Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

No one was a bigger champion for the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice than I was. Sure, Man of Steel had its issues, but getting to see the two biggest superheroes of all time duke it out on the big screen was possibly one of the easiest sells EVER! I was one of the fans who was excited to see Ben Affleck playing Batman, and to witness the ‘dawn’ of The Justice League (let’s just say I am much more of a DC guy than I am a Marvel guy). But cut to walking out of the movie theater two and a half hours later and imagine my disappointment — Batman v Superman did not live up to my expectations. 

So, what is wrong with Batman v Superman? 

The movie is a mess. There are so many different subplots that are unnecessary and weave their way into the narrative. The film opens straight after Man of Steel, with the very controversial destruction of Metropolis portrayed as the main reason why Batman decides to take matters into his own hands. Through the first two acts you see Bruce Wayne getting ready to take down Superman, and Lex Luthor (Superman’s arch nemesis) thinking up ways to best him. We also have numerous side stories about a Senator, a disabled Wayne employee, and a mysterious figure called the White Portuguese who are all part of a sinister plan (ta-da!). SPOILER, there is also a Frankenstein-like creation called Doomsday who, rather than provoking a true sense of doom or dread, looks more like a dopey middle-earth troll lost from the set of LOTR.

A horrible thing that this movie suffers from is world-building. This is the movie that launches the DC Movie Universe, and much like Iron Man 2, it takes it upon itself to try and put too much into it. I mean, there is a lot to catch up on… right? So over the course of the two hours, we don’t just have Wonder Woman show up to battle, we are also shown (in small doses) Aquaman, Cyborg, and The Flash — it’s all just a little too much too soon. Couldn’t some of this wait for The Justice League? 

Whether bringing Batman into the fold for this second outing is the right move or not, I must say there was one aspect of the film that really worked for me. Ben Affleck doesn’t just play Bruce Wayne, he is Bruce Wayne — good looking and oozing charm. His Batman is older and more experienced. He’s played out to have been around awhile and seen a lot, and in turn, he has a cynical view of the world. After seeing this movie there is one thing I am excited about — seeing Ben Affleck play this character again (hopefully in a solo movie).

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is not a great start for the DC movie universe.  Where Marvel was successful in building their world up slowly before jumping into The Avengers, this movie shows a lot of its cards on the first hand and the result is not very super. 

What do you think?

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