BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE review

It’s finally here. After three years of waiting for this movie, it’s finally here. And this is a pretty big deal. After decades of seeing Batman and Superman in their own respective franchises, we’ve never seen them share the same screen together outside of animated shows (JUSTICE LEAGUE rocks, by the way). As some of you may know, I loved MAN OF STEEL and its take on the the boy scout. While I would have preferred a second solo movie to continue building on Superman’s character, we ended up with a team-up of the century. And not even just them. Wonder Woman was slated to appear, pretty frequently too, and Flash and Aquaman were also slated for a cameo. This movie was pretty up in their as far as expectations were concerned, but I was personally pretty excited. Now that I’ve seen it, this is my honest opinion of BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE.

(SUMMARY)

Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck), was there at the time of the attack of the kryptonians. After his building was destroyed in the aftermath and people died, Bruce has made it his personal mission to take down Superman (Henry Cavill). In the present day, Clark is struggling with the constant controversy of his existence and trying to demean Batman’s name in Gotham. But little does anyone know that the nefarious Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) is hatching a scheme to create a weapon that will kill Superman. But tensions between the two heroes begin to rise, which may lead to great destruction.

(REVIEW)

With the heaviest of hearts, I have to be honest and say that this movie is not good. I was thoroughly disappointed.

My biggest issues revolve around the characters themselves.

Superman. I understand that MAN OF STEEL was intended to be a darker and grittier take on the character, which I didn’t have a problem with. I had no problems with him killing Zod, and how hard it was for him to understand the difference between right and wrong and it’s not so black and white. It was a welcomed update to the character, grounding him a bit more than many fans would be used to. But in this movie… he’s just not Superman. There’s a scene where he first encounters Batman, tears the doors off of his batmobile, gives him a warning and declares: “Batman is dead.” Um… what? Did Superman just threaten someone??? That’s… not Superman. He warns, and that’s it. He never threatens… unless it’s Lex Luthor, whom kind of deserves it. Why the hell does he even hate Batman anyway? This movie doesn’t explain why he’s constantly trying to bring him down. It just makes no sense. To top it all off, because of the sheer destruction that resulted in his fight with Zod in the first movie, I would have loved to see him try to help Metropolis rebuild. Wouldn’t that just mean more in the long run? I mean, he’s capable of so much chaos, why not show that Superman can rebuild what he’s destroyed? Sure, he’d still be scrutinized, but isn’t that the point of these new movies? The grey area of doing the right thing?

Batman. This is also a great series of eye-twitches from me. He kills people. Alright, nothing with his bare hands, but it’s the next closest thing: mini guns on the batwing! Ramming his black race car into buildings and other vehicles! HE CONSTRUCTS A SPEAR OUT OF KRYPTONITE!!! Batman doesn’t do this shit! He doesn’t have murder in mind, no matter who the enemy is. I mean, holy shit! What the hell happened in the drawing board??

Lex. Eisenberg… oh man, dude, you’re a great actor. This isn’t the worst performance you’ve ever done (you’ve never done a bad performance), but this  doesn’t fit with the tone of the rest of the story. Dare I say it? He’s more cartoony than the cartoon Lex. His high pitched, shaky voice is a little too reminiscent of every other mentally unhinged villain we’ve seen (Joker, anyone?). I can tell that Eisenberg is putting forth a ton of energy to the role, but it’s just not the best role. He’s too smarmy for me to take seriously. Similar to my problems with Kylo Ren from STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, I feel like I’d rather spank the little shit instead of stop him in the name of justice.

Lois. As much as I loved MAN OF STEEL, even I couldn’t deny that Adams is horrendously miscast as Lois. Not because she doesn’t have the acting chops for it, but that her acting is criminally shoved to wayside. Her character is basically SPIDERMAN’s Mary Jane 2.0. Seriously, what is her purpose in this movie other than to be Superman’s girlfriend and dame in distress? I wish I could perv out and admit how much I can appreciate Adams naked in a bathtub, but A) I’ve seen THE FIGHTER, what else you got? And B) if I was going into my comic book movies with titillation in mind, I would have stayed home to watch porn parodies of this shit.

***SPOILERS***

***

***

The Lord of the Rings cave troll – er, I mean, Doomsday. No, seriously, convince me he doesn’t look like that cave troll. Even in his final form, he still doesn’t really look like he should. Just a left over from the Peter Jackson films. Completely unoriginal design that is incredibly distracting and I can’t take an enemy this seriously if I’m just waiting for Orlando Bloom to fire two arrows into his throat.

***

***

***END SPOILERS***

Honestly, that’s the most I want to say about my problems with the characters. It’s time to address the story.

We start off in the desert where Lois is kidnapped, trying to expose a terrorist who has a scary looking Russian dude at his command. Well, Russian dude decides to betray him employer and kills the terrorist’s men. Lois is about to be executed herself before Superman shows up and stops Lois from being killed… and somehow, some way, the deaths of these people that the Russian killed are… Superman’s fault? Um… they were killed by guns. Pretty sure Superman doesn’t use or need guns to kill a bitch. Were there no ballistics experts around or surviving witnesses to attest that Superman had nothing to do with the deaths of those folks?

