Movie Reviews

‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ (Movie Review)

'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' (Movie Review)

So I’m sure by now you’ve gone through all of the negative reviews for Batman v Superman. Kinda ruined your anticipation for the movie, eh? Maybe it didn’t, maybe it did. I just got back from seeing the movie. And this needs to be understood loud and clear: this is A LOT to digest.

Possible spoilers for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ahead!**

This is most certainly a sequel to 2013’s Man of Steel. It’s evident from the trailers, Superman/Clark is having to deal with the ramifications of all of the destruction that was caused in MoS. People fear him, people hate him – especially Batman/Bruce Wayne. We see in the movie that Bruce was caught in the middle of the destruction. He’s got reason to be pissed.

And that tension is actually set-up pretty nicely. Of course, we already know from the trailers Bruce has a vendetta against Superman, but there are other things that happen in this movie, other incredibly unfortunate things, that help motivate Batman’s intentions. This scene below is a pretty nice example.

Ben Affleck’s Batman is definitely entertaining to watch. He is brutal, dark and relentless. Ben did a very solid job with the material he was given, I liked both his Bruce Wayne and his Batman. I loved the suit, the costume is perfect. His fight scenes are so vicious and raw and it’s great to finally be able to see Batman done this way. He’s also got some other characteristics that some comic book fans may not appreciate. I won’t spoil what those are.

Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman is just as fine as he was in Man of Steel, no better and no worse in my eyes. Superman is dealing with some guilt, trying to understand how and why humanity fears him and sort of questioning his place in the world. There wasn’t enough of that for me, I actually wanted more. It’s this stuff that separates these films from what Marvel is doing. Marvel will be dealing with the consequences of superhero’s actions in Captain America: Civil War, but not like this. These themes and ideas are much heavier in Batman v Superman.

Jesse Eisenberg…completely sold me on his version of Lex Luthor. When I first saw him in the trailers months ago, his performance scared the hell out of me. In context, it’s actually fantastic. Eisenberg is truly an incredible actor and there is a lot of nuance to his character that will sadly not be appreciated by those who are displeased with his quirkiness. Make no mistake, this version of Lex is quirky, he’s got personality. But that makes him fun to watch, and he’s always doing something different in each scene, his performance is fascinating. He’s able to pull of evil – that’s not a problem at all. By the end of the movie, he had me 100% convinced. Definitely one of the things that blew me away the most in regards to this film.

Snyder was able to give Amy Adams’ Lois Lane more to do, she is more than simply Clark’s girlfriend and damsel in distress, although, there are scenes with her being the damsel. For what it’s worth, and with everything that was in the movie, I liked her character and Adams pulled it off. I love her. Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman is solid, her scenes are fine and as an action heroine, she kicks ass and has a great entrance as WW. I was worried about Gadot’s performance and she didn’t drop the ball, ultimately.

So, the performances I liked. The action sequences are definitely enjoyable. The big battle between Superman and Batman, you’ve seen it in the trailers, is pretty dark and brutal, and very satisfying. It’s even got a nice emotional hook, a real human moment that brings these two characters together and makes them decide to put their differences aside. Because, you know, Doomsday is in the movie.

Speaking of Doomsday…I didn’t have a problem with it. I liked it, the action scene he is featured in is pretty intense…and that leads me to my next point. I suppose my biggest problem with his movie can be explained with one word: excess.

As I said earlier, there is a lot going on in this movie. The plot is complicated, there’s a ton of exposition that you may miss, bits of important dialogue you may miss. Certain flashback sequences that are, in my opinion, inserted into the movie at awkward moments, leaving me thinking…
“why is this in here, and what the fu** did I just see?” One scene in particular, it’s a dream sequence. In terms of visuals, sure it’s cool…but it’s so damn jarring and took me right out of the film, and it doesn’t seem to have a purpose other than Zack Snyder asking the audience, “hey isn’t this cool? Doesn’t this look cool?”

Yeah, sure. But it’s confusing me and there’s a lot going on, certain characters popping up that you won’t expect, doing things you won’t expect. Whew…there is a lot jam packed into this film, even what goes on in the third act. Not just in terms of plot, but also with the visuals. At one point, the words “sensory overload” literally popped into my head, as I watching blindingly bright visual effects and Hans Zimmer’s/Junkie XL’s blaringly bombastic music. I get why some people may not like the film.

A lot of people will not see this ending coming, and it will certainly piss some people off. Snyder seems to have made a movie strictly for comic fans, which is kind of a problem, because a movie like this should be accessible to everyone. Warner Bros. spent $250+ million on this badboy, they need everybody to watch this and like it, not just the niche group of comic nerds. If you don’t know the DC universe, if you don’t know who has been cast to play who, there will be things in this movie that will go over your head. They may even genuinely take you out of the movie. Possibly.

And there’s so much I haven’t even processed. I have to see this movie again, not just because it’s a big tentpole movie, but there’s a lot to take in and I gotta sit through it again to see everything. There’s a lot of set-up for future movies, additional characters in the DC universe. This requires multiple viewings. But as for now, I can say I liked it, didn’t love it. That might change after I see it again, it might not. I’ll have to wait and see.

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