While I’ve been given the opportunity to write a review on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, I’ve got to be honest with you: my feelings towards this film could be just as well articulated through a cacophonous scream of anguish.
There’s no sugarcoating it: the problems with the film are so numerous they seep into every nook and cranny, derogating what should have been an action-packed cinematic battle for the ages. More than just a trainwreck and an irreparable scar on DC’s reputation; Batman v Superman is the biggest comic book movie letdown ever created, far surpassing the likes of X-Men: The Last Stand, Spider-Man 3, and even Green Lantern.
Batman v Superman is nothing less than a mosaic of scenes that are hastily jammed together with little to no justification. Even with a runtime of two and a half hours, anyone who has seen any number of the film’s trailers have basically seen the movie’s entirety.
One of the biggest problem with the film is that it shifts its focus too many times to non-essential plot points. Scenes containing Lois Lane, Wonder Woman, and staff members at the Daily Planet could have been scrapped entirely to put more focus on the film’s leads. Instead of having a film which focuses on the stark ideological differences between the the Last Son of Krypton and the Bat of Gotham, we are rather subjected to a film greedily fixated on it’s future sequels and spinoffs.
Scenes that set the stage for future movies in the DC cinematic universe not only clutter the already overly-packed film, but stall the main plot from moving forward. Screen time which should have been dictated to the cataclysmic brawl between these two heroes is instead stilted by unwanted footage of a generally abhorred fish king and a popular scarlet speedster shopping for milk.
Ben Affleck’s performance as the Caped Crusader is at best adequate; while he’s by no means a bad actor, Affleck fails to portray the role of Batman to its fullest capabilities. Aesthetically, though, the Dark Knight has never looked better. The cowl, gadgets, cave, and Batmobile have never been so visually stimulating and true to the comics. Even Jeremy Irons’ performance as Alfred is a welcome breath of fresh air to the classic supporting character.
Ultimately, the movie’s biggest weakness is Superman, who sucks the life and excitement out of every scene he frequents. While once a personification of hope and justice, this Man of Steel is quite frankly depressing and unwatchable. Even worse, Superman’s dialogue in the movie is scarce, and when he does speak it feels clunky and out-of-character.
Amazingly enough, the one character who does excel in Batman v Superman is Lex Luthor. Jesse Eisenberg not only brings a unanticipated edge to the iconic villain, he arguably brings the only captivating performance in the whole film. Everything from his nefarious plan to his unsettling personality helps to make his scenes not only the most enjoyable, but also the most memorable.
Alas, it is a true pity that the same cannot be said for anything else in the film — the fight scenes included.
The more I think about Batman v Superman: The Dawn of Justice, the more I want to a punch a wall. What should have been a simple, fun film about two people fighting each other capsizes under the weight of unnecessary and unwanted side plots, tie-ins, and characters. It saddens me to say this about the film, because no one was rooting for it to succeed more than myself.
I desperately wanted this film to kickstart an exciting DC cinematic universe for fans and casual moviegoers to fully get invested in. Sadly, this movie doesn’t even give me enough incentive to rewatch it on a pirated movie site.