Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
So what is the final verdict? After having been bombarded with all these amazing movies during Oscar season, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was a welcomed change of pace - not giving a damn about story and just purely being loud, dark and entertaining. Will it be a movie, I remember for long - probably not. In the 150 minutes, I went through the motions of being stunned, annoyed, surprised and ultimately well entertained - a very clear mixed bag. But in the end, I think it is worthwhile giving it a shot in theaters.
Acting
Directing
Script
Cinematography
Timeless
The Good
  • Amazing visuals with great Batman gadgets
  • Stunning action set pieces
  • Ben Affleck did not suck as Batmann
The Bad
  • Really jumpy script
  • Superman just sucks
  • Tries to do too much
3.1Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)

Awaiting Batman vs. Superman was a different kind of excitement for me than the usual. On the one hand, I was thinking: “Really? You are just going to spoil the best superhero franchise installment of all times”. On the other hand, I was hoping for it to be good, so it wouldn’t tarnish my overall Batman-Fanboy-ism. And then there was the risk of yet another Man of Steel snooze fest. As you can see, lots of mixed feelings. Still the moment the tickets went on sale, I did not hesitate for a second. And in a nutshell, my worst fears did not become reality. Was this movie another Dark Knight masterpiece?  It certainly was not but it most importantly did not repeat the Man of Steel fiasco which was probably one of the worst superhero movies in the history of “superherokind”. So before you read any further, I am going to dive ride into spoilers.

Spoiler Alert

If Zach Snyder is a smart man (and I assume he is), he probably knew ahead of making this movie that trying to achieve what Nolan had done was impossible. Not only is he not as gifted of a storyteller (and well he doesn’t have a mastermind scriptwriter as his sibling), nor does he have the vision of creating such unique characters and place them between the real world and a superhero universe. Thus he focused on what he can do best – creating amazing visuals. In the beginning, I was reminded of Sin City where you could really feel that every shot is deliberately taken out of the comic (thinking about the Wayne assassination in particular). I thought that the visual elements really worked well in the film. The other visual element which deserves a good amount of credit are the action set pieces, the cinematography and the Batman gadgets – again as Snyder probably knew that his Achilles will be the plot line, he did smartly focus on delivering on the already mentioned visuals. The action set pieces of Batman fighting Superman and/or Luthor’s henchmen were exquisite. The Batman gadgets such as the Batmobile as well as the Batwing had fantastic design and were shot beautifully – so my hats of the design team in charge.

Courtesy of http://screenrant.com

Courtesy of http://screenrant.com

Now let’s get to the mentioned Achilles of Snyder and the movie as a whole: the script and the editing. One should give Snyder and his team credit for taking on the Hercules task of attempting to tell this highly complex story. It is literally impossible to master the storyline as the movie is trying to create a tale of the battle of two iconic superheroes who are then joined by yet another superhero (who in fact is in retirement like another bunch of superheroes – who we will get to later in the franchise). Then there is this evil guy and then there is the government – and there is Clark’s dad who is actually dead but well he is still somewhere on the top of the mountain – oh wait, that was actually a dream. Same as Batman having nightmares about getting the crap kicked out of himself by Superman – oh wait, that was not a dream but a vision … on a computer. Come on – just stop it already – you are trying way too much here. And the screenwriter and the director have the right and the duty to draft a screenplay which makes sense, is not completely overloaded with characters and plot lines and fit into a manageable timeframe – and in this aspect, the mission has failed. Granted that all the different plot lines which were opened up throughout the film had some kind of a meaning and most of them were ultimately closed – so I give the script at least that credit. But I have barely had such volatile feelings about a film while watching it – so many times, I was just thinking: “Well, that totally came out of nowhere” or “Pretty random, don’t you think?” or “Hang on, what just happened?” So much about the direction of the movie and its plot problems.

Courtesy of http://collider.com

Courtesy of http://collider.com

Now, the next elephant in the room was the choice of Ben Affleck to be the new Batman – a choice which almost qualified as a “Batman-Gate” – but I have to give it to Ben Affleck – he did a fine job. Yes, he was no Christian Bale but this was also no Dark Knight, and yes they are both superstars playing in Hollywood’s A-league. But Ben Affleck was fighting an uphill battle here and I give him credit for having the courage to go all in. And ultimately, he delivers a solid performance – his character is dark, conflicted, angry and driven by fear and selfishness – and quite frankly I liked that since these are very Batman-esque characteristics. On the other hand, there is a superhero which just can’t be made interesting and an actor who gives his best (and it’s better than last time) but unfortunately, I just have to stand here and say – Superman sucks. And because he sucks, he doesn’t deserve to be dating Amy Adams – there I said it. Superman fight scenes are just always loud, messy and kind of boring. So in a way, bringing Batman into the Superman franchise was probably the only way to keep the franchise somewhat interesting. Ultimately – and this goes back to my earlier point about this not being another Dark Knight franchise – this film is more a second installment of Superman but a Batman movie – and I think that this very move actually makes the movie a lot better than it would have been without the dark crusader. And one further strength which I would like to point out is actually Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor – at times he is weird, then he is crazy, then again psychotic. And even if the portrayal by Eisenberg was more schizophrenic than Lex’s comic figure, I did truly enjoy his performance and thought he was an excellent villain (again much better than the General Zod we had to endure in Man of Steel). Gosh – as I am writing this review, I keep remembering what an awful movie this was and how annoyed I am to have wasted 143 minutes of my life on this.

Finally, and this is actually a HUGE SPOILER – so if you still haven’t stopped reading before watching the film – this is your last chance. Did the studio make the right choice by giving Superman the heroic death he wanted? From a story perspective, it was the perfect finish since it gave Superman / Clark the chance to finally prove to humanity that he will do anything to protect them – even sacrifice his own life and his future with the woman he loves to protect mankind. So giving him, the heroic death by Kryptonite, was actually one of the saviors for this film since it made (mostly) everything come full circle. Now let’s hope they stick to this ending – or will they not?

So what is the final verdict? After having been bombarded with all these amazing movies during Oscar season, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was a welcomed change of pace – not giving a damn about story and just purely being loud, dark and entertaining. Will it be a movie, I remember for long – probably not. In the 150 minutes, I went through the motions of being stunned, annoyed, surprised and ultimately well entertained – a very clear mixed bag. But in the end, I think it is worthwhile giving it a shot in theaters.

2 Responses

  1. D

    Doesn’t deserve to date Amy Adams… Good one! I would have liked more Batman and less Superman. The beginning of the movie was indeed to jumpy, hard to follow at times.

    Reply
  2. Alex

    Dear Armin. This is the first time, I agree with almost everything you wrote about this movie. It was OK and Batfleck did a good job (no comparison to Christian Bale of course). The new superman was and still is stupid, so no news there. Of course it wasn’t an easy job to do this movie. And yes the script sucked and had a lot of plot-holes in it. Some things I saw differently: I didn’t enjoy the performance of jesse eisenberg at all, he was totally over the top with the references and the quotes. I still think, he was a bad choice to play Lex (Alexander) Luther. Amy Adams sucked too and had no reason to be in this movie at all. You forgot to mention all the comic-easter eggs (Flash, Justice League, Joker, Darkseid… or references to the dark knight comics and other. Of course I haven’t spotted all of them during the film, this is what youtube is for), which I did enjoy and think Zach Snyder did a good job on this one. My first thought after the movie was: nice trailer for Justice League and this is how I see this movie. And Superman is of course not dead, but you knew it already, right?

    Reply

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