For big blockbuster releases, my intentions were to review the movie as soon as I could after the movies release, and then review the movie again, after a week, fortnight or even a month later. The purpose of these reviews were to give my final thoughts, free from post movie excitement.
It just so happens that the first movie I intended to use this format for – Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, would divide my opinion in a way no other movie has. To clarify, the movie was panned by critic. Some had legitimate criticisms while others merely compared it to the Marvel movies, with the main reason for a low score is that it “wasn’t fun”. Now as a massive Batman fan (And a lesser fan of Superman), I tried to laugh off the reviews, but doubt started to creep in “What if the reviews were true, and this movie wouldn’t be any good?!”
Well without any further ado, here is my Post Hype review of Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (Contains minor movie spoilers, and MAJOR SPOILERS that were discussed in pre movie interviews, which in my eyes makes it fair game).
Casting in this movie is a mixed bag, some of it great, and some of it less so. Starting off with the good: Ben Affleck was born to play Batman (Or at least Bruce Wayne), and embodies The Dark Knight Returns aged Batman perfectly. The fight scenes where Batman just gets to kick back and beat on thugs are incredible. Batman fights like hes truly mastered the art of fighting, and adds some of his own brutality into the mix. Yes, this version of Batman kills, but it suits this version of the DCU. Not only that, its explained very subtly through the defaced Robin costume – Something we’ll see in the extended edition o the movie, an adapted version of Death in th Family, where Joker kills Jason Todd, the second Robin. This causes Batman to go off the rails for a bit. The fact that they hinted at it is really cool for a fan like me.
Next up, Wonder Woman. From the beginning we knew the Amazonian princess was going to be in the movie (Thanks to trailers that spoiled everything, but more on that later), but I was pleasantly surprised about how well she was handled. Here we see Diana Prince, seemingly another rich socialite (An interesting twist on the character) with a frech(!) accent (Typically she is Greek but I’ll let it slide), investigating Lex Luthor as he has valuable data on her. Like I said, an interesting twist. Now, of course, Gal Gadot can pull of a sexy strong female character, but can she pull off Wonder Woman? You’ll be pleased to find out that she can! Her rather petite figure barely comes into play, as she seemingly becomes Wonder Woman, body and mind in the climactic final battle.
That leaves the weak link of the Trinity: Superman. Now Henry Cavill is an extraordinary actor, and he looks and sound the part of Clark Kent, but there’s just something missing. I don’t know if it’s down to shoddy writing or what, but I’m just not resonating with him like I should be. There’s a scene that should perfectly show off Clark)s link to humanity and the empathy he feels, but we get nothing but him just standing there with blank expression. It’s almost pitiful.
Speaking of poor characters: Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor. Or I should say, Lex Luthor Jr, the son of the Lex Luthor we should have gotten. This Lex Luthor is pathetic. The idea hat comes to mind is the love child of The Joker and The Riddler – Two characters that were nearly in the movie. Lex as a character is never really explored, and by extension, his hatred of Superman is never really explored. The only thing that I could muster from his poorly written dialogue is that Lex Luthor Sr beat Lex Jr as a child, and because of that, he)s against the idea of a god or religion. Since Superman is seen as the second coming of Christ, that’s where Lex’s hatred comes from? I really have no idea.
I’ll quickly blitz through the other important characters, just quickly detaling what I thought of them: Jimmy Olsen was completely wasted. That’s right, THAT was Jimmy!, Lois Lane (Amy Adams) seems to have caught the stupid gene, doing many ridiculous things in the movie, one after another. Perry White (Again played by Laurence Fishburne) provided much of the movies humour, well him and Jeremy Irons Alfred. Jeremy manages to capture Alfred’s trademark snarky cynicism. The KGBeast was an interesting choice for throwaway villain, but I’m sure he’ll be back.
Moving on to the story, there’s a lot to cover. Really. This isn’t a short movie. At 2 hours 30, before the aforementioned extended edition, a lot was crammed in. Emphasis on the crammed. This movie had pacing issues all throughout. It didn’t know whether it wanted to be Batman vs Superman, or Dawn of Justice. It should have just stuck to the former. Scenes showing the other soon to be league members was really unnecessary, coupled with the ‘Dream sequences’, the whole thing was a confusing mess. I consider myself to be well educated in the comics and characters, and even I barely had any idea of what was going on. Imagine what the poor casual movie goers were thinking? They came to see Batman beat up Superman and vice versa. Not Zack Snyder’s creative vomit. The fact that he’s spent nearly every last minute since the movies release justifying why different scenes are in should be testament to the films very poor pacing and editing.
As a film, Batman vs Superman is a mess. There is no other way around it. There’s equal parts good to counteract the bad though. Comic book fans will be crying tears of joy and anger, but don’t let this review or any other review change your mind about going to see the film. You’ve probably made your mind up already.
Final Score: 6.5 (Or as a comic book fan, 7/10)