Well, you all know what the #1 movie in the world is. I was going to write this review a day or two ago but I had to do two things first: 1) let my initial reaction settle and 2) see the movie again. I have done both and sadly, my opinion has wavered very little. So let’s get this started.
Let me get this out of the way first: I didn’t hate the movie; but I didn’t love or completely like it. Batman V Superman opens up with the Battle of Metropolis with Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) witnessing the destruction caused by Superman (Henry Cavill) and General Zod during Man of Steel. Two years later, Superman is praised as a hero but seen as a figure of controversy due to his God-like powers and answering for the devastation he caused. Meanwhile, in Gotham City, Bruce Wayne has taken up the mantle of Batman once again, his sights set on the Man of Steel because he blames him for what happened in Metropolis. On the other side, Superman’s alter-ego, Clark Kent, sees Batman as dangerous, seeking to expose him.
Let’s go through what I found great about this film. First, Ben Affleck’s performance as Batman/Bruce Wayne. Warner Bros did a superb job tagging Affleck as the older, more world-weary Bruce Wayne. He did a great job, channeling Wayne’s detective skills and charisma. Jeremy Irons portrayed a great version of Alfred, who was more of a mechanic this time around but still the voice of reason for Master Wayne. The visuals were spectacular as always for a Zach Snyder film; the action scenes well choreographed, especially with the ultimate battle between the two iconic heroes. I will admit that I was hesitant and skeptical about Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman but her performance was another standout in this dark superhero epic (more on that later). Her past experience in Israeli military assisted her in the performance as the Amazon Warrior, who we do see in action. The first live screen shot of the DC Trilogy was amazing to just sit and watch. It was a moment nearly 75 years in the making.
Now, among these islands of potential and greatness, there are oceans of mistakes and missed opportunities. First of all, the Man of Steel himself. I think this was the first time that I was annoyed with Superman; or more of how he was portrayed this time. Superman seemed to be in conflict majority of the film, trying to appease to the world and still doing what he must to protect the world. What really hurt the film was the overall plot. It was so disjointed and felt rushed with Snyder and his writing team missed out on a huge opportunity to tell a great story, losing the chance to create a beating heart to this epic. This film felt like Snyder just did this to appeal to the fans. The lack of humor, even dry humor, was weird. It was though nothing could lighten the mood in this world.
Next, Jesse Eisenberg as a young Lex Luthor. I didn’t like this version of the evil, millennial, super-villain and Eisenberg performance was very weak, making Luthor more of a mad scientist type, not the super genius villain that fans are used to. Speaking of other characters, fans knew that with Wonder Woman arriving, the rest of the Justice League should not be far behind. We do see the other founding members of the League with the Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg making cameo appearances; very unnecessary cameo appearances but the served the purpose of setting up the future films of the DC Cinematic Universe.
Overall, I will not discourage anyone from seeing this film but it would be best to keep your expectations level. This film is decent and had an opportunity to be great. In my opinion, DC tried too hard to catch up to Marvel’s already established universe. Now, DC’s universe is set up and Snyder along with the rest of the Warner Bros team needs to focus on the upcoming 2-part Justice League film because DC still has a lot of ground to make up to improve on this dark superhero film, which was smothered by its special effects and weak plot.