Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is easily the most ambitious superhero film that I have ever seen. There have been a lot of negative reviews of the film and in my opinion they need to calm the hell down.
Visually, this film is absolutely stunning and I would expect nothing less of a Zack Snyder film, let alone a Zack Snyder film with a $250 million budget. Nonetheless, it has to be said that the cinematographer (Larry Fong) did an amazing job and it didn’t feel like any shot was a wasted opportunity. In particular the opening scene did a great job of telling a story in a very simple, condensed way.
The film introduces us to a new version of Batman but after Christopher Nolan’s now iconic trilogy, I didn’t relate to Ben Affleck’s portrayal of the vigilante. Snyder’s Batman is older and more experienced which apparently equates to angrier and more violent. It wasn’t so much a bad thing as much as it felt like there was something missing. Jeremy Irons’ Alfred did not disappoint – again, he was very different from Michael Caine’s take on the character but the few times that I smiled during this movie were because of Alfred.
I never truly loved Man of Steel but I warmed up a lot to Superman in this film. My constant complaint when it comes to Superman is that he is too boring and there’s never really a question of what he’s going to do which didn’t exactly change in this film but if I’m being honest he looked better when compared to Batman.
Now, I said that this film was ambitious and that all comes down to the plot. Obviously there’s Batman v Superman but they’re also trying to introduce the Justice League as well as dealing with whatever evil plan Lex Luthor is hatching. Honestly, the 2hr 33min running time is necessary to deal with everything that’s going on and it’s not a half-bad job.
The pacing of this film needs a lot of work: there were times when I began to lose focus and then all of sudden I’d be right back in the action and wide awake. Nothing quite jolted me back like the appearance of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman who was brilliant. I had my reservations about her casting but she truly does make a stunning Diana Prince and I can not wait to see her solo outing next year.
I also have to mention Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor who was captivating to watch. He’s the sort of villain that you want to see more of because it’s difficult to fully understand him. There are a lot of layers to the character that make everything that he says all the more interesting. As far as casting goes, Jesse Eisenberg was the perfect person to take on this role.
This movie is chock-full of Easter eggs for all of the DC fans out there and it’s obvious that there is a very clear plan for the DCEU moving forward but is the universe that they’re creating worth watching?
I don’t want to compare this film to any Marvel properties because they are entirely different and always have been. The comics, the heroes, the tones are worlds apart and I will always prefer Marvel but looking at this purely on its own merits: Batman v Superman is good. It’s not light and it’s not the sort of film that I would watch over and over again but it has made me very excited for the future DCEU films.