WRITTEN BY: SCOTT BROWN | STAFF WRITER
“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” directed by Zack Snyder, is the sequel to “Man of Steel,” and it essentially jumpstarts the new DC cinematic universe. As the title suggests, Batman (Ben Affleck) and Superman (Henry Cavill) are pitted against each other in clashes of ideologies and methods.
Ever since this film was announced, I have been excited to finally see the two most iconic superheroes of all time fight each other on screen, a la the graphic novel “The Dark Knight Returns.” I have to say, I really enjoyed this film, but that does not mean the film is perfect- it does have its problems. However, I want to first talk about what I loved about this film.
The best part of this film was easily anything having to do with Ben Affleck’s Batman portrayal. Ben Affleck is The Batman. Everyone who was a naysayer beforehand – which I feel was everyone except for me – please show yourselves out the door in a calm and orderly fashion, and never speak again. Thank you. He is incredible as Bruce Wayne/Batman and, I hesitate to say this after only seeing the movie twice, the best Batman who has ever appeared on screen. He is able to portray the humanity and brokenness of Batman while also showing how relentless and focused he is towards his goals.
I loved the performances all around, except for one, which I’ll touch on later. Henry Cavill was, yet again, great as Clark Kent/Superman, and I felt that he was able to portray a character as someone who is not perfect, but instead struggles with the ideas of what are right/wrong and the choices that he makes, despite his godlike abilities. Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince is also fantastic in the few scenes she is in. She’s a ferocious and capable fighter who I believe will become the biggest feminist icon in the world after this movie and her future solo film, which I was excited to see before, but I now want to see immediately.
Not only are most of the performances great, but the action scenes are incredible as well, even if they are a bit CGI heavy toward the end. They look beautiful and brutal at the same time. Slightly paradoxical, I know, but true nonetheless. Superman and Wonder Woman’s strength and Batman’s ingenuity, ferociousness, and all-around brutality were all on full display during these action sequences, and it was incredible to witness many instances that felt as if they were pulled straight out of a comic, which several were. And, as a comic book reader, this made me extremely happy. My main issues with this film, though, revolve around the extremely sloppy editing and some of the performance of Jesse Eisenberg. The editing for the entirety of the film is terrible, and it often lacked a sense of a coherence that a film of this magnitude should have. There were many points where it would cut from a scene and I thought that, since it cut, we were done with that scene and were moving on, and then it would, jarringly, cut back to the previous scene. This created a lack of coherency and focus throughout the runtime.
There were also several dream sequences in the film that were cut to look like they were actually happening in the film’s reality, when they definitely weren’t. And since there was no indication in the slightest that these were dream sequences, those scenes, while cool, were quite confusing for the overall narrative.
I also felt that Jesse Eisenberg’s performance as Lex Luthor was a bit over the top at times. There were times he had some real menace to him, but a lot of other instances when it felt that he was overacting in order to just look like an eccentric billionaire, and it didn’t fit with the rest of the film. Another minor nitpick is that the motivations for Batman and Superman to fight felt very forced. It seemed that they were put in at the last minute in order to justify the three awesome fight scenes that occurred.
Overall, I really enjoyed “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” I loved a lot of aspects of the film and did not really like others, but if you are a massive superhero film fan or comic book reader, I think you will enjoy or even love this film.