If nothing else, Zack Snyder’s anticipated Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is proving to be a divisive blockbuster. Those that hate it really loathe it, while those that dig it are going to the mat to passionately defend it. Few are finding a middle ground, and that’s actually the case here at CinemaBlend, as well.
I wrote the site’s review, which falls on the positive end of the spectrum. Read that review right here. Our very own Eric Eisenberg covered the junket for the film, and found more issues with the movie, overall, than I did. And as more staff members caught Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice at press screenings, we realized that our opinions were all over the board. So we collected them in one place, so you guys could see how various writers are responding to Zack Snyder’s movie. Who do you agree with? Who is way off base? Let us know in the comments section below.
To me, Dawn of Justice was an improvement over Snyder’s first attempt, Man of Steel, and a much better Batman movie than it is a Superman film. The highlights of the film far outweigh the issues that I had with it, mainly because the biggest problems were contained to the film’s final 30 minutes. However, I liked the Justice League nods, and I think DC now has a base on which it can build its empire. And yes, Snyder should stay at the helm (something I never thought I would say two weeks ago).
What I actually appreciated about Batman v Superman are its connections back to Man of Steel– be it the relationship between Supes and Lois, or Bruce Wayne’s intense fear after the destruction of Metropolis. Where the film falls apart, however, is in its fumbling of the titular conflict – not only maintaining the heroes on the same dark tonal level (eliminating the contrast that makes their confrontation interesting), but also reducing them to punch-and-kick meatheads who could easily make peace with a simple conversation. Nonsensical Doomsday and a hole-filled plot don’t help, but hey, at least Wonder Woman is super cool!
Thrilling, intense and overflowing with action, Batman v Superman is jam-packed with set-up to build out DC's cinematic world. Ok, in all fairness, this is not a perfect movie. The ending gets a bit saggy, and the build-up to Justice League is not subtle. But what BvS loses there, it more than makes up for in other ways, including a surprisingly emotional opening sequence, a timely commentary on public perception of superheroes, and a fantastic re-introduction to the Caped Crusader. Ben Affleck's Batman gets it right. Also, Wonder Woman is awesome.
There are elements in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice that I think are fantastic, that fill me with hope about the future of the DCEU—chiefly Ben Affleck’s Batman and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. But again, Superman is mishandled—the filmmakers either don’t understand the Man of Steel and what makes him such an iconic hero, or don’t know how to use him. Characters spend a lot of time talking about him, about what he is and what he means, but he never speaks for himself. It doesn’t help that the film is bloated, jumbled, and overly busy.
I feel like if DC had just gone ahead and made the Justice League movie now, and then come back around in five or 10 years and made Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, as is -- as the "how it all began" prequel -- I might like it better. Prequels, however, only happen because you want to see more about a story you already like. Lacking that, the film instead comes off as a two and a half hour trailer for the next 5 years of DC superhero movies, not a film in its own right.
Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is two and a half hours of poorly-executed brilliant ideas. Much like the director’s 2009 foray into the world of superheroes, Watchmen, Dawn of Justice comes packed to the brim with beautiful and brilliantly orchestrated scenes that simply don’t work together as a cohesive unit. In its attempts to set up the burgeoning DCEU, the movie often buckles under its own weight and fails to deliver a compelling narrative that stands on its own. Batman V Superman got me excited for what’s to come, but disappointed me in the moment.
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice is a mess, but it’s an interesting mess. A movie that serves almost as a pure exercise in franchise set up, it’s a disjointed experience that needs a lot more focus, and some clever editing. Yet to all of the complaints that could be lodged against this movie, Ben Affleck’s Batman and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman make for great foils to Henry Cavill’s Superman. Still, Batman and Wonder Woman own this flick, and the first 15 – 30 minutes are a phenomenal, gut punch of an opening. See it with an open mind.
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