Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice (Review)
Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice is the second film in the DC Extended Universe, and I don't even know where to begin on this one. First things first, I should probably state that I'm Marvel fan. It's what I grew up with and I've always loved their characters more. However, I don't hate DC at all. I'm a huge fan of the DC Animated Universe (or the Timmverse or Diniverse as some call it) as well variety of their other animated series (Teen Titans, The Batman, Batman: The Brave and The Bold, Young Justice, etc), I've collected a ton of DC Comics, loved Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan's Batman films, the list goes on. I didn't want Batman v. Superman to fail. I was hoping it would be better than Man Of Steel (which, I thought Man Of Steel was OK). Our very own Christian Jusino (the DC officinato of CGYT) was excited to see the film, and managed to solidly convince everyone to give the film a chance and see it. And we did, and I wish we didn't. Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice was shockingly bad. Now, Batman v. Superman isn't worthy of joining the list of the worst comic book movies of all time. Anyone who places on a list next to Schumacher's Batman films, Catwoman, Supergirl, Superman IV: The Quest For Peace, FAN4STIC, etc. is insane. But it's still not a good film. Batman v. Superman is one hell of a mess complete with an incoherent plot, a unnecessary dark, gloomy, and humorless tone, a complete misunderstanding of our two title heroes.
Ben Affleck proved everyone wrong with his portrayal of Batman. Affleck is the best Batman we've ever seen on screen. Almost everything about Affleck's Batman was great. His Bruce Wayne felt like Bruce Wayne. Henry Cavill once again was great as Superman. Gal Gadot was phenomenal as Wonder Woman (even though she spends nearly the entire movie as Diana Prince). Jeremy Iron's is the best Alfred we've seen on screen, and it's a shame he didn't get enough screentime. The visual effects in the film were undeniably stellar . If there's one thing Synder can deliver, it's the visual effects. Every scene with Batman fighting was spectacular. The new Batmobile is badass. The entire car chase scene was absolutely stunning. The plot regarding the mass public indifference view on Superman, I thought was a good idea, but would've been executed a lot better if we're just a sequel to Man Of Steel. I enjoyed the scenes in the Daily Planet as well as Clark Kent trying to convince Perry White that they should be covering Batman instead of just focusing on local news. I also enjoyed the banter between Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne (until Lex Luthor showed up). The fight between Batman and Superman, while short was awesome. See the two duke it out on screen was stunning. The fight sequence between Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman taking on Doomsday was fantastic as well (despite Doomsday's bad CGI).
Oh boy. Where do I begin. The entire first half of the movie is complete garbage. The pacing is awful and there is absolutely no plot progression. Nothing happens. The overall plot is completely incoherent. It constantly bounces from sub-plot to sub-plot and constantly leaves you confused. Jesse Eisenberg was awful as Lex Luthor. I don't care if he was Lex himself or Lex's son, he was infuriatingly awful. I'm not saying Jesse Eisenberg is a bad actor but dear god was that a miscast on DC and Warner's part. Every scene Lex was in I just wanted to be over immediately. Once again, the unnecessary dark, gloomy, humorless tone that plagued Man Of Steel is back for Batman v. Superman. And once again, it just doesn't work for our lead characters. It still doesn't work for Superman, nor does it work for Wonder Woman. The only character it works for is Batman, because he's a dark character. Now there are some jokes in the movie but they either don't land or only worth half a chuckle. And there's parts of the film that's suppose to completely serious but end up being absolutely hilarious. Yes, I'm talking about the Martha scene. We all cracked up upon seeing that. DC fans will not hear the end of the scene for a very long time, no matter how much they try and defend it. Doomsday (although the battle is pretty awesome) could've been cut entirely and his CG was awful. He didn't need to be here. Remember when I said earlier about how the public indifference view on Superman would've a great idea if was executed properly? This storyline would've been great if Dawn Of Justice was a sole sequel to Man Of Steel and not crammed in with three other storylines. The movies drags on at times and feels like it has multiple endings. Every time you think the movie is going to end, there's another scene. Also the Justice Leauge is set up through an email. With everyone's logos on the attachments. Nuff said.
One of the biggest problems with Dawn Of Justice was the misunderstanding of the two title characters. Superman, the man who once stood for hope and optimism, is a complete dick in this movie, which was why I was all for Batman just killing him. Superman constantly mopes arounds and complains about his job as if it were a chore and constantly wonders why he even bothers to continue on. That doesn't sound like Superman. On top of being a dick, Superman is also a gigantic hypocrite in this movie. He threatens Batman to hang it up because he disapproves of his dark brand of justice and criticizes him for collateral damage he causes. Let's not forget Superman obliterated his entire city at the end of Man Of Steel. As for Batman, he kills. A lot. Let's stop right here. We all know Batman has a famous no killing policy. Yes it been broken before? Yes. Has he killed in other movies before? Yes. But it's never been on this large of a scale before. Dream sequence or not, he was gunning people down. I get that the DCEU Batman is based of Frank Miller's version where he's supposed be more violent, but this leads to many unanswered questions. Such as if Batman is killing criminals, then why the hell is the Joker still alive? Or really any of his villains. In a further action out of character, Batman doesn't really attempt to find out what Superman is actually about, he immediately goes by the idiotic logic that "If there's even a 1% chance he's our enemy, we have to take it as an absolute certainty" and attempts to take on Superman, and believes that 1% chance of Superman plotting against the earth. That scene where the two first meet, could've been them talking things out, attempting to find out what they're both about, but no. It wouldn't really be Batman v. Superman then unless that scene ended in an argument between the two (which also could've worked).
The biggest downfall of Dawn Of Justice was the fact that this was a massive catch-up movie, which is why the Justice Leauge is set up through an email and this movie bites off a lot more than can chew. The problem with DC is that they're trying so hard to catch up with Marvel that they're not putting quality in their films. Batman v. Superman could've easily been two or three films but instead in was crammed into one in an attempt to get to Justice Leauge faster. I don't why DC is so concerned with catching up with Marvel. They're five years ahead and 13 films deep. It's going to be a while before DC actually catches up to Marvel. By efficiently overloading the movies just to try to get to where they are is foolish on their end, which is Dawn Of Justice was so bad. DC fans can say all they want about how they can't copy Marvel's format of having standalone movies first building up to a team up film. This is the only way for a successful cinematic universe that doesn't feel rushed. DC needs to go back to their mentality back in the early 2000's, where they weren't concerned with competing with Marvel, but putting out a good film for their fans and themselves after the survived suicide attempt that was Batman & Robin, which is a reason why Nolan's trilogy prevailed. He wasn't concerned with what Marvel was doing at the time. I don't care how long it takes, as long as we get a good movie in the end like with Nolan's trilogy, I'd be fine. But not a rushed attempt to catch up and compete with Marvel.
Dawn Of Justice is essentially a good Batman movie stuck inside an god awful Superman sequel. There was so much potential that was squandered. Despite my gut feeling, I wanted DC to prove me wrong. I wanted Dawn Of Justice to be great. Despite a great cast (expect Eisenberg) and taking inspiration from two great storylines, Dawn Of Justice fails to deliver on what could've been a great superhero film. Help us Suicide Squad. You're our only hope. Oh wait... well, I'll still give it a chance.