Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (d. Zack Snyder USA 2016)

Please read On Reviews for a guide to how I write film reviews. Any spoilers are appropriately marked and, though I personally prefer to know little about a film before seeing it, there is a synopsis at the bottom for any who wish to see one.

Entertainment: starfish starfish   

Performances: starfish starfish starfish

Predictability:   starfish starfish starfish

Technical:        starfish starfish starfish

This is another of the big films of 2016, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. As of yet I have still not seen the trailers but it feels topical to just discuss expectations. Why would two Superheroes fight? What could drive them to such a thing? I also have a limited understanding of the DC universe but I will say that we are looking at The Justice League Part One  (d. Zack Snyder USA 2017) next year. It’s almost impossible not to see everything before it happens, but taking the film on it’s own we’re confronted with other problems and opportunities. 

If we start with the good things, we saw some good performances with Jeremy Irons and Jesse Eisenberg. There were some good visuals and uses of CGI as well. What we see can be somewhat entertaining and that has to be said it does hold it’s own as an okay film. However, for an action film the action scenes don’t seem to work for a number of different reasons. They’re okay but never all that amazing. In some fight scenes not a lot happens or the fight is one-sided and/or one character doesn’t do much. I feel the problem boils down to feeling for the characters themselves and their vulnerability – we simply don’t. SPOILER: a big problem I see a lot of people having is the fact that Batman kills people. END OF SPOILERS. This being said for a Special Effects film it holds up okay.

One of the biggest problems is the lack of focus it has throughout. The narrative has a lot of plot holes and such a lack of fluidity that we struggle to keep with the characters or the actions. One reason for this may be the many characters and plot threads that are attempted to interplay. Some character motivation and development is missing and can be a key problem when it influences major plot points. We also see some set up for characters that confuses the plot and even seems rushed at times. In many ways this was a film that was sub par on many points and is generally confused throughout but I do feel at least one scene was done really well. Unfortunately this scene was far removed from any of the main elements of the film and couldn’t make a significant argument for the film as a whole. SPOILERS: This would be Lex Luther’s Grandma’s Peach Tea scene. END OF SPOILERS.

It pains me to say it but this film was just a mess and struggled to deliver on it’s theme as a whole. If the film properly explored it’s moral dilemmas and characters in a more focused manner then it could have had promise. However, as harsh as it sounds, we can’t comment on what a film could have been because we have what it ended to be. So many films could have worked but didn’t because of the particular path they went. This film can entertain but it has far too many problems for any lasting or significant impact.

Synopsis

After the destruction Superman left in Man of Steel (d. Zack Snyder USA/Canada/UK 2013) Batman was left questioning Superman’s ethical standpoint and Lex Luther uses this to his advantage in one of his plans to destroy Superman. 

Further Reading

rottentomatoes.com

metacritic.com

Official Site

Interview with Zack Snyder

Interview with Ben Affleck

Interview with Henry Cavill

Batman V Superman Picking up Girls



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