Dawn of Justice Reviewed
A lot of people may assume the movie’s negative buzz is Ben Affleck’s fault because of what he did to Daredevil (which I still stand by and liked). Actually he does great as the grizzled, older, and angrier Batman. He outshines Henry Cavill’s Superman, who seems pretty depressed the entire movie. Lighten up Supes-- you are literally impervious to everything on earth; have a little fun.
There are a lot of big-time actors in this movie-- Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, and Gal Gadot just to name a few--and the best aspect of the movie is all the great performances. There isn’t any wasted talent, which actually turns into a problem of its own, as at times the screen feels overstuffed.
The movie is really long, over two and a half hours, probably because it has too much ground to cover. The story tries to introduce new characters, set up internal conflicts within each of its main characters, create a reasonable narrative why Batman and Superman are fighting, maintain a romantic angle, show the fighting, set up future DC superhero movies, and make sense. Director Zack Snyder is trying to accomplish what Marvel has done over nine stories and pack it into one. It can’t do it all, and guess what falls by the wayside.
In order to trim the run time, one thing Snyder could have cut were some of Bruce Wayne's many dream sequences. There's a lot going on in that guy's head. Probably explains why he fights crime at night instead of sleeping; the man is always having nightmares. I think Snyder throws so many dreams into the movie to break up the mundane talking the characters do for the first 90 minutes. It probably would have been better if he actually let his characters do superhero stuff, while awake, instead of just talking about it.
Batman vs Superman’s best moment may be the one the movie’s advertising campaign has been building towards, and that is the battle between the two titular characters. The fight itself may not live up to the hype but it comes pretty darn close. Snyder’s visual prowess and choreography are some of his strongest attributes as a director. But the way the fight ends may be one of the most insanely frustrating moments I have ever seen on screen. It basically negates everything we just watched.
That could actually be the theme to the entire movie-- every time the story nears greatness, Snyder does something inexcusable to rip the joy away from us. I will say this about Snyder: he makes a lot of bold decisions with the story, and I just wish he had followed through with any of them.
Someone should also put to Snyder the same question Heath Ledger kept asking-- why so serious? The lack of laughs is even more noteworthy given the recent success of Deadpool. Two and a half hours is a long time without any smiles to be had. But really I can’t remember any Zack Snyder movie that didn’t look gray and dismal. I suppose they will leave the jokes up to Underoos.
Batman vs Superman is so close to being good. The last hour almost completely makes up for the nothing that happens in the first 90 minutes, but it’s not enough. I wish Warner Brothers would have been more concerned making this movie rather than setting up future movies. Because the best way to make sequels is to create a movie with characters compelling and interesting enough that the audience demands more. C-