Read the Review by Keith Cheatham
In 2013, Zach Snyder, Warner Bros., and DC comics brought us Man of Steel, the luke warm received film reintroducing audiences to the iconic Superman. Using this film as a starting point WB and DC have decided to create their own cinematic universe, much as Disney and Marvel has done. The lynch pin to all of this, introducing the beginning of the Justice League is of course this years, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
This film does two things, sets up the new Batman for this universe, now that Nolan’s Bat films have ended, and sets the stage for Justice League. It does little else. As the film that is supposed to springboard us into a shared universe, Batman v Superman is okay, it sets up what it supposed to, but it itself is a horrible movie. Again, directed by Zach Snyder, who will also unfortunately direct Justice League, Batman v Superman builds a lot of promises, and starts impressive plot threads, that it never delivers on. This movie is all style over substance, yet barley even gives us enough decent action in which to appreciate the style. It's just a jumbled mess.
We begin by once again retreading Batman’s origin, shown exactly as we've seen it in every incarnation of the character. Luckily the film gets it over with fast, but I still found it unnecessary except for its importance in building the climax, which was poorly handled anyway. As the film goes on, the question of who watches the watchmen is played out as America asks who is Superman; is he a threat or a help, and should he be held accountable for all the destruction on display in Man of Steel? Billionaire Bruce Wayne, sees him as a threat, and so starts down a path of bringing Superman to justice. Again, meaty and interesting plot idea, that after being brought up, ends up being tossed aside and never revisited, just for the massive and destructive fight at the end, that likely killed just as many people as the first film.
I'd like to say the action is amazing, but parts are poorly shot with close up shaky came that makes it impossible to follow, or else, the end fight which is amazing, comes so late after so much film that never lead anywhere, that you just no longer care. The film is horribly cut, jumping around in an attempt to build a world and plot, but unless you’re an avid comic fan, you won't fully understand what's happening. Acting is passable, it's not great, but I didn't think it was bad, Ben Affleck has been praised heavily, but truthfully, I didn't think Batman did enough of anything to tell if he was good or not, but he wasn't bad, and Gal Gadot shines as Wonder Woman. The one exception to the decent performances is Jesse Eisenberg, who play Lex Luthor as a gibbering idiot, rather than the intelligent, mad, and ruthless man he should be.
I could rant more on all of this film’s flaws, but ultimately it does deliver some fan service, that I found really cool, if only it had been in a better movie. For a two-and-a-half-hour movie that tried so hard to be plot driven without actually developing a story.
I give Batman v Superman 1 out of 4 stars.
Here's hoping Justice League isn't worse. . .