Batman and Superman are two of the most iconic characters of all time and they’re finally in the same movie together. There’s certainly a lot to digest in this film and I was never bored watching it. Hoever, although there are some fantastic scenes and great moments to be had in this film, it is somewhat a mix-bag and very uneven in it’s pacing and tone.
First off, Ben Affleck is terrific as Batman and Bruce Wayne. He’s ruthless, merciless and completely badass as The Caped Crusader. He’s my second favorite Batman after Christian Bale (who is still my favorite portrayal of the dark knight). He also nails the character of Bruce Wayne and his interaction with Alfred (who is this time played by Jeremy Irons) is really good (although Michael Caine was a better Alfred and his back and forth with Christian Bale was superior). Ben Affleck does a fantastic job with the character and I can’t wait to see him in a solo Batman film. It was also refreshing to see his origin’s story take place in the opening credits of the film since it was already done perfectly in Batman Begins. Although I hate the fact that he kills people with no remorse. That completely takes away the morale dilemma of the character. What’s going to keep him from killing the Joker now that the fact that he does kill in this universe has been established?
Henry Cavill returns as Clark Kent/Superman and he’s good in this movie but he has some pretty terrible lines as well as some okay lines. The character was written better in Man of Steel, although he still has some great moments with his adoptive mother from Earth, Martha Kent portrayed by Diane Lane, who is also really good in this film and there scenes together are really touching and well done (it also helps having the amazing Superman theme by Hans Zimmer in those scenes).
Amy Adams is again very good as Lois Lane, but her character somewhat becomes a bit weak since she is constantly saved by Superman. She can’t seem to take care off herself unlike Wonder Woman who was one of the bright spots in the film. Although Gal Gadot doesn’t have a lot to do in this movie, when she appears in the Wonder Woman outfit she does seem capable of handling herself. Her acting is serviceable; she doesn’t have a lot of lines some of them we’re terrible, which brings me to the script; it’s a bit all over the place.
The opening action scene is fantastic, but then the film sort of meanders and the first half is more of political dispute on whether or not Superman should be among us and this storyline is completely abandoned in the second half of the film and didn’t need to be there.
The new Batmobile looks all right although I really like the Tumbler more but it does its job. There’s a Batmobile chase and it’s not very thrilling compared to the one in Batman Begins. He jumped rooftop to rooftop in that film. The tank will always be my favorite (it also was the most inventive).
The villains are absolutely terrible. Jessie Eisenberg was not the right choice to play Lex Luthor. He has a couple of cool lines but he overacts in every scene and becomes a Saturday morning cartoon. It’s kind of like Zack Snyder didn’t know when too cut and he just continues to babble on. In the end, he was miscast as Lex Luthor but I am still not ready to give up on him. I hope that in Justice League his character will be improved upon and be less of a caricature. He also has no motivation whatsoever for the things he does. Why does he want to blow shit up? Why does he want to kill Batman and Superman? It’s never explained and it made him a dull character.
And then there’s Doomsday. This thing was awful. It looked terrible just from the trailer (that trailer spoiled the entire film by the way which is really sad) and it doesn’t look any better here. It just looks like a dumb creature that just wants to wreck shit up. He was a terrible villain and they also screwed up his origins (which they also showed in the trailer). The CGI looked terrible and it didn’t look convincing at all. It just seemed like they we’re fighting some big CGI creature that wasn’t really there.
And then there’s the dawn of justice part. It was very poorly handled and it was extremely lazy writing. It felt shoehorned in this movie and a giant set-up for the Justice League. It really felt like Snyder had too big of a task to take on and it should have gone to a more capable director. Zack Snyder has been a great visual director but isn’t as good a storyteller. I loved Watchmen and really enjoyed Man of Steel and 300, but the task here seems too big for him to take on since the film is mainly style over substance. There are a few touching and emotional moments without a doubt. It’s just that the main story should have focused more on Batman and Superman, instead it goes a bit all over the place and it never really focuses and the movie looses itself in it’s narrative in the process.
The fight between Batman and Superman is decent but it just sort of happens (way too late in the film) and it easily could have been avoided if they simply had talked to each other. They didn’t really have any motivation for punching each other in the face. But it was still cool to finally see these two gods fight on the big screen.
Without spoiling anything, the movie takes a bold decision and does something unexpected in the third act and I was really pleased with how it was handled. That was one of the stronger aspects of this movie. I’m also really looking forward too see the 3 hour cut of this film; hopefully some of the pacing issues will be fixed.
Overall, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice has some great moments, terrific special effects and Ben Affleck is a fantastic Batman and Henri Cavill is great as Superman. Wonder Woman is a very good and strong female character and her introduction into the team is great to finally see on the big screen for the first time in cinema history. This is by no means an awful movie. It is however a bit of a mixed-bag and has terrible villains, uneven pacing, style over substance and also feels too much like a giant set-up to Justice League.