So this is my review of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. There has been a lot of talking since the release of the movie on the 23/03/2016, and I wouldn’t normally take part in any controversial and rocky topic that includes the word “Superman” – my dislike for the character is well-known. However, I actually feel like I have something constructive to say about the son of Krypton and the so much defamed Ben Affleck. Just hear me out.
I saw the movie just the saturday gone in my local cinema (Winchester, UK). I had tried not to read much on the subject before the movie, and I had barely paid attention to the trailers. I think I was trying hard not to make myself even more biased. I think I succeeded. So there I sat and let the screen do its thing. My first impression is: don’t listen to everything everyone says on the internet kids. Considering all the mixed reviews and odd feelings the movie had awaken in most viewers I found my judgement relatively balanced. I actually thought the movie was alright. Not a killer, not movie of the year, but neither the sort of atrocity some critics, or website like Rotten Tomatoes are describing. The acting was decent – not superb, but decent. I have to say that Mr Affleck makes a competent Bruce Wayne, and for the Batman he plays – which please all remember is not the Dark Knight, neither your classic one, but rather an older, tougher, disheartened one – he did just fine: good poker face Ben, good. Now, I will reveal my weakness…I am actually quite fond of Henry Cavill – he is a nice guy, and actually that is the one thing that makes his version of Superman bearable for someone like me. He doesn’t indulge in the cheesie idealised super American over the top Superman I hate. I find Cavill makes him fairly approachable and even relatable, warm.
It is difficult to engage with an alien master-race that can survive living under the radiation of a super powerful star just to become a demigod, you know? But Henry makes me think, “well, perhaps I misunderstood the guy. Perhaps Clarkie isn’t such a douche after all”. Unfortunately for Amy Adams, I hate Lois Lane with a passion – but she is a great actress, and from that perspective i have no complaints. Personally speaking I think the 2 characters I enjoyed most of the entire movie are Lex Luthor and Wonder Woman. Jesse Eisenberg ladies and gentleman!! What a dude!! He really spins Luthor into his own man without losing the essence of this charismatic quirky villain, and brings it to the screen anew, fresh, leaving behind the preconceptions promoted by Smallville and such. And Gal Gadot – they couldn’t have casted anyone better. She was a great match, and although her role is relatively small, I really hope to see more of her in the forthcoming series of movies, because I thought she was great. Nonetheless and to my shame, I though Jeremy Irons as Alfred was not very good at all – left me cold and indifferent, if he wasn’t in the movie, I wouldn’t have noticed or even care. Which is a Shame, because Alfred has been a constant DC favourite of mine. Anyway, moving on to other things.
Biggest issue I have with the movie? What was the need for that first hour?! I mean, really?! How many times must I see the origins of Batman, the fall in the future Batcave and so on? Was there really the need for so much pretense for a fight pretty much everyone knows is going to happen? I mean – It’s IN the Title. I felt they lost a bit in there, and that time may have been used perhaps in a more useful way to maybe give Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg a few more minutes? Was it worth dropping them on a few seconds long cameo with hardly any explanation? I don’t think so, but then again, I am not a film producer nor a director. Also, I thought the fight was a bit forced – I almost wanted it to be over, I didn’t really care, I knew something else, something cooler and epic was coming, right? If not why bother dropping Wonder Woman in this anyway and why bother letting Lex play around with space science? I understand narrative, and I think anyone that has seen a few movies in their life would get that. Because then again, we have a seemingly rushed fight against Doomsday – which is a pretty cool thing – for hardly giving it 15 mins of screen time.
So my main issue here is timing. The production values are cool – nicely filmed action scenes, nice graphics, nice special effects – but I Expected This. This IS what superhero movies are about. This Is What The Industry Feeds On. If they couldn’t deliver that with some big names behind the production – and I am really referring to Mr Nolan and Snyder here – then there truly would have been no point. My frustration really comes from the title – Dawn of Justice; no way. Batman v Superman – sure thing, got it. But Dawn of Justice? Hardly 2 members assembled, without a banner, with barely a purpose or a story line, and we call that the dawn of anything? We probably will have to agree to disagree, I fear.
In essence, and wrapping up – Batman v Superman is enjoyable. But, that’s it. It’s not a disaster: far from it. But I do not appreciate it as a huge success, considering the big names and franchising involve in the process. What I take from this movie is that we have a set up with a lot of potential, which I hope will surprise us all and bring more enjoyable moments to our screens. But I expect the game to improve.