Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice is the sequel to Man of Steel and a setup for a series of Justice League movies. It stars Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Women, and Jesse Eisenerg as Lex Luthor (among others).
This movie is a semi-incoherent disaster of a movie with a good 60-90 minutes first half that’s so disjointed it almost doesn’t feel like a movie. It feels like a hodge-podge of barely connected scenes with no establishing shots, multiple barely connected storylines, no logical ties between scenes, and barely enough logic or story to define characters much less motivations. Each scene seemed weirdly short with ill-defined links to the scenes that follow. Occasionally the film would drop into dream sequences that were incomprehensibly edited in that they somehow didn’t feel like dreams but, at the same time, I couldn’t believe the story could have gone that far off the rails.
This mess of a movie is 2 1/2 hours long but feels like it has been edited down to fit that length. It feels like there are clearly establishing or connecting scenes that were just cut out of the movie, thus leaving behind this mess. I’m not kidding – it almost doesn’t feel like a movie. Either there needs to be a longer cut that defines motivations and better connects the story OR half the storylines could have just been cut right out of the movie.
The last hour or so of the movie are a bunch of action set pieces which managed to stop being disjointed and instead were just rather pedestrian splashes of noise, explosions, and movement. To be fair, the movie had so lost me by this moment that maybe if they’d just shown the final hour, the action would have been cool. I don’t know – that’s not the movie I saw.
Sadly, the “Batman v. Superman” fight is 75% in the trailers – it’s really short and ends on what I’m going to sarcastically call a “yo mama” joke… it’s preposterous and abrupt. Added to it, the motivations behind Lex Luthor (who kind of sort of sets the fight in motion) are basically non-existed. Evil is as evil does, I suppose. Or maybe, given the performance, random bipolar weirdness is as random bipolor weirdness does (more later).
Then we get even more fights and Wonder Woman shows up and Doomsday shows up and everyone fights. It had the depth at this point of mashing your action figures together when you were a kid. It’s like Lex Luthor (for some uknown reason) v. Batman v. Superman v. Doomsday v. Wonder Women v Batman I guess v Superman v Lois Lane being a clumsy idiot v Superman just not handing over the reigns of his stupid decision to someone else and making the most eye-rolling and obvious ending possible.
Part of that ending, and, indeed, a variety of other (sometimes clearly shoehorned in) scenes are setups for the upcoming slate of DC Universe movies. At the end, Bruce Wayne says something about getting other meta-humans (like Aquaman and The Flash) together… why? Because he has a feeling… something’s coming. Of course, I’m thinking, “Why? Because we have more movies, that’s why.”
As far as acting goes:
Henry Cavill does what he did last time – play Superman as a humorless gloomy pill. He’s not bad for this version of Supes… though, as is typical with this movie, sometimes he seems to be overacting because the story is so disjointed.
I appear to be alone (based on reviews I’ve read since seeing the movie) but I thought Ben Affleck was overacting and just kind of bad as Batman (he looked good in the suit, I guess… being charitable). Something about his angry-stare just like he was trying way too hard.
Gal Gadot as Wonder Women kind of stole the movie during the big battle scenes because she looks darn good in action and she has a bad ass killer soundtrack when she appeared. She didn’t have an abundance of lines and sometimes her acting was suspect… though it could have just been her accent. I’m no sure. But it was enough that I’m now looking forward to her solo pic.
Jesse Eisenberg is a trainwreck as Lex Luthor… he half plays himself (quirky indie actor Jesse Eisenberg) but he also just makes some really weird acting choices that were unintentionally comical. Maybe it’s not his fault – he barely had a motivation and someone had to approve of his decisions.
So that’s about it. For the record, I inexplicably really liked Man of Steel (the previous Supes movie with Cavill) even if it was a dour, noisy, gloomy explode-a-thon… I thought it gave the 12 year old me watching Superman 2 back in the early 80s exactly what I wanted. And it had a great production value and told a coherent story while managing to hop and skip through time. Batman v. Superman cannot be accused of having the same coherence. It’s a mess. An outright mess.