Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice

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Every critic reviewing this movie is going to say “At least it’s better than Man of Steel.”

I’m not so sure it is.

Every critic, whether they like this or not, is going to praise Gal Gadot (former Miss Israel, fashion model, and Fast and Furious actress) as Wonder Woman. I didn’t care for her performance, or the musical score Hans Zimmer composed whenever she appears on screen. There were screeching electric guitars, and the use of two of the best drummers in music — Jim Keltner and Sheila E. It didn’t fit, but…the rest of the score was disappointing, too.

The performance everyone is wondering about is Ben Affleck as the new Batman. He was fine in the role and his bat suit was badass. He just spent a majority of the movie acting like a villain [this is probably a good time to point out, there will be NO SPOILERS in this review].

There’s no need to discuss the performance of Henry Cavill as Superman. He was just as awkward and bland as previously, although this time he reminded me of Jeff Goldblum.

Since I wasn’t familiar with this story from the DC Comics, I wondered how screenwriters Chris Terrio (Argo) and David Goyer (Blade, The Forest, Dark City, and all the recent Batman movies) would set this up. Well, very poorly. It had plot holes and at times it was hard to understand. Certainly the motivations between the two good guys fighting didn’t make a lot of sense.

Director Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen, and the recent Superman films) gave us a bombastic mess of a movie. My eardrums were sore after this, and my eyes don’t need to see another CGI fireball ever again. And aren’t all these fight scenes in the superhero films looking the same?

The movie starts with, yet again….showing how Bruce Wayne’s parents were killed. I swear, I’m guessing they’re going to show their death in the Wonder Woman movie, too.

Batman blames Superman for the destruction and deaths he caused at his financial headquarters during a big battle. That was interesting, because in my review of that Superman movie, I said that it was weird that he wouldn’t stay at his cornfield in Kansas and let the villain come to him there, where only a few stalks of corn would be victims. By going into Metropolis, people were surely going to die when buildings collapsed, or when they threw each other through the buildings [side note: why in Superman movies, when he’s thrown into a building by a bad guy, does it hurt him? When he flies through them on his own, it never does.]

Although now that I’m thinking of it…doesn’t Bruce Wayne live in Gotham, not in Metropolis? Wouldn’t his building be there? Oh hell…it’s one of many plot holes this movie has.

Amy Adams, a terrific actress that I’ve never cared for as Lois Lane, spends the movie trying to get Superman out of jams. You see, a few people in the government (Senator Finch, played by the talented Holly Hunter) have questioned how Superman dishes out his justice.

Editor Perry White (the always welcome Laurence Fishburne) has a few funny lines, but the rest of the film is humorless. That really hurts the overall vibe of the picture. It just comes across as depressing, and worse — boring.

The two villains are awful. The usually reliable Jesse Eisenberg (who I recently watched again in the underrated The Squid and the Whale), doesn’t convey Lex Luthor [side note: I’m not sure if he was playing Lex Luthor, or the son of Lex Luthor]. I prefered the subtle humor and evilness Gene Hackman brought to the role in 1978. Eisenberg seemed to be channeling Heath Ledger, and he added a handful of tics and goofy catch phrases.

I suppose Jeremy Irons worked as Alfred, but we’re used to the more peppy Michael Caine. Not to mention the fact that Irons has played so many villains, the cadence in his voice throws you off.

The other villain is the creature Luthor creates. He’s a huge CGI mess. He looks like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, left by a campfire too long.

I’ve said even before this movie, but…filmmakers need to stop with the dream sequences, unless they can do them right. They also need to stop with the news clips showing Anderson Cooper, Charlie Rose, or Nancy Grace spouting off about a bad guy. And I think this is the 5th movie I’ve seen in a year that’s had Neil deGrasse Tyson talking about space. Enough already!

This film is going to clean up at the box office this weekend. It probably won’t get the best reviews, but fanboys are going to love it. The friend I brought with me liked it well enough (he said he’d give it 3 stars out of 5), and we stood in the parking lot while he explained things about the Justice League that obviously went over my head. So it’s a movie the comic book crowd will love, although I’m not sure why. So many superhero films keep coming out, they shouldn’t be satisfied with a lackluster picture like this.

It’s understandable that DC wants something to rival Marvel and its Avengers (the last Avengers was disappointing, too).

The characters weren’t interesting, the film was boring, and it was over 2 ½ hours long.

It gets 1 ½ stars out of 5.