Movie #121 2021: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Back to the DCEU now, in which I take on one of the most disliked DC movies: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Although let’s be honest, most of the DC movies are disliked, so that’s not really saying much, is it?

At this point, I would usually come up with some sort of synopsis for the film, but I genuinely can’t really remember what the point of the whole thing was, so that’s a good start. Obviously there’s some sort of massive face off between Batman and Superman, who are generally seen as superheroes, not antagonists, but can I remember what brought them to loggerheads? Nope. Here’s a synopsis I borrowed from Letterboxd:

Fearing the actions of a god-like Super Hero left unchecked, Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis’s most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it’s ever known before.

– Letterboxd.com (https://letterboxd.com/film/batman-v-superman-dawn-of-justice/)

Even that description doesn’t really explain it. Does anyone really know? By my recollection, it has something to do with Lex Luthor. I don’t know, just watch it if you really want to know, I guess.

Three words to describe this film: Obnoxious, overstuffed, over-dramatic. BvS is a hectic mass of thin, transparent storylines woven together (poorly) and layered with a hint of “ooh look at my grey, moody aesthetic I’m so edgy”… but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t frequently entertained whilst watching. Sorry ‘bout it.

For one thing, the cast are generally pretty good and give admirable performances. I still loved Amy Adams as she reprises her role as Lois Lane, Ben Affleck is fine as Batman (though not as good as BaleKeaton etc, of course) and everyone knows Gal Gadot and the Wonder Woman Easter Eggs are the best thing about this movie. However, Jesse Eisenberg tries way too hard to do his best Heath Ledger impression and ends up being irritating, overly jittery and completely ridiculous… as usual. (I just don’t see his appeal, I’m afraid.) Essentially, it felt like Lex Luthor was left in the hands of a 15 year old boy and therefore Eisenberg becomes the most woefully miscast actor I’ve ever seen in a big budget blockbuster. 

I won’t lie – and you’ve probably already realised this – I didn’t have a clue what was going on most of the time because it was constantly one action sequence after another – proof of a corny, subpar screenplay with next to no point. It comes as no surprise that Chris Terrio (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Justice League) penned this, but I expected more from David S. “The Dark Knight” Goyer. Even the main storyline – why Batman and Superman would face off in the first place – is unrealistic and don’t even get me started on how it’s resolved. Disappointing in every sense of the word.

I’m not a comic book purist, so maybe that’s why I enjoyed it more than most. (Although you probably can’t tell judging by my negative review.) Visually, it’s undoubtedly a spectacle with explosions and fight sequences galore, even if the action is so constant that it feels like a 2+ hour long heart attack. 

I get what Snyder was trying to do, but let’s face it: this movie makes Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War look like Citizen Kane. Regardless of its many flaws though, I still found it more entertaining and fun than Man of Steel, though I won’t be in a hurry to watch it again. Ever.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is available to stream on Sky Cinema and Now TV in the UK.

TQR Category Ratings:

Performance: 
Cinematography: 
Soundtrack: 
Costume & Set Design: 
Plot: 
Overall Rating: ½

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