There are three reasons why you might not want to read this review:
- You have already seen “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and you loved it.
- You haven’t seen “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and you don’t want to have it spoiled.
- You have never seen a movie that you didn’t like.
The first thing I have to make clear is that I am a big comic book/science fiction geek. I love DC (sometimes) and Marvel (often) characters and movies. I do sometimes find that they don’t live up to my hopes and expectations, but I keep going.
The second thing I have to confess is that I’ve always found Superman to be boring. The movies that have come out about Superman (in my lifetime) have been mostly uninteresting. Except for the last one, “Man of Steel,” which managed to bring the character to life for me. It was the first time I truly enjoyed a Superman flick. So I had high hopes for this new one.
I was wrong.
You were warned.
The good news is that the actors themselves did a fairly good job with their characters. Ben Affleck was tortured and dark as Batman, and even believable as an aging Bruce Wayne. Henry Cavill was a very pretty but less-than-perfect Superman, and by that I mean that Superman was less-than-perfect not that Cavill’s performance was. Jesse Eisenberg was surprising in his over-the-top Lex Luthor.
We get to see a lot about Batman’s motivations. In fact, that’s almost all we get to see — why Batman is doing what he’s doing. And we understand and empathize. But at some point you just want to see him, well, do something. He keeps planning and talking and seething and then nothing happens. Until it does. And that’s because Lex Luthor makes it happen.
We find out that Lex has been pushing Batman to confront Superman. But for Superman he takes a more direct approach: he kidnaps Martha Kent. The threat is easy to understand; either Superman kills Batman or Lex kills Martha. If Superman wins, Lex gets to show him as a murderer. If Superman loses, Lex gets to have a world free from him.
Did I mention that Lex is crazy?
The women in the movie were all over the place. Lois Lane was a weakling girl in love whose main concern was her boyfriend and not in making good decisions. Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman was quite literally the savior — she was strong, composed, intriguing and wonderfully in charge (pun intended). Holly Hunter’s Senator Finch was dead on for a politician trying to make sense of a world where god-like creatures hold war among the humans. (I was disappointed that they killed off her character.)
The movie spent too much time in character development, going from memories to nightmares to possible future-scapes. The reason for Superman’s distaste for Batman is never quite clear — surely it can’t just be because he disapproves of him? He becomes too focused on the Dark Knight, too distracted by him.
The appearance of Wonder Woman and the other “meta humans” isn’t organic. It feels forced, though it’s obvious why they’re included. We must set up the sequels.
My biggest disappointment? That we didn’t get to see more of Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who played Thomas Wayne.
My suggestion is that you wait to see the movie in DVD rental. Truly, you won’t miss much.