And that’s another thing. That Russian dude was firing special bullets that we later find out that LexCorp created. Why? Is this special bullet somehow going to extra-kill a guy? Use untraceable rounds, or whatever they’re called. They’ve gotta be cheaper and easier to find, and far less likely to get yourself exposed by, say, AN UNINTERESTING NEWS REPORTER!!! Did anyone else get the feeling this plot-line was specifically tailored to Lois to make her “more useful” in the story? That’s pretty lazy and obvious writing and ultimately yields an unsatisfying, debatably rushed, conclusion to this side plot.

***SPOILERS***

***

***

And now for the biggest blunder this movie could have done: kill off Superman. As many of you know, I’m not a comic book reader. I am, however, somewhat familiar with the mythos of these characters. For example, I am aware that Doomsday is famous for killing Superman. However, this movie thinks it can get away with that. You understand that the character was barely developed in this movie, right creators? He barely has an arch where he learns what it means to be a better hero. I defend MAN OF STEEL to this very day. I accepted that Metropolis was in ruins because of the fight because he’s new at this superhero thing and killing Zod meant he would learn from his choices and do better not only for the people he’s fighting to protect, but for himself as well. Since that arch never happened in this movie, it’s impossible to feel anything when he dies. This feels like a plot point you don’t bring out until way after JUSTICE LEAGUE. This is unbelievable how they think this is acceptable because we know he’s coming back to life somehow. Hello! JUSTICE LEAGUE!!! You can’t have JUSTICE LEAGUE without Superman! We can probably Google and figure out that he’s contracted for X-amount of future DC films! The shock of his death is that you even bothered with it because we know he’s not staying dead!

***

***

***END SPOILERS***

I think it’s time to say something about Snyder’s directing. I honestly think this movie is a wake-up call that he needs to step down from the director’s chair for JUSTICE LEAGUE. Why? While the man has had a body of work that I have ranged from liking to loving (no, SUCKER PUNCH was not a good movie, yes, I still liked it), this was my first big let-down and it shows that this wasn’t his forte.

***SPOILERS***

***

***

In the final fight scene between the big three and Doomsday, Snyder’s directing is clearly a mismatch here. With so much going on, Superman and Wonder Woman charging and taking their shots at Doomsday, the action is a little hard to follow, which has never been an issue for Snyder in the past. Kind of a weird ball to drop. But in a setting like this, while Superman and Wonder Woman are wailing away at this monster, the audience is left wondering, “where the hell is Batman in all this?” Is he just sitting in a lawn chair sipping a mai tai until Doomsday eyes him, and that‘s when he’s breaking out the grappling hook and flying around? What’s Lois doing? Sitting on Batman’s lap doing the same thing? I actually don’t know who to blame for this. Snyder’s directing, or the editing. This is probably one of my bigger worries for JUSTICE LEAGUE because when we have been shown that when you throw four super people (and one Lois) in the same sequence, there’s holes in basic common sense of what the other characters are doing if they’re not shown to be incapacitated. What’s going to happen when you have six heroes, the chosen villain, and whoever else that will make an appearance in the fight and make it work? I can’t help but feel like George Miller would be able to capture that intensity and still make it work, which would be welcomed as he was slated many years back to make a JUSTICE LEAGUE movie of his own. His work on MAD MAX: FURY ROAD proves he can have a bunch of shit on camera at one time but keep it discernible, which Snyder bizarrely failed to do.

***

***

***END SPOILERS***

Now I know the question is being asked, “was there anything good about the movie?” For me, yeah, there were a few things. A few…

First of all, Wonder Woman herself was what made the movie for me, or at least the ending. Granted her character isn’t developed yet, but this wasn’t a Wonder Woman movie, so it’s forgivable. She’s tough, strong, bad-ass. You can tell she’s a warrior because every time she gets knocked down, she’s smirking at the challenge. She has the thrill of battle and that’s an element of her character that is making me incredibly excited to see the solo Wonder Woman film coming out in the future.

Also, the brief cameos of the future Leaguers, but by far my favorite of the cameos was Cyborg. That shit looked nuts, all half there and screaming and shit… fuck yeah.

And I have to admit that Alfred is pretty cool here. I wanted to say something negative about his character, but the more I thought about him, the more I started to like his role in the movie. He’s there in the action kind of like Bruce was in the animated TV show BATMAN BEYOND, watching the monitors and feeding him helpful hints. I stand by that there’s not too much of a personality out of him, but this isn’t a solo Batman film, so that’s where we’ll get that awesomeness. I forgive the lack of development for him.

I think the biggest issue with the movie is that this is the first time this pair has ever shared a movie before. This was a match-up that should have been epic and as hardcore as they come, but what we got was something… kinda bad. That should be an insult, but the best thing about the movie is the direction that the future of these movies will be taking. Maybe this movie wasn’t good, but I’m left curious to see where the franchise will go. But DC has got to learn from its mistakes, or JUSTICE LEAGUE may end before it even begins, and no one wants that. These scripts need to tighten up and wise up because any more movies like this and we’re in for a rough decade from DC. I have faith that we’ll see quality stories told in the future, but for now, I’m left with a sour taste in my mouth.

My honest opinion: 2/5

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE review

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s