Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice was released recently to mixed reviews. The critics loved it and hailed it as one of the greatest superhero films of this year. The fans however did not share that opinion and said it was a train wreck. I’m in between these viewpoints. Here is what I think was good about the film and what went wrong.
This review will contain no spoilers.
Let’s talk about the good first. The acting of all cast members is on point. Henry Carvill returns to his role of Superman and Amy Adams as Lois Lane (From the film Man of Steel). Ben Affleck is a brilliant Batman/Bruce Wayne and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth are all equally skilled. Fans have criticised Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Lex Luthor as it is a departure from the comic book character. This Lex is younger, more erratic and the opposite of the Lex Luthor we are familiar with. It is clear that Eisenberg gave his full commitment to this character and personally I like the new Lex. I also think Gal Gadot’s portrayal of Wonder Woman was superb and I’m eager to see more of her character in her in her future solo film Wonder Woman.
The main selling point of this film is the fight between Batman and Superman. Although the fight itself is short (more on that later) it is intense and tightly choreographed. The film borrows several scenes from the award winning comic book The Dark Knight Returns and there are plenty of references and name droppings to please comic book fans. All the fight scenes in the film are spectacular.
Finally this film forges a path for other members of the Justice League to have their own solo films. Batman and Wonder Woman are introduced and we see cameos from the characters Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman confirming they exist in the same universe. This will lead to several spin off movies and a team up movie Justice League Part One due for release in 2017.
I enjoyed the film but it does have its faults, some more noticeable than others. Here are a few of the biggest examples of things wrong with this movie.
The plot. The main plot of the film is lacking. The reason for Batman and Superman fighting is paper thin and if the two heroes had a one-minute chat beforehand the fight could easily have been avoided. There was bound to be a fight of course, the film is called Batman vs Superman not Batman and Superman. There are also several subplots of the film that aren’t resolved.
There are certain moments in the film where Batman and Superman behave very out of character purely to enhance the plot. Both heroes have a no killing code unless there isn’t an alterative. This rule is broken many times by both characters. Batman frequently breaks another one of his rules not to use lethal firearms.
Finally the film suffers from pacing and editing issues. The pacing is all over the place. The middle of the film drags along until the climactic fight which is over in a couple of minutes. The director (Zack Snyder) also uses a lot of Black Screen (where the film jumps to a black screen before starting a new scene) which makes the film feel jumpy. There are also several flash backs, visions or dream sequences that seem out of place.
Overall the film was good but nowhere near perfect. I recommend you go and watch it if you like Superhero films and have seen Man of Steel but don’t expect a masterpiece.
I’ll award the film 8/10. Have you seen the film yet? What do you think? Leave your comments down below (keeping them spoiler free) and I’ll see you next time.