Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has finally released to the general audiences and boy has it polarized comic fans and the regular movie going public. With a 30% on Rotten Tomatoes, a 7.3 user review on Metacritic, a 44 on Metacritic's critic review, and a 7.6 IMDB user review it only seems like people loved the movie or hated it. Well, I'm going to let you know up front, I didn't like it all that much. Full disclosure, I am a huge comic book fan but not that much of a DC comic fan. Also, you should know that I think Batman is pretty much overhyped by the internet. With that said, I won't go over every single plot point, nitpick, or spoiler from the film. Instead, it will be a general what I liked, what I didn't like, and final thoughts.
Alright, let's talk about what I liked about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. I absolutely love the portrayal of Alfred in this movie. Gone are the days that Alfred simply runs Bruce's bath, fetches his tea, or cleans up the bat poop from the Batcave. This Alfred builds gadgets, fixes the Batmobile, and helps Batman in all his preparations. This Alfred is almost a full fledged side-kick and it feels like this should have ben Alfred's role all along. In addition to Alfred's handiness, he provides most of the comedy relief in this ultra serious movie. Another thing that I liked in this movie was Superman winning this first confrontation with almost zero effort. Despite what fanboys and Superman haters will say, in a heads up one on one fight Superman will win each and every time. The last thing I liked about this movie was the way they tried to show you that Batman was around during the events of Superman: Man of Steel even if we never see him in that movie.
Now, we have to talk about what I didn't like about this movie and believe me it is quite a lot. First an foremost was the betrayal, err portrayal of Lex Luthor. Lex Luthor is not some crazed lunatic who happens to have a fortune he inherited from his daddy. Lex is supposed to be as smart as Superman is strong. He is supposed to be a master manipulator and cunning strategist who actually gets elected to president in the comic books. He is not a Joker stand-in he is suppose to be the one villain that Superman can't punch away.
Speaking of things Superman can't simply punch away, Doomsday is very much the one villain that can and should kill Superman. So, if he does that very thing why did I not like it in this movie? Simply put, it is way too early to kill Superman. No one, not the fans of the comics, not the fans of the movies, and certainly not the people within the movie's universe have had any time to feel like Superman was the invincible beacon of hope. This should have been a movie all of it's own five years down the road with everyone in the DC film universe mourning his death and Lex wondering if killing Superman was actually the best thing for the planet. It should have been a huge moment for the DC Movie Universe and yet it felt forced, rushed, and ultimately pointless as you know he won't stay dead for any length of time.
Wonder Woman is another thing that just felt forced. I love the character of Wonder Woman, but this version just felt meh. Gal Gadot is not physically intimidating, she does not exude an air of royalty, superiority, and/or arrogance, and she does not have the acting talent to play a fish out of water Amazonian princess in a man's world while still retaining her aura of power. The action Wonder Woman gets into during this movie is pretty bad ass, but I don't see Gal being able to hold up an entire movie all by herself. Sadly it seems like one of DC's big three is going to be relegated to second string status unless Wonder Woman is recast.
The final major complaint I have with this movie is its lack of exposition. I mean look at the picture above this paragraph, doesn't that just scream "Tell me more about this!" I mean, is that a Robin costume? Is It a Nightwing outfit? Who wore it? Was it Jason Todd, Dick Grayson, someone else? Is this person dead or just crippled? Fans of the comics will instantly know the answers to these questions, but you have to remember this is a movie that is supposed to appeal to a wider audience. Relying on the audience to have prior knowledge or insight into these characters is something this movie does a lot and it detracts from the movie so severely many critics and movie goers are left confused and upset. Ultimately this is what ruins the movie for me above anything else. They say good story telling shows not tells, but this movie does nothing but tease.
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