The most hyped movie of the year has finally hit theaters, and even though Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice holds a 29% rotten review on Rotten Tomatoes it has not hindered moviegoers from seeing Warner Bros. follow-up movie to Man of Steel, and lead-in to the rest of the DC cinematic universe.The movie is killing it at the Box Office, exceeding earlier predictions: $424.1 million worldwide, with the biggest domestic March opening weekend ever $170.1 million.
Taking into consideration of less than stellar critic reviews and mixed/positive feedback from audiences, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice could be summed up in one sentence: the movie is not near perfect, but it is a good movie worth watching. It has its flaws but no one, especially Warner Bros. has to worry about the DC slate of films.
Below are some of the movie’s positives and negatives coming out of the movie, tried to be spoiler free but still read with caution. Keep in mind Warner Bros. has confirmed an extended R-rated cut of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will be available on it becomes available on Blu-Ray and digital release. You can already preorder the movie on Amazon.
There’s no sugarcoating to say Jesse Eisenberg is a bad Lex Luthor, possibly one of the worse. This take of Lex Luthor does not match the somber tone established in Man of Steel and he is not pretending to act like a fool. Essentially, what is seen in the trailers is what we see in the movie. It would have been better to see Lex Luthor’s character change from the mad scientist persona to the corporate businessman that acts like the Lex Luthor portrayed in the Superman: Animated Series or Smallville. Another problem with Eisenberg’s version of Lex Luthor is the motive that drives him to despise Superman. Not to give anything away, it is a weak motive that is not as compelling as Batman not trusting Superman.
The next negative response critics called out was the film’s story. After watching the movie it felt more “Dawn of Justice”, and less Batman v Superman. The motives for why Batman wants to battle Superman is very clear, but it is harder to pin-point why Superman would be anti-Batman. In addition, it does not help that the second theatrical trailer released back in December gave away too much of the film’s ending. Hence sacrificing story to build-up future movies. It is fair to criticize the plot weakness ties in with Zack Snyder as a director. Visually Snyder is a phenomenal director, but his storytelling is not the greatest. Hopefully, the R-rated cut, and Justice League will improve his weaknesses.
Ben Affleck’s Batman and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman are awesome. Ben Affleck is the right actor to play the Batman Zack Snyder in-visioned for the DC Cinematic Universe. His performance is definitely inspired from the Dark Knight Returns graphic novel by Frank Miller, and the final trailer where he takes down criminals in a warehouse is the best Batman fight sequence ever shot on film, again credit to Zack Snyder’s visual direction. Overall, Ben Affleck is almost close, near perfect, to playing the best live-action Batman.
On the flip-side Gal Gadot is utilized very well in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Without giving any plot details away her introduction lays out more foundation of DC’s cinematic universe, and it sets up her solo adventure. When she dons the Wonder Woman costume the movie’s mood definitely improves from okay to really good.
The next positive element worth mentioning is score. The music was clearly one thing no one, critics included, was worried about going into the film. Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL are musical geniuses in how they were able to mash-up the three superhero themes during the film’s climax. Key example, when Batman and Superman are having their epic fight the music transitions between dramatic heavy drumming whenever Batman had the upper-hand over Superman. Conversely, you would hear the Man of Steel theme play whenever Superman gets back up to go another round. Combine the two with the Wonder Woman score that’s previewed when she debuts on screen and you get an awesome sample of what moviegoers will expect when we listen to the entire Justice League score.
Similar to Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice could be perceived as a polarizing film. You either love it or hate it. Some critics have compared Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to Iron Man 2. It is valid to say all the film’s trailers, especially the second one released back in December on Jimmy Kimmel Live, gave away too much. Combine that with the bad press Warner Bros started getting a month ago did not help the movie’s critical performance. However, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is projected to make a $1 billion dollars worldwide and later this summer Suicide Squad hits theaters.