Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice a brutally dull hodge podge of forced story arcs and characters

Seth Ritchie, Contributing Writer

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is the latest attempt to kickstart the DC Cinematic Universe and follows Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck), after having witnessed the destruction of Metropolis at the hands of Superman (Henry Cavill), seeking to prevent further casualties by restraining, or killing, the man of steel.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice admittedly has some cool elements, and most of them revolve around the dark knight himself. The portrayal of Batman by Ben Affleck is quite possibly one of the best ever put to film. He is much darker and jaded than previous incarnations of the character, which gives more depth to the character and allows him to be as truly terrifying as he is meant to be. His method of taking down criminals is more reminiscent of the Batman: Arkham video games, which makes Batman’s fight scenes fluid and quite fun to watch. The opening sequence of Bruce running into the chaos in Metropolis as Superman and Zod (Michael Shannon) fight overhead is not only enthralling, but it also humanizes Bruce and his later questionable actions. Also, Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) appears in this movie, and she is downright amazing.

All that being said, the movie is still a mess. While Zack Snyder is a great visual director, he cannot work well with a serious plotline. The plot of this movie tries to intertwine too many separate plot arcs, and none of them turn out well. Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Lex Luthor may be a different take on the character, but he turns Superman’s arch nemesis into a squirrely and socially awkward dork who is completely unbelieveable as a threat. While Wonder Woman is an outstanding addition, she shows up for what feels like less than ten minutes of screen time, and she’s really only shoehorned in this movie to set up the future Justice League. Henry Cavill’s Superman is not that compelling. Lois Lane (Amy Adams) has no reason to be in this movie, and yet she is present making pointless fetch quests and playing the damsel in distress for far too long. The titular fight between the two superhero heavyweights is admittedly cool, but it only lasts for around three minutes in this two and a half hour long movie. The fight is also not instigated by Superman but rather by an outside force that is threatening Superman to fight the Bat, which ruins the entire point of the fight.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has a few good elements, but those elements are watered down into nothing by the complete drudgery of the rest of the movie. Instead of following the classic comic book The Dark Knight Returns, upon which this movie was clearly based, it bites off way more than it can chew by trying to cram uninspired plot arcs and lifeless characters into a movie that could have been great.

VERDICT: 2/10

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