked, though with maybe a bit more prelude to her unveiling.
Also, either be serious or be funny, but you can't have both. Don't get me wrong. A serious comic book film is great and it's needed. And true, a serious comic book film needs some humor. But you can't pit Batman and Superman against each other, try to KILL EACH OTHER, and then have them joke around as if they're pals. That's bad writing.
Also, don't cut key scenes that we need to understand things. Sure, if you have a film that's pushing three hours, you have to cut somethings. I love super heroes but three hours is a bit much. Two and a half hours may be a bit much. So, trim that fat. But don't cut the scene in which Lex Luthor encounters something that will EXPLAIN why he knows someone is coming (Darkseid) at the end of the film. If you plan to END THE FILM with Lex Luthor's cryptic line, you cannot delete the set up. Your film's best Easter Eggs should not rely on me buying the DVD to watch deleted scenes. That's just obnoxious.
Doomsday was wasted. The whole story line about how the world regards Superman would have been a great through line if also not wasted. Lex Luthor manipulates behind the scenes to pit Batman and Superman against each other and then Wonder Woman ends it. But Luthor gets away and we see him making Doomsday for the next film. That's enough, especially if you don't waste the scene in which a vengeful cripple is used as a pawn to blow up a whole Senate hearing. This plot point was totally wasted. Lex Luthor engineers the murder of a dozen senators and over a hundred civilians and...NOTHING HAPPENS. Now it's time for Batman and Superman to fight. MORE bad writing.
Deadpool is a better film because it does not try to do too much. It knows it's a humor film and not a serious film, so it has humor throughout with some serious stuff, but it works because the story telling and the script works. A blockbuster film does not need three villains. It needs a good story. Sure, huge action scenes are cool and epic battles make a blockbuster busty, but without a good story, it's just a bunch of action scenes strung together with flimsy narrative bindings that don't clamp tightly.
Gal Gadot is a great Wonder Woman but I am still not buying Amy Adams as Lois Lane, and Morena Baccarin is still better than both of them.
I read somewhere (I think a Scalzi Twitter message) that Deadpool works because for once the douche Ryan Reynolds usually plays is his character in this film. This is a true thing. But the Green Lantern joke alone nails the essence of why this film is funny and RUDE. I also liked the breaking of the fourth wall throughout. Well done Deadpool crew.
But maybe it doesn't matter. If all you care about is the nerd audience, then nerds will see films no matter how terrible they are. I mean, come on. How many of us watched the Green Lantern, Daredevil, and Elektra movies? Superman IV anyone? Spider-Man III?? But is that all we care about now? The comic-con audience? Or are we striving for something more?
Still, I saw Batman vs. Superman because I had to for my nerd cred. And I gave it to myself as a treat. I left my Calculus final exam ten minutes early to get to the theatre and watch it.
And still, I liked Deadpool better, even setting aside my adulation for Morena Baccarin.
Reflect and connect.
Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.
Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.
- Days ago = 310 days ago
- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1605.10 - 9:30
|Will Morena Baccarin's character Vanessa become Domino?|
Instead of Copycat??