Recently, Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice premiered and it’s already a raging success if you tend to look at things with cartoonish dollar signs in your eyes. Unfortunately, critics don’t really care how much money a movie makes and the reviews have been much poorer than anyone who was looking forward to the movie was prepared.
As you can tell from this byline, I am a little late to the reviewing party so I had a weeks worth of bad reviews in my mind when I finally got to sit down and watch the film. To be honest, it’s not as bad as the reviews have let on; it’s pretty decent, not great, but decent.
It suffered from a lot of the same faults that it’s precursor Man of Steel suffered from; a lot of which can be blamed on the studio for bringing back director Zack Snyder. The main issues in both of these films are the pacing and character development. Especially the pacing.
The biggest fault of the film was that it was not directed by Christopher Nolan who directed the previous three Batman films starring Christian Bale. The film tried as hard as it could to replicate Nolan’s work, but it just couldn’t re-create the brooding and dark, but beautifully energetic world that he seems to create for all his films. Zack Snyder has always felt like a consultation prize to Nolan, and he is struggling to deliver on lofty expectations as he has struggled to improve on the faults from Man of Steel. Snyder’s work feels like the variable that limited this film’s ceiling the most.
The script had its heart in all the right place, and had so many good ideas and that’s why it was frustrating watching it fall short of its goals. While there was a lot of good intention, especially using an older and damaged Batman, it just did not come together. Even though the film was very long, it might not have been long enough for what they wanted to do.
A saving grace of this film was the casting, with the shinning light being Ben Affleck as Batman. While Affleck copped a lot of flack or should I say fleck (sorry) for being cast, he ultimately proved the right man for the job. He brought the weight required for such a lofty role, and fitted the brooding beacon of morality well while putting his own spin on it. In fact, Affleck was probably the best cinematic Batman we have seen.
Henry Cavill brings the same charisma to the role as he would if he was playing a cardboard cut out of Superman. He looks the part: he is is chiseled, and he is handsome, but most of his contribution to the character has been adding to the misconception that Superman is a one dimensional, boring, out-dated hero, which is NOT TRUE!
Jesse Eisenberg was a very left field choice for iconic villain Lex Luthor, but it seems to of paid off. While I didn’t love the changes to the character, Eisenberg added some texture to the film that positively affected the story. The most pleasant surprise was Jeremy Irons as the sassy butler Alfred. While it was weird seeing anyone besides Michael Cain play the parental guardian to Batman, Irons provided a lot of the comic relief that really helped break up a morbid and slow plot. While I did not see much of Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/ Wonderman, she did enough to convince me the role was well cast.
With DC looking to replicate Marvel‘s success of an expanded universe, this film is another pivotal step forward, but not a strong as one as Warner Bros would of hoped for. It’s a victim of expectations, but I still found the film enjoyable even though it did have short comings. It is a movie worth watching even if only once.
And it’s not as bad as ‘Sadfleck’ thinks it is.
Rating 6/10 Genre Rating 6.5/10