I initially resisted the urge to go an see this, given the terrible critical reviews and my plan was to rent it when it came out on DVD instead. But then I read some pretty positive reviews, telling us not to believe the negative press. So knowing that opinion was divided somewhat, I realised that I had to go and see it to make up my own mind.
I can reveal that “Dawn of Justice” isn’t quite as terrible as some have made it out to be but it is still a film with MAJOR problems.
Why don’t we start off positively? I really enjoyed the first 20 minutes or so; the opening sequence with the discovery of the Batcave was very well done and I loved watching the events of “Man of Steel” from Bruce Wayne’s perspective, a clever introduction to be sure. On a similar subject, Ben Affleck is indeed excellent as Batman, though the jury is still out as to whether he is the best or not; there is something about him that makes him engaging to watch and he certainly brings a moody, brooding edge to the film. Also, Jeremy Irons is a perfect Alfred and Gal Gadot is the ideal Wonder Woman.
But now we have to go back to those MAJOR flaws that I mentioned. I’ll begin with the issue of the narrative, since it is widely accepted to be disappointing. Indeed, the plot is ridiculously convoluted and all-over-the-place; in the first hour or so, the action keeps relentlessly hopping all over the place from Gotham to Metropolis and back again and then there’s a dream sequence and then it cuts to black and then it’s back to Metropolis and then there’s a flashback and…aahhh! I did enjoy the first few minutes but the pace soon slows down and we are soon left uninterested in what is happening at all.
So by the final act, the story is completely bungled and it all ends in a CGI heavy extravaganza complete with far too many explosions of “red lightning”, so many that you can easily predict when they will occur; after a few minutes, this becomes excruciatingly tiresome. At the very end, we are given an obvious set up for future films and a terribly obvious final shot.
On a similar subject, the blindingly obvious setting up of further films in the DCU is a bit annoying; the powers that be are clearly trying to imitate the MCU and all of its success.
And going back to the issue of the final act, the Kryptonian abomination monster really is naff and pointless. Really, this film doesn’t exactly have the most memorable villains, does it?
And finally, Jesse Eisenberg is NOT Lex Luthor. Playing him as a cross between Mark Zuckerberg and The Joker is a complete misfire and the film suffers as a result.
Is that all? I think so.
So in conclusion, while not as terrible as some people say, “Batman V Superman” is clearly flawed and it is all a bit too rocky. I’m glad that I went to see it, I would encourage others to do the same; it’s watchable but messy.
★ ★ ★