Batman V Superman Review

DC Trinity

In a strange twist of fate, it seems like the overly harsh critics who have been ripping Batman V Superman to shreds have actually created positive fan reactions. The first reason for this is because critics have managed to create such low expectations for fans that the film is able to surpass them. Secondly, people like to support underdogs. Critics have managed to turn this huge blockbuster film into somewhat of a dark horse in Hollywood. As with most things though, the truth of Batman V Superman’s competency lies somewhere in the middle of the critics and the fans. It’s not a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination but it certainly entertains at a blockbuster level. It’s a solid B of a movie.

Spoilers for Man of Steel and Batman V Superman Below

In my mind this is a huge win for the DC Cinematic Universe and Zack Snyder. Man of Steel was probably one of the worst superhero films of this decade. Not because Superman kills General Zod, but because the film contains one hour of truly gripping and compelling story followed by over an hour of mindless destruction that would give Michael Bay a massive erection. The wasted potential of Man of Steel is what makes it so frustrating. So it was a success for Batman V Superman to simply deliver a FULLY competent movie, instead of a great half.

The standouts in this film were definitely Ben Affleck’s extremely dark Batman and Gal Gadot’s battle loving Wonder Woman. The first scene in which we meet Batman could be cut from a horror film and I love that. He is supposed to be a boogie man for criminals and that is exactly what we see in this film. Like Frank Miller’s awesome take on the character he uses guns because they are effective tools to accomplish his tasks. He also doesn’t care much about preserving criminal life. He isn’t looking to kill anyone but if they stand in his way or threaten innocents then he’s not going to ‘bat’ an eye before lethally hurting them. Late in the film we get to see all of Wonder Woman’s weapons used against Doomsday and she might just have my favorite line of the film. When Superman cautions her against Doomsday’s power because he’s not from this planet she replies, “I’ve killed things from other worlds before”. She’s totally confident in her abilities and we get to see just how awesome they all are. She even gets to toss the famed ‘lasso of truth’ around her enemy.

Power Suit Batman

Some have complained this film works too hard to set up sequels but I didn’t feel like the two specific scenes in this film that will play into Justice League were all that out of place. Batman forwards Wonder Woman a file on other supers and we get brief glimpses of Aquaman, Flash and Cyborg. Earlier in the film Batman has a dream or maybe a vision of what most people have decided is Flash giving him a cryptic warning. This one did feel a bit odd in the middle of the film but it may be cool to see how it connects to Justice League in the future.

Lex Corp

The overall plot of Batman V Superman is pretty close to what I had hoped for. Lex Luthor works to frame Superman as a villainous alien. Batman seeks to end Superman for his perceived threat to humanity. For a while the two’s interests coincide. Then all hell breaks loose when Lex Luthor releases Doomsday on Metropolis to kill Superman. Jessie Eisenburg’s work as Lex was surprising in that I went in expecting to dislikes him but came out with a begrudging respect of his portrayal. There was one rather huge surprise near the end of the movie though. Superman sacrifices his life to end Doomsday. Although I knew Doomsday killed Superman in the comics I certainly didn’t think they’d entertain that plot-line in only his second film. In the end I really liked the choice because, while he won’t stay dead, it felt fresh for a comic movie to put such an iconic character in such a grave situation.

The film’s biggest problem was definitely it’s pace. The scenes were cut together in a jarring manner and none of the transitions felt quite right. Early on the film is probably a bit too slow at times. Unfortunately, the conflict between Batman and Superman seems to go by too fast. I was happy that the fight with Doomsday didn’t feel nearly as drawn out as Superman’s with Zod in Man of Steel though.

So, like I said in the first paragraph. This film is a solid B. Now I’ve only seen it once so who knows if I’ll like it more or less with repeated viewings but as of right now I’m really looking forward to the Justice League, Wonder Woman and the Batman. Competition is a good thing and DC being competitive with Marvel should only make them both better. If you have a different opinion or care to voice your dissent, feel free to leave a comment below.

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5 Responses

  1. Excellent review, Mr. Cook. I’m certainly far from a comic fan but you definitely give solid reasoning and draw from (mythical) historical fact to make your points!

  2. Oliver Layco says:

    I also don’t understand the hate for Bats and Supes having the Martha connection. That moment was pivotal in bringing Batman back to why he started doing what he did. 20+ years of doing what he does in a city like Gotham and it was easy for him to get lost in the madness and become the thing he swore to stop. When Supes was begging for Bats to go save Martha, that brought him all the way back to the night his parents were murdered. It’s why the movie started with their death and Bruce had that flashback at least 3 times throughout the whole movie.

    • J.D. Cook says:

      Yeah I agree. I really liked that connection.

    • Nicolas Duncan aka El Sol and Solar Flare says:

      I agree, Oliver. I seen BvS for the second time last night with a friend. He wondered why re-establishing the explanation of the Wayne murder. I helped him with the “Martha” connection, which made it necessary to emphasize on the story.

  3. Nicolas Duncan aka El Sol and Solar Flare says:

    You nailed it, JD! I would like to emphasize a little more on one of the most important aspect of your review. “Batman seeks to end Superman for his perceived threat to humanity.”

    Like the Man Of Steel…Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice really expresses the levels of the flaws of Humanity. The most important is how we jump the gun with our responses and judgements due to our “perception” of the situation, which is based upon part of the puzzle and not the whole story. We as humans have a continued history to react before knowing all the facts and are often misguided by social media and people of manipulation.

    At first, I was upset with this Batman, because a “seasoned” Batman is a “Great Detective” and would not be manipulated so easily, (especially to the brink of cold blooded murder). However, I quickly changed my mind, because it shows that no matter how well of education and level of thought process, Batman is only human with the same flaws. Lex, a man with a vindictive mind and a lot of money…no matter the chaos created, he can push those buttons of “Humanity” to do his bidding and reach his goal. Not only did Lex master-minded the fight between Batman and Superman and structured the creation of Doomsday, he also showed how quickly the human race can turn on their heroes and each other. This sounds rather like one of this year’s Presidential Candidates (my opinion).

    This movie does great justice on expressing the “humanity” of each character, including the Trinity. Many people will not comprehend the “lessons” that Snyder and the powers that be are portraying, but there is always “HOPE”, lol 😉

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