Director Zack Snyder returns to the DC Expanded Universe film franchise for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. It doubles down on the darker tone for the Man of Tomorrow and introduces a new aspect with the Dark Knight.
The film opens with Zod’s (Michael Shannon) invasion of Metropolis from the film Man of Steel. Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) witnesses the devastation from the battle with Superman (Henry Cavill). This creates an immediate distrust between Wayne and the last son of Krypton.
18 months later, Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) is collecting kryptonite with the help of a Russian gang. He is manipulating both Batman and Superman into a conflict that will have repercussions for Gotham City, Metropolis, and the world. In the background, Louis Lane (Amy Adams) and the mysterious Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) are working to solve what is really going on.
Zack Snyder films are a lot like well-wrapped Christmas presents. They have stylish wrapping paper, sleek bows, and maybe even a heartfelt card, but when you open it, you find a pair of white socks. This movie had one really good trailer and one that basically gives away the ending. It got going on social media with all the Snyder fans getting folks worked up, but despite all the hype, it has no heart.
For one thing, it is littered with plotholes that could have easily been explained, but not it was not to be. Instead, we are treated to a near three-minute-long montage of different scientists, commentators, and scientists babbling on about what Superman means to the world. It was boring, slow, and served absolutely no point to the movie.
As for the cast, I’m sick and tired of the angsty Superman. I’m ready for him to lead. As for Ben Affleck, his Batman is a combined version of Frank Miller’s writings and the Arkham video games. He is brutal and gives no quarter. While I did not mind watching Batman pummel criminals, I was disturbed in his blatant disregard for human life. There was a lot of collateral damage, manslaughter, and outright murder of villains. This is not the Batman I like seeing on the big screen. That being said, Jeremy Irons also is brilliant as a troubled Alfred. Of course, Gal Gadot stole the show in preparation for her starring role in Wonder Woman.
Now, that is not to say that Henry Cavill and Amy Adams did perform well. They work with what they have and pull good performances. Not so with Jessie Eisenberg. His Lex Luthor literally has no motive for his angst against Superman. None is given. Ever. He is just sort of there and just sort of hates Superman. As for how he portrays the character, he seemed to riff of Jim Carrey’s Riddler from Batman Forever, instead of the cold-hearted, but slick tongued genius that would often plague his Kryptonian nemesis. It was bland and eye-roll inducing.
Bottom line, while Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice has a lot sleekness and style, it has no heart. Instead of an epic showdown, we are treated to two grown men acting like angsty teenagers who listened to too much Goth music.
FAVORITE LINE: Tell me, do you bleed? You will.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Language, heavy sci-fi violence, crude humor
Check out the trailer below:
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This article has been updated from a previous version.