Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

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Zack Snyder’s weakest movie, but Ben Affleck makes a great Batman.
★★
Movie Review #1,059

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Distributed by Warner Bros. Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi. Running time: 2 hours, 31 minutes. Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action throughout, and some sensuality. Released March 25, 2016. Directed by Zack Snyder. Written by Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer. Batman created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger. Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter, and Gal Gadot. With cameos from Charlie Rose, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Dana Bash, Kevin Costner, Nancy Grace, Anderson Cooper, and Brooke Baldwin.

By now, everybody and their dog has seen the viral “sad Affleck” video, where Affleck looks extremely forlorn as he hears an interviewer tell him that his newest film, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”, has been receiving mixed reviews. Let’s give the guy a break, though. He has every right to be sad. I can’t say just how much it sucks to know that you’ve given a great performance in an otherwise half-baked movie, but I would imagine that it sucks quite a bit. Expectations have been all over the map since Affleck was cast as Batman. His performance in “Batman v Superman” is comparable to, and perhaps even better than, Christian Bale’s performance in Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy (2005-2012). Unfortunately, the rest of the film doesn’t hold a candle to those three superhero greats.

Hence why “Batman v Superman” may not be as accurate a title as “Batman v Batman”. We sit through the entire movie wondering which Batman is better: Bale or Affleck. No one gives a shit about Superman, other than for the fact that without Superman, we wouldn’t have Lois Lane (Amy Adams). Except for those among us who do appreciate a wooden, monotonous Superman, none of us really cares to watch Henry Cavill’s performance as the alien/superhero. His did a fine job in “Man of Steel”, but that performance looks like a should-have-been Oscar winner in comparison to his effort in “Batman v Superman”.

Where “Man of Steel” played out like a genuine superhero movie, “Batman v Superman” played out like fan fiction. The writing is shoddy, the dramatic setup unrealistic and the dialogue forced. I’m betting that the screenplay would be an enjoyable read simply because poor writing can be a reader’s guilty pleasure. On film, though, that can feel rather confusing. I’ve always been a huge fan of Zack Snyder’s, as is evidenced by the fact that I gave rave reviews to “300”, “Watchmen”, and “Man of Steel”. In my opinion, those are modern classics, and I might be the only one in the world who thinks so. It truly says something when, despite my admiration for the director, I am willing to admit that his latest film could have been a hell of a lot better.

One thought on “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

  1. I don’t think it even compares – Bale is a better Batman. He gets decent character development, plays the role more faithfully and does so with some humour. Affleck’s is good but he needs a bit more freedom and namely his own Batman movie.

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