Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Film Review
I came into this film hoping for an improvement on story telling and level of action that wasn’t extremely visceral. I wanted this film to improve upon the issues “Man of Steel” had create a better DC Extended Universe to grow upon. After finish watching the film, I really ended up enjoying it a lot. I was surprised by a lot of the decisions in the way they told the story and how much they focused on the conflict & fighting of Batman and Superman. Batman seemed to be more of the focus of the film while Superman was continuing his story of “Man of Steel.” I felt that they didn’t weave their stories enough but Batman’s motivations were there for being upset with Superman.
The overall style and tone of the film was great. It was a strong contrast in the superhero spectrum that broadens the average moviegoers palette beyond lighthearted comic book films. Even though the tone was more serious overall there were some comedic elements inserted — and Jesse Eisenberg’s depiction of Lex Luthor helped in that department additionally. I was engaged with the film the whole time. I was never bored of what was shown on screen. There are some scenes of course that felt unnecessary or too overly explanatory that could have been cut but overall I was fine with the theatrical cut.
That’s how it starts. The fever, the rage, the feeling of powerlessness that turns good men… cruel.
Some highlights for the picture for me were the chemistry of Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck’s portrayal of Batman, Wonder Woman’s involvement in the story & Gal Gadot herself, the tease of the Justice League members, The Battle of Metropolis shown from Batman’s perspective, Jeremy Iron’s Alfred, and the use of the flashbacks of Bruce Wayne’s parents. The fight with Doomsday worked as an action sequence. Some of the fighting became a little bit video game like. I was glad that the fight between Batman and Superman was more ideological and less fighting for the sake of fighting. They could have given more weight to Superman overall as a character but it worked for the moment for me until I see the longer cut of the film.
The negatives of the film are of course with the pacing and the editing. You can tell that scenes were trimmed and cut in a weird way since they had to go from a 3 hour 5 minute run time to a 2 hour 31 minute run time for it to be playable in theaters. They had to make a profit and the flow of the story was sacrificed for elements to all make sense. The character motivations were also sacrificed and I’m sure in the extended “Ultimate Edition” that a few of these issues will be alleviated in that version. Some of the easter eggs were a bit inclusive to the point where if I hadn’t done research on some of the elements I would be lost. Even those these problems were there they didn’t hurt my enjoyment of the film.
Overall I say this a great solid entry for the DCEU and I’m looking forward to Justice League. I would say they should review the script and make sure the story telling is tighter going forward. I hope that Zack Snyder has someone help co direct or is a better writer to make a stronger film. There needs to be an evolution in quality. I do think this film is being unfairly attacked. Its not an unwatchable mess nor is it boring and predictable. It tries to take risks and tries to evolve the comic book characters we know in new light.