Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) – movie review

batman v superman

Just seeing that single opening credit which reads “Directed by Zack Snyder” is enough to tell you exactly what the movie is going to be like, great visuals with a bad story… and there’s no change here.

Batman v Superman is a movie about Batman fighting Superman. That’s all you really need to know going into this movie but if you want more, here you go.

At the end of Man of Steel, Superman practically destroyed half of Metropolis city during his barney with General Zod. Many innocent Metropolis civilians died and many critics and fans laughed their heads off at how much destruction a “symbol of peace” could incur.

But in the beginning of this movie, we see that Bruce Wayne (Batman) was rushing around Metropolis attempting to save some fellow Wayne Enterprises employees, witnessing many innocent die.

As you could imagine, this leaves Bruce in a little bit of a sulk and he decides to take out his Batman suit from the cardboard box under his bed and swear vengeance on Superman, labelling him not as a god, but as a monster with god’s powers.

Superman is being scolded and loved for his crimes/heroics, Batman is moody, Wonder Woman shows up, Lex Luthor’s a twerp, Lois Lane is… there, and Morpheus is a stereotypical office boss.

There is a lot more story there but there doesn’t really need to be. I simplified it because detailing all of these stories with a one-paragraph synopsis each would make this review 4 pages long.

Like I said in the intro, Zack Snyder directed this, so it’s going to have good visuals, AND IT DOES. Batman v Superman looks incredible with its variantly dark colours and gritty film grain.

Another thing I loved in this movie was Ben Affleck as Batman. From the announcement that Affleck would be playing the dark knight to the weeks leading up the release, this was the one major thing that most critics and fans were nervous about. Surprisingly however, Batfleck is the best thing to happen to this film.

Also Jeremy Irons is great as Alfred. It can’t get any better than Michael Caine but Jeremy tries hard and he tries well. He just doesn’t come first.

The fight scenes in this movie look and sound incredible. There is an instrumental epic theme that was played for 30 seconds in the middle of the film while Batman was looking at a photograph and all I could think was “they better play this song again because it’s better than most movie soundtracks combined” and I was just praying that I could hear it again and I did… DURING THE FINAL BATTLE.

I don’t thank Zack Snyder for many things but I will thank him for this.

Thank you Zack Snyder.

Okay that’s all the good stuff out of the way, let’s get to the bad guff.

One of my main concerns with action films nowadays (superhero films in particular) is that they’re often more concerned with setting up a franchise or sequel than they are with just creating one good well-rounded movie.

Avengers: Age of Ultron failed (in my opinion) mainly because it was too concerned with Captain America: Civil War. Ant-Man and Deadpool however, were great because they were just trying to complete themselves and be great movies in their own right.

Batman v Superman somehow manages to do both of these by filling the former half of the film with story elements and threads that would contribute to making one really awesome movie, whereas the latter half throws most of those out and was more concerned with the Justice League movie that’s coming soon. HOW DID THEY MESS THAT UP? That’s like baking a cake with perfect eggs and then pouring cyanide into the bowl halfway through.

Another example of this film being a walking contradiction is the destruction. The former half of this film is formed around Superman being put on trial for the carnage he caused in Metropolis. So the writers put that destruction in there for an actual story purpose? No. Because there’s even more carnage at the end of this movie than there is in all of Man of Steel. Is the next film just going to be a court case of 12 Angry Men deciding if Batman is a criminal or not?

Speaking of Batman breaking the law, HE’S A MURDERER. One of the reasons I love Batman so much is because of how dark his story is and how much depth there is to his character in the comics. One of his leading features was his set of morals which included NO KILLING and NO GUNS. But in Dawn of Justice, he KILLS PEOPLE and he USES GUNS.

Another character problem in this movie is Lex Luthor. His character is a problem.

I know that Lex Luthor is only in this movie to give that little nudge to the titular icons to battle it out but did he have to be written so badly?

Firstly, Lex is never given a motive. He’s just being evil for the sake of being evil. Secondly, why’d they pick Jesse Eisenberg to play him? I personally like Eisenberg’s filmography but he’s not the right choice for Lex Luthor. And finally, Lex isn’t even menacing in this. He’s just a twerp.

The movie is 2 and half hours long and it kind of needs to be to fit in all of its threads and stories but it could be shorter. I say it needs to be this long to fit all of the threads but not all of the threads need to be there. There are quite a few elements that could be pulled out to make this movie shorter and simpler. And better.

Batman v Superman is undoubtedly the most anticipated movie of 2016 with a title that’s epic enough to make nerds like myself giggle in delight but ultimately, being directed by Zack Snyder, this was going to flop.

The visuals are great and there are some great performances but a movie is only as good as its story and well… there were a lot of problems with that.

If you’re a comic, superhero or action fan at all, you’ll most likely enjoy this movie but don’t expect perfection. Or greatness. Expect average.

What did you think of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice? Leave your comment on the side and don’t forget to follow my Instagram page for movie posters.

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