Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Spoilercast
When it comes to movie adaptations to comic series, no director has had such a polarizing record than Zack Snyder. Moviegoers to this day still argue about whether or not Man of Steel and Watchmen took too many creative liberties with the source material, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will be no different. Where some will find that a few cinematic changes will ultimately ruin their experience, others, like myself, will find that this was just the fresh breath of air that the superhero genre needed.
A new brand of justice
Whereas Marvel films have typically been a colorful variety of action and light humor, DC has instead opted to venture down a much darker and grittier path one would more so expect to see in a 90s superhero movie. While still rated PG-13, this is not a movie to bring young relatives to as Batman, played by Ben Affleck, repeatedly deals a new form of justice: death. This may be a bit shocking to some as Batman usually refrains from killing criminals, however it is made apparent early on that the destructive events of Man of Steel have shaken the masked vigilante to his core, which sets up the main conflict between our two heroes.
While the change of attitude may end up being too much for those still clamoring for the days of when Adam West wore the cowl, I would go as far to say that this was the best cinematic portrayal of the Caped Crusader thus far and hope we get a standalone film sometime in the future featuring this version of the Bat of Gotham.
Where Zack Snyder was able to capture a rather stunning Batman, most of the other characters seem ridiculously unpolished. Lois Lane, portrayed by Amy Adams, comes off as more of a bumbling fool who is constantly in distress, rather than the headstrong journalist the movie wants us to think she is. Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor starts off being an interesting modern take on the classic Superman villain, but tragically degrades into being a shambling mess who likes to incessantly make bell sounds and has a huge plot point that centers around a jar of urine.
Even Wonder Woman, played by Gal Gadot, only felt like a cameo appearance that was forced and unnecessary. The only exception to this is Henry Cavill’s Superman, who wonderfully captures the feel of a man persecuted for the genuine good he commits, even when he has very minimal screen time to do so.
God vs. man vs. convoluted plot
Those expecting a nice and coherent plot will be very disappointed, as Batman v Superman truly suffers from what seems like a really rushed attempt to catch up with the Marvel Cinematic universe. Where Marvel has been slowly building their universe since Iron Man back in 2008, it appears that Batman v Superman just wanted to unnaturally jam as many plotlines, characters, and references into one film. I genuinely feel sorry for audience members who are not heavily invested into the DC lore, as there are many moments that rely on knowing integral information regarding Flashpoints, the Injustice story line, and the introduction of Doomsday, that are just simply thrown into the mix at random.
Even the promised appearances by Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman are met with a seemingly pointless collection of 20-second snippets that are more of a prologue of what is to come, and this is where I have my biggest issue with Batman Vs. Superman. For a movie that clocks in at over two hours long, it seems to just be a giant origin story so DC can easily jump right into making Justice League. World building has taken a back seat in favor of a very fast paced narrative, and we are left with a movie that calls itself Batman v Superman, but ends up becoming the Death of Superman story arc instead.
Even though most of the plot seems spread incredibly thin at times due to the decision to include as much as possible, it was nice to finally witness characters and storylines fans of the DC line of comics have been wanting to see for years.
The greatest gladiator match
For those that do not normally care about the narrative and are in it to just witness two heroes duke it out, you will love this movie. It is incredibly entertaining once the action breaks out, and significantly rivals what Marvel has been squeezing out in the past few years. The destructive battles from Man of Steel make their return, especially once Doomsday enters the fray, as some areas of Metropolis are yet again completely obliterated.
While the fight between the titular heroes isn’t as huge and flashy as the final fight between Doomsday, it was the most satisfying and more than what I was expecting. Each blow made by the heroes felt like it did significant damage and rarely did anyone simply shake off a punch. The attention to detail of the Bat Armor and the damage it accrues over time was also a nice touch that kept me heavily invested during this scene.
While Batman v Superman is an incredibly rushed movie with some laughably horrible moments, I couldn’t help but appreciate how grand of a scale it was trying to pull off. The inclusion of so many details that hint at a much larger narrative kept drawing me in, even when I knew there wasn’t going to be much of a payoff. The fight scenes alone are worth the price of admission itself, but ultimately moviegoers will ask themselves why they sat through a two and a half hour film that could have easily been shorter. I would whole-heartedly recommend this movie for any fan of the superhero genre.
+ Ben Affleck’s darker Batman
+ Lex Luthor from the first half of the movie
+ The fight scenes are spectacular
+ The Knightmare segment
+ Wonder Woman is incredible during the short time she is onscreen
- Doomsday story was horribly rushed
- Granny’s Peach Tea
- The unnecessary meta-human cameos