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Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

Max Beavers, Staff Writer

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After seeing Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice in theaters, I walked away with one thought in mind: That could have been worse. Critics have been pretty hard on the film, seeming to criticize it for its darker tone and execution. But while critics have been saying the movie is horrible, marvel is better, a lot of fans have been swearing up and down this movie was the end all be all, I’m here to say it wasn’t great, but it wasn’t horrible. It was simply ok. Given I didn’t have high expectations at all coming into this, I was pleasantly surprised with all that I liked and severely annoyed with what I didn’t.

Before diving into it too much, I will say that I had a problem with how the movie was advertised. The first trailer made me interested, but every one after that gave away too much. I went in knowing the entire plot of the movie, I just needed to piece together which scene went where. There were really only a few big surprises in the theater, the ending being the biggest surprise since you could kind of guess everything else while watching it go down.

Now then, let’s discuss the good parts of the film. I honestly believe this was the most accurate portrayal of Bruce Wayne aka Batman, we’ve gotten. People have complained about him being too violent and angry in the movie, but if you take a look at the bigger picture it is very easy to understand and sympathize with Batman’s anger. Ben Affleck portrayal was my personal favorite version of the character and I think he got across Bruce’s struggles very well. I can’t really complain too much with what I was given on that end.

One thing I really appreciated was the build up given for the future Justice League. I definitely feel like there was thought put into it instead of forced cameos or a sub plot that wouldn’t make sense in the long run. The way the movie incorporated who would soon be known as Aquaman, The Flash, and Cyborg was done wonderfully and it made me eager to see more of those characters. So eager I almost wished the rest of the film was about them instead of Doomsday.

Wonder Woman of course made her DC cinematic universe debut in this movie. Despite all the doubts surrounding Gal Gadot, I’d have to say she pulled off a great performance. I’d be lying if I said seeing Diana Prince in action wasn’t the complete and total highlight of this movie for me. Whenever she was onscreen I was simply overjoyed, whether she was in her Wonder Woman costume or not.

A few smaller things I appreciated was how real the doubts surrounding Superman and his powers felt. Instead of everyone openly accepting someone who is a downright powerhouse, there was a lot of worry that maybe Superman isn’t as good as he makes himself out to be. Clark Kent’s personal struggle with wanting to be presented as good was also very apparent. On this note, I think the character of June Finch was done very well and she presented the doubts surrounding Superman in a great way. If anything, I would have wanted to see more of her character than we did.

With good comes bad, so let’s discuss what I thought were the weaker parts of the movie. I’m outright going to say I did not like Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor. I went into the film saying I would give him the benefit of the doubt, but I can’t vouch for that performance. Whatever they put on screen was definitely not Lex Luthor and Jesse Eisenberg came off as a bit annoying anyways. I hate to say it, but I don’t think that was the role for him. Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor was so obviously unstable that the man could cough and someone would be able to grasp he’s homicidal.

Another thing that really bothered me was how often Lois Lane needed to be saved by Superman. Usually there’s at least one obligatory love interest save in superhero movies, but this was so often that it felt forced and a bit ridiculous for just one movie. I was sitting in the theater thinking “Wow, Superman couldn’t have found a more accident prone woman to date.” Despite the film trying to put an emphasis on her importance, she felt like more of a bother than anything in this movie.

As for the smaller things that bothered me, that boils down to what the viewer looks for in superhero movies. I personally am not a fan of giant CGI beasts being the big bad guy but there Doomsday was. I really can’t complain since CGI is used so much in movies today, but I would have liked a more human looking villain. This Lex Luthor wasn’t my taste but Doomsday kind of sealed the deal with me not being too interested in the villains of this film. If Luthor had suited up and attempted to fight Superman and Batman himself I would have at least been a bit interested since 5’9” Jesse Eisenberg would be attempting to fight 6’1” Superman and 6’4” Batman.

The last thing that made the movie less appealing to me could be taken with a grain of salt, but it still bothered me. At this point I might be nitpicking but I didn’t feel all the dream sequences were really relevant to this movie. There are articles going around saying “wait the dreams were super important!!” but I really don’t care. One dream sequence went from Batman V Superman to Mad Max: Fury Road. I didn’t understand the purpose. If you take out the entire scene, you wouldn’t miss any important information in the movie. Not only that but directly after the Mad Max dream, we’re treated with an Inception like moment where Bruce Wayne wakes up from that dream only to be in another dream. It was hard to understand what was going on in that second one, but that may have been the theater I was in as many other articles seem to have grasped that scene perfectly.

All in all, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is an ok movie, I’d see it again, but I’m in no rush to. I look forward to the Justice League movie and the solo movies for Wonder Woman and the rest of the new crew. I think those movies will come off smoother since there will be less to force in and introduce. Do I suggest Batman V Superman? Yes, I do, but only if you have the time and the money to spare. It’s an enjoyable movie with nice action, but story wise it could have been better and some characters could have been used better.

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Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice