I’m just going to be straight forward here. I am not going to make friends with this review. I did not like this movie. I did not like this movie at all! While Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice has redeemable qualities, it is ultimately a terrible, dark, and depressing attempt at creating the lightning in the bottle that Marvel started years ago. I want this to be a warning to my readers, if you thought this was a good movie, you read the next article with a huge grain of salt because I am going to be absolutely merciless in my criticism.
Set 18 months after Superman (Henry Cavill) and General Zod (Michael Shannon) murdered thousands of innocent people with their alien battle, the world has returned to something of normalcy. A shrine has been built in memorial of those who died on that day. The people, naturally are a little worried about the power that Superman carries. They are so worried that the US government is playing with the idea of Alexander “Lex” Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) to build a weapon made out of Kryptonite found from General Zod’s crash. Meanwhile in Gotham City, already disenfranchised with all the villains of Gotham, Batman/Bruce Wayne (Ben Afflack) is in agreement that Superman may have too much power and the power that he wields could potentially be his undoing and the undoing of the world. But at the same time, doesn’t trust Lex Luthor… For reasons? I’m not sure. Either way, this jumble of mixed storylines comes together to give us the ultimate battle of “God vs. Human” in Superman vs. Batman.
The Set Design is Top Notch
Okay… This movie looks phenomenal. All of it in truth and honesty… It just looks like a damn good movie. I’ll give Zack Snyder credit, he knows how to point a camera and he has one hell of an effects team working with him. You certainly feel the darkness and the anger that is generated from this world (more on that later). The costumes look sleek and match the emotion of the character. The fight scenes, especially the show down between Batman and Superman, is one of the best choreographed fight scenes that I have seen in a while. They do not use that goddamn shaky cam and show a very dark and bombastic spectacle.
I love the design of Lex Corp and how it has become the nefarious Google. I am also a sucker for any sort of building design that features predominant glass, so Bruce Wayne’s nice little house surrounded by glass with the fog coming off the water did things for my eyes that I dare not talk about in public. The Batcave looks like the Batcave… Hidden and super high tech. I even enjoyed the moment when Batman is flying through flames and creates a bat symbol. Come on, that was just plain cool. This movie has its problems… But the production design is most certainly not one of them. You can see where they put the $250,000,000 budget.
The Acting is Great (Especially from Eisenberg)
Even if the script is trash, the actors who are working on the movie are top notch and make the best of what they had to work with. I don’t like this portrayal of Batman, but Ben Afflack does a great job as the caped crusader. He add a dark gravitas to the character and is able to blend the person of Batman and Bruce Wayne the playboy very well. Amy Adams is always a solid actor and Gal Gadot is amazing in her role as Wonder Woman. She adds a mystique to the character that I have not seen in years.
But of all the actors, it is Jesse Eisenberg, strangely enough, who absolutely steals the show as Lex Luthor. When people originally saw that Eisenberg was cast as the arch villain to Luthor, the response was universally negative. Even I had no idea what they were thinking from the casting choice. But after I saw him in action… He is fucking awesome as Lex Luthor. He is an absolute gem! I feel like this is the result of what happens if the CEO of Google suddenly went crazy and decided that they needed to kill the Superman. Which is basically what happens. His reasons as to why he hates Superman… Is not exactly explained well… But I really didn’t care knowing that Eisenberg was out there to just be a young deranged lunatic.
The Writing and Pacing are ABSOLUTE GARBAGE
Oh man… David S. Goyer and Chris Terrio should sit down and rethink the movies that the wrote that were actually good… Because this script is absolute horseshit. Where are the guys who gave us Argo and The Dark Knight? They sure as hell aren’t in this movie because those movies were well polished and had a very tight script. This movie is all over the god damn place.
First and foremost, the movie jumps around from Lex Luthor to Bruce Wayne to Clark Kent/Superman like a fucking ball in a pinball machine. I often got cinematic whiplash from the shear amount of times that scenes will just change from mood, tone, and story. It juggles multiple story lines around for two hours that left me lost and confused through most of it. Batman doesn’t make a damn bit of sense. He is angry at Superman… But not angry at him. He doesn’t like what Lex Luthor is doing for… reasons that I am unsure about. Superman, instead of being fucking Superman, is all butthurt and sad that people don’t think he is the greatest thing since the wheel was invented. His plot point where he is “on trial”… I think? Is completely finished halfway through the movie, which honestly made the build up feel rather pointless. *Spoilers for those who will complain* Why in god’s name should I care about Senator Finch and her ambitions in life when she is just going to die halfway through the damn movie. Her existence wasn’t a noble challenging of what Superman is and what he is supposed to be. She was just a plot point to establish that Lex Luthor, is in fact, evil.
While the movie has style and a polished look, the story is a jumbled mess of “what the fuck am I watching?!” This could have been done decently. There were plot threads that could work… But you fucked it up!
