t is super rare for me to see a movie during its opening weekend, and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was one of the few rare occasions where I could. So obviously I am going to review it!
Now before I begin this review, I need to inform you that I am a DC Comics fan, and that I went into this movie with low expectation (considering that this was the sequel to Man of Steel). There were a lot of thing I hated about this movie, but there were also a lot of things I loved about this movie.
Let’s start with the bad…
Hey, who turned out the lights?
There were so many scenes here where I couldn’t make out a single object on the screen due to a lack of lighting. Yes, I understand some bits were due to their dark location, but shining some light on the matter wouldn’t ruin the scene you are trying to make. In fact, it would make the audience be able to appreciate the scene more.
Story structure, pacing… WTF is that?
I don’t think I have ever seen a movie before where the structure of it was so over the place. Every scene almost felt like a separate movie. There were also many pointless scenes added that had no value to the story, but they were just there! Zack Snyder is incapable of telling you a structured story with decent pacing. Due to the structure, the pacing was a shamble. You would be in the middle of an intense action sequence then you would be removed from it so you can see Wonder Woman looking at a computer screen. This movie was a mess due to this, and that is why it is getting critically bashed.
Let them guess, fuck explaining shit
This movie does so little explaining of scenes or event in it. This left me and the rest of the audience confused for around half of the movie, and even after that things don’t get explained. If you at least know some of your DC lore, some things will make sense, but if you don’t, you leave this movie confused and annoyed. This is something their competition (Marvel) does well, and that is to explain things that even the non-comic book readers would understand.
Shoe-ing the Justice League cameos
It is the moments where they introduce the other soon to be members of the Justice League that helped to ruin the structure and pacing of the movie. It felt forced. We see the soon to be members of the Justice League when Wonder Woman receives a file from Bruce Wayne that contains cctv footage that shows the other people doing amazing thing, and underwater research camera that get poked with a trident from Aqua Man. By the way, this scene takes place in the middle of a freaking fight!
I AM JESUS! I AM JESUS! I AM JESUS!
One major criticism that Man of Steel received was that Superman was projected like a Christ-like figure.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice decided to out-do its predecessor in this area. Whether it is through imagery, or through an event that happens near the end of the movie (which intensifies the I-Am-Jesus thing since this movie opened during Easter weekend), we are told that Superman is the new Jesus.
Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor
When a person thinks about Lex Luthor, they think of a villain that is cold and calculating. This is not the case here. I think Jesse saw The Dark Knight while preparing his character and was inspired by Heath Ledger’s Joker. Lex is so Joker-ish in this movie that it is insulting. The worse is that Jesse Eisenberg performance as a Joker-wannabe is so awkward and cringy that I felt like I would be more comfortable sitting in a room full of Juggalos. Another annoying aspect of this character I that he had no motivation or all the evil he was doing. At least Zod had a reason in Man of Steel, but here there is no motivation.
The Never-Ending End
You know when a movie felt like it should have ended a while ago, well that happens here. It was like a five minute sequence of where you think it was going to end, but it just didn’t. It was torture and a waste of screen time.
The biggest problem that this movie has is that Zack Snyder is directing it. Zack Snyder directed 300, The Watchmen, Sucker Punch and The Man of Steel. As brilliant and beautiful the visual he creates, the man is incapable of producing a coherent story that is enjoyable to experience. Half of this movie was honestly boring and a slog to get through. I personally think that Warner Brothers should ensure that Zack Snyder is partnered with someone that can actually tell a story instead of painting a pretty picture to look at. Not only would we get a decent story then, but beautiful visuals too.
And now that we have the bad out of the way, let’s get to the good!
The Visuals are Eye-gasmic!
Zack Snyder is a visual director, and that is clearly shown here. Every scene was like looking at a painting. Massive amount of attention was paid towards the small details in the visual, whether it is Batman’s suit looking used or the Kryptonian letters in Superman’s suite. My eyes were always on the screen because I was appreciating the attention to detail.
Dun! Dun! Dun – The score is epic!
Hans Zimmerman and Junkie XL (Mad Max: Fury Road) out-did themselves. The music was phenomenal, loud and epic. I loved how each character had their own little theme and the music during the fight scenes were so perfect. I will definitely be sharing my favourites this weekend
When you get passed the first half of the movie which is quite the bore to get through, you get treated to a spectacle of action scenes. From CGI porn to beautifully choreographed Batman scenes, when the action kicks in it kick in at full throttle.
Ben Affleck as Batman
I will admit, when they announced that Ben Affleck would be Batman I was one of the doubters, but I am o glad I was wrong. This new Batman is by far one of the most brutal (he brands people and kills with no hesitation!) and by far one of the darkest we have had. Unlike the Bale version this version actually does detective work too! Ben Affleck is also a fantastic Bruce Wayne, charismatic, flirty and intelligent. I am honestly looking forward to the solo Batman movies with Ben Affleck in them.
Wonder Woman and her freaking entrance!
Wonder Woman is the wildcard of this movie, and boy, does Gal Gadot nail it. I have never experienced a whole movie audience to cheer in delight when a character popped up on screen like Wonder Woman’ did. Her entrance was perfect and her action sequences were perfect. Even the music that played during her entrance was epic, and I hope it will be her theme. Heck, I would pay the money again just to go watch that scene again. Some critics are stating that this movie is a two and a half hour long trailer for Wonder Woman, and I find myself agreeing. She was by far the best thing in this movie. I was not interested in the Wonder Woman movie until now.
So what is my verdict?
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice feels like two movies smashed into one. I didn’t like half of the movie while the other half I thoroughly loved. Apart from Jesse’s performance the rest were good. Visually the movie is beautiful but it has a story structure that makes little sense.
When I am done viewing a movie I think about whether I enjoyed it or not, and I enjoyed Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. It is a movie that has so many flaws and had moments that were a chore to go through, but when it does something right, it perfects it.
It is a movie I would recommend you view if you are a DC fan that can forgive certain mistakes. If you are a casual viewer that doesn’t mind dark and gritty material I would recommend that you should hire it on a rainy day when you have nothing else to do and watch, you might also get a better experience from that because an extra half an hour of footage will be added along with the dvd. So hopefully it will contain scenes that will explain thing better.
I don’t think it deserves the harsh criticism it is receiving, ad nor do I think it deserves the high praise a lot of the audience is giving it. It is an okay movie, a good meat-headed brawl of a time-waster.
I would score this a 6/10.