★★★ – “Not as great as it should have been.”
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is directed by Zack Snyder and stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Lawrence Fishburne and Gal Gadot.
Following the great battle between General Zod and Superman, Metropolis slowly rebuilds as they struggle to decide what hero the world really needs. Bruce Wayne disagrees with Clark Kent’s actions, so he comes forward as Bat of Gotham to face the Son of Krypton as Lex Luthor works on his own crazy plan.
If it sounds complicated, it is. If it sounds like there’s too much happening at once, there is. Batman V Superman feels clunky, unfinished, and truly too long for the content it holds.
I’d like to point out the things I enjoyed about this highly-anticipated sequel, before I touch on all of the things I didn’t like.
Firstly, Ben Affleck is brilliant as Bruce Wayne & Batman. He has the right build, mood, charisma and enthusiasm to be the Dark Knight. As far as I’m concerned, Affleck IS Batman from this point on. I felt that he was underused in this film which is slightly disappointing, but maybe they’re saving the big guns for the solo venture. He will also be appearing in Suicide Squad so there will be more time to learn about this character in his portrayal. Eisenberg did a pretty mediocre job as Lex Luthor in the first half of the film, but slowly crawls into character towards the final scenes. I look forward to seeing more of him. Finally, I thought Henry Cavill held up the character nicely, the same as he did in Man of Steel, which is to be expected. I’m still pretty satisfied with him being Superman.
Moving on to the things I didn’t like, or the ‘cons’, if you will.
The entire feature feels like the film was shot, edited, cut, chucked around, and finally put back together but in all the wrong places. Like playing with a jigsaw puzzle and realising you have a few pieces missing. I was watching the story play out, but I never for a second felt attached to any of the characters or even interested or invested in the drama & action sequences. A lot of the camera-work is hand-held, with very quick close-up shots of the characters, making it difficult to follow the action.
The music by Hans Zimmer & Junkie XL is even more unfitting than it was for Man of Steel, apart from Superman’s theme; which is stunning. In terms of the new Batman theme, I couldn’t pick it out. I was listening very hard but I just couldn’t hear it. Both soundtracks sound fantastic on their own, but when accompanied with the picture, it just doesn’t sit right. I’m a huge fan of Zimmer’s work and I hate to be disappointed, but this time I was.
The story is everywhere but where it should be. You’ll be watching a scene and then it will cut to black and start again with another character in another place. This happens too many times during this film, which I am not a fan of. Man of Steel suffered the same but was used almost correctly enough to forgive it. Here, though, it’s too noticeable and it pulls you right out of the experience.
The biggest problem I had with BvS was the CGI. There’s very little practical effects and an extreme use of CG to up the ante but it falls flat. Lens flares cover up all of the action sequences which were considerably average (apart from a few praise-worthy scenes) and this adds to the overall mess. Doomsday is just ridiculous. I’ve never been a fan of over-the-top destruction in films, it doesn’t click with me. Man of Steel only featured about 30 minutes of unnecessary demolition but this film blows it out of the park, in a bad way.
The best this film has to offer is the introduction to Affleck’s Batman, and though he was underused, I believe he is a great choice for the role. Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor grows into a pretty awesome character, also. If you’re a major DC/Superman fan then you’ve already seen it and you probably loved it. Which is absolutely fine; I just didn’t think it was as great as it SHOULD have been. Personally, I preferred Man of Steel.
My verdict; Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is a fair attempt at bringing two of the most iconic DC Comic characters together to fight head-to-head. It kicks off the Justice League with power and will most likely please the fans. Just don’t expect something as focused and carefully crafted as Nolan’s Batman trilogy.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice – ★★★ (5/10)