‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ Spoiler Free Review

While critics are slamming DC’s cinematic universe debut, I have to strongly disagree with them. Simply put, “Batman v Superman” rocked.

DC/Warner Bros.

DC/Warner Bros.

Let me start off this review by saying that growing up and even now I am primarily a reader of Marvel Comics. I read DC, but got really into them once the New 52 was launched, and if you’re a fan of them, “The Dark Knight Returns” and the Earth One books that DC is putting out, you will love “Batman v Superman.” For the non-comic readers, if you enjoyed Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan’s darker more adult Batman world, you will enjoy this film. If you liked the campy Christopher Reeve and Michael Keaton Batman and Superman movies of the past, you might be disappointed. To that I say, grow up.

2013’s “Man of Steel” left a sour taste in the mouth of many fans. Henry Cavill was portraying a Superman that we weren’t used to seeing on-screen. Some of us felt as thought Zack Snyder didn’t have a good handle on the DC universe that was put into his hands to create. As expected, we were less than optimistic about the future of these movies given the fact that “Man of Steel” would be the basis for them. We were wrong. If anything “Man of Steel” was the perfect starting point to launch a more mature DC cinematic universe.

“Batman v Superman” is a very mature movie. In my opinion, this is exactly the way this movie needed to be done. Some of Batman and Superman’s greatest moments from the comic books are more adult in nature. This movie is no exception. It’s a well written (I can’t believe I’m saying that), well acted, and (I’m really biting my tongue here) well-directed film that rivals Marvel’s cinematic success.

Before watching this movie if you asked me who my favorite movie Batman was I would have told you Christian Bale followed closely by Michael Keaton. Both of them lacked one thing that the other had. Ben Affleck lacks none of it. He is a perfect older Bruce Wayne who as been operating as Batman for a number of years. As real fans know, Batman and Bruce Wayne are two very different characters and Affleck plays both of them so well. He is my favorite movie Batman right now. He embodies all the elements of Batman that I love. Dark, brooding, and totally unafraid of anything. Really looking forward to more Batfleck

This time around we saw more character development from Henry Cavill. Not to say he wasn’t developed in “Man of Steel”, but there was more personality from both Clark Kent and Superman this time around, something this newly established DC franchise needed desperately.

Another standout performance was from Jeremy Irons as Alfred. That’s hard to do, considering you’re following Michael Caine, but Irons does it.

For me the best part of this movie was Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince/Wonder Woman. We’ve been waiting a very long time to see her brought to life on the big screen, and this version is right in line with the version DC has given us in the New 52. My only complaint is that I wanted more of her. But we’re getting a Wonder Woman movie next year. Not to totally geek out, but when the three of them were standing together I got chills.


Now let’s talk about some of the things I didn’t like.

Yes, overall I really liked this movie, but it was far from perfect.

Jessie Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. I know that they’ll probably be bringing him back, but his portrayal of this genius billionaire is more a combination of Jim Carrey’s Riddler (yuck) and Heath Ledger’s Joker. Either way, I think they missed the mark. Instead of being this cerebral villain that can outsmart, but not out punch Superman, he’s more of a mad hatter. It didn’t kill the movie for me by any means, but I would really like them to work on this character a bit more before bringing him back into the fold.

Setting up the next chapters of the DC cinematic universe. While done better than Marvel in “Age of Ultron” these still felt forced. I loved seeing the other heroes for a combined 30 seconds, it felt like they crammed them in after the fact. “Hey look we’ve got other stuff coming!” Still very much not sold on Ezra Miller as The Flash, mainly because Grant Gustin has been playing him so well on the television series. If you don’t know who they are, you might not even know what they’re setting up. I will say that they at least made them fit into the story line  bit better than Marvel did in AoU, but they still felt a bit forced.

Doomsday. While I liked the look and the concept, he felt rushed an underutilized. Why bring a character with such magnitude into a movie this big and use him in this manner? Nah bro, you messed up Doomsday for sure.

Length. This movie was LONG. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was also long, but it didn’t feel long. There are parts where this movie really moves, and parts where it kind of drags. I suppose that’s what happens when things are humorless for so long. It felt like they crammed a “Man of Steel” sequel and a Batman movie into one, which they did, I know. But it could have been separate. Maybe two movies this year instead of one giant one.

Leave the young kids at home, by the way. There’s a reason this one id PG-13, and could almost be R with some of the fight scenes. Plus some real heavy stuff happens in this that would have blew my brain apart as a kid. Until they’re at least 13 I would stick with the DC animated universe stuff. Or just take them to see the lighter Marvel movies.

At the end of the day, I very much enjoyed this movie. Everyone can be nit picky if they want, I won’t or we would be here all damn day. Round of applause for DC’s trinity who were brought to life, and brought to life well. Good things are on the horizon for DC, and while Marvel shouldn’t feel threatened, they should know that there’s another fish in the pond and it’s getting bigger.

I give it a 7.5 out of 10.

About BJ Ragone

Just a man with a computer, smartphone and a ridiculous amount of pop culture knowledge.

Posted on March 27, 2016, in Commentary, Entertainment, Movies and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: