“God versus man. Day versus night! Son of Krypton versus Bat of Gotham!” Or so says the psychotic villain, Lex Luthor, who was portrayed oddly by Jesse Eisenberg. Luthor seems to be incorrect about the big showdown between the two: there’s not much to the “fight” at all. Batman v Superman is a feast for the eyes for some comic book nerds (like myself) or CGI junkies, but it hits and misses too much for the common movie-going folk to comprehend.
Director Zack Snyder, after crashing and burning from his previous movie, Man of Steel, brings his usual grim, colorless world back to life in this two and half hour long movie. The darkness and pure grit was great for the Dark Knight, but for Superman, a so-called “symbol of hope,” not so much. Snyder tries to mash together too many story sequences and character reveals into this drawn out cinematic flop. It seems as though it could have been split into three different movies equally as long, but instead, several different story lines, and weird “Desert Storm” dreams, collide together in a hot mess of action and the over-the-top crazy antics of Eisenberg’s childish villain.
The CGI was rather poor and the score, composed by Hans Zimmer, was way too overpowering throughout the film. The action sequences, all except for one, were sloppy and utilized a ton of Michael Bay-esque explosions. Some fans may find this action cool, but most will simply view them as boorish and too bleak.
Get ready to break out the tissues as the movie opens up with everyone’s favorite rich comic book parents being shot in an alley in front of a young Bruce Wayne as the opening credits roll. Kind of an awful scene to start out with and kind of out of place considering the film then flashes straight forward to the events that happened in Man of Steel with Superman causing the mass destruction of Metropolis as he battles General Zod.
Wayne, enraged at Superman for the decimation of Metropolis, and for leaving many of the Wayne Company employees dead or horribly maimed, believes Superman is a threat to humanity and needs to be taken down. Wayne discovers that Luthor has found a glowing, green alien rock that can reduce Superman to a helpless weakling. He seeks out the rock in order to go to war against Superman while preparing his infamous “iron-bat” suit as seen in the trailers. Even though the so-called “brawl” between the two is only 10 minutes long, a new enemy emerges that is lazily thrown in so that Batman and Superman will be forced to work together to eliminate this CGI mess of a threat.
Many DC fans were apprehensive about the new addition of Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman or “Batfleck.” The actor, who previously flopped as the superhero Daredevil in the 2003 film, had pretty big shoes to fill and fans and critics came down hard on him way before the film was even released. However, I enjoyed Affleck’s performance as Bruce Wayne but not quite as Batman (minus one awesome fight scene). He played the brooding billionaire playboy well and did give a surprisingly darker and more brutal portrayal of the Dark Knight; just not good enough for the immense love I have for Batman.
Henry Cavill reprises his role once again as the Man of Steel, and meek Kansas farm boy Clark Kent, and did an amazing job as he did in Snyder’s previous film. However, I believe his talents could have been used well if Snyder would have focused more on how Superman is struggling with his own inner demons; is he truly a hero or a murderer like most of the world sees him as after the destruction of Metropolis and the body count he mistakenly leaves in his wake.
Newcomer Gal Gadot stole the show with her amazing portrayal of the Amazon warrior princess, Diana Prince aka Wonder Woman. In the overall 20 minutes she’s in the film, Gadot lights up the screen with her warrior prowess and sly smile in the heat of battle. Gadot’s performance may have been stellar, but it was not enough to save the movie from itself.
The supporting cast included Amy Adams as the Daily Planet reporter and Superman’s lover, Lois Lane, who is overall, an annoying damsel-in-distress throughout the entire movie. Jeremy Irons plays Alfred Pennyworth, the ever-faithful butler of the Wayne family and his little quips with Affleck were quite amusing and a great performance for the limited screen time he had. Other actors included a slew of returning characters from Man of Steel and some cameos from certain actors that will be in the upcoming Justice League film.
Overall, I would give Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 5/10 stars: it was not overly great, but not terrible either. Probably not worth seeing in theaters for most moviegoers or even comic book fans; enter at your own risk is what I would say. Or, wait until the rated R director’s cut of the film comes out on DVD. Hopefully the multitude of upcoming films DC Comics and Warner Bros are coming out with over the next four years will improve tenfold from this clustered mess. This movie may be the movie comic book fans deserved, but not the one they needed.