It's the superhero clash we've all been waiting for! Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a 2016 superhero film directed by Zack Snyder and starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Jeremy Irons, Jesse Eisenberg, and Gal Gadot.
Batman v Superman serves as a sequel to Man of Steel (also directed by Snyder). Bruce Wayne witnesses the destruction of Metropolis that takes place at the end of Man of Steel, and views Superman as a threat to humanity. Superman soon learns of Batman's activities and sees him as a potential threat. Friction develops between the two, while evil businessman Lex Luthor hatches a plan to defeat Superman.
Batman and Superman have been around for decades, and given the abundance of superhero films that have been coming out over the past 10-15 years, it should be no surprise that the Caped Crusader and Man of Steel would eventually duke it out. The big question is, does it live up to the hype?
One of the best words to describe this film is polarizing. You might watch the film and think:
- One of the best superhero movies ever!!
- Amazing! Epic on so many levels!
Or you might think:
- This is the one of the worst films I've seen in a long time
- How dare Zack Snyder abuse our favorite superheroes!
There really is no middle ground with Batman v Superman. Either you will cherish it for years to come or you will want to throw it into a dumpster if ever a DVD or Blu-Ray copy comes into your line of sight. There can be no, "it's okay."
- The action and visuals. Batman v Superman excels when the action and fighting gets going. It provides a special thrill rush we haven't experienced from superheroes since Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy.
- Ben Affleck as Batman. People laughed and joked when it was first announced that Affleck was cast as the next Batman, but it turned out that he had arguably the best performance in the film. Affleck does a magnificent job of capturing Batman's dark edginess and daunting style of crime-fighting. When he comes face-to-face with Superman for the first time, he stares him down and asks, "Do you bleed?", knowing full well Superman could send him flying off into the distance with relative ease. If that's not a courageous and intimidating superhero, then I don't know what is.
- Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL's soundtrack. The music further intensifies the excitement of what's going on, and when we've got Batman and Superman going at one another, exciting music is a must.
- Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. When I first saw trailers for Batman v Superman and saw Jesse Eisenberg, I was confused on why he seemed to be an important character in the film. I looked up the cast shortly afterwards, and saw he was portraying Lex Luthor. I was almost dumbfounded. Eisenberg has garnered many credible appearances over his career (The Social Network, Now You See Me, Zombieland), but this is a role I just could not envision him playing, mainly because he seems a little too young for the part and Eisenberg has not been known for playing villanous roles, especially one previously portrayed by greats like Gene Hackman and Kevin Spacey.
I did not have high hopes for Mr. Eisenberg going in, and those hopes were further hammered down as the film progressed. Eisenberg's Luthor is way over-the-top and annoyingly cartoonish, almost to the point where you might stop taking him seriously. Lex Luthor is known for being a diabolical mastermind, but not a psychotic, long-lost Looney Tune as we see him in this film.
- The film acting more like a Superman movie than a Batman AND Superman movie. Batman v Superman is a sequel to Man of Steel, and features Lois Lane, Lex Luthor, Doomsday, Martha Kent, and Perry White, all characters seen alongside Superman. On the other side we have....Alfred, and that's about it for additional Batman characters. Since we see so many more Superman-exclusive characters as opposed to Batman-exclusive characters, the film feels more like another Superman film, with Batman just happening to be in it too. If there was a cameo or small appearance from other good-guy Batman characters such as Commissioner Gordon and Lucius Fox, this problem could've been resolved.
Overall, Batman v Superman delivers the action and entertainment you'd expect when Batman and Superman finally clash. It's fair to call the film bloated and overlong considering how many different characters come together, but the first-time experience of seeing Batman and Superman fight makes for quite a spectacle and is more than enough to make up for flaws in direction and writing, as well as a god-awful performance by Jesse Eisenberg.
Recommend? Yes, especially if you're a fan of Batman and/or Superman
Here you'll find my reviews on just about any film you may have seen. I try to avoid major spoilers as much as possible. I structure my reviews in the following way: