Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice is one of the biggest and most anticipated films releasing in 2016. I would be fairly surprised if there was even a person out there that had managed to avoid the onslaught of trailers, posters, billboards and any other advertising this film has put out, I have no doubt this is going to make a lot of money and it has two of the biggest superheroes in existence fighting each other. What’s not to be excited about here? It’s Batman V Superman and you get a whole bunch of other characters as well!
This was always going to be a film that had a lot of built up anticipation and expectations from fans and it’s hard at times to meet that high level. I’m not sure if people are expecting the best movie ever here, but from looking through a variety of social media posts and a few reviews out there, as well as our very own Petey’s, there’s quite a lot of people that are let down.
I for one am not in that camp of the let down people, I didn’t expect a great story or anything out of this, it is called Batman V Superman after all and my expectations were on the same level as movies like Alien vs Predator or Freddy vs Jason. All these are no good because it’s just based around two people fighting each other and that’s it! People for some reason flock to see these anyway and movie companies know that. But I do love both Batman and Superman a lot more than Alien or Freddy and was more excited than I was for those films, I did enjoy the experience I got with Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice overall, even though it still has a lot of issues.
Without giving anything away, you do get the two heroes fighting each other and quite a lot of other characters as well. The main villain in the story is Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) who kind of orchestrates a situation in which the two end up hating each other quite a bit and through a little bit of trickery, Lex gets them to fight. From my perspective there’s no problem doing this because we do get the fight we are promised, but it does hurt the characterisation a bit because as firmly established characters already with multiple films, we do know that Batman and Superman are fairly intelligent people, so in a way they kind of come across as unintelligent at times, especially considering that they were so easily manipulated.
Another issue that the movie has which is really my one of two complaints about it, is with the dialogue. While for the most part it’s good, at times it seems as if the writers stepped away from their writing desk at certain points and spent an hour or two thinking about an inspirational phrase or line to put into certain sections of the film to inspire everyone viewing it, but to me it comes across a bit out of place. This isn’t the only film to do this, this year, it also happened in Gods Of Egypt and Concussion as well. It’s something that if done right is great but if done poorly makes things worse and in Batman V Superman it was a bit hit and miss with it. Also occasionally the dialogue was slightly cheesy or in some parts made characters sound stupid and I don’t think it was intentional because of the serious tone that this film has. This probably relates back to my earlier comments of the heroes coming off as a bit unintelligent, which is my main issue.
But the film does manage to still deliver on quite a lot of aspects. This is really just an action film that is just about big fights and big explosions and high impact scenes. For anyone going in there for this, I don’t see how you can be disappointed, it’s got everything that all comic book films have and maybe even too much action in there for some, with many likely to call for a bigger story component. In terms of the ratio of action to story, I’d say the first half is the story half with the setup to the fights, with the second half being all action based.
The sound and music in the film is also a plus and so to were the special effects. I would however let you know, that I don’t think the 3D in this film is any good, I had some trouble with it at times in my screening and so did other people I spoke to, which is a shame. So see it in 2D, especially if you don’t really like 3D because if that happens to you like it did to me, it’ll ruin your experience slightly and stop you from enjoying some of the fairly good special effects.
Like with the Marvel films there are bits all throughout that kind of tease the audience about something in an upcoming film in the future. This is probably the better done section of Batman V Superman. While I won’t spoil you for all the heroes you’ll see in this film, there is the appearance of Wonder Woman and to be honest, I though she was the most interesting one of the lot and they’ve certainly got me interested in watching that one when it comes out. Gal Gadot was probably one of the standout actors in Batman V Superman and her character is really the one to watch going forward.
The actors are fairly decent in the film, Ben Affleck is the new Batman and while Christian Bale’s Batman will likely always be my favourite, I don’t see anything in Ben’s performance here that I didn’t care for, he was decent. It’s really the characterisation that lets him down. Henry Cavill returns as Superman and he does seem a lot more like Superman in this film compared to how he was in the Man Of Steel, it would be great if he had his own standalone film to build his character a bit more, but it seems they’re going for a full Justice League in the future so this is probably unlikely. Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne and Jeremy Irons were all good enough in their minor roles in the film.
Overall this is a fairly standard action film that has a lot pressure to deliver to fans and audiences around the world who have super high expectations for this. But it does deliver on the action scenes, the fights are all massive and are entertaining to watch as well. It may let a lot of people down as far as the story goes, with characterisation being fairly weak which leaves the heroes appearing unintelligent at times. But it does leave enough in there to make me want to watch the next Wonder Woman film and quite likely more in the universe they’ve created here. The new DC Universe is a bit messy, but I left the cinema wanting to see more of this in the future. I want to see some of the other DC universe heroes in their own films at the moment as I feel we’ve had a lot of Batman and Superman movies in recent years. We need at least one Wonder Woman film and that I think that is a good thing, we need something new and and creative and I’m looking forward to it.
Petey had entirely different thoughts on this one, see his review right here.