I’ve decided to go back and watch a bunch of movies based on comic books. No real reason, just something I thought would be fun. This time it was the 2016 movie Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
IMDb Rating: 6.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes critics: 27%
Rotten Tomatoes audience: 65%
My Rating: 6/10
To start, I should say that I watched the ultimate edition with the additional 30 minutes, so my experience here was quite different from those who have only seen the theatrical release. I also never saw the film in theaters, so I have no idea which scenes were added.
This movie was a bit of a mess, but I think I liked it better than Man of Steel. The real highlight of the film was Batman. Ben Affleck does an admirable job of portraying an older, more jaded Bruce Wayne. In the batsuit he also has the bulk to pull off the look of The Dark Knight Returns, which was obviously a huge influence on the movie. While Batman was the best part of the movie, he wasn’t without issues. For a character that’s known for stealth and intelligence, his “hacking” of Lex’s computer was pretty pathetic. I also felt like he was far too easily manipulated by Lex (who wasn’t particularly brilliant either). The issues are minor and generally didn’t distract from the character.
The story was the biggest problem in the movie. It starts really slowly. The first hour of the movie just keeps adding more and more plot threads, many of which seem unnecessary. I assume that some of them (particularly the annoying dream sequences) will tie into the upcoming Justice League movie, but for now they just clutter up the film.
The message of the story is also a problem. The first two hours of this three hour film focus on the harm collateral damage can do to a society. Superman is called upon to answer for his inability to save everyone. Batman himself goes after Superman is because of how much collateral damage a god like him can do. Then, during the climactic fight scenes, all of that is thrown out the window as nukes are launched and the ‘heroes’ nearly destroy the city again in order to stop the villain. That hypocrisy was a little hard to swallow.
I’m glad I waited to watch the movie until I could do so at home. While the action may have been better on a big screen, the story just wasn’t good enough. I hope that DC is able to figure things out soon, because I’m not sure how long their extended universe will last if they continue to put out movies that are just okay.