By now you have probably heard the consensus of the critics that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was such a disappointment, a total wreck. Currently, the film sits at 29% at Rotten Tomatoes and it’s declining by the day. But was it that bad? What went wrong?
When it was announced years ago that Ben Affleck will don the mask of the Caped Crusader in the next Warner Bros./DC superhero movie, everybody (including me) was infuriated by this questionable casting choice. However, when BvS came out, there were far more things that went wrong in the movie than Affleck’s casting. In fact, he actually did well as Batman, even better as Bruce Wayne.
Affleck’s version of Batman may be too dark and grim and brutal, maybe because he is an older, bitter kind of Wayne. That being said, I just don’t get why he is so angry with Superman. Sure, Supes can tear down buildings and harm innocents, but the animosity between the two is weakly explored. What’s worse was when they finally became friends because they shared the same mother’s name. Screenplay was poorly written, it’s as if they were in a hurry to wrap things up, even with the movie this long.
Henry Cavill’s Superman still lacks personality, but he definitely looks and acts the part. Clark Kent’s romantic relationship with Lois Lane (Amy Adams) is actually good at most parts.
The worst part for me, apart from the story, was definitely Lex Luthor. Jesse Eisenberg is an amazing actor, but instead of showing us a mad scientist-philanthropist with a recluse personality, we are shoved with an over-the-top spoof of Heath Ledger’s Joker from The Dark Knight. Wrong move.
The only saving grace of the movie was Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. She totally kicked ass and stole the show, especially in the final (and only notable) battle scene, even with a horrendous CGI Doomsday.
And it all boils back down to the storytelling. The movie suffers from all theatrics and less substance, a convoluted storyline with no direction that ultimately went nowhere. The film has a little heart, but it has lost the element of fun and enjoyment suitable for all ages. The unbearably dragging two-and-a-half hour running time can actually be trimmed to a full 90-minute spectacle had they cut off some of the unnecessary scenes, let’s say, for example, Bruce’s parents’ death. Why do we have to endure and revisit Bruce Wayne’s backstory over and over again? On paper, the film looks really grand, but director Zack Snyder just doesn’t know where to cut, throwing all possible scenes that he can throw in, adding up less than the sum of its parts.
If you are a fan of the comic book (and even if you are not), enter the cinema with low expectations, and just enjoy the film. Besides, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a good enough sequel to Man of Steel, but most importantly, it’s a great prequel to the Justice League film franchise.
3.0 out of 5 stars