The Second Title is Worthless
Why call this Dawn of Justice? Is this really a Dawn of Justice? All things considered, this movie is Batman vs. Superman. That I understand and can accept. But quite frankly, the only reason that we make this anything close to a Justice League movie is because they throw Wonder Woman in there. Granted, I loved seeing Wonder Woman and I wanted more of her. But nope, we got to let the two boys jerk each other off while Wonder Woman just kind of sits around in the background… But I digress.
I get that they want to be The Avengers. I understand that. But the Avengers didn’t do this. They didn’t have Hawkeye and Black Widow square off against Thor and call it Rise of the Avengers, they built it well over time. Just throwing the Dawn of Justice title at the end of the movie makes everything feel rushed. This entire movie is a set up for the ACTUAL Justice League movie that we still do not have. So we can also add this movie to a long list of stupid fucking cliffhanger endings with no pay off. If you want Justice League, give us Justice League. But don’t call this the Dawn of Justice and give us a Batman who is not hunting for justice, a Superman who is just being sad about life, and Wonder Woman in the background for the sake of being there.
You Know What… Fuck Dark, Serious, and Gritty Superhero Movies!!!
I’m just going to drop all pretense and say it. I fucking hate dark, serious, and gritty superhero movies. I hate them! I can’t fucking stand them! You know what I think of when I think of a superhero movie? I think of something that doesn’t take itself too seriously! I think of something that is generally fun and deals with the problems that superheroes deals with in a very optimistic sort of way. I am sick and tired of dealing with the “DARK” and “GRITTY” world of superheroes where they are dragged down to our level and pulled through the mud. I’m sick of everything being casted in dark and dreary colors.
HELL! Even The Dark Knight trilogy had moments where they could make jokes, quips, and have some genuine fun. Even in a movie like The Dark Knight Michael Caine steals the show as Alfred, tossing out various cheesy jokes to Christopher Nolan’s Batman. The Joker can actually be a little funny sometimes in a macabre sort of way. Marvel tends to get this shit right as well. There are serious moments and they let them happen, but ultimately it is a superhero movie so they fucking let them be superheroes.
That is not in this fucking movie! This movie is nothing but dark, sad, dirty, gritty, depression that is thrown on screen for us to feel sad at. There are very few cute little jokes thrown in there, more for fan service then to tie into any of the plot or to give the characters any sort of fucking humanity! Superman, just like Man of Steel, isn’t fucking Superman! When I think of Superman, I think of the icon, the person who always stands for truth and justice. I don’t want a story to tell me what goes through his fucking mind or the anxiety he feels of being a god among men. That is not interesting to me, that does not make Superman interesting. It makes him not Superman. Granted, it is hard to make a Superman movie when Superman is the icon of all superheroes and the paragon of truth and justice. I get that. But constantly giving him flaws like that doesn’t help, it just makes him less of the character that people love.
Batman is a fucking joke in this movie. I love Batman from the Arkham series or from the Animated Series. That is truly who I think Batman is supposed to be. He is a troubled person who wants to save the world from criminals and corruption. Granted, the idea of killing nobody can be a little problematic, especially since people like The Joker are just going to kill thousands of people if he doesn’t kill them. But that is beside the point. The Batman of this movie is just a dark, growling, ugly human being who has let misanthropy take over. He kills villains without conscious and genuinely has a chip on his shoulder. He isn’t Batman, he is a loser and a murderer who is wearing an ugly bat costume.
This entire movie is just dark and tragic ugliness. I don’t want to root for any of the characters because Superman just flies around being angsty because he is a God and people may not think that that is the best thing to have flying around doing whatever he feels like without consequence. Batman is a sad middle aged man who has become jaded to this world and is picking a fight with Superman just because he is one of the terrified people worried about the ‘what if’ scenario. There is no weight or gravitas to this, there is no fun to be had. The epic showdown between the two just felt like two depressed people hitting each other. It is nothing but dark depression for two hours and I mean it when I sincerely say fuck that aspect of this fucking movie.
Honestly, as much as I give this movie shit… It could have been a lot worse then what it turned out to be. Zack Snyder should be commended for making a very well polished movie and the actors did well with the material that was given to them. I will not take away credit where credit is due that there was certainly some talent working on this project.
But god damn… The movie is hack writing at its worst. The plot is all over the place and overall it just feels like a piss poor attempt at making a counter movie to The Avengers that just comes across as depressing, dark, and just all around sad. I love DC… I really do. I love Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, and Flash over Iron Man, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Hawkeye, and Black Widow any day of the week. But Jesus… These movies just keep shitting the fucking bed and I have lost all faith in DC to be able to compete with Marvel. If you like it, whatever. But I have personally given up hope on DC. Let the last true believer shut off the lights on your way out the door and I will see the rest of my DC fans in the television room where we still have a chance.
Final Score: 2/5
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