Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) – Should I Watch It?
Intro to… Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
Batman does not think Superman is the hero the world needs, nor the one it deserves.
The city of Metropolis suffered a lot during the attack of General Zod, numerous buildings got destroyed and countless lives were lost. Superman (Henry Cavill) emerged as the only surviving Kryptonian and his actions since have heralded him a hero.
But not everyone is fond of the extraterrestrial Boy Scout. Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) witnessed first hand the fight between the two super-powered aliens, and the collateral damage they caused. He instantly concludes that Superman is too powerful, and starts preparing for a fight he assumes to be inevitable.
Should I Watch It?
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is many things. It is a superhero movie, an action movie, it is the sequel to Man of Steel, it is the inception of the DC Cinematic Universe, and the wet dream of comic book fans around the world (only surpassed by a Marvel vs DC movie). It is also a complete mess.
But it is not all bad, so let’s start with the positives. First and foremost, Ben Affleck might be the most physically imposing Batman we have seen on the silver screen. Batman is a masked vigilante that uses his appearance to strike fear in the hearts of the criminals he encounters. At least that is the purpose of his costume. This has never been incorporated well into any of the earlier movies. He is supposed to be scary, but I never thought that if I were a villain his appearance would put the fear of the bat in me, his punches would, but his appearance wouldn’t. But Batfleck is in a league of his own. He is absolutely brutal. I would be scared shitless.
Affleck makes for a great Bruce Wayne as well. His character has a lot of depth and his intentions and motivation is clear. His reason for wanting to take down Superman is valid, albeit maybe a bit too simpleminded for his character. I would definitely want to watch a solo Batman movie with Affleck in the lead.
But unfortunately this isn’t a solo Batman movie. And we get re-introduced to all the rubbish that Man of Steel brought to this shared universe. Don’t get me wrong, there is no denying that Henry Cavill has the looks to play Superman, but personality is a different thing. Superman stands for hope and justice, but in every close-up Cavill looks like he is dealing with an otherworldly case of chronic diarrhea. He is overly serious and sulky. There is no fun in him, and that hardly inspires hope.
Amy Adams also reprises her role as Lois Lane, and much like in Man of Steel her character is a complete nuisance and is only there for plot related reasons. Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman actually serves a similar purpose, but her actions make much more sense, and actually contribute to the story. But she gets very little screen time and the movie pretty much would have been the same without her.
Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor is as awful as Doomsday’s animation. It is often said that a superhero movie is only as compelling as its villain, and there is a certain truth to that. In this case we get a brainless lump of CGI and a twitchy pretentious brat. Who thought this was a good idea?
Speaking about pretentious. Throughout the movie there are numerous dream sequences that either create questions that never get solved, or are artistic representation of a character’s thoughts, dreams, or memories. These are supposed to excite the viewer for next instalments or to provide deeper meaning, but what it actually does is slow down an already slow movie.
DC has a lot riding on this film; their entire cinematic schedule is based on this movie. And that is probably the biggest flaw of all. They shove in as much as they can without looking at the relevance to this movie. This results in an abundance of subplots. So many, in fact, that the movie, with a running time of over two and a half hours, does not contain any establishing shots. Presumably these were all cut out to save time, but this also makes it completely incomprehensible and unwatchable. It jumps from scene to scene skipping huge parts of the story without explanation. I have often criticised that Marvel movies are too formulated, up to the point they feel a bit soulless, but at least they know how to set things up and make things fun to watch. DC should have paid more attention.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a mess of a movie. Last month I read an article that stated that DC executives alleged that this movie was going to be too intelligent for the average Marvel movie audience. And in a sense this is true, cause it takes quite a mind to make sense of the unintelligible chaos and muck that is this movie.
No, don’t watch it.
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