Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

I Want to See More of Ben Affleck’s Batman

As much as I loved and still love The Dark Knight, I was never a huge fan of Christian Bale‘s Batman (he worked better as the Bruce Wayne side of the character’s duality for me). Despite some of the contrivances that were invented to push this story to its end, I really enjoyed Ben Affleck as Batman and am excited to see what his standalone film will be like. It’s definitely an older Batman, later into his crime fighting career, so they could either go with a prequel (maybe explaining what happened to Robin, which is hinted at in this film) or a full standalone sequel.

Either way, I’d like to see what Affleck’s Batman can do solo, without any of his super friends. I guess this is one place where DC loses to Marvel, whose formula involves introducing us to their characters as individuals before squeezing them into crossover stories. It could also be interesting to someday develop this story towards a film adaptation of Batman Beyond, as Affleck’s Bat will someday need a successor.

Some fans might not be happy with Snyder’s Batman. One of my friends was outraged at the more sadistic portrayal of the Dark Knight. Batman does things in this movie that he would not do in the comics. While I personally wasn’t too bothered with Superman killing Zod in Man of Steel, I wonder if fans will be bothered by Batman’s actions in Batman v Superman.

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice doomsday

The Rest of the Film Is a Bit of a Mess

The last hour and a half of Batman v Superman is a bit of a mess. It’s overstuffed, a mash-up of comic book source material with Justice League set-up crammed in — so much so that Batman’s actual fight with Superman takes up very little of this story. The film seems too reactionary, trying to address fans’ and critics’ complaints about past films. Jesse Eisenberg‘s Lex Luthor is over the top, and he and other characters take actions that seemingly make no sense other than as a way to further the plot. And it lacks the moments of wonder that made past Superman films uplifting and fun. Let’s break it down.

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

The Film Is Too Concerned With Fixing and Addressing Problems of Past Movies

Batman v Superman seems far too concerned about responding to criticism of past films, from the introduction of technology to explain Batman’s voice, to the incredible opening that I talked about earlier. The biggest battle of the whole movie takes place in secluded closed quarters, seemingly only to show there are no civilian casualties or massive damage this time.

Later in the film, newscasters on television proclaim, “Thankfully, workday is over in the downtown area” as a battle rages into a city. It’s seriously a laugh-out-loud moment (there was more laughter at this moment in my screening than at any joke in the rest of the movie). And it doesn’t even stop there. At a later point a battle moves to an island outside of the city and a newscaster informs the audience that the island is uninhabited — again, seemingly for no other reason but to preempt criticism.

While Bruce Wayne’s perspective gives us insight into why he believes Superman might be bad for mankind, it’s strange that the film doesn’t present us a world that believes the same. Instead, they invent a ridiculous scenario, a military situation in Africa, to offer insight into the government debate over regulation of the superhuman hero and to enrage the people of Metropolis. This storyline has very little payoff, but I guess it gives Lois Lane a mystery to chase for much of the story?

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

Don’t See This Movie Expecting a Huge Batman vs. Superman Fight

If you’re going to see Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to see Batman fight Superman, you might end up being disappointed. The film only features a few minutes of the two DC superheroes battling it out, and you won’t see that until a long way into the film. There’s a lot of set-up, foreplay, confrontations, and even a very cool one-shot fight in a dream sequence. But if you want to see the main event, you’re paying for a Pay Per View event with a lot of build-up and a one-round match. And I won’t spoil who wins or how it ends, although anyone who has ever read a superhero comic which pits two heroes again each other will have some idea of where it goes.

lex corp

Lex Luthor Is Borderline Over-the-Top

The lead-up to this film seemed to pitch Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor as a dot-com billionaire, but that’s not the case in this film. Maybe it doesn’t help that Eisenberg played Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network or that his LexCorp offices look like a start-up, but the character clearly doesn’t fit this mold. Eisenberg’s performance approaches over-the-top, calling back to superhero movies from yesteryear. He almost feels like a character from a different movie, and not the dark, serious and brooding universe produced by Christopher Nolan. And I’m not just talking about the performance, but also the character. More on that in a second.

Continue Reading Peter’s Batman v Superman Review >>

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About the Author

Peter Sciretta is a film geek and popcultured fanboy living in Los Angeles. He created /Film in 2005.