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Review: Dawn of Justice
Eric Schaen (03/28/2016)
Related: Batman v Superman (extended) review
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Goto Comments

Review: Dawn of Justice
Batman v Superman is pretty bad, but it’s not all bad.

While I agree that Batman v Superman has an abundance of problems, I can’t help but feel that maybe critics are a little too eager to pan this film. I mean 29% on Rotten Tomatoes?! Keep in mind were talking about the same critics that highly praised Furious 7; a movie that I though was surely intended to lampoon its own franchise.

HeroClix World Monday Morning MemesBefore I get into what didn’t work, I’d like to give some credit where credit is due. Foremost the movie is visually stunning to behold and the action sequences are extremely well done. Remember when the announcement of Ben Affleck as Batman set the internet into a frenzy? Well, Ben’s Batman is one of the best elements in this movie. Finally a Batman that not only looks like he stepped right off the pages of the comics, but is agile and moves like a man who has trained in several fighting styles over a lifetime. I’ll admit his performance got me a little pumped for a solo Batman film with Ben in the lead.

Then there are the things that don’t work so well. Too much shoehorning of components purely meant to set up other movies combined with adapting multiple comic storylines really fractures the movies cohesiveness and detracts from what should have been the films focus. I mean c’mon this is Batman v Superman; do you really need more to get excited about? While Batman v Superman also includes multiple plot holes, these are minor compared to the films real problem, the off-putting reinvention of the films iconic characters.

While Henry Cavill’s Superman looks the part and is every bit the powerhouse Superman should be, but lacks the complexity and humanity that makes the character so compelling. Like in MOS, this Superman walks around with a permanent scowl and displays only a passing regard for human life (particularly for those he’s close to). The essence of Superman is a hero that would rather die himself than take a life, a protector that brings hope and inspires others to be and do their best. It’s been two movies now and I can find only fleeting examples of Superman-ish behavior.

Then there is the man of steel’s arch nemesis Lex Luthor… yeah, I’m not sure what they were going for here. Eisenberg’s performance was not the real issue; it was again the direction they took for the character. The liberties taken with this version of Lex are so far away from the character he might as well have been some made up big bad just for the movie.

Continued below...
Luthor Eisenberg

As much as I enjoyed the films depiction of Batman, even that was not without issue. This Batman’s a lot more brutal and unstable, at times even abandoning his no-killing rule. I find this an odd choice for a character that has built his brand on not crossing the line that would make him no better than the criminals he strives to protect people from. For those who are going to go on about how in the comics Batman and Superman have killed on rare occasions, you know as well as I do, that is not the core of their characters and if this Batman is willing to cross that line then riddle me this; why would any of his rouges gallery like the Joker, Harley or Killer Croc be alive and kicking in this universe?

Batman v Superman has its problems and even flirts with potentially destroying two of the world’s most beloved trademarks, but I wouldn’t call it the complete disaster some are making it out to be. The action sequences are fun and the visuals are amazing. If all you are after is a big screen paring of Batman and Superman and seeing these two legendary characters throw down, you will most likely enjoy yourself. If you’re expecting a gripping story to counterpoise the grandiose spectacle, you will most likely leave the theater feeling underwhelmed.

2.5 stars out of 5 for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.


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Your Comments:
@ Licensedhero

Thanks! I needed a good laugh.

Superman is NOT brooding, angry, self centered or sulky. Cavil's Superman is.

Posted by: Super-Super on 5/8/2016 3:27:41 PM
For anyone who thinks Batman was handled well in Dawn of Justice, you just want a Punisher version of Batman.

Watch the link here and strain your tiny brains to understand the essence of Batman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kscfb9XzPs

NOW THAT IS BATMAN!!

Posted by: I... am... Batman! on 5/8/2016 12:25:07 PM
I think the nit picking at this movie is REALLY out of hand- I thought they nailed all of the characters, except Lex, who acted like he was actually the Joker disguised as Lex. The plot was not spectacular, but no hero vs. hero story ever has a good plot. Doomsday was great, Wonder Woman was damn near perfect Cavil's Superman is maturing and I think everyone was stunned at how well Afleck pulled off Batman. I had way more problems with Avengers 2 and Dark Knight Rises than this. The important thing is that two characters who matter to me are back in the theaters, with more to come. I'll take that over more Marvel c- listers any day.

