Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice | Review

BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE is the big gamble from Warner and DC Comics, sadly MAN OF STEEL from director Zack Snyder was not a huge, or much loved, success but they stuck with Snyder’s vision for a battle against Marvel in the superhero stakes. What was once a joke movie poster from 2007s I AM LEGEND movie is now a fully fledged gladiatorial battle of an Alien godlike man and Gotham’s rich kid with uber cool toys on screen in 3D with Atmos sound. BATMAN V SUPERMAN released today thanks to the peeps at Warner Bros Pictures and Roadshow Films, it is rated M (in Australia) and runs for a whopping 151mins (the Blu Ray release will see Snyder’s R rated version that runs over 3hrs). 

 

Batman-V-Superman-Dawn-of-Justice-Movie-Poster

 

BY JASON KING

First of all take a sigh of relief, it is much better than I was expecting, in fact while The Avengers movies are becoming more camp and slightly Disneyesque Snyder’s BATMAN V SUPERMAN goes much darker, it embraces more of his darker WATCHMEN style of film-making and does a pretty impressive job of combining the two superheroes into one movie. Throwing in the addition of Wonder Woman and giving us brief introductions to the rest of the upcoming Justice League makes this a brilliant introductory film for a long franchise, sadly it is not as good as the first Avengers but for what it has set up I have a feeling I will end up preferring this franchise.

But be warned, the film is eons from perfection with gaping plot holes, unanswered side stories and dreams, some poor dialogue and one woeful piece of casting.

 

Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice move image

 

Let’s start with what I loved:

  • Batfleck, if he failed it was all over for this franchise, if we got Daredevil all over again there would have been holes in the screen and death to Mr Afleck but he is bloody brilliant and it may seem odd but he is the darkest Batman there has been and he is devoid of any happiness, he truly embraces the persona of Batman, even more so than Nolan and Bale’s Dark Knight.
  • Superman, I loved MAN OF STEEL, my guest for the screening, Rixy Dix, loathed it, so he was incredibly skeptical in the entire movie but came out nicely surprised. Superman, his story and his progression from MAN OF STEEL was good.
  • The fight scene is perfect, it is exactly what the audience wanted and we all held our breath while they beat the crap out of each other.
  • Wonder Woman – Gal Gadot pretty much steals the entire move from the boys, her cheeky smirk as though the giant monster is just a nuisance is brilliant and I cannot wait for her movie this (or is it next?) year, I am confident it will be brilliant.
  • Snyder’s direction – he achieved his goal and the way he answered all the controversy of the haters in MAN OF STEEL for destroying Metropolis by making it a key plot point was gold, I tip my hat at him. I love Snyder, he was the first person I ever interviewed as a critic and I have so much respect for the man for being such a nice guy :).
  • Batman meeting Martha Kent – that is all I will say about this.

 

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Now what I didn’t like:

  • One of the worst casting decisions in cinematic history was having Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, the performance is deplorable. Eisenberg’s lines, his over twitching and his delivery was all so cringe-worthy he nearly destroyed the movie. Why he played it so over the top we will never know – in a darker universe they needed a darker nemesis, not one more comical than Gene Hackman’s brilliance in the same role. All he had to do was play his exact same character from THE SOCIAL NETWORK and he would have nailed it. We needed a stoic bad dude who could be really cruel instead we got a cartoon character who belonged in Schumacher’s BATMAN AND ROBIN. I was discussing this with a friend today and said friend thought they could have gone with an evil bad female Luthor and we both said, without thought, at the same time, SIGOURNEY WEAVER – it needed strength and we got an idiot.
  • The Doomsday monster that sees the post hero-battle turn to unification has been done to death. Giant grotesque monster with predictable outcome is no longer required and was pretty much just the same character made bigger with stolen CGI from the cave troll of Moria in Lord of the Rings, it was an anti-climax following on from the hero-battle.
  • I hate to say it but Hans Zimmer’s score for BATMAN V SUPERMAN was a let down after his brilliance in The Dark Knight trilogy, it never reached the epicness it deserved. We got hints at Superman’s songs and hints at Batman’s songs but it never got that tribal bass drum smashing brilliance of his past hero movies.

 

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  • The story of Batman, it was quite wishy washy. Firstly, he is an established hero with obvious history (see Wayne Manor), but his history is different from The Dark Knight series and isn’t explained very well, if at all. In the movie he is made out to be a new angry vigilante who is bordering on darkness but he has history, if so why is he considered a new hero? Surely if he was a known hero in Gotham why was he not known in Metropolis if that is the reasoning? It is not that far if Bruce Wayne can drive between the two to attend a dinner at the Luthor residence, surely they all have televisions.
  • This one made me guffaw – why is a journalist in the middle east still shooting stills on film???? How was this scene even allowed to be in the movie.

 

Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice move image

 

I don’t think the 3D enhanced the BATMAN V SUPERMAN experience but I do think seeing it in IMAX would and that fight scene – it’s filmed in IMAX and it would look bloody epic. And for grand sound, see this one in Atmos if you can, the flying and battles scenes and all encompassing surround sound is immensely better with enveloping speakers and it compliments this movie nicely. But not many cinemas have this sound format due to the epic costs but there are a few around.

As a whole BATMAN V SUPERMAN was a decent superhero movie and one that I preferred to the last Avengers movie, I love the darkness and I love where this is heading – but the last fifth of the movie was a monster letdown and that casting of Eisenberg will be hard to forgive, especially if we have to see him in future installments. I liked it but couldn’t love it.

 

3 and a Half Pops

 

 

 is the owner and editor of Salty Popcorn and Spooning Australia. He is a movie, food, restaurant, wine, chocolate, bacon, burger and brussels sprouts addict. He is a member of the Australian Film Critics Association and has been in the Australian movie industry for 25yrs. He loves watching people trip over and is Leonardo DiCaprio’s biggest fan. All the social media links to the right and up will allow you to abuse, troll or stalk him :).

** All images courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher – credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.