About a couple of months before audience’s reveled in Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War, DC finally put forth their first multi-hero effort in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Writers Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer penned this script with Zack Snyder directing. His most recent directorial outing was 2013’s Man of Steel. Other directing credits include 300, Watchmen, and Sucker Punch. Snyder has a dark, brooding style that, most of the time, leaves me feeling uneasy and gloomy while watching his films. Many of Tim Burton’s films have a dark overtone, but are still somewhat more enjoyable than this. The script is a lengthy one as the film runs just over two and half hours. There is a lot packed in the film and overall it just seemed cumbersome.
Batman/Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) thinks Superman/Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) is a danger to the world and he must be stopped. Superman thinks Batman is a dangerous vigilante and must be stopped. Then the film spends half the time setting up the big, climactic battle between the two caped heroes that seems to cause more destruction than really solves anything. Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) comes in and ultimately wants to pit these two together and create Doomsday from the corpse of General Zod to put an end to the heroes. It also introduces and poorly sets up Diana Prince/Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) who comes in towards the middle of their battle and helps them defeat Doomsday. It seems DC was in a rush to try to introduce this character into their cinematic universe that they didn’t really develop the character enough to really do much of anything. They could have left the character out and most of that storyline and the film still would not be that different. Now Wonder Woman’s solo film is set to be released next June and a trailer has just been released at the San Diego Comic Con this weekend. You can view that trailer below:
They introduced this character now and then go back and release a film, which looks sort of like an origin film, and then put her back into Justice League to be out in theaters later next year in November. There was a trailer for that film shown at SDCC this weekend as well. You can view the trailer below:
Aquaman (Jason Momoa), The Flash (Ezra Miller), and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) were teased at the end of Batman v. Superman and will be in Justice League next year. Then those characters, as with the aforementioned Wonder Woman, are going to get their solo films. It appears DC is sort of going backwards from Marvel. Putting these characters together and then giving them their own films doesn’t appear to be the greatest decision. But I may be wrong.
When it was announced that Affleck was cast as the new Bruce Wayne/Batman, there was uproarious upheaval in the decision. There seemed to be mixed reviews about Affleck’s portrayal of the character. There were seemingly positive reviews but there were those that didn’t like the choice. It appeared to be mediocre at best. His Batman dominated more when he was fighting, although his use of firearms was a bit much. It was too aggressive for my understanding of the character.
Amy Adams brings the same low-key performance to Lois Lane in this film as she did in Man of Steel. She had moments of strength and independence but there just didn’t seem there was enough of those moments. Jeremy Irons is a great actor, but here again, it was somewhat of another dull performance of the Alfred character. Perhaps the overall dark, brooding tone had something to do with the performances. I’m not sure. But they just didn’t have that punch to the characters to hold my interest. It was almost like viewing a live theatrical performance where the actors have low energy and the play just seems to drag. I believe the same could be said here.
However, Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor was different. I wasn’t sure about his casting either at the start. Of course, I wasn’t sure about Heath Ledger cast as the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, but he was brilliant. Overall, I did like the way the Luthor was portrayed. It was completely different from Gene Hackman’s version and also the Kevin Spacey portrayal in Superman Returns. Eisenberg played him with some high energy and more psychotic (for lack of a better word).
It felt like they crammed too much in this film. As I mentioned earlier, Wonder Woman’s character and storyline could have been left out and teased the way Aquaman, the Flash and Cyborg were and the film wouldn’t have suffered any (or at least anymore than it did). The storyline where Luthor creates Doomsday seemed like an unnecessary one and just added to “create” more excitement and spectacle. That whole sequence could have probably been cut and the battle between Superman and Batman could have ended differently or with the same outcome and moved on from there. I still question how it ended. But maybe those scenes were left in there to give it more spectacle and something for the fans. The film had some merit, just not enough to keep it interesting.