Saturday, March 26, 2016

Review: Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice


Title: Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

Distributor: Warner Bros
Director: Zach Snyder
Writer(s): Chris Terrio, Davis S. Goyer
Starring: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Laurence Fishburn, Jeremy Irons, Gal Gadot 
MPAA Rating: Warner Bros.
Running Time: 151 min
Synopsis: Fearing the actions of Superman are left unchecked, Batman takes on the man of steel, while the world wrestles with what kind of a hero it really needs. With Batman and Superman fighting each other, a new threat, Doomsday, is created by Lex Luthor. It's up to Superman and Batman to set aside their differences along with Wonder Woman to stop Lex Luthor and Doomsday from destroying Metropolis.

What Others Are Saying? 

Rotten Tomatoes: 30% "Fresh", Top Critics: 26% "Fresh", Audience: 74% "Liked It"

Metacritic: Critics: 44 out of 100, Users: 7.3 out of 10
MRQE: 49 out of 100

My Review

Preface: There may be SPOILERS ahead, so read at your own risk.

Source Material: Based on the comic book characters written by Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster.

Entertaining Value: 7

  • Action Elements: Damn, there is a lot of action in this film, especially in last 45 min or so. The action in this film has the same appeal as Man of Steel.
  • Comedy Elements: I felt most of the "jokes" in the film feel flat. I laugh out loud at least once, maybe twice.
  • Dramatic Elements: There was a handful of scenes that had the potential of being emotionally impacting.
  • Sci-Fi / Fantasy Elements: This movie is a "comic book" movie set in the DC Cinematic Universe.
Cinematic Value:
  • Acting and Dialogue: 6.5: Overall I think the actors gave good performances even with the bad dialogue. In my opinion, Ben Affleck was the strongest actor on screen. It's funny how the tables have turned. Most comic book fans were mad at the casting of Affleck as Batman. After seeing the film I can say he was perfect as Batman. Henry Cavill gave us an adequate performance as Superman, but unfortunately, he had the worst treatment of bad dialogue. He power through it and delivered them well, so it didn't seem as bad. For me, the worst performance was Jesse Eisenberg. His acting wasn't up to par with his other works. Also,I really disliked how this Lex Luthor was written. Lex needs to be calculating and the smartest man in the room, not a wacky and too smart for his own good type of guy. There were actually some decent lines that Lex had but Eisenberg's performance sank them into the ground. The biggest worry from an acting standpoint, Gal Gadot, wasn't that bad, granted she maybe had a total of fifteen lines. Her major entrance as Wonder Woman at the end of the film was spoiled by the trailer, along with the exchange between Batman and Superman.
  • Cinematography: 7: Snyder is by far a visual director. Meaning he knows how to make beautiful shots. This film was beautiful from visually speaking. I personally liked that they capture some iconic images from the comic books in this film. What I didn't like was that a majority of this film takes place at night. I understand this is a darker movie in tone but, I personally would have liked lighter scenes.
  • Direction: 5: The pacing of this film was slow, and I mean slow. The opening of the film felt about right, but the middle of the film and onward was bogged down. This film clocks in at roughly two and half hours, and every minute of that run time is felt. This is one of those movies that could have been 30 minutes shorter, easily. Zach Snyder's greatest weakness come out in this film. He's not the best at story elements and character development. I said it before this film worked visually, but the story elements and how it was put together was awful.
  • Editing: 3: The editing was clunky. This movie felt like a bunch of random sequences firing off in rapid succession. The editing was so bad that it weakened the story. There are quite a few. "fill in the blank" moments, throughout this film. I sat through the entire film, and even I felt like saying, at parts: What just happened? Did I miss something? That didn't work. Maybe the 3-hour cut works better.
  • Screenplay: 4: I want to point out the title of this film real quick, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. With that title, I went into this film expecting a huge fight between Batman and Superman at the film's climax, and an introduction to the Justice League at its conclusion. That is not what I got. I felt like I got four different DC comic book movies crammed into one. Frist off, the first hour or so of this film is basically a stand alone Batman film, which was the best part of the entire film. I think we, the audience, needed to see Bruce Wayne's perspective of the events that happen at the end of the Man of Steel. This is then followed by the sequel to the Man of Steel, which is basically Superman on trial. The third film is what we paid to watch, Batman vs Superman. The fourth and final film is The Dawn of Justice. I have to note that the introduction to the members of the Justice League was misplaced in the story (Which was more of an editing issue, in my opinion). Now, how they handled the introduction of each character overall, was kind of cool. I even liked some of the links to the DC Multiverse. Then again, for those general audience members, who hasn't read a comic book, will be lost, because this film doesn't give us a good introduction to that subject matter. It appears, then disappears moments later, with little to no explanation of what just happened. It's funny to think this is only the tip of the iceberg, on how bad the writing is in this film. I felt like most of the characters had no motives for their actions, or at least, their motives weren't developed. Even the Batman and Superman fight was forced. I thought the fight between Batman and Superman would have been more impactful if they were fighting over philosophical differences. The fight in the film ends up being a Lex Luther staged death match.
  • Sound and Music: 6: The score was good if you were paying attention because I felt it was lost in all the action.
  • VFX: 7: Overall the visual effect were good. I have very similar sentiments about the visual effects that I did with the cinematography. Based on his other works I know Snyder understands the CGI space. Like I said before Snyder is a great visual director just a bad storyteller.  With that being said I really didn't like the design for Doomsday, especially when he first appears.
Overall: 6: This film is fairly entertaining from an action "summer" blockbuster type of film, but that's about it. Don't get me wrong, I have seen worse films, and there is some good stuff to be had in this film. Just because I didn't like the film 100% don't mean you won't. This film got me excited for the standalone DC films in the future.

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