I don't think I've seen a movie have such a polarizing effect on people the way Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice has created over it's opening weekend. I've heard everything from it being the worst movie ever created to watching a review where someone was arguing that the performances are easily Oscar worthy.
Let me start out by saying that I absolutely am a true Fanboy of comics. No bias here as I am both a fan of the Marvel and DC universe equally, however Batman has always been my absolute favorite character. So of course I walked into this movie with extremely high hopes as the trailers and previews hyped me up, however I walked out of the theater with absolutely...nothing. It wasn't as horrible as the most extreme haters expressed, but it wasn't good. The only word that truly pops in my head to describe this film is, forgettable. It wasn't like The Amazing Spiderman 2 where I walked out of the theater pissed beyond belief that I just wasted not only money but a couple hours of my life on such trash, but more like the second I left I had already forgotten what I just watched. What really rubs me the wrong way is that this movie had the potential to be great as it did showcase some brilliant material. There is NOTHING worse than wasted potential.
This movie felt more like DC's attempt at challenging Marvel's Cinematic Universe than anything else. Had they focused more on character development and making their own unique film rather than trying to outdo Marvel they could have potentially created an excellent stand out film. Tell me if you don't agree, but the entire film felt as if if it was focused more on setting up future films and projects rather than what was going on in the actual film. When your primary focus is on the future, you will forget what is happening in the now.
This dire need to compete with Marvel is without a doubt the reason they went overboard in bloating this film with so many things that were completely unnecessary. Look, if the film was entirely about Batman and Superman along with the conflict that arouse between the two that would have worked more efficiently. But no, they just had to throw Wonder Woman in the mix, throw in some pointless Justice League introductions, Doomsday, then completely shift gifts and throw in The Death of Superman story line. Mixing in that story line was such a wasted opportunity that it literally hurt my anus. The saddest part of all is that some of the best moments in the film were the introduction of Wonder Woman and the insanely short fight with Doomsday. Honestly, as awesome as Wonder Woman was they could have omitted her part and maybe just kept her scenes as Diana Prince in the film only hinting at what she will become in the upcoming Justice League films. She's such a prominent character that she deserved way more than just a 10 minute fight as her introduction. As for the Doomsday and Death of Superman scenario, I don't even know where to begin. The smartest move they could have made was focusing on the introduction of the new Batman, showcasing more of Superman while getting heavy into the conflict between the two, then perhaps ending the film with the birth of Doomsday. Then, if you really have to introduce Wonder Woman then save it for the very end of the film introducing the Holy Trinity as they are about to face off with doomsday, saving the battle for the next film where you can truly showcase the unstoppable threat that is Doomsday. Have an entire film dedicated to the battle and then you can slowly introduce the other Justice League members and perhaps finish the film off with The Death of Superman. That story line absolutely needed it's own movie. It's borderline insulting for them to have crammed it into the last 15 minutes of the film. But it appears that Doomsday was for nothing more than visual effect and to have one big bang at the end of the film since it was apparent they were already gearing up to introduce a new villain in which the general audience has no clue about. Darkseid. Maybe they should have paid close attention to how Marvel has been slowly introducing Thanos into the mix over the past few years with short scenes and end credit snippets. Even if you have never picked up a Marvel comic in your life, the MCU has made everyone aware that this Thanos character is pretty badass and about to lay the smack down on our favorite heroes. Marvel has a formula and that is something DC needs to focus on before they start giving us their next round of films.
Now I love a dark film and Batman is always supposed to carry with him a dark vibe but this is also a Superman movie. Superman is supposed to be the light. I understand they had this deep desire to make a more adult-oriented film, humanize Superman and show the inner conflict he faces, but they went about it all wrong. Superman was so lame and depressing I walked out almost hating the character. I don't know, maybe it's the nostalgia of the original films and comics of my childhood, that I cannot see anyone other than Christopher Reeve as the Man of Steel. He embodied the Superman spirit straight down to it's core. When he was Clark Kent he brought out that goofy, dorky likable side that we enjoyed seeing on screen making his transformation into superman quite epic. You knew that he was always trying to do the right thing and that he truly cared for humanity, whereas the new Superman seems to be helping people just to silence the general public about him being a threat. Every person he saves he does so with this sad look of depression on his face that makes the scenes painful to watch. The Christopher Reeve's version showcased very human moments like when he gave up his powers for the chance of having a normal life. As cheesy as those old films were, they were done right and you understood and sympathized with Superman, you knew that he was always about doing the right thing and loving humanity. If they stayed true to Superman, in The Man of Steel, he would have found a way to lead Zod away from the city to battle and save lives, much like he did in the original when he lured Zod to the fortress of solitude for the final battle. Yes, they did fight in the city and there was some destruction, but he did all he could to get them away, where this Superman seemed to not care and just went all out. It was an epic battle, but with the intention of having a huge onscreen fight void of staying true to Superman. Make your movie, but you should really stay true to the essence of each character.
