Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice Review

*****This is a non-spoiler review*****

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” is the holy grail of comic book movies.  For the first time in history, Batman, Superman and Wonderwoman share the spotlight on-screen together in an epic directed by “Man of Steel’s” Zack Snyder.  The film picks up during the events of “Man of Steel,” as Superman is fighting General Zod.  Within the destruction of Metropolis, Bruce Wayne runs into the fray to protect the people of the city.  Fearing the actions of a God-like being, Bruce Wayne resurrects the Batman and goes to war with The Man of Steel.  Meanwhile, Metropolis savior Lex Luthor is hatching his own plans to bring about the end of the world.

“Batman v Superman” was a film so controversial and talked about that people all over the world were voicing their opinions and excitement for these two superhero behemoths coming together.  The buzz surrounding this film, while not quite on “Star Wars” level had more traction than any of the previous Marvel or “Avengers” films.  And then the reviews starting dropping a few days prior to it’s release and the word of mouth was that this film is bad.  Critics and fans have been trashing on the movie for a lot of different reasons.  One of them being how they introduced the Justice League.  Another being Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor.  And then the Doomsday monster.  The list went on and on.  And it seemed the reaction for this movie was a sigh of sadness.  People were genuinely let down.  The film carries right over from “Man of Steel,” and I would say that if you are a person that didn’t like “Man of Steel,” or despised it, then you will most likely not like “Batman v Superman.”  This film is very much in the same vein as “Man of Steel,” but darker and more violent.  I however think “Man of Steel,” is a masterpiece so I knew I would like the feel and tone of this movie.

“Batman v Superman” is a clear example of why movies are completely subjective.  And while I ended up really enjoying “Batman v Superman” for what it offered, I’m not blinded by its flaws.  First the good.  Ben Affleck as Batman was the best thing about this movie.  I will admit, that when they announced him as the Dark Knight I was an angry fan up in arms.  However, my tune has changed drastically.  His version of Batman is the darkest we have ever seen.  He is very brooding, violent and just flat out doesn’t give a shit about hurting people any more.  His version of Bruce Wayne is older, more grizzled and has no problem with snapping necks of breaking bones.  Ben Affleck’s version of Batman, in my opinion is the best we’ve ever seen and I applaud them for being ballsy with this character.  Henry Cavill was once again great playing Supes, and I liked the evolution of his character in this movie.  And I know a lot of fans and critics hated Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor but I really enjoyed his completely psychotic performance.  I thought he was excellent here!  And Gal Gadot as Wonderwoman, to me stole the entire film.  She was smart, sexy and unflinchingly badass beyond belief.  I wasn’t sold on Amy Adams as Lois Lane from “Man of Steel,” but I really enjoyed her in this movie.  And Jeremy Irons was great as a snarky Alfred Pennyworth.  Overall, the performances were all great and I bought into these characters.

The action in this film one-ups “Man of Steel.”  The scenes of Batman fighting were the best fighting sequences that we have ever seen from this character.  And the ultimate showdown between Bruce and Clark is epic and it works extremely well in the context of the film.  Although I did have an issue at the end of the fight sequence that I will get into with the spoilers review.  I liked the introduction to the Justice League and I think this movie sets the stage incredibly well for future films.  And the ending of this movie is bold and ballsy and I applaud Zack Snyder for going for it.  The soundtrack by Hans Zimmer is even more epic and powerful than “Man of Steel,” and the addition of sound Mixer Junkie XL makes this movie have a grandiose theme of spectacle and wonder.  The music served the characters and helped set the tone for the movie and what’s going to come in future sequels.

As much as I enjoyed this movie, there were some issues with the film that I cannot ignore or be blinded by.  I did feel that the story was kind of all over the place.  It wasn’t as focused as I wanted it to be and some of the key elements became convoluted at times.  I think what happened is Zack Snyder was trying to set the stage up for all of these different characters that he forgot to remain focused on what people really wanted which was Batman fighting Superman.  The film’s plot, while it made sense was scatter-brained and the way it was edited kind of lost me at times.  And there is a scene with Lois Lane that I couldn’t stand, but more on that in the spoilers review.  Also as I mentioned there is an exchange between Batman and Superman that made no sense to me and I won’t get into it because it will spoil things but other than those little issues, I have to say that this movie delivered on what I was hoping an expecting.

“Batman v Superman” is a deeply flawed but fun comic book film for adults which is a great contrast against what Marvel is doing.  I am glad that DC is taking on a more mature and adult tone that isn’t quite as cheesy as Marvel’s latest outings.  If you were like me and loved “Man of Steel,” then I think you will really enjoy this movie.  And while “Batman v Superman” has its narrative problems and flaws, they are easily forgivable as this film delivers on pure cinematic spectacle and excitement.  This was a great addition for Batman and Wonderwoman and audiences should be excited to see their standalone stories.  There’s a lot to nitpick in the film, but there’s also a lot to enjoy and be entertained by, and unlike the critics and a lot of the hardcore fans out there who are crucifying this film, I actually had a great time and was invested in these great characters.

Grade:  B+ 

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