Sunday, March 27, 2016

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice Review

Let's pause for a moment and think about this fact: We have a movie featuring Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman together in live action. That is a historic event for DC movies. That being said, this is one of the two controversial movies of this year and, just as for Man of Steel, people are split down the middle on their opinions. What do I think? Let's dig into Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and find out.

My feelings for Clark are mixed. On the one hand, I think Henry Cavill is a good actor and would enjoy seeing how he would expand his character, but sadly, he doesn't get as many scenes as he deserves. The few scenes he has are exceptional, but there should be more. Especially for the fact that he wants to help people, but they are legitimately frightened of him. That would be a fascinating study, but it wasn't examined in detail.

I love Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne! He's my favorite live action interpretation of this character. He was finally a detective, built his tools, and an expert fighter. My one gripe (and many will share this with me) is that he kills criminals in this movie. I'm not a fan of that, but there are some reasons behind it. We see this Bruce after his second Robin, Jason Todd, was killed by Joker. When this happened in the comics, he became extremely ruthless. Even Alfred points out that he is not acting his usual self. 

Not to mention, he's a human forced to come to the realization that aliens exist, and as we know, you fear what you don't understand. The film has that theme with several characters, but Bruce handles better than the rest of the characters.

Also, the original Batman from 1939 did kill crooks and so did Michael Keaton's Batman. Again, it's not my favorite aspect of Batman, but they did not just add this as a new concept. While the branding doesn't make sense for why he's doing it now, there are explanations. In short, I fully support Affleck's Batman.

Wonder Woman:
My editor is going to hate me (not really, but she's severely disappointed), but I enjoyed Gal Gadot as Diana. Similar to the Superman argument, I wanted to see more of her. Thankfully, she has her own movie next year, so we'll see her origin story. In here, she was awesome, but like Batman, we don't know much about her.

Lex Luthor:


Any version of Lex Luthor from movies, cartoons, and comics always depict him as a suave business man who genuinely wants to help the world and sees Superman as a hinderance to mankind. For that reason, he wants to destroy him. In this movie, he's a brat that loves Jolly Ranchers. I'm not even joking. I can't believe the man depicted in this film can operate a high level corporation like Lex Corp. I don't blame the actor, but I do blame the writers for who they think Lex is. He needs a DRAMATIC change.

Other characters:
The supportive characters are solid in this movie. Martha Kent, Lois Lane, Perry, and Alfred were very amazing and they did an excellent job of carrying a film. 


I hate Doomsday in this movie. I never like it when movies combine characters. With this depiction Doomsday, they smashed Zod, Bizzarro, and Doomsday together and that's just plain laziness. Also, it is too soon to be using the Death & Life of Superman saga in a movie. Especially if you have other heroes to establish first. Most people don't like Superman here, so his death wasn't a huge impact in the world compared to the comics in which he was the hero for years.

This movie has the problem of trying to tell seven different and conflicting storylines. Which ones? 
1. A minor Superman movie
2. A decent Wonder Woman movie
3. A great Batman movie
4. A Justice League movie
5. A World's Finest movie
6. The Dark Knight Returns movie 
7. And The Death & Life of Superman movie
Each of these would be great on their own, but certainly not all together. The end result is that the plot is fairly clunky and every time we see something interesting on which we'd like to dwell, it quickly moves to another scene. All of that was a result of combining too much too soon.

Concluding Thoughts:
The movie does have its problems, but it's still entertaining and there are plenty of cool moments. In my opinion, only three things would need to be altered: if you changed Lex's personality dramatically, got rid of Doomsday, and focused on one storyline, then this would be a pretty amazing movie! As I mentioned, I love Affleck, Gadot, the supporting characters, setting up the Justice League, and a handful of awesome scenes.

So, if you liked Man of Steel, you might like Dawn of Justice. Personally, I think it's better than Man of Steel. I think you should watch it and if you're on the fence, watch it on a matinee or low budget movie theatre. I got my money's worth, but there is definitely room for improvement.

Next Time:
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.