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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.
Before 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.
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.