One of the most anticipated events fans of superhero movies have been biting their nails over has arrived: DC comics’ two biggest draws, Superman and Batman sharing screen time. The wait is over, but unfortunately the payoff turns out to be not really it. Though “Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice” may not be a total waste of time, it can be said without doubt that it does not fully satisfy the hunger DC Entertainment and Warner Brothers has prompted its audience for.
Like most of Zack Snyder’s movies, the greatest strength for “Batman Vs Superman” is the visuals. His productions are eye candy, and a perfect fit for films adapted from comic books. Sadly this one underwhelms on every other aspect. For a story featuring nearly two handfuls of leading characters, each one gets their fair share of screen time. What they do with their time is the problem. Most of the motive in the film is vague and at some points confusing; it’s not made clear what some characters are aiming to achieve. By the end, it feels like the movie has only the modicum of a story arch, due to the various, opaque agendas. Audiences will feel like they are missing a full hour of what already feels like a four hour film – actually running time of “Batman Vs Superman” is approximately 135 minutes.
Batman fans expressed strong skepticism when Ben Affleck was cast as the caped crusader, and now they will see their concerns were valid. Affleck’s portrayal of a billionaire masked vigilante playboy is almost laughable. Like the low-grade performances from Val Kilmer and George Clooney (“Batman Forever”, “Batman and Robin”), which are still frequently ridiculed and ostracized by fans, Affleck simply cannot pull off a separation in personality; his Bruce Wayne is Batman, and his Batman is Bruce Wayne. Furthering the poor casting reputation Snyder’s films have acquired, Jesse Eisenberg as DC super villain Lex Luthor is totally out of place. Eisenberg himself is not bad in this movie, but the approach to Luthor is so unconventional that it is like a completely different character. Gal Gadot and Jeremy Irons definitely picked up what slack they could in their roles as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman and Alfred Pennyworth, respectively, however they are not in the film enough to level things out entirely.
Partnering up again to compose the music is veteran film composer Hans Zimmer and electronica artist Junkie XL. These two pulled off some impressive scores before, both as a pair and individually on their own, and for the most part that stands for their contribution to “Dawn of Justice.” It would be a lie though to say the score is not without some flaws. A few parts are accompanied by such corny music that it actually ruins what might have been a cool scene of the movie.
What “Batman Vs Superman” does do right is hype up the crowd for upcoming stand-alone films based of DC superheroes, leading ultimately to a Justice League feature. Somewhat ironically, theatergoers will probably be more interested in the seeds planted for Aquaman, the Flash, Cyborg, and of course Wonder Woman on their own. It is just regrettable that positivity could not be elicited by this installment now.
This film is great for superficial action and effects, but otherwise it’s a fight over before starting.
“Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice” is now playing in theaters everywhere.