Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Superhero movies have been around for quite a while now in cinema, but since the 2000s superheroes have been gradually becoming a huge factor in popular culture and cinema. What Marvel has created in their cinematic universe is a huge achievement, that took many years to build. Many other franchises are wanting to follow this cinematic universe idea, one of them being DC. Director Zack Snyder released Man of Steel (2013), which brought us a new and exciting look at Superman. At last, we finally have a follow up to this origin story; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. These two are no doubt the most well known & popular superheroes. Everyone has a reason to be going frantic over the prospect of them going head to head.
The film opens up with Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) arriving in Metropolis during the massive fight between Superman & General Zod. The wreckage being caused is tremendous, and Bruce is witnessing the lives of the people in the surrounding area who are directly being affected by it. Fast forward 18 months and Superman’s (Henry Cavill) God-like strength & abilities bring him into a heap of trouble after being framed for something he didn’t do, which gives Bruce more incentive to put a cease to Superman’s existence. In the same city, Lex Luther (Jesse Eisenberg) is working to acquire a chunk of kryptonite which is the only thing that can greatly weaken Superman.
On paper this has to be one of the most mouth watering films one could think of, but honestly that’s where the movie fails, on paper, or for better words the script. To go to far into details would spoil the movie, but the writing is so poor. Man of Steel was able to humanize Superman and just the world he existed in with great effect, as my friend pointed out to me, which they did do here at times but mainly, I felt like he didn’t have much to say or do asides from constantly having to save Lois Lane (Amy Adams). Worst of all, Lex Luther was the worst character I’ve seen in a long long time. He fumbled over all his words to the point where the point of his speech ends abruptly leading to nothing. Additionally most of his lines came off as funny or cringe worthy; not once did it ever feel psychotic. Although to the script’s credit, Batman in this movie was absolutely superb. His reasoning for wanting to take down Superman was completely justified, and you could feel his anger and passion towards this, played exquisitely by Ben Affleck.
While the movie is called Batman v Superman, and it was marketed as a fight between the two, however never did I feel like it was going to be constant brawls between the two because Superman is too powerful or Batman could end it quickly with kryptonite. Although I have mixed feelings on their fight, while it was great to finally see them throw-down, it could have been much better, but there was quite a few moments in the fight to bring upon some great enjoyment, especially the exhaustion from Batman being thrown around! Although, it’s ruined once again by incredibly poor move for them to finally team up together. I can’t even begin to get started on how terrible the villains were in this film, or Batman’s emails to Wonder Women…
It may sound like I don’t enjoy this film, but surprisingly I had a good time for the most part. I loved the slow build of everything. The film starts off with so much energy and promise, and while it does slowly slide on a downward slope it’s still redeemed by these great interpretations of Batman & Superman. Visually it was appealing to watch, with a great blend of the cleaner look of Metropolis, and the darkness of Gotham City mixed together. If you are into the DC Universe the film offers some great looks into the future.
Ben Affleck completely slayed as Batman. I believe he is the Batman we have all been waiting for, although I doubt he’ll get his own movie, but the build of his character is massive. Affleck looks dashing & cunning as Bruce Wayne, and when he plays the role of Batman, he is absolutely relentless; breaking bones of his foes, and murdering them in cold blood, as if he was The Punisher from Daredevil. All you have to do is watch the scene where he’s running through the city as Superman & General Zod are leveling it, to be on board for Ben Affleck. Henry Cavill is the only Superman in my eyes. While I am biased because I have only seen Superman Returns & Man of Steel. Henry Cavill is able to bring in the emotional range as we saw in the previous installment, but frankly he just fits the role so perfectly, I wouldn’t want anybody else, it’s just a shame he couldn’t have had better dialogue in this film. Jesse Eisenberg will more than likely catch a lot of heat for his performance as Lex Luther, but in reality it’s not his fault. For one, his dialogue was rubbish, but also Synder was content with this. Those two things are the reason why this character was terrible, I honestly don’t know how Synder & the crew sat down and honestly found this enjoyable. The whole film I was imaging how well our favourite chemistry teacher Walter White (Bryan Cranston) would have owned this role. Lastly, To my surprise Gal Gadot was great as Wonder Woman, she played the role well and her foreign accent helped as well, but the fact we had no backstory for her character made her feel less loved. Which brings me to the last topic..
DC is essentially trying to play catch up with Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, something they’ve been crafting since 2008, with multiple movies, allowing us to become invested in each individual character. DC wants to do this all in one movie. They tease us with the members of the Justice League, when they haven’t even told us more about Batman and Wonder Women. The film feels too rushed which is a shame because it hurts what could have been a far more enjoyable film. More importantly is the way things work nowadays, this generation’s comic books are these Superhero movies. There are some people who have been growing up with these heroes just as the past generation grew up reading them in the comics. Marvel has a huge fanbase and they are getting it right for the most part, and prior to 2008 I couldn’t tell you about anybody other than Captain America, Hulk, and Iron Man. DC has the opportunity to accomplish this to, and introduce us into their array of characters but on a cinematic level, they just can’t hit the mark like they are on television with Arrow, Flash, Gotham, etc. Disappointing is the best way to put it for how they are handling everything.
Batman vs Superman is an enjoyable film if you can look past the poor writing and silly but impactful moments in this film. There is a lot of promise in the casting of these heroes, but if they continue to let all these glaring problems and poorly written lines persist the movies will fail. Unfortunately myself, and many others will still see them, and seemingly the way the studios work, if they are making tons of cash, they will think they are doing it right, which is clearly not the case. Although this is one of the two films in this universe so far; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice should have raised the bar, not lowered it.
My Rating: ★★½ / ★★★★★
Dir. Zack Snyder
IMDb 7.5/10 – Rotten Tomatoes 30%
“Next time they shine your light in the sky, don’t go to it. The Bat is dead. Bury it. Consider this mercy.”