Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

I just got back from seeing this — if you don’t know what the movie is about, it’s right there in the title (and in all of those commercials that we’ve been bombarded with lately). As I’ve said in previous reviews, I enjoy a good comic book movie, even enjoy some of the comic book TV shows.  So I was a bit excited to go to see the film.  I’m going to try to tell yo about the movie without giving any serious spoilers.  But lets face it — most of the spoiling was already done in the title of the movie, and in the trailers themselves.  If you haven’t seen any of the trailers, then you can consider this a spoiler review.  But if you have, I’ll try not to go  any further than the trailers have already gone.

This is a direct sequel to 2013’s “Man of Steel”.  That film can be considered the first in DC’s extended movie universe.  The story introduces a new Bruce Wayne/Batman, played quite well by Ben Affleck.  We already know who Superman (Henry Cavill) is, so, of course, this film spends a bit of time showing us who Bruce Wayne is, and in some brief sequences, his origins as Batman.  When Superman fights General Zod in “Man of Steel”, Batman has already been fighting crime in Gotham City for years.  This is an older, more world-weary Batman than even in the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy. He’s had losses, and that makes him a bit paranoid and hardened.  He sees Batman and Zod destroy much of Metropolis, including the Wayne Financial building there.  He doesn’t trust Superman -he knows that, should he desire it, Superman could lay waste to entire cities.

The first half of the movie, which was directed by Zack Snyder, seems like it was butchered by editing.  The film is 151 minutes long, but I have to assume that Snyder struggled to keep it from getting any longer, and the result is what we see – a kind of disjointed narrative that doesn’t make sense, mostly because it seems like there is too much missing from those scenes.  I have to assume that at some point there will be an extended edition on Bluray and DVD that probably would be a lot better.  Unfortunately, that’s not what made it to the theater.

That said, the second half of the movie is a lot better, and makes more sense.  Israeli actress and model, Gal Gadot, makes quite a splash when she appears on screen, and I look forward to seeing her in  both the upcoming Wonder Woman, and Justice League movies. She actually doesn’t say a lot in the film, but everyone in the audience cheered her appearance.  The acting, overall, is pretty good though I’m not entirely thrilled with Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Lex Luthor.  I’ve liked him in other movies, (most notably, “The Social Network”).  But here, his performance is uneven, and I’m not exactly sure how much of that is the script.

Overall, I do recommend the film to people who like Batman or who enjoyed “Man of Steel” — you’ll probably enjoy this.  Half the movie is excellent, and will likely please superhero fans everywhere.  Unfortunately, that’s only half the movie.  If you can get through the first half, though, there’s a lot to enjoy in the second half.

Now I want to give some additional info because I know that everyone who’s going to see the film will want to know these things:

  1. There is no post-credit scene — if you leave at the start of the credits, you won’t miss anything other than those credits.
  2. There are cameo appearances by Ezra Miller as The Flash, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, and Ray Fisher as Cyborg.  These are very quick cameos that, which are of very minor importance to the plot.  But no one should go into the movie expecting more than that.
  3. Robin is not in the film, nor is Green Lantern, nor is Joker (I mention them only because people asked me about them when I told them I was going to see the movie). That does not mean that Robin has not existed in this universe (remember, this takes place long after Batman first started fighting crime).  Joker will be in the upcoming “Suicide Squad” movie (Jared Leto looks great in the trailers for that).  And there is a proposed Green Lantern Squad movie that MAY appear several years from now (2020 according to IMDB), but these things have a tendency to change.
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