Took the son to see Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. It was his idea, and I believe in being a nice dad. So we went this afternoon, and sat alongside eight other people in a largely vacant theater.
I can’t think of the last time I entered a cinema so completely prepared to detest a film. I mean, all parents worth their salt have sat through some brutal cartoon flicks. But those are generally bad simply because we’re old and they’re not entirely for us. My low expectations for Batman vs. Superman were based upon several factors:
• 1. The last Superman flick, Man of Steel, also starred Henry Cavill, and it was—without exaggeration—a charmless chunk of pure dreadfulness.
• 2. After Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale teamed for three-straight raw, gritty Batman films, Ben Affleck stepped into the dark suit for this one. And Ben Affleck, well, blows.
• 3. Wonder Woman sightings.
There are more reasons. Plenty more. But those are the big ones. And, to be clear, much of Batman vs. Superman is bad. Really bad. The plot makes no sense whatsoever. Amy Adams (a generally fine actress) brings nothing to Lois Lane, and I still can’t figure out why Kevin Costner was here. There are brief appearances by the Flash and Aquaman, but I’m not entirely sure why (save to tease us for Justice League movies down the pipe). The biggest issue (for me) is Batman’s desire to kill Superman, which went against absolutely everything the Dark Knight has ever stood for. It was simply a forced way to tell a story, because some story needed to be told.
So, yeah, this was not a particularly good flick.
And yet …
I enjoyed it. Like, really enjoyed it. For 2 1/2 hours, I found myself legitimately entertained. Jesse Eisenberg has caught some shit for his unique portrayal of Lex Luthor, but I thought he was every bit as good as Gene Hackman back in the day. Affleck (to my shock) actually did the whole dark brooding thing quite well, and Cavill seemed significantly more comfortable this time around. Even Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was solid and sorta unique.
As I left the theater, I turned to my boy and said, “So, what’d you think?”
“That was terrible,” he said.
Shockingly, I disagreed.