First off, I can honestly say that I love both Marvel comics and DC comics equally; I am not biased towards one or the other. Second, I can tell you that Batman v. Superman is a fun comic book film, but it lacks heart. The main problem with this film is that it’s several different movies in one. You have a Batman vs Superman film, a Man of Steel Sequel, a Batman film, and a prequel to Justice League. It's all too much to fit into one movie and it ultimately falls.
I’m going to start to give my thoughts on each character and then give my thoughts on the film as a whole.
Batman: Ben Affleck probably gave my favorite Batman/Bruce Wayne to date. We have a Bruce Wayne who is a playboy and an active businessman who takes part in his company, but that is clearly a facade to a turmoil character. From the start of the film, you see the motivation Bruce has to take on Superman. Batman in this film is as dark as we’ve ever seen him, with his fighting style to be on par with the comics and superior to Bale’s Batman. Although I really enjoy Batman (my favorite superhero) they made one fatal mistake in my eyes, they made him kill. Now I can accept it, this is a darker Batman and it fits into this world, but I do not like it.
Superman: Henry Cavill has a good Superman in him. He really does, but sadly this film doesn’t show it. Or better said, they don’t take the time to explore it. The theme of whether Superman should be doing what he’s doing is a great one that can be explored more IN HIS OWN FILM, but so many things are happening that they just forget about his story and turmoil midway through. Lex Luthor was a formidable villain in terms of what Superman is supposed to mean for mankind to him. That should’ve been it’s own movie, Superman trying to find himself, his inner turmoil, and the acceptance from the general public.. Again, they lightly touch on those themes but they forget about it midway. There’s one particular scene that happens and it’s pretty big and unexpected and they could’ve offered so much with it, but IN HIS OWN FILM.
Lex Luthor: I actually enjoyed Jesse Eisenberg’s perfor Lex Luthor. I liked the portrayal we saw in the trailers and that is exactly what we got in the film, an arrogant and quirky villain who, like the movie, falls. When he’s incarcerated they show him being insane. He’s a basket case and his final scene just showed you how insane he was, when that wasn’t the character at all. The end, I felt, was such a departure from the character they set up in the film.
Wonder Woman: Gal Gadot was good. When she was acting as a Dianna, you got a sense of mystery and danger to her, which I really enjoyed and when she showed up at the end for the final fight, she kicked ass. She seemed like she was having fun when she was fighting Doomsday and they portrayed her characteristics very well and they did it very subtle. BUT, I have to say if they really wanted us to be invested with her, I think they should have made a Wonder Woman film first. Granted, this film did get me more excited for the Wonder Woman film, but the biggest problem to me was that she did not have to be in the film. She was in the film just to show the "Dawn" of the Justice League, the film could've worked the same without her.
Lois Lane: Amy Adams returns as Lois Lane, bad ass reporter and you see that in the first scene with her and then afterwards it all just falls down. Thinking more about it, I don’t remember Lois that much, other than the fact that she almost died. Lois became a rather typical superhero girlfriend and there really isn’t any other memorable scene with her. The dialogue between her and Superman was bad and it felt flat.
Alfred: Jeremy Irons plays a great Alfred. He was a father figure, a mentor, and was very hands on with Bruce’s operations. He speaks his mind and isn't afraid to tell Bruce what he thinks. I hope to see more of him in the future, him and Batman on screen together always make for excellent dialogue.
The problem with this film, like I said before, is that there is too much happening in one film that you don’t have enough time to be invested in the characters as much. One thing that really bothered was the film editing, it felt choppy. Each scene transition I felt was abrupt and they happened so quickly that it didn’t feel right with me.
There were some scenes that made me scratch my head such as Batman’s dream sequence. I can see Batman dreaming up a world with Superman as their leader, but how in the hell did he dream something so specific such as Darkseid’s parademons? (Which, by the way, look cool.) Also, there was a quick scene in which the Flash is in what seems to be a time hole (Flashpoint Paradox) and I was really excited when I saw it, but I quickly realized how out of place it felt and how it added nothing to the character of Batman and the overall story. It were scenes like that, that made me see the film as a Justice League Prequel. I will say, I did like the scene where Wonder Woman opens a file on 'meta-humans' and you see quick shots of the Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg. That I thought was well done, but why not have Batman look at the file instead and not have Wonder Woman in the film, as previously stated, she didn’t need to be in the film.
One of the biggest issue I had with the film was this one particular scene, in which Superman is going to speak to the Senate and the press in DC. In a scene that seems very serious and even interesting you see Superman walk and stand among the people, then, all of a sudden there's an explosion and everyone in the building (or room, they never really specified) dies, except Superman and you slowly go up to his face to see him tear up. I thought that scene was well done and they could’ve done something with that, IF HE HAD HIS OWN SEQUEL. They mentioned that incident at most two times, but afterwards they brush it off. They didn’t deal with the guilt Superman had and you didn’t have time to truly realize how evil Luthor is. It was such a powerful scene that was reduced to nothing by the end of the film.
Since the announcement of the film, we have had the idea that the two will fight over how they should stop crime. It would be a battle of ideology, which seems epic, but that's not even the reason why they fight. We get why Batman wants to fight Superman early on in the film, but that isn't the case for Superman. Superman is forced to fight for the entertainment of Lex, because he is holding his mother hostage. Now the fight itself is incredibly fun, but the reason as to why they fight is a bit of a disappointment. Now the conclusion of the fight ended when Superman said his mother's name, "Martha" which reminds Bruce of his mother, "Martha" and they just stop fighting. Batman, who was winning, decides to stop it and helps Superman. It felt out of character as Batman, throughout the entire film hates Superman and will do anything to put him down, but he just gives up when he realizes both their mother's names is Martha.
They tried to put in two of the most iconic comic story line in this film. The Dark Knight Returns, which shows Batman coming out of retirement to stop a bigger threat and you have The Death of Superman where Superman battles to the death against Doomsday, a Kryptonian monster made in a lab. Batman story works well in the film, but towards the end, when the final fight happens with Doomsday, Superman dies alongside Doomsday and I saw that and it really began to bother me, because we all know Superman isn’t going to stay dead. He’s gonna come back in the Justice League. Why would they kill him and bring him back? For dramatic effect? It didn’t do it for me, because I knew he’s gonna come back in future DC movies. If they had done a sequel to Man of Steel, then all the Justice League movies, AND then another solo Superman film, I would've been all aboard for that story line, but this is the DCEU’s second film and they’re already “killing” major characters, that aren’t even going to stay dead! Also, his funeral scene meant nothing because throughout the entire film, people are scared of him, they don't trust him, but by the end of they pay tribute to him like he's a war hero. It just doesn't make sense because they didn't have time to make him up to be their savior; most people were afraid of Superman.
To end on a positive note, I am very happy with the fight scenes and the choreography. The final battle, whatever I may think of it, was very fun to watch and again, Ben Affleck’s Batman is probably one of the best we’ll ever see. Also, the beginning scene in this film where we get to see the destruction of Metropolis from the point of view of Bruce Wayne, seeing that made me appreciate the film Man of Steel more.
I know my review may sound like a rant, but I only say this stuff because I really want to like this film. I really do, but I as I continue writing, the more I realize that I did not like the film as much as I wanted to. Obviously I will see it maybe two or three more times to get firm grasp of the film, but as of right now, it just doesn’t do it for me. I personally feel that this is a film made for comic book fans, but to the general audience, they won't get wants going on.
If you loved the film great! I can understand. The only review/opinion that matters is your own! Comment below and let me know what you think. Did you love the film? Did you hate the film? Let's discuss it!