Superhero movies are coming out left and right these days. Disney has Marvel, Fox has X-men, but for warner brothers, it is the Dark Knight and Man of Steel that have netted them big bucks. Warner Bros movies have been received with mixed reviews, with Batman taking the higher rankings and Superman getting the lower scores. So how do they cut their losses? Combine them of course and that is what today’s movie review is on: Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. With intense debate about whether this movie was going to be good, I headed into the trenches again to dish out another review. So why don’t we get started?
- Batman Vs. Superman represents a key part of the DC universe as it sets the precipice for the Justice League. In these regards, the film succeeds managing to bring all the pieces together to get DC’s super powered team together. One will get glimpses of assembling cast and get an idea into the origins of the Justice League. While there were some convenient moments and rushed over moments, the movie as a whole will bring all you non comic book readers up to speed.
- The Drama: You want a comic book movie that is filled with emotion? Well look no further my friends. Dawn of Justice has the dark edge that DC is famous for, with gut wrenching moments that will give you the chills you are looking for. Where some Marvel movies may seem comic book corny, this film flushes hope down the drain and gives you the suspense we’ve craved. I watched as fans dropped into their seats with wide-eyed stares as they saw their heroes battle the harsh reality of the world. I found myself once more invested in both characters, waiting to see what fate held for them. While a bit overdramatic at times, especially in terms of the love parts, the character development in this movie is more than enough to please most audience members.
- The Special Effects: Fox really outdid themselves on this one, bringing computer animation to the fullest effects. Artificial buildings, which looked quite real, shattered in the fight between god and man. Flashy explosions, bone crunching punches, and sounds that rattle the roof are integrated throughout the film to give you the complete experience. These qualities were especially important during the action scenes, which were another positive of this film, and brought you deep into more exciting parts of the tale. In 3-D these effects are only fully exploited, the definition coming out in much greater detail along with some corny pop out at you moments. Despite this cheesiness though, the studio succeeded in bringing most of the books dark, twisted, imagination to life.
- Wonder Woman: Biggest good for this reviewer was Wonder Woman. They nailed the casting of this part choosing Gal Gadot to play the warrior princess. This Wonder Woman had style, class, and skills and stole any scene she was in. I myself thoroughly enjoyed the scenes where she wielded her mighty shield and sword to conquer the enemies before her. I only wished she would have had more screen time in this film.
- The Length: For the love of all that is good was this movie long. At nearly 3 hours, Dawn of Justice is certainly not something for the faint of butt. Snyder tried to cram everything into this film and at times it was a little too much. I found myself bored at times in the film, especially near the end where the extra detail at away at my patience in a manner similar to Return of the King. Maybe if the opening had been a little more exciting I could take the run time, but for this film it just didn’t work for me. My friends tell me it sticks close to the comic book and they appreciated it on that aspect, but they too thought the presentation was a little jumbled to justify the length. Speaking of which…
- Plot Points Overload: Dawn of Justice had a lot of things to assemble for Warner Brothers run at the superhero series. And unfortunately Snyder tried to cram every single aspect into the film. Part of my dislike of the opening is how everything is presented in a jumbled mess, the dreams in particular dicing up the linearity of the plot and making it a little overwhelming and stupid at times. While I appreciate the foreshadowing for future films, Snyder covered too much in the small time limit to make it work and by doing so made his project a weaker film in the process. This is especially true when there is a high chance of sequels in the cards.
- The Action: Before you rip my head off, the action for the most part is very good. The problem for me comes in the placement of some of the action scenes. With Snyder’s decision to address everything, his organization was not the greatest. Things got placed at very odd times and I found myself asking what was the point of the sequence other than trying to drum up a little excitement in the boring parts of the tale. There were some conveniences that were a little ridiculous even in the comic book realm that made for a lame ending to an exciting bout. However, it was the “epic” battle between Batman and Superman that was the worst for me. Instead of dynamic displays of skills, the fight took a more drama filled turn that was over the top, slow, and a bit more soap opera than I liked. On the plus side, this battle did have more character to it and a much better fight shaped up afterwards to bring the excitement you craved.
Overall Thoughts: Despite all my doubts , Dawn of Justice did a nice job kicking off the Justice League wave. The heavy character development was a strong selling point of this movie, and I felt I was watching a graphic novel come to life on screen. And for the most part the action lived up to the potential the trailers showed, despite the anticlimactic battle between the two leads. While there are some major weaknesses in terms of length and cramming too much in the movie, overall this film was enjoyable. As a warning, this movie has many images that may be too intense for younger viewer audience members.
Is this worth a trip to the theater? For the most part this reviewer would say yes, more so for the special effects than anything else. However, check this one out when you get the chance.
My scores are:
Movie overall: 7.0