Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Movie Review
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – PG-13
Release Date: Fri 25 Mar 2016
Zack Snyder returns to direct the sequel to his 2013 Superman film Man of Steel. In the wake of the destruction of Metropolis, the United States government and Batman (Ben Affleck) want to ensure they can contain Superman (Henry Cavill) to stop another such destruction from happening again. Meanwhile Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) is up to some sinister business and Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) is doing some espionage near Bruce Wayne.
If only the bulk of the review could be devoted to how we still felt Ben Affleck was a weird choice for Batman. Instead, he sticks out as one of a few glimmering spots in this messy, convoluted film. Henry Cavill falls to a distant second billing as this is very much focused on Batman’s story. Jesse Eisenberg may have a subtle, nuanced Lex Luthor in him, but instead he’s playing The Joker in all but name. Amy Adams seems to get a lot of screen time even though her scenes add up to very little. Gal Gadot seems primed to bust out into her solo Wonder Woman movie, and manages to be scarce enough to make me want more but not so absent as not to matter.
The story is all over the place. After (another!) Batman origin story in the opening credits (His dad was The Comedian?) the movie sets up a political thriller with Superman being asked to appear before a Congressional hearing to answer for the destruction of Metropolis. This disappointingly never really comes to fruition as the plot diverts into Lex Luthor’s incredibly complex, multi-tiered plan that takes the majority of the 151-minute running time.
I saw the movie in IMAX 3D and there was no mistaking the moment when the titular battle was about to happen. The black bars disappeared and everything looked extra crisp. Snyder’s movies all have a great look, and Batman v Superman is no exception. The aesthetic feels as though it’s what he wanted to make Man of Steel into fully realized through the eyes of the darker, grittier Batman.
And that brings us to the movie’s biggest sin. Batman kills people. With guns. The way that Batman, you know, doesn’t. Man of Steel gave us a Superman who couldn’t protect Metropolis from his Michael-Bay-Transformers-esque fight with Zod. Batman v Superman gives us a Batman who marks bad guys for death in prison or just straight up murders them with a machine gun.
I don’t recognize these characters they call Batman and Superman. I don’t recommend paying full price to have this disappointing experience for yourself.
Shawnee, Aaron, Nick, Nathan and I saw it in the theater and had a discussion in the car: