TL;DR – After a long time, they nailed what it is to do a Batman film.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene, there is a thing at the end, but you can Google it rather than stay back for it.
Disclosure – I paid to watch this film
Warning – some scenes in this film use flashing lights.
The Batman Review –
I don’t think it will be news to anyone that the DC Extended Universe has been a bit hit and miss. The race to get to the Justice League film meant that there was no time to establish your characters, and one of the significant casualties of that was Batman. While it was clear that Ben Affleck was throwing his all into it, the character never found its feet. This all led to a mix of emotions when it was announced that there would be a stand-alone Batman film, but DC adjacent and starring Robert Pattinson. Thankfully, I should not have worried.
So to set the scene, it is Halloween in Gotham City, a city that is barely holding it together after years of corruption and nepotism. However, that night Mayor Don Mitchell Jr. (Rupert Penry-Jones) looks at his dwindling polling numbers. A figure appears in the background and strikes. The Riddler (Paul Dano) has made his first kill. However, while the city might be on the precipice, there is at least one farce trying to stop the crime, the masked crusader, the dark night, vengeance himself, the Batman (Robert Pattinson).
TL;DR – A film that explores the joyous and sad moments if our lives through the prism of someone who falls out of societies prism of normality.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene but there is a kickass song about Batman so that’s something.
Having a baby is one of the most joyous moments in your life, however, it can
also be full of dread. Will the baby be okay, will I, what will our future be,
have we baby-proofed the house? However, I don’t think anyone has had to deal
with “what are our strategies for getting
the baby off the ceiling.”
So to set the scene, in a small town in Italy a car races the nearest medical
centre as that time has come. Natalia (Michela Cescon) is rushed into that
hospital with only her mother Alina (Elena Cotta) at her side. But this is not
a normal pregnancy because as the baby comes out it begins to rise into the ceiling
with only the umbilical cord keeping it attached. Natalia races out of the
centre without leaving her name but when they get home they call the boy Oscar
as he is like an American superhero. All it well for a moment until that is the
local gossips come around to see the baby.
TL;DR – This film is so thirsty for you money with that nostalgia dollar, but like most mirages, there is not an oasis at the end, just a barren wasteland
Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Well, um, well, that was very much a film, and it is a film that both fascinating to watch, yet also deeply hollow. It was honestly weird to see a film with so many contradictions, made by one of the best filmmakers of our time. However, it feels in many ways like a lot of the throwaway faff that we see on screen all the time, completely without substance. So just a quick aside, with today’s review I can’t really comment on how well this is an adaption of the source material because I have never read it. As well as that, unfortunately, this does mean that I can’t tell you if this movie does not work because of the directions that they took in the adaptation, or because the source material just gave them not much to work with. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a film that launched a thousand top 10 lists.
TL;DR – Is it as good as Wonder Woman, no not by a long shot, but it is also not the steaming mess like the last two films, so there has been some improvement here.
Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars
P.S. – There is a mid and end credit scene.
Ok before we start I need to say that this is actually a very hard film to review because while it shouldn’t matter, you can’t avoid not looking into the issues this film had in pre-production. Firstly, you have the disastrous reaction to both Batman v Superman (see review) and Suicide Squad (see review) hitting after production had already started, and you can see the course correction that they tried to make here. But also during production Zach Snyder’s family suffered a great tragedy and he stepped aside which meant that the reshoots and final edit was completed by Joss Whedon. So it is hard to work out where to direct criticism, but also you don’t want to heap stuff on someone who has suffered greatly. So will all this groundwork I will try my best to be objective here but you can’t help but bring outside stuff into this.
TL;DR – It takes the very best of Batman, adds in some great animation and adds an interesting villain, I highly recommend it
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
“I’m Batman”, it is a phrase so common I bet you just said it in your head Christian Bale style or indeed Will Arnett style. Batman is one of those unambiguous pop-culture references and touchstones that everyone knows about even if they have never read a comic or seen a movie. So if you are a marketing executive you are loving this exposure, however, the Batman from the Lego films is a parody and an almost one-note parody at that. This is a problem because we have seen over and over again when you take the zany side character and give them their own film it often doesn’t work, see the last Pirates of the Caribbean. So with today’s review, we are going to take a moment to look at what lead to the creation of this film, then look at the animation, story and characters, and see if it holds up.
TL;DR – Sigh, oh DC, it really looked like you tried on this movie, but boy the best that you can do is an aggressively mediocre outing that adds nothing to the franchise, and as a self-contained film – well you can do a lot worse, but you can also do a lot better.
Score – 2 out of 5 stars
P.S. There is a mid-credits scene
When it comes to that whole DC v Marvel comics rivalry which seems to permeate the internet these days, for me this was one of those arguments that was never really a factor in my life growing up. This is because we didn’t really get the comics where I lived, but what we did get was the animated series, like X-Men and Batman, and they were not aired in competition with each other, and indeed sometimes aired on the same TV channel. So growing up you were not a DC or Marvel person, it was more “did you see that episode yesterday”, I feel I really need to start with this up front because I really want this Justice League series to work, I really do. However I don’t think Suicide Squad is the film that will do it, and in fact all it does is show that DC/WB just don’t seem to know how to get this movie series off the ground. At best it is average, and at worse it is quite problematic, but in the end it is not really all that engaging and you’ll probably forget most of it within a day of watching it.
So within the space of a month, we have two films from two competing companies based on the same premise and one was amazing and the other was a bit crap. So the question is what Captain America Civil War do better than Batman v Superman, and why did this make such a big difference?
The first thing is Captain America is the 13 film, and only now are they starting to get their main characters to fight each other. With BvS it is literally the second film in the series, Batman and Superman might be classic characters of cinema but you have never really had them interacting with each other before. Because of this, there is no history that gives the battle between Superman and Batman any weight, meanwhile, we have gotten to know Captain America, Iron Man and the whole cast so when they fight it means something.
TL;DR – An utter mess of a film, disjointed, nonsensical, and a very poor foundation for DC to build their Justice League series on
Score – 2 out of 5 stars
You know I wanted to be surprised by Batman v Superman, it looked rushed, it looked like they had not given enough thought before rushing ahead with their Avengers competition, it looked like they were making all the same mistakes Sony made with Spiderman, but still, I wanted to like it, but alas this is an incoherent mess of a film with only momentary glimpses of being any good. To get us started, Batman v Superman starts with us experiencing the climax of the last film from Bruce Wayne’s (Ben Affleck) perspective, we then jump forward to two years later where a bat vigilante is attacking criminals in Gotham across the bay from Metropolis, Lois Lane (Amy Adams) is in Africa being the damsel in distress (a role she will be stuck in for this film) and everyone else is politely pretending that Clark Kent and Superman (Henry Cavill) are not the same person.