Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Directed by Zack Snyder
Starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter and Gal Gadot.
So, Man of Steel came along in 2013, and I thought it was an OK update of the Superman mythology, but I did have issues with how they tried to make Superman gritty and realistic. And then, trying to get some of that Marvel magic, Warner Brothers decided that the sequel would be launching the DC Cinematic Universe, and that BFFs Batman and Superman would be appearing on screen together for the first time. I was cautiously optimistic. Was my optimism justified?
It’s been 18 months since Superman first came on the scene, and destroyed most of Metropolis trying to save the world from General Zod. Congressional hearings are going as to how Superman should be dealt with in this world, and indeed, Superman himself still has doubts about how best he can help this planet. But there’s one man who’s made up his mind about Superman: Bruce Wayne, whose Wayne Enterprises tower in Metropolis was destroyed, and many of his employees killed. He’s of the mind that Superman does need a deterrent in this world…Batman. As tensions grown between Batman and Superman (oh, Superman doesn’t agree with Batman’s methods and has been attacking him as Clark Kent through editorials in the Daily Planet), Lex Luthor begins pulling the strings behind the scenes to further his own agenda. What his agenda? Will Batman and Superman see through the charade before they come to blows?
What I Liked
Oh, it is so good to finally see Wonder Woman on the big screen. And she’s got this theme comprised of angry guitars that really announces her presence. As we saw in 300 and Watchmen, Zack Snyder is really good at replicating comic book panels on the big screen, and there are pages torn out of The Dark Knight Returns that were so good to see on the big screen. And when Batman and Superman do begin to throw down, it is a visual treat. And damn that haters, Ben Affleck is a great Batman. He does the world-weary, battle-hardened version of Batman that Frank Miller gave us quite well.
What I Didn’t Like.
“Hey, you know how everyone loved that confusing dream sequence in Avengers: Age of Ultron that did nothing but set up the sequels? Let’s have MORE of those!” Lex Luthor. Jesse Eisenberg gives him so many quirks and ticks that he gets annoying, and you’re never ever really clear as to what his evil plot is. The film does seem disjointed at times. There’s a definite Amazing Spider-Man vibe of “Let’s throw everything at the wall and see what forms a franchise.” And I, too, have always found it to be a remarkable coincidence that Batman and Superman’s mothers both have the same name, but that’s not the payoff for that coincidence that I would have expected.
I’m conflicted. Batman and Superman are warring for my heart. I want to like this film. I really really do. But no matter how much I try, the best I can muster is “meh.”