STARRING: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter and Gal Gadot
Fearing the actions of Superman are left unchecked, Batman takes on the man of steel, while the world wrestles with what kind of a hero it really needs. With Batman and Superman fighting each other, a new threat, Doomsday, is created by Lex Luthor. It’s up to Superman and Batman to set aside their differences along with Wonder Woman to stop Lex Luthor and Doomsday from destroying Metropolis.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice takes place after the events of the showdown between Superman and General Zod in Metropolis, where humanity is divided on how they see Superman’s place in the world. Some see him as a symbol of hope while others view him as a threat to humanity. One such person that sees him as a threat is Bruce Wayne, an alien who has the power to wipe out the entire human race that goes unchecked and dons his mask and cape to prepare to taken on the Son of Krypton.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was easily my most anticipated film of the year and even with the critically response that the films been getting, I was hoping at best for it to be good. It’ll be interesting to see what everyones views on this are a year from now as this film could possibly be more divisive than Man of Steel, except in this particular case as of now, I actually prefer Man of Steel over Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.
The films personal highlight for me is Ben Affleck’s performance as Batman. He’s the most brutal and vicious Batman we’ve seen on the big screen and his fight sequences are well done, particularly one involved in the final act. This particular version of Bruce Wayne/Batman is one that has now become sadistic after decades of being the caped crusader and I bought into this version, though there’s a certain thing that the character does now that might put some viewers off. Henry Cavill does a good job reprising the role of Superman, as we witness his progression getting into the character whilst also seeing the character figure out his place on Earth. The supporting cast all round is actually good, with Gal Gadot giving a small enough snippet to have you interested for the Wonder Woman film to come, Amy Adams is fine as Lois Lane, Jeremy Irons performance as Alfred Pennyworth is pretty much a live action version of the character from the Batman Animated Series and that’s a good thing. Even Laurence Fishburne has more screen time here and actually liked his performance as Perry White moreso than in Man of Steel. There’s a few things that this film goes out for that may go over casual film viewing audiences head that I managed to enjoy for what it represents that i’ll go into more in a spoiler filled review. With this being a Zack Snyder film, visually at times the film has some strong moments that’ll reminisce with comic book fans of the characters and certain arcs and when it comes to the big showdown between Batman and Superman I enjoyed it for the most part.
On the negatives side, the marketing of certain scenes in the trailers (basically the second trailer mostly) actually managed to hurt the big moments that the film goes for as for example Wonder Woman’s introduction on the screen, it would’ve been more effective in my screening had that not been used in the trailers (in my opinion). Even sleeping on it and thinking about it more, I honestly can’t decide where I officially fall with Jesse Eisenberg’s performance as Lex Luthor. Considering the many variations we’ve seen before (Hackman/Spacey/Shea/Rosenbaum) it’s more eccentric which at times feels off-putting and yet in certain moments it actually works well in a certain scene. I’ll be having another screening to get my overall impressions properly on his performance once I leave what I’ve seen before and known for years to see if I can embrace this new take on the character. For the films key character (spoiled in the second trailer) and used in the final act is serviceable for the grand finale, but I didn’t really care for it or liked the CGI bonanza that followed, I criticised Avengers: Age of Ultron for the same thing last year and feel the same way about the final act in this film. The Justice League cameos attempt is rather shoe-horned in (though I liked a few of them), I get how they tried to make it work within the plot of the film but it just didn’t for me. The biggest problems this film has comes down to its pacing and editing. Some might come to the films defence with the fact that the directors cut with an extra thirty minutes will smooth them problems but the point is that the problems shouldn’t be there to begin with on the editing side of things. This is a film that was put back an extra year from its initial release date and yet there’s scenes that seem misplaced/could’ve been used better to flow with a particular scene that comes five or ten minutes after that would’ve complimented it better. What makes it worse is that some scenes feel too short or needed an extra snippet to give more Batman/Superman showdown buildup because it suddenly feels like the film jumps straight to it at one point.
Visually and cinematically there’s some great moments in this film, Ben Affleck is easily the best thing about this film and could potentially be the best version of Batman we’ll get on the big screen. Cavill is good in the role though underwritten as the film tries to thread the DC Cinematic Universe going forward ala Iron Man 2 style that the narrative of the reason you came for the film, Batman v Superman, gets lost in the shuffle. Pacing and Editing is the films biggest issue I had and though I’m excited for the other DC Films going forward, Justice League Part 1 not so much as Snyder will be directing that one, which could be even more style over substance. Overall I thought the film was okay….and that’s the biggest disappointment I can take away from this film. 5/10