Film Review AL: Batman V Superman (non-spoiler)

BATMAN v SUPERMAN

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice Review AL (non-spoilers)

We’ve anticipated this movie for years and now it is finally here. A cinematic adventure featuring the two most iconic superhero figures ever conceived, Batman and Superman. Opening weekend has come and gone and a lot of you are probably wondering if it’s any good. In fact, some of you may have already decided it must not be due to the horrendous reviews film critics are giving this film. They have really taken this film to task. I’m no film critic, just a film fan. I will say that going into this movie with lowered expectations was actually a nice treat as I was pleasantly surprised by the movie. I actually really liked this movie and seeing it the second time was just as enjoyable. Is it a perfect cinematic experience? Absolutely not. But I was thoroughly entertained and found myself really looking forward to what the DC cinematic universe has in store.

I’ll keep this review non-spoilers and give you a quick taste of what the movie was all about, what you need to know going into it, and then provide a list of pros and cons about the movie.

First of all, you need to go into this movie knowing that it is going to be dark. Many superhero moviegoers may have become accustomed to the Marvel tone that is brighter, more humorous, and happily adventurous. This is not the case with this movie. If you saw Man of Steel then you have an idea of the darker, grittier tone that the DC cinematic universe is going for. Just know that BVS is even darker than MOS. Like Watchmen dark.

Secondly, the movie is long and packed. With a runtime of 2 hours and 31 minutes, the movie is certainly a journey but far from an arduous one. The move is titled Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and to fit in the setup of why Batman and Superman are fighting and then try to setup the beginnings of a Justice League is a monumental task for one movie. In fact there are at least 3 different movies that could have been made very well from this one movie. So it did feel crowded and even rushed in some spots (really hoping the 3 hour “Ulitmate Cut” dvd release will smooth some of those wrinkles out). The movie does jump around between story lines pretty quickly and abruptly but seeing it a second time helped me appreciate how the different story lines going on were very much interconnected.

Thirdly, they are clearly setting up the DC cinematic universe and preparing for other solo and team movies. I think because there was so much pressure to catch up with the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) and setup these other movies it left some spots in the movie very weak. Developing the emotional drive of the two main characters seemed lacking (especially on Superman’s side). Scenes that featured upcoming Justice League members almost took me out of the movie completely because they felt cheaply made and shoehorned in. It was so funny to me that the BVS poster featured at the theater my wife and I went to had Jason Momoa prominently advertised right up there with the main characters and he is in the movie for like 25 seconds. I’m really hoping this is DC’s catch up movie and the rest of their movies will have more room to breath and better character development.

Here is my personal (non-spoilers) pros and cons list for the movie.

Cons

  1. Lack of character development = Lack of emotional buy-in
  2. Very crowded and rushed
  3. Doomsday is not as true to the comics as hoped
  4. Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Lex Luthor is different
  5. The turn of BVS to B&S is poorly done
  6. Granny’s Peach Tea

Pros

  1. Best cinematic Batman ever. Brutal and uncompromising
  2. Gal Gadot’s portrayal of Wonder Woman is actually pretty good
  3. Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Lex Luthor is different
  4. Fights are fantastic
  5. Easter Eggs pointing to future movies are fun (dream sequence)
  6. Film’s Score is epic and reminiscent of Man of Steel
  7. Jeremy Iron’s portrayal of Alfred Pennyworth rivals that of Michael Caine
  8. Batman’s fighting style is just a delight to watch
  9. Very entertaining, a fun ride the whole way through
  10. Ends with me wanting more!

Well there you have it. Take it with a grain of salt, see it, and decide for yourselves!

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