Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (UE)

Flawed & nihilistic with a rushed doom-and-gloom heavy narrative, yet visually crisp and, at times, brilliant with arguably the best Batman portrayal ever, BvS pits the two most iconic superheroes in the world against each other to mixed results. 7.1/10.

Plot Synopsis: After the events of Man of Steel, the world knows who Superman is and fears his absolute god-like powers. No one fears this power as much as Bruce Wayne (Batman), who is manipulated by Lex Luthor into thinking that Superman is a grave  threat to the fate of the world and fighting him in an effort to destroy him and bring back human order.

*Possible spoilers ahead*

Official CLC Review

The Biggest Indie Movie Ever Made

Review: Let me start by saying that as a big DC fan, there are few movies I was more hyped for coming into the theaters than Batman v Superman and expected greatness. Unfortunately, what I got was a mixed-bag, with many things that just didn’t make sense and I can’t figure out how they made it to the final editing floor to moments of absolute brilliance and even legendary cinematic sequences for each of the members of DC’s Trinity of Superheroes: Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Flawed & nihilistic with a rushed doom-and-gloom heavy narrative, yet visually crisp and, at times, brilliant with arguably the best Batman portrayal ever, BvS pits the two most iconic heroes against each other to mixed results.

A Gotham City & Metropolis In Disarray

First, let’s start out with the negatives of the film: The scoring is repetitive and unnecessarily dour, and the mise-en-scene can be overtly dark and unsaturated in color, which gives a dark aura that many people and critics complained about, but is characteristic of Zack Snyder’s films like Watchmen and 300 although still troubling for the mass market. There are also weird pacing issues in the film, with multiple storylines that seem to bounce back and forth, changing as soon as you get into them and requiring extensive DC back-knowledge to understand and keep up with.

The Best Batman Ever

Going hand-in-hand, the film tries to tackle way too many storylines: having to rehash Batman origins after The Dark Knight series, Batman v Superman conflict, Superman v Lex Luthor conflict, Superman v Doomsday conflict, introducing Wonder Woman, the death of Superman, and teasing every core member of the Justice League (except Green lantern, but still). Why the DCEU decided to rush their movie universe right into Justice League before at least a single origin movie for every member of the Justice League and thus being able to parcel stories like these out where they can feel more effective instead of jumbled together is simply beyond me.

The Intellectually-Complex Themes

Also, Martha. Of course, that cannot be argued against as poor writing and a lackadaisical and sloppy resolution to an otherwise absolutely jaw-dropping spectacle of a fight between the 2 greatest superheroes ever: Superman and Batman. Snyder’s directorial decision to make batman a killer by doing things like dropping a car on someone and stabbing someone else is also cringy and completely defeats the no-killing mentality so painstakingly established by The Dark Knight series and Nolan, as well as the near century of comics. Oh, and I did not like Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor or Doomsday’s adaptations in this movie.

Doomsday

Although it could be argued that Lex was genius in the movie and achieved all his ultimate goals of killing Superman indirectly  and summoning Darkseid to Earth to create the Justice League, his mannerisms and acting are just annoying, especially when he stammers and stumbles on words and squeals his voice, trying to invoke a Heath Ledger vibe but failing drastically. Doomsday was also extremely poorly designed, looking like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and lacking any of the famous spikes, beard, or defining characteristics of his comic and even Injustice portrayals, and also, once again, a completely unnecessary addition to the movie plaguing it with too many storylines and an awfully paced and overlong, underdeveloped film.

WONDER. WOMAN.

The Greatest Hero Introduction In CBM History

HOWEVER, there are bright spots in the movie as well, and ones that make any DC fan or even DC moderate grin from ear-to-ear. First of all, Batman. Ben Affleck was a choice for batman that turned a lot of heads and even drew skepticism, but in my opinion and many others’, he is now the best Batman of All-Time. Now, Christian Bale still has the best Batman movie in TDK and is the best Bruce Wayne, but as Batman, Affleck just exudes power and a darkness that fits perfectly with the character. The opening Batman origin scene in the film is also a masterpiece that captures the iconic death scene of Bruce’s parents in perhaps the best way I’ve ever seen. Finally, BvS Batman has an absolutely beautiful comic-accurate suit (best I’ve seen in live-action by far), gadgets, and a Batmobile that are just simply bad-ass, and the fight scenes that are too good to be true.

Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor

Perhaps the biggest pro of this movie and along with the visual stunning quality of the film one that singlehandedly lifts it into at least the 70% range for me are the fight scenes. Let’s start with the Batman v Superman fight itself: The cinematography and setting, painstakingly crafted mise-en-scene, and choreography of the fight of the two greatest superheroes in history is just a pure spectacle to behold and tear-inducing moment for Batman and Superman fans. Also, the Warehouse fight is perhaps the greatest batman fight scene EVER put to film, showing off Batman’s real tactical and technological aptitude in a masterfully choreographed and brutal brawl.

The Trinity

Finally, the Doomsday fight itself was great in that it teamed up the Trinity of superheroes: Batman, Superman, and introduced Wonder Woman for the first time on the big screen. Wonder Woman’s introduction into the fight scenes with the iconic wrist-cross is a scene that got everyone out of their seats and cheering in the theater I was in, and she is so powerful and skilled as a fighter that it was a huge pro of the movie. The trinity showed great chemistry and team fighting ability as a sort of proto-Justice League in the Doomsday fight and sets the fight-scene-bar high for all of the upcoming Justice League movies with the whole League.

Conclusion

A Mixed Prequel To JL Pitting The Most Iconic Superheroes To Polarizing Results

Overall, Batman v Superman has some glaring and inexcusable flaws, but also ] glimpses of absolute brilliance that can be expanded on with more careful and not-rushed planning giving a lot of hope for the DCEU in the future. Flawed & nihilistic with a rushed doom-and-gloom heavy narrative, yet visually crisp and, at times, brilliant with arguably the best Batman portrayal ever, BvS pits the two most iconic heroes against each other to mixed results.

Official CLC Score: 7.1/10