The same applies to Batman. Make him your own version, but at least stay true to his core principles. Batman DOES NOT KILL damn it. I'm not talking about the future scenes where he is using guns, that didn't bother me because it was a dream sequence in a future where he has obviously seen some sh!t and using guns might just be necessary. I'm talking about Batman's desire to flat out murder Superman. No, he didn't want to just stop him or at least try and reason with him first, he wanted to take a spear and stab him in the heart. I'm sorry, but that is not Batman. Batman would have most definitely made the suit and made some Kryptonite weapons as a contingency plan, but only after he tried to reason with Superman. And if he couldn't, he would have found away to contain him using the Kryptonite and not kill him. That just isn't the Batman way.
Now as for Ben Affleck's version of Batman, he did a much better job than expected. I'm not going to lie, when they announced Ben would be taking on the role of the Caped Crusader, I almost cried, in fact a little piece of me died that day. So it was a pleasant surprise to see he did a decent job and had some shining moments showcasing moments of a Batman truer to the comics than those that played him previously. His portrayal of Bruce Wayne was spot on. He was THE perfect Bruce Wayne, very reminiscent to the comics and animated series. As Batman, something felt a little off, but I think it had more to do with the direction and writing than Ben himself. He did the best with what he had to work with, with some shining moments that showcased exactly how Batman is supposed to be. That fight scene when he goes to rescue Martha Kent was beautiful and made me feel like i was watching Batman directly from the comics. And I loved the fact that he used and assortment of gadgets, which is something The Dark Knight trilogy's version of Batman lacked. The Anti-Superman suit was awesome and I loved the fight between the two.
The final showdown between Batman and Superman was done extremely well. It was awesome, but it wasn't epic. The entire film was based on their conflict and with a 2 1/2+ hour run time they deserved way more than a 8 minute fight. But maybe it wasn't the fight at all that was lacking, but the way it ended. Apparently, Batman is willing to set aside all differences, end his desire to murder you, and join forces with you if your mother has the same name as his. That was lameness to the 3rd degree.
I saw an extreme amount of hate for Jessie Eisenberg's version of Lex Luthor, but I must say I quite enjoyed his performance as a partially insane, manic, hopped-up on cocaine version of Lex. If you were expecting the comic book version or one similar to that of the original films I can see how you were disappointed. If you can forget for a minute that he was never intended to be like the previous versions then you might just see a pretty brilliant performance in there. He's an extremely talented actor that played it well even with the corny lines and direction he was given by the filmmakers. As for the character himself, my biggest problem was the film never got into the reasoning or motifs behind his desire to rid the world of Superman. I would have been more satisfied with finding out that Lex was secretly sleeping with Lois until Superman came along and snagged his chick, rather than be left to speculate as to why. His hatred was so extreme he was willing to murder innocent people, give a mug full of piss to someone, kidnap women and create an unstoppable alien monster that could potentially destroy the planet just to put an end to the Man of Steel. Hatred that extreme without any type of reasoning or justification is pointless.
Doomsday, Doomsday...Doomsday. Where do I begin? I understand they couldn't get into his origin story, but I think they could have come up with something better than taking the dead body of General Zod, poring some blood on his face then stuffing him in a space incubator to create the World's most powerful villain. Sure, he looked exactly like a cave troll from Lord of the Rings when he first came out, but I was happy to see him mutate a few times almost resembling his comic book version by the end. It was also nice to see the little nod to the comics of him coming back stronger and more unstoppable after each time they supposedly destroyed him. But again, a character of this magnitude deserved way more than 15 minutes. The general audience will now never know how destructive this monster truly was in the comics. It also downplays the Death of Superman as how can people suddenly sympathize with Superman's sacrifice to stop something that barely caused any destruction. Had they dedicated an entire film to his rampage, Superman's death would have served a purpose other than trying to squeeze in as many stories as humanly possible into one film.
Wonder Woman's intro was epic especially following the film's funniest and most memorable moment. Batman's "Oh Sh!t" line before he was about to get blasted by Doomsday was simply awesome and the scene became even more awesome when Wonder Woman leaped in to stop the blast. I just wished they saved her for the next film to introduce her properly and give her more screen time. And the lasso? Her signature weapon was only present containing Doomsday. You mean to tell me with all the nonsense you put in this film you couldn't give her a 5 seconds of twirling the lasso and wrapping it around Doomsday?
Another Highlight was Jeremy Irons as Alfred. He absolutely nailed the part and gave, what I feel, was the truest version of Alfred we have seen thus far. He was cool, sarcastic and resourceful. You had the feeling that Batman truly needed him and not just for moral support.
Overall the film was far too slow and choppy. The editing and cutting of scenes was all over the place presenting no real flow to the film. It was dark and gritty with everyone pissed off or sad and could have benefit from some humor and lighter moments, especially from Superman. You can absolutely make an adult superhero film with some comedic elements without it being all cartoony. It was long and involved way too many story lines that were completely unnecessary creating the ultimate recipe for a forgettable film with wasted potential.
Would I recommend it? It's a tough call, being that there are many people that actually enjoyed the film. It did have some cool moments, mainly the scenes involving Batman, but the rest was pretty much fluff. But who knows, I'm sure many more people will continue to enjoy the film, so go see it and judge for yourself.
Thank you for reading this review, feel free to comment away.