The battle of battles was to be something glorious but instead we’re left with something barely passable as good. This newest addition to the plethora of superhero films has a lot going for it, enough that I would recommend seeing it at least once. It was never going to live up to expectations but you always hope it will come close. For me, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is a one and done missed effort that had a world’s worth of potential and lives up to almost none of it. First the good, then the bad…
Visually speaking there are few who do it better than Zack Snyder and there is no denying that this is one gorgeous looking superhero epic. The stunning slo-mo, the brutally violent fight scenes are just a few reminders of why comic book movies are so damn cool. They aren’t always the most thought provoking but when they are good, often times they’re great. Some of the best fight scenes in BvS involve the Bat himself going against the scum of Gotham in all his vigilante glory. All the worry over Batfleck should fade away this week as audiences everywhere will see a confident, smooth-talking Bruce Wayne and a tougher than steel (pun) Batman played powerfully and assuredly by Ben Affleck. If there is any question about his commitment to this role, just wait for the scene that shows a determined and very pissed-off Bruce Wayne train for his impending clash of Man vs. God and you will see a ripped Batfleck that makes even Henry Cavill look small in comparison. Affleck clearly gave this everything he had and all that’s asked in return is a chance to prove himself for all of you (He already showed me what he’s capable of.) And now the bad…
Too much of anything in a movie can be detrimental to it as whole and if BvS doesn’t suffer from too many characters and too many subplots to keep everything straight, it certainly teeters on the brink of being called overstuffed. The script shows a lot of maturity when it focuses on Superman’s place in our world and if his intentions will always remain pure. Even if he fights for the human race is the destruction left in his wake worth it? This is brought into question and ties nicely into the hatred Bruce Wayne has for Superman. Bruce doesn’t trust him in the slightest and imagines a world where Superman is allowed to roam free and the result is scary. This is enough motivation for Bruce to take on the Last Son of Krypton. This is a great story already and doesn’t require anything else too big to fit and yet there’s still so much more.
Of course we can’t forget the cartoonishly fiendish Lex Luthor played well enough (not great) by Jesse Eisenberg who must concoct a convoluted plan to gain the upperhand over Superman and Batman. It could be argued that Lex is the ultimate motivator that places Superman on the fast track to the battle of the century but his nefarious plans don’t end here… there’s always a Plan B. But that’s for you to find out on your own.
Now we move onto Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. She is fantastic as this character and is unquestionably one of the best parts of this film. However unless I missed something her reason for being in this particular adventure feels almost nonexistent. She is in this movie to set up Justice League and that’s basically it. She doesn’t pick a side between the dueling heroes and she doesn’t have anything to do until the third act of the film, she is excess baggage here even if that baggage is badass when it FINALLY arrives. She has nothing to do. It’s her presence that is the tip of the iceberg of what this film suffers from most (in my opinion).
It barely identifies as its own film. There is so much concern with setting up a world with multiple superheroes that by the end, the fight (which is supposed to be the main focus) is placed on the back burner as countless references to the Justice League permeate, arguably plague, this movie into chaotic madness. There is so much going on that certain aspects of the story must be cut short for fear of a five hour movie. And then there’s Doomsday on top of everything else. I’m going to just say it, there is too much happening here and it falters to the point of being bad with certain exceptions that raise it up ever so slightly from forgetful trash to passable, one-time entertainment. If Snyder and company are to continue with Justice League I fear for the heroes of the DC Universe.
This isn’t a bad movie but it falls so far from where it could have been that to call it good doesn’t quite describe it either. We didn’t want okay, we wanted, we hoped, for greatness. Having seen the final result, it appears that request was a goal not so easily achieved.
I want to add that the last truly great superhero film was Deadpool and a major reason it worked so well is that it operated as a standalone film with possibilities to branch out into sequels if audiences want it and they clearly do because Deadpool 2 is already greenlit. It shows no concern for another film and this is largely what makes it such a fantastic superhero movie. BvS went another route. Oh well…
Rated PG-13 For: intense sequences of violence and action throughout, and some sensuality
Runtime: 151 minutes
After Credits Scene: No
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Comic Book
Starring: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Laurence Fishburne, Diane Lane, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons
Directed By: Zack Snyder
Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 2.5/ Acting: 3.5/ Directing: 3/ Visuals: 5
OVERALL: 3 Nerdskulls
Check out the trailer below:
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