Written By: Ryan Hollen
Though the summer blockbuster season is a month away one of this year's biggest releases arrived Friday and like its predecessor has been just as divisive among fans and critics. “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice”, director Zack Snyder's follow-up to 2013’s “Man of Steel”, takes two of the most iconic heroes in spandex and promises all-out warfare.
The Good: When it was announced that Ben Affleck would be tackling The Caped Crusader next the reaction among fans was unfavorable, and that is putting it lightly. But Batman fans need not worry any longer because Affleck as Bruce Wayne is the highlight of the film. From the start it is apparent that this Batman is different than any other seen before. He is older, more brutal, and adheres to a much more vague moral code. This Batman isn’t afraid to kill to the get the job done. It’s a refreshing look at the character and breathes much needed air into the film.
If Snyder’s previous films were any indication we knew the action was going to be beautifully shot. Snyder succeeds well in that department. When the action picks up it’s nothing short of epic and when the titular characters finally lock horns the viewer is left gripping the edge of their seat. All of this is scored well by Hans Zimmer, who returns from “Man of Steel”, and Junkie XL (“Deadpool”).
It’s worth noting that Gal Gadot (“The Fast and The Furious” series) surprises as Wonder Woman. Her short but powerful role as Diana Prince is sure to leave fans waiting anxiously for her 2017 solo outing.
The Bad: This movie is a mess. There are quite a few flaws but starting with the biggest is the fact that fans of these iconic heroes were subjected to a lean cut story. There is no meat to the narrative and fans are left filling obvious plot holes in their head to push the movie forward. Besides Affleck’s Batman nobody in this universe has a reason to want to see these two behemoths fight.
Instead of the philosophical ideals of the two causing the friction an over-the-top, joker-esque Lex Luthor, played by Jesse Eisenberg (“The Social Network”), is the Puppet Master pulling the strings. Even then, it’s not clear why he even wants the main conflict to take place. Again, holes - big, giant holes.
The pacing, editing, and length of the movie are also at fault. Often times scenes are short and just when the viewer is beginning to become engaged we are sent in a different direction. The movie isn’t told in a linear fashion but that is not to blame. Many movies are told in nonlinear form and work perfectly fine. The problem is what the movie is trying to accomplish story wise. In 151 minutes, the movie is trying to do too much. It’s the marquee battle between Batman and Superman, the story of Lex Luthor, a straight sequel to “Man of Steel”, a solo Batman movie, and finally the set up/lead into Justice League all told from various story points in jolting fashion never fully fleshing out any story in the time given.
The Verdict: “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” is sure to satisfy some fans cravings who simply want to see the title characters square off but as a compelling story falls flat on the mat for the ten count.
GRADE: 2 / 5