AM At The Movies: ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice’

AM at the Movies: ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg
Directed by: Zack Snyder
Run Time: 2h 31min

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice is an overwrought mess.

Though technically a sequel to 2013’s Man of Steel, this is much more of a hurried prequel to the impending Justice League team-up movie duo in theatres at some point next year.

With the fantastic success of the solo and team films that make up the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), it makes sense for DC Comics to want to get in on the action by bringing the Justice League to the big screen, but it feels like they’re going about it the wrong way. Rather than starting with solo projects, this film smashes three of the key members together in a haphazard way without much setup and it has to create concern about how next year’s ensemble piece will turn out.

Part of it (for me at least) is that we’re only four years removed from the conclusion of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, which everyone rightfully loved, so rolling out a new “Dark Knight” this quickly prompts comparisons and Nolan version is significantly better and that sticks in your head throughout.

Another piece that contributes to this film failing to live up to expectation and potential is that there is just too much going on, a bunch of which is superfluous. There are Daily Planet moments that don’t do enough to contribute to the story and while the dream sequences are sure to make more sense when we see them again in the Justice League movie, if you don’t know some of the context of those dreams on your own, they feel completely random.

But the biggest problem with Dawn of Justice is that there are no surprises because Warner Bros. ruined them all with the trailers for this film months ago and then jammed them down the audiences throat over and over and over in advance of its opening weekend.

Everyone has known for months about Wonder Woman and Doomsday, the two big potential “surprises” that could have become talking points for this movie after its debut, but instead, you sit there waiting for those reveals and arrivals and it takes away from the suspense and excitement of the film’s final conflict.

I’m not spoiling anything with this next bit – unless you’ve somehow managed to avoid all the trailers – but think of how dope it would have been if the first we saw of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Women was when she turned up to help her future Justice Leaguers? Awesome. Instead, you get a meh moment in a movie full of meh moments.

It’s a typically cool looking Snyder film – dark and rugged, with solid fight scenes and chases – but the substance isn’t there.

Affleck’s Bruce Wayne is one-note, Cavill remains a poor representation of a character that has a lot of complexity and Jesse Eisenberg seems utterly out of place as evil genius Lex Luthor. It’s like his Mark Zuckerberg straightened his hair and never recovered from a bad trip at Burning Man rather than being the diabolical bad guy everyone is familiar with, plus, he doesn’t speak as much as he drops lines and snarky comments and it gets tiring quick.

Ultimately, this movie is just a miss.

There are some fun moments, but on the whole, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice is the start of something that could end up being really bad.

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