Review: ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’

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To say Warner Bros. has had a hard time getting their DC Movie Universe off the ground would be an understatement. Failed projects like Green Lantern and underwhelming resurrections like Man of Steel have put the movie studio behind the eight ball as they continue to watch their rivals over at Marvel succeed, but things are about to change, or so they hope, as director Zack Snyder brings two of the biggest comic book heroes to the screen in a head to head battle in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Can bringing these two iconic heroes (well, three actually when you add Wonder Woman) put Warner and DC back on the right track and truly bring the dawn of a new cinematic universe to fruition?

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We begin where Man of Steel ends, at the battle of Metropolis. Superman (Henry Cavill) is in the midst of a furious battle with General Zod (Michael Shannon) and the chaos that ensues from the two combatants leads to much loss of life and the wrath of one billionaire vigilante, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck). The world begins to question the existence of Superman and his unchecked powers; the government demands there be regulations regarding Superman’s unchecked heroics and the general public is has a mixed view on his actions. As Superman continues his crusade, his actions bring consequences that lead men like Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) to look for a solution to stop the man of steel, but Luthor’s plans are much more sinister than just doing the right thing for mankind.

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Luthor is not the only one looking for a solution to stop Superman. Bruce Wayne’s mixed emotions regarding Superman bring him to the realization that he must prepare himself for battle if that moment arises. The Batman must stand against the coming storm with everything at his disposal and he will let no one stand in his way of accomplishing his goal. Wayne, convinced that Luthor may have vital information that he needs, decides to infiltrate the tech genius’ files to find a suitable answer, but Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), a mysterious woman who is also looking for answers of her own, crosses path with Wayne and leads the billionaire to a much larger discovery. As the time line accelerates, Batman and Superman must come face to face, but will their battle lead to an understanding as a larger threat rears its ugly head?

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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, on the surface, seems like a can’t lose film, but looks can be deceiving. Director Zack Snyder learns very little from his short comings with Man of Steel and continues to wrap chaotic action sequences around poorly written dialogue and tries to sell it to audiences as a complete film. The first half of the movie is a jumbled mess with too many side stories jam packed into an hour and a half. The premise is there and you can see that there is a really good story there somewhere, but Snyder proves that he is not the director to bring it out.The second half picks up and brings some amazing action sequences, but the damage is already done and you’re left trying to piece the film together on your own.

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Each of the stars battled fan boy anger over their casting and knocked their roles out of the park. Ben Affleck is fantastic as Batman and brings the darkest version of the character to the screen to date. Gal Gadot is breathtaking as Wonder Woman. She is elegant and powerful and a perfect casting for the Amazon princess. Henry Cavill‘s performance is a bit hollow, but I believe that has more to do with his character arc and less to do with the actor himself. Jesse Eisenberg was fantastic as the menacing Lex Luthor. His portrayal is very different from previous incarnations of the character and he creates a perfect version for this new dark cinematic universe. The one low point in the cast is Amy Adams as Lois Lane. Her sole purpose in the film was to show up and be rescued and denied this wonderful actress a chance to help move the story forward. This is a far cry from the character we were give in Man of Steel.

Overall, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a good film, but not a great film. There are elements of an epic movie underneath the chaos and that’s unfortunate because the actors were giving it their all. Should you see the film? Absolutely. Draw your own conclusions as we will all experience the film differently, but for this comic book lover, I was left wanting more.

Stars:

3 out of 5

After credit scene?

None

Trailer: