Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

4:17 PM

The Red Capes Are Coming
This review contains spoilers
 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is directed by Zack Snyder (300, Sucker Punch) and stars Ben Affleck (Argo, Gone Girl), Henry Cavill (Man of Steel, The Man From U.N.C.L.E), Gal Gadot (Fast & Furious, Triple 9), Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network, Now You See Me) and Amy Adams (American Hustle, Enchanted). "Fearing the actions of Superman are left unchecked, Batman takes on the man of steel, while the world wrestles with what kind of a hero it really needs. With Batman and Superman fighting each other, a new threat, Doomsday, is created by Lex Luthor. It's up to Superman and Batman to set aside their differences along with Wonder Woman to stop Lex Luthor and Doomsday from destroying Metropolis".  Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a very important film for the DC Extended Universe - does it set the bar high or low?

Batman v Superman is a mixed bag - it has some great elements but also some bad elements. The early reviews of the film were generally quite negative so my hopes had been reduced. This film was my 9th most anticipated film of the year so I did originally have high hopes but those reviews had a negative impact on me. I went to the midnight screening of this film so these are my initial thoughts - it has taken me a couple of days to gather what I want to say. I may also add to this review at a later date if I watch the film a second time (which is possible). Like I said, this film really is a mixed bag that will probably please big DC fans but maybe not your average movie-goer. 

I'm going to start this review by dedicating a whole section to someone who was my favourite character - Wonder Woman. I wasn't expecting to like Wonder Woman that much going in as I thought as a heroine, she comes across quite cheesy and cliche. However, this film adaption really made her come across very professional, slick and is definitely the best character in the film. I was also really worried about Gal Gadot - the trailers didn't really show her speaking which suggested she may not be very good - however, I thought she was great and I really liked how she kept her natural accent as I think it added some depth to the character. Gal Gadot is fantastic in this film and I definitely think Batman V Superman is worth seeing just for Wonder Woman's part in the film. Owner Woman was also a big part of my favourite scene in the film - I really like where she gets access to the files of all the other Justice League members - these cameos were surprising and a really nice touch - the film became quite exciting at this point. We also got a glimpse of Wonder Woman back in the day which will be when her origin movie is set - I still have mixed feelings towards her origin as I'm not a fan of period superhero films (The First Avenger) but I will definitely give it a shot. I also liked how Wonder Woman had her own music/theme tune every time she did something cool in the final action sequence. Don't get me wrong, this film isn't about Wonder Woman but I think she is definitely the best and most exciting part of the film. The character had very little development though which is down to this being released before her origin - audiences may have to get used to DCs structure of releasing 'team' movies before solo ones. 

The acting is mixed across the board. Ben Affleck as Batman is the next to be put in the spotlight. Surpassingly, Affleck didn't make that much of an impression on me - I didn't think he was memorable and there's nothing about his portrayal of Batman that I will remember him for (other than the weird robotic outfit towards the end). Affleck wasn't bad but I just thought he could have done more with the role. Henry Cavill as Superman is someone I've had issues with since Man of Steel - He was ok but I just don't think he works as Superman. Both Affleck and Cavill showed weak spots when they had to shout or act passionate - it seemed very forced. I was impressed though with Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor - I liked him as a villain and I thought it was over the top and crazy which is what made his performance so strong. The only complaints I have with Luthor isn't Eisenberg's performance but he came across as more of a mastermind of a villainous plan rather than carrying out any villainous actives himself - the character just didn't come across as very threatening to me. Amy Adams did a good job as Lois Lane but her character was extremely annoying, making some really dumb decisions. 

The story is one of the downfalls of this film - it is just too complex. I think they have tried to cover too much in 2 and a half hours and it all just becomes a little dull and confusing. I did think the film picked up pace after Wonder Woman found the files - I really liked the last hour or so of the film. However, the film didn't start on such a great note with Batman levitating at the beginning - this was so out of character and random, it had me extremely worried for the rest of the film. I also found that the film had numerous endings - I thought it was over so many times but it just kept going - I think that is down to the sloppy editing which I'll talk about later. From what I've heard, this film was tailored very much to big DC fans - they can understand and appreciate the little nods and potential storyline hints that general viewers (like myself) cannot understand. This means that a boring scene to me where the characters are talking about confusing things may have been a very revealing and entertaining scene to others. It is great that DC were able to tailor their film specifically to hardcore fans but I think in order to get stronger word of mouth, they should think of the bigger picture. I touched on this earlier but I think I'm a fan of this format change to the superhero genre - I like seeing a team movie before solo ones as you get to know how these characters will work together and how they all connect beforehand. This does separate DC a little bit from Marvel as it is basically the opposite formula. I also liked how the film showed the end of Man of Steel from Batman's perspective - this was pretty cool and it was nice for the film to realise that lots of people would have been killed and injured in the end fight in Man of Steel - Batman basically has the opinion of the majority of Man of Steel viewers. 

I was surprised that there isn't actually too much action in this film compared to the Marvel movies. I think this may be a mistake as audiences expect these types of films to be action packed. There is lots and lots of talking in this film is well which did make some scenes quite boring and dull. When the action did happen though, it was fantastically done and was something special. However, lots of the action did happen through Batman's dreams/nightmares which means we just watched 10 minutes of action for nothing - they didn't add anything to the plot, they just sped up the pace of the film and added time to the running length. The big fight between Batman and Superman was over within 5 minutes which wasn't really that impressive considering the build up. Doomsday was an interesting villain who seemed unbeatable but we didn't really get to learn much about him at all and ended up just being a creature with no substance. We also never understood fully why the two wanted to fight in the first place and why Lex Luthor wanted them to fight? I think Batman V Superman could have cut some of its pointless dialogue with some dialogue that actually explained things. 

One of Batman V Superman's biggest faults is its editing - the editing team either only knew how to cut to black or Snyder only wanted that to happen. This was effective and interesting at first but it just became really annoying as the film went on. The simple jump cuts were also really annoying - you would go from an entertaining action scene straight to a slow romantic scene. I just thought the editing was something that the film could have definitely improved on as it really messed around with the films pacing and how professional it felt. 

Don't read all of the negative reviews for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and skip it, it is definitely worth a watch on the big screen - for its cinematic value and great visual effects. The film also introduces two new character into the DCEU - Wonder Woman and Lex Luthor - both of these are acted brilliantly and were my favourite two characters. The film does lack major character and plot development but at face value, I think it is an enjoyable watch. Dawn of Justice isn't fantastic but isn't terrible and I actually quite liked it as a whole - this film is a big set up for the universe. Dawn of the Justice League.

3.5 STARS
B

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1 comments

  1. I thought it was terrible. Boring, poorly edited, and full of gigantic plot holes. It's like they just wanted to rush everything to catch up with Marvel and it failed badly.

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