Batman (Ben Affleck) and Superman (Henry Cavill) share the screen in this Warner Bros./DC Entertainment co-production penned by David S. Goyer and Chris Terrio, and directed by Zack Snyder. Amy Adams and Diane Lane return as Lois Lane and Martha Kent, respectively. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Director: Zack Snyder
Cast: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Gal Gadot, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne
Release Date: Mar 25, 2016
Rated: Rated pg-13 Intense sequences of violence and action throughout, and some sensuality.
Runtime: 2 hr. 31 min.
Genres: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a movie that’s got a lot going on both on screen and behind it. Setting up an expanded DC movieverse along with being accessible to the general public and pleasing fans is an incredibly tricky thing to accomplish. Needless to say, this film is an undertaking in every sense of the word and according to the professional critics it fails. I went in expecting the worst and left scratching my head. Not because the movie was awful, I was preparing for Sucker Punch level of Snyder bombast, but because I really don’t understand where most of the critics are coming from. It’s a massive sprawling story appropriate for the icons on hand. It isn’t perfect but it’s an impressive film that’s got some heft to it. Since Snyder is a comic book fan so some of the fan service, particularly the dream sequences, will leave the uninitiated a tad lost. It’s far from overkill but I can see how the complaint would be lodged against the story’s structure since some of the sequences feel abrupt. As for the story itself, it feels like a traditional comic book narrative with nefarious plans at work to get our heroes to the titular battle. There’s not a ton of surprises since the big turns are telegraphed in a fairly obvious manner along with all the oversharing via the prerelease trailers spoiling some of better reveals. The cast does make the entire thing enjoyable even if the lofty themes can be a bit overbearing at times. Henry Cavill seems far more comfortable in his role this time around. Cavill gives the character some much need layers even though there is only so much room to maneuver given the characters traits. Ben Affleck though has much more room to deliver a much more vicious, exacting and world weary Batman. I had my doubts about Affleck when he was cast but he delivers the goods. The biggest question mark, for me at least, was Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. On the surface his Luthor feels different that past iterations, especially on film, but once you get past all the ticks and speed talking, you’re left with an amalgam of the comic versions of Lex Luthor, the businessman and mad scientist. Jeremy Irons and Holly Hunter both have interesting supporting roles with each begging for more screen time, Irons in particular. Gal Gadot leaves the biggest impression in her supporting role as Diana Prince aka Wonder Woman. Gadot fits the role much better than expected and plays the character with a perfect mix of mystery, strength and confidence. It’s impressive enough that it’ll leave you anticipating the solo Wonder Woman film even more. Aside, some of the quibbles mentioned previously, there is a sense that the story needs some wrangling in. A good 20 to 30 minutes could have been trimmed to make it a sleeker more effective film. Its lack of focus is felt most in the final act where the film has built a massive head of steam leading to a massive showdown only to be bogged down by other secondary story threads. It’s not fatal but noticeable. As is, I find it hard to believe that comic fans especially DC fans wouldn’t find a lot to like here. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice doesn’t quite hit it out of the park but its pretty damn close.