Posted by: Licensedhero on 4/16/2016 1:53:39 AM
Hell yeah bizmanlance!!! Finally some one who says something actually worth reading and paying attention to.
Bravo to you,sir!!!

Posted by: Prince of orphans on 4/12/2016 6:35:07 PM
How can some one called "the Dark Knight" not have a dark side? We all have a dark side, which can cause us to lose sight of who we are but finding our way back to the light is what separates us from the truly wicked in this world. Apply enough pressure to something and eventually it will snap.?

Posted by: bizmanlance on 4/6/2016 2:00:42 AM
This movie definitely has it's flaws but, as someone who has experienced many of the DC animated movies and tv shows, cartoons, comics, this movie really represents the true reality of what it is to be a hero. A hero is not someone who is perfect and doesn't make mistakes, a hero is someone ,who despite their flaws and damage inside, continues to keep fighting for good. I really got a sense of what it was like to be in Batman and Superman's shoes, as well as any wholehearted super hero or decorated war veteran. I could feel the weight Batman and Superman have to carry on their shoulders through this movie. No one is in more pain or blames themselves more than they do. Their desire is to save everyone ,but no matter how hard they try there is always collateral damage in the battle of good vs evil and someone always gets hurt or is lost. The pain they feel for others over themselves shows that despite being fearless or bulletproof some wounds and nightmares never close. These are the fears and scars we all carry inside that give us strength and inspire us to learn from our mistakes and overcome, rather than give up. If this is not what humanity and being a hero represents I don't know what is.?

Posted by: bizmanlance on 4/6/2016 1:55:46 AM
Frankly it was a great movie. if you went in expecting a marvel style movie then you would be disappointed (unless you just wanted the marvel staple of heroes fighting each other).
sure it could have been better by not taking influence from Frank Miller's superman hate fest (aka Dark knight returns) as it shows a batman that has gotten out of control and fallen into the darkside. but at least we see him drawn back into the light again.

Posted by: Grim on 4/1/2016 10:43:48 AM
Yeah. I walked away kinda disappointed. I enjoyed their fight, but I felt like the movie was a mess and the re-interpretation of the characters is shameful.

Posted by: The Tony on 3/31/2016 1:10:51 PM
I do genuinely like this film.
One the the main things I enjoy about Batman is the variety of different stories, be it the Detective, the Dark Knight or whatever; I actually watched several episodes of Lewis Wilson's Batman before going to the cinema.

Dawn of Justice takes several Batman & Superman stories and mixes them together with great effect. Yes, the movie creation of Doomsday was more like that of Bizarro, but introducing Bizarro would be too much for the general audience, better using what most will see as a generic monster (though the story is still better than the original, 'oh they find him under a rock').

The Tim Burton Batman is still my favourite film, but Ben Affleck is by far the best on screen Batman. As for Superman... well, IMO, no one will be better than Christopher Reeve.

Posted by: Ugavine on 3/29/2016 3:20:28 AM
@ Slade Wilson
I said fresh and entertaining, not fresh and Nausea inducing :D

Posted by: Ugavine on 3/29/2016 3:08:46 AM
@ Ugavine

A fresh take?! Like what Twilight did for vampires?

Posted by: Slade Wilson on 3/28/2016 9:01:26 PM
Yeah, I have been reading comics for over 15 years now and in that time characters have been updated to be more contemporary from time to time. I don't get DC/Warner's strategy with these new films. They seem to think they have to make every superhero an anti-hero.

These characters have kept their appeal for decades because they are heroes. I can't stand these fanboys who think if Batman and Superman kill criminals that it makes them cool. It doesn't, it just makes them a bad example.

Posted by: Wade on 3/28/2016 8:55:36 PM
deadpool wins bitches hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Posted by: DD on 3/28/2016 6:46:44 PM
I never really like Lex Luthor, in the comics or the films, until now. Eisenberg nails it with a fresh and entertaining approach to Lex. Loved the film, and I hope the comics take a lead from Eisenbergs performance.

Posted by: Ugavine on 3/28/2016 3:37:36 PM
Martha, Martha, Martha!

Posted by: Dat Bat on 3/28/2016 3:32:27 PM