First we'll start with what I thought worked. Ben Affleck was a great Bruce Wayne and Batman. His performance was an entertaining blend of sophisticated business man meets vigilante. He was believable and his performance helped deliver on the intensity of the concepts this film dealt with. Next we have Gal Gadot. I was nervous about her performance as Wonder Woman going into this film. I found myself believing her on screen presence and I enjoyed the playful tone she brought with her. It was a pleasant break from the brooding and intense nature of the film. Speaking of brief breaks in moodiness, Jeremy Irons as Alfred was fantastic. He was my favorite character of the film.
Not surprising, the action scenes were all well done. If Zack Snyder does anything well, it's action sequences. The apocalyptic dream sequence Batman had was incredible. This weird dystopian action scene that was part "Mad Max Fury Road" and part "Injustice Gods Among Us" was definitely a highlight. Plus, seeing Superman melt guys with his heat vision while he approaches Batman was pretty spectacular. I'm a huge fan of the "Injustice" storyline so I loved that brief moment in the movie. The fight between Batman and Superman was quite creative as well. His use of kryptonite gas bombs and a kryptonite spear was believable considering the film itself is quite fantastical. I was disappointed I didn't get the line from Frank Millers "Dark Knight Returns" when Batman tells Superman he wants him to remember that he was beaten by a man, Batman. However, that's such a small detail it didn't ruin anything for me by it not being in the film. Also, I loved seeing Wonder Woman fight Doomsday. And I loved seeing her lasso in action. That was great.
Now let's look at what didn't work for me at all. The characters had limited back story and I didn't quite understand their motivations. Batman made perfect sense because his character was developed from start to... well, his character fell apart briefly towards the end when he has some bizarre mental freak out because Superman said the name "Martha". I get, to a point, the fact his mother was important because they did spend time showing us the connection he had to his mother. However, that scene felt odd and it didn't work for me. If all it takes is to say "Martha" and Batman loses his mind, he's not a very good Batman.
Lex Luthor was obnoxious. I wasn't happy when they cast Jessie Eisenberg and I wasn't happy with how they ended the film with his character. He's not Batman's arch nemesis. He's superman's. Are the other Batman villains all dead and now Batman can focus solely on Lex? Who knows, they didn't really explain that. They didn't really explain a lot. Also, why did he care so much? I understand he had this thing about his grandfather's story of waving a flag but that didn't explain his contempt for Superman and Batman. Are we supposed to assume that because he is a villain that's enough? As I thought about his character longer it felt like he had the most potential. Considering that he was the grand designer of the major conflict in this film and created Doomsday using alien technology he just discovered, he could've been more impactful. He came off as a bit of a looney spoiled brat. I didn't like it.
You killed superman? I'll give you credit in so much as I respect the balls it takes to make a Superman movie and then kill him in the end. Was the deciding factor, "Well, we have Doomsday so I guess Superman has to die?" Does this mean we'll be getting electric Superman who wears yellow visor sunglasses (see image below) as a threat in the Justice League film? Is Snyder trying to create an "Injustice" storyline on the big screen? Why did we kill Superman?? Why did we use Doomsday? That whole story felt rushed and it was reminiscent of Sam Ramie's "Spiderman 3" when all of sudden we have "Venom" on screen and then the movies over. And why was Doomsday this bizarre energy absorbing, constantly growing monster? And why was Batman ok with the fact that the four of them are destroying everything but he was so angry at Superman for destroying Metropolis?
I'm also still trying to figure out the marketing for this film. They advertised Aquaman by giving him his own poster but he had maybe a minute and half of screen time. We saw Flash twice but he didn't have a poster. In another weird dream sequence Bruce Wayne sees Flash (from another dimension? the future?) and he looks like "Injustice" Flash. So, why not give him a poster? Cyborg also didn't get a poster and he had more screen time than Aquaman. That whole scene was odd. It felt cheap. If you have the technology to create a cybernetic body for your son who is hanging from a fence, you should be able to afford a high definition camera to capture the progress.
The new Batmobile was awesome. I loved that chase scene. Then Superman showed up and ruined it. Why? No clue. It's not explained. It felt like the whole scene was a set up to show Batman how Superman is indestructible. I could've enjoyed that scene more had Superman stopped Batman and then went off and stopped the criminals. He didn't though. He let the bad guys get away with the one item that can kill him which later Batman still had to steal from Lex!
Finally, all the issues I had I was happy to overlook because I realize not everyone reads comic books and there are people who read way more than I do. So everyone has a different idea of what's entertaining to them. So because of that I was happy to overlook all the weird decisions, unanswered plot points, disjointed storyline and just accept the fact that this is a fantasy action film and it has beloved characters in it. HOWEVER, the one thing I cannot excuse and never will be able to overlook is Superman using his power while also being around kryptonite. Ask anyone to tell you what beats Superman and they'll say kryptonite or something like "that green rock" because it's engrained in our culture. Everyone knows that Superman's basically a deity but put a green rock near him and he's as useless as any man who has the flu. That's the rule. We all know it. So tell me why Superman can't dive into water, grab a kryptonite spear and then swim back to safety but he can fly across the battle field and stab Doomsday with that same spear? Did I blink and miss something in this film? Why didn't we write this film so Lois runs the spear to Batman who throws it to Wonder Woman who gets to kill Doomsday? She already cut his arm off. It could've worked and would've made more sense. Superman (a god) sacrifices himself to get the spear, Lois and Batman (humans) get the spear to an Amazon Warrior Princess who defeats the monster.
"Batman V Superman Dawn of Justice" is in theaters now! I give this film a box of kryptonite and some batarangs. It's definitely worth seeing on the big screen because cinematically it's very enjoyable. Your eyes will be very happy with how good the film looks. Your brain might be a bit frazzled with questions but for what it is, it is entertaining. There were rumors this film might've been edited into two films and after seeing the movie that might've been a better option. Give the story time to develop as well as the characters and don't rush it. That didn't happen and what we have is an entertaining, albeit confusing, story that features some popular characters who deserve your hard earned dollars for the big screen filming experience. Go check it out folks.
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