With a name like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, it’s no surprise there’s a lot to unpack here.
When Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck), a.k.a. Batman, was in Metropolis and witnessed one of his employees lose both of his legs under the rubble of the ensuing battle, it caused him to develop animosity towards Superman.
In turn, Superman, under the guise of journalist Clark Kent, has formed a strong dislike for Batman. The Dark Knight has been targeting Gotham’s poorer neighborhoods and the criminals he stops are usually economically disadvantaged.
Batman doesn’t like Superman behaving with impunity at the expense of civilians, while Superman doesn’t like Batman’s aggressive vigilantism.
That makes sense, but what doesn’t make sense is what reason Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) has to hate Superman. Lex Luthor wants to use Kryptonite to protect the Earth from others like Zod, or possibly even Superman. Luthor gives some confusing pseudo-philosophical monologues about how his father beat him, and so he lost his faith and stopped believing God was good. Therefore, Superman is not to be trusted? That’s not a strong enough motivation.
So what does the movie do right? Well, the special effects are great. Special effects have gotten to a point where Superman looks 100 percent believable. It really does look like a man is flying. Everyone is physically well cast for their roles, with the exception of Ben Affleck. Gal Gadot is the perfect choice for Wonder Woman. Her charisma makes up for the lack of character she is given and I’m genuinely excited to see her star in next year’s Wonder Woman movie.
I also liked seeing Batman fight Superman. The fight scenes did not disappoint, and if you’ve been waiting your whole life to see those two go at it on the big screen, you will not be disappointed.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is well cast. Henry Cavill is literally the perfect physical representation of Superman. Amy Adams does her best with Lois Lane, but she’s only as good as the writing. Ben Affleck doesn’t feel quite right for the role, but that could also be the writing. Bruce Wayne isn’t given a personality or an arc, so it looks like Ben Affleck got in a Batman costume and just did whatever the director told him to do. Jesse Eisenberg also does his best with Lex Luthor, but the audience is not told what his motivations are. Does he want anarchy? Does he just want Superman dead? Is he just a “bad guy?”
Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Flash (Ezra Miller) and Cyborg are also shoehorned into this movie. DC is trying to start its own cinematic universe, so why not look at what Marvel did right with Captain America: Civil War?
Civil War had a villain with clear motivations as well as a cast of characters who were already developed in previous movies. In Batman v Superman you’re introducing a brand new Batman who’s not developed and Superman, who was barely developed at all in Man of Steel. This movie shoves characters who we don’t really care about into a complicated plot while also introducing us to Lex Luthor and Wonder Woman.
The strengths of Batman v Superman are in spite of the movie’s convoluted writing. The Ultimate Edition, which has 30 more minutes of extra footage, gives the characters slightly more development than the theatrical cut, but at over three hours, it can feel like the cinematic equivalent of ordering too much at all-you-can eat sushi.
The Blu-ray comes with over two hours of extras: Uniting the World’s Finest, Gods and Men: A Meeting of Giants, The Warrior, The Myth, The Wonder and Accelerating Design: The New Batmobile.
Have you seen Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice? Click here to write your own review. ~Yanis Khamsi