Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Movie Review

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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Movie Review

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a 2016 superhero film directed by Zack Snyder and starring Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill. It is the most polarizing DCEU film.

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I bet your parents taught you that you mean something,

that you’re here for a reason.

My parents taught me a different lesson,

dying in the gutter for no reason at all…

They taught me the world only makes sense if you force it to

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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Movie Review

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Firstly, I put off watching this film for almost two years because I thought it was action-heavy, overly dark and a bad film. However, I was mistaken and actually I am shocked to see how solid this film actually is. Never have I expected to like it, but I ended up liking it quite a bit and now I do think that it was harshly judged as it is certainly not a bad film, although definitely troublesome in more areas than one.

So let’s talk about the plot first. The problem with this movie is that it is overly ambitious. I probably liked it as much as I did because I watched the Director’s Cut which is three hours long and the Theatrical Cut is quite possibly much weaker. This cut is slower paced and long enough to develop its story solidly.

But still it remains overly ambitious and the film isn’t too long because it flies by how entertaining it is, but just the opposite – it is too short. This should have been two movies instead of one and it would have been much better that way. Not only did they mess up by not introducing Batman earlier as they did with Superman, but they also made this movie too early and stuffed everything together into an incoherent whole.

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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Movie Review

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The title plot is great as it is actually not too action-heavy and I was surprised to witness the first hour or so without any action scene whatsoever. The story was very involving and it was a very good sequel to ‘Man of Steel’ as the situation is morally complex. Superman did kill many people while trying to save others and now Batman is angry. That is the conflict here and I loved it as it is very complicated and mature.

But I wasn’t that big of a fan of the other story unfortunately. The introduction of Doomsday is again a typical problem for the DCEU. Just as they did with ‘Wonder Woman’, they here did the same mistake by introducing an action-heavy, spectacle and CGI monster finale and thus hurting the previously clever, deliberately paced and interesting film. I loved some of the action, but still the third act was too bombastic.

Let’s talk about the characters. I liked Batman quite a bit. Ben Affleck is not so great as Bruce Wayne but he is pretty good as Batman. He is good, but not great as again his story is rushed and he needed a full single movie previously. Superman is honestly a bit too vilified here. That was a problem as this conflict should have been in the grey zone, but they clearly painted Batman as more of a protagonist. I still liked Henry Cavill in the role, but the character is far from great.

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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Movie Review

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Lois Lane is solid and I always like Amy Adams so I liked her in this role once again. Perry White is amusing, but Alfred is too different and not in a good way. Wonder Woman was definitely awesome and Gal Gadot stole the show in some scenes. I loved how they built her up for her first feature film, really well done.

As for Lex Luthor, he is very polarizing for me. Some of his scenes are very interesting, but some are annoying. Jesse Eisenberg was clearly not the right choice for this role as Lex should be more manly and menacing which Eisenberg never is. His performance here is obviously messy as he tried to do too many things and failed at most of them.

My favorite scenes in the film are the following: the scene where Bruce realizes who Diana is was honestly terrific and fueled by her awesome signature theme; her arrival to the fight was kickass; the fight between Batman and Superman was so well executed and hugely entertaining and I really liked the ending though it was an obvious cop-out.

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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Movie Review

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Batman v Superman is weakly directed by Zack Snyder, well paced at first but later either rushed or prolonged plus the overall visuals aren’t great and are too dark. The film is thematically interesting, but definitely a downer to watch. The score is quote good and the dialogue is solid. It is messy, but still surprisingly solid.

Batman v Superman is such a surprising movie. Certainly it is a very messy experiment as they put two movies into one and obviously that action-heavy, CGI monster third act ruined the film. It is overly ambitious for sure and with too many characters. However, it is still a very solid and hugely entertaining film which is at first pleasant in its deliberate, action sparse approach with solid dialogue and a very interesting, morally complex conflict. It is also well scored and with a couple of instantly memorable action scenes. It is a highly flawed, but actually pretty solid film which is never as bad as most would say.

My Rating – 3.5

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Posted in 2010s, 2016, FILM DECADES, MOVIE REVIEWS, Superhero and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

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