After hearing/reading all of the criticism Batman V Superman has received in the weeks leading up to and after its release, it was safe to say I wasn’t expecting much when i went to see the movie. Now before I get into this review, I did like the film, I’d definitely watch it again. However, there are things the movie didn’t do well and could have done better, saying that, there are things that I really really liked in this film.
Before reading this, fair warning, some spoilers may come up so only read on if you’ve seen the film and/or don’t care.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is directed by Zack Snyder and stars Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Henry Cavil as Clark Kent/Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane and Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luther (Jr.) as well as Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth.
Firstly, the negatives.
The whole first and second Acts are very patchy and disjointed. Within this film there is a Superman film, a Batman film and a Justice League film and I felt the only one that worked was the Batman plot lines. Don’t get me wrong, the Superman plot line would have been great but it just didn’t have enough time to develop it.
Secondly, this is a minor nit-pick, but where did Lex Luther come from? Was he even mentioned in Man of Steel? He just appears in this film and we’re expected to know who he is, where he’s come from and how he’s in control of this massive business empire.
The second part about Lex Luther that I didn’t like was that he didn’t seem to have a very clear motive for wanting Superman dead (or ruined, i wasn’t sure what he wanted) and also as to why he wanted Batman and Superman to fight? As well as that, why did he create Doomsday and how did he even know he could do that? At the start of the film he asks for access to the crashed spaceship (from Man of Steel) and also access to Zods body so clearly he knew he could do something with these two things, but how? Overall I don’t think Luther needed to be in this, or even if he did, then he didn’t need as big of a role as he did have.
As well as Luther, i also had a problem with how forced the Justice League plot line was. All it contained was Bruce Wayne hacking into LexCorp’s database and finding a bunch of files which contained videos of the Justice League (or Cybord, Aquaman, Wonder Woman and Flash to be more precise). The only other aspect to this plot was Flash’s first cameo where he seems to come back in time in Bruce Waynes dream and tell him that he was right about Superman and that Lois Lane is key. I would appreciate this little cameo in a TV Show but in a movie universe that is only just starting? Let’s just say it’s a very bold move to put in your flagship movie.
Speaking of Lois Lane, she is also a character that I felt didn’t need to be in the movie. Yes, she had a purpose at the start where Superman goes to save her. But other than that, i just don’t care about her. There is one point when she throws the Kryptonite staff into a body of water only to later realise they need this staff and then she goes to get the staff and then get’s trapped causing Superman to leave Wonder Woman and Batman when they’re trying to fight Doomsday and save Lois AGAIN, which practically weakens Superman to the point of human mortality levels because he has to TOUCH THE KRYPTONITE, the exact reason why Lois threw the staff away in the first place. Case in point, the only reason she’s in the film is to be saved and to tell Batman that the only reason Superman said ‘Martha’ is because it’s his Mothers name.
And again that leads me onto the next point. The resolution of the Batman and Superman conflict. The only reason Batman stops fighting Superman is because Superman is a huge mummy’s boy and wants Batman to save his mum. And Superman’s mum’s name just happens to be the same as what Batman’s mum’s name was; Martha. Overall that’s a pretty flimsy way to end a conflict because of a name and not because of anything real. I mean, why does the one name make Batman not care about the thousands of people who Superman killed when he fought Zod in Man of Steel and all the people who died in his own building during that fight. How can Batman just give up his side like that?
As well as these points, I also had an issue with the dream sequences. My main issue with this was that you couldn’t tell if it was a dream sequence or not and most of them felt as if they were only put into the film to help satisfy the true DC fans. The example of this is the weird apocalyptic dream sequence when Superman is practically leader of soldiers and flying monster/aliens and kills people with his laser beam eyes and Batman kills soldiers. It just didn’t make sense within the film. Maybe it would work in a future film but, as with the Flash cameo, it’s not something that belongs in your flagship universe building movie.
Okay. So, as you can tell I have many gripes about this film. But, surprisingly, I do have some good points.
My main good point? Batfleck and Jeremy Irons. Like I said earlier, there were 3 movies in this film and the only one that worked was the Batman movie. Ben Affleck as Batman was just brilliant. He was funny, charming and intelligent and when he turned into Batman he was tough, brutal and clever in his techniques. I was worried that Affleck as Batman wouldn’t work but I was one of the many people who was blown away by his performance in this movie. I, for one, cannot wait to see him in Suicide Squad and I can’t wait for his solo Batman movie which he is also directing.
My other good point? The final act. The final act finally felt like the DC Comicbook Movie I had been hoping for. Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman all joined together and fought against Doomsday with Superman eventually losing his life (due to Lois Lane and the Kryptonite staff conundrum). I feel if they just had this movie called ‘Dawn of Justice’ and made the whole movie about bringing together the Justice League rather than a flimsy conflict between Superman and Batman, this movie would have worked. I’d have loved to have seen Batman seeking out the other JL members and convincing them to join him in protecting the world, and then for Luther to unleash Doomsday with the JL having to combine powers to defeat him and maybe then have Superman die, which is a pretty ballsy move for your first film but it didn’t pull off. Mostly because we didn’t care for him and also, they didn’t stick to it. Superman comes back (pretty much) at the end of the movie.
Okay. I know a lot of this is ripping apart the movie, but I did like the majority of it. Whilst i was watching it, I did enjoy it. It was a proper popcorn movie with good action sequences and some good humour. But it could have been done a lot better. We now look to Suicide Squad to be the DC film of the year, a title it could already claim based on its recent trailers, but that’s another story altogether.
Overall, if you like comic book movies, if you like DC Comics and if you like action movies, you will probably like Batman V Superman (unless you’re a film critic).
Batman V Superman: 3/5