This past Tuesday I got the unbelievable chance to see Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, thanks to the incredible generosity of the people over at Moviepilot.com
For the die-hard fans, this movie will be 151 minutes of everything you've been hoping it would, while for others it will be a dark and slightly confusing, yet still enjoyable, superhero flick. I went into this film knowing the hype and seeing the pedestal that early viewers were putting it on. With that in mind, I also knew it would either be the best DCEU movie to date or it would fall from that colossal height and Warner Bros. would have to pick up the shattered pieces of their ultimately rushed comic-based universe. I'm happy to say that the first is mostly true; I saw it as a movie made by fans for fans, so I can understand if it's not universally loved. After my viewing, I give it a B-, so not the best, but certainly not as bad as it could have been.
When watching the movie, you can see that the characters introduced all have a past--along with the secrets that go with it--and that mystery will leave you wanting to see more from each of these tremendous characters in their own solo movies. Due to the rightfully epic nature of the film and the solidly terrific acting of everyone involved, this movie shines as one of DC/WB's best. There were certain lines and sections of the plot that I found bland, leading to boredom at times, even confusion with what was going on in the story; however, those feelings quickly fade as the grand narrative continues and Zach Snyder's directorial habit of explosion filled scenes keep the excitement coming again and again. As the subtitle suggests, the anticipation for the dawn of justice (the Justice League, in particular) is enough to keep even the hardest of moviegoers invested, even enthusiastic, for next installments of the DCEU.
Admittedly, I was not a huge fan of Man of Steel. I have no problem with Henry Cavil, as he is a fine actor (I loved his performance in The Man from U.N.C.L.E.), but my beef is with the story; it wasn't written in a way that made me buy into the universe they were creating. After seeing Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, it seems at though Warner Bros. is releasing these movies methodically as a three-part introduction to the Justice League--Man of Steel, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Wonder Woman are set for release before the culmination of The Justice League, Part 1 (It should be mentioned that Suicide Squad is set for released next, before Wonder Woman, but I believe that will open us up more to the villains' stories and, perhaps, part of what both Bruce Wayne and Lex Luther elude to at the end of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice). While you'll see many characters returning from Man of Steel, along with flashbacks and insinuations back to that film, this movie plays more like Side-B of Man of Steel, a telling from Batman's perspective; you see that this is primarily a Batman film throughout.
Let me say to all of the Ben Affleck naysayers: this is the Batman we deserve. Batman's humanity is palpable and his understanding of loss, power, and justice, is what makes the character of Batman so relatable. You will not be seeing the fresh, inexperienced Batman that we've typically seen on the big screen, but with the impeccable combination of a hardened Bruce Wayne and a seasoned Batman, Ben Affleck has brought both the man and the legend to life in a way that has never been done before. Also, and I think this is the important role that this film plays, the magic of seeing Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman on screen fighting side-by-side is what finally made me buy in to the DCEU.
As much as this movie acts as Batman's side of the story, it is also an origin story, of sorts, for Lex Luthor. We see this nefarious villain come to life as he uses his power to steal, murder, and manipulate his way into the hearts of movie goers and ultimately sets the bar high for what we should expect from DC's villains. In the same way that the Avengers needed Nick Fury to put them together in preparation for the catastrophic events in The Avengers, the Justice League needs Lex Luthor for not only a reason to come together, but in order to come together.
You will see glimpses of Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg, so pack your diapers.
I'm excited for you all to see this film and am very hopeful for the future of the DCEU after seeing it, as I'm sure you will be as well.