"Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" stars Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, and Gal Gadot. Released on March 25, 2016, the film has Batman facing against Superman while a new threat emerges.
The film is directed by Zack Snyder, who also directed films such as Dawn of the Dead, 300, Watchmen, and Sucker Punch. It serves as a follow-up to the 2013 film, Man of Steel (also directed by Snyder), and the second installment of the DC Extended Universe. Superman and Batman have worked together countless times in media, such as comic books, video games, and television. However, they have not shared the silver screen together until now. With the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, DC decided to follow suit with its own cinematic universe, but with some differences. By 'differences', I mean the 'putting in a lot of characters like Wonder Woman and Lex Luthor in one film' kind. I was quite curious to see how this whole 'Superman meeting Batman' situation would translate on the big screen ever since I saw the first trailer. It could be good, it could be bad, who knows? I went in with low expectations since the reviews weren't so kind, especially the critics' reviews, but the audience seemed to enjoy it and, to my surprise, so did I.
The performances in the film were pretty impressive. Cavill reprises his role as Clark Kent, aka Superman, who is now a controversial figure to thousands of people after the devastating events of Man of Steel. Like his performance in the last movie, it wasn't spectacular or anything, but I still found him suitable in the role. Ben Affleck takes the helm as Batman and while some people think he wasn't made for the role, I thought he did a great job portraying the Caped Crusader. Although it took me a while to get used to his new Batman voice, I do like the fact that he put some effort into his performance. Then we have Jesse Eisenberg as Superman's arch nemesis, Lex Luthor, with hair. When I first heard that Eisenberg was cast to play Luthor, I found it to be a bit odd since I always picture Lex as a menacing villain. With all due respect to this talented actor, this has got to be the strangest portrayal of Lex Luthor I have ever seen. He does have his psychotic side, but to be honest, there were times where I laughed at some of his lines. The red capes are coming…the red capes are coming. And of course, we have our very first big-screen debut of Wonder Woman, played by Gal Gadot, and she was pretty darn good, especially during her shining moment in the finale. I have the feeling she's going to do her character justice (no pun intended) in her upcoming spin-off film. Like his other films, Zack Snyder is known for his stylistic visuals and action. This film is no different. The visual effects and cinematography fully captivate the film's style and tone compared to the films from Marvel where they're light-hearted and fun. Sure it's a bit overblown and grim at times, especially its flashy, CGI-filled third act, but DC is not afraid to be its own thing without copying the qualities of Marvel's own Cinematic Universe, and I'm proud of that. The first half of the movie felt a bit underwhelming at times, especially the dream sequence, but the second half is where it shines the most. It's not underwhelming as in boring, I was engaged from start to finish.
The story does have a couple of problems, in my opinion. I didn't see anything confusing about it, but for a movie that's two and a half hours long, it does feel rushed during certain parts, especially its transitions. I felt that some of the 'cut to black' transitions were unnecessary and inconsistent. However, I do like how the story reflects on the realism and its themes, like how people see Superman and Batman as either heroes or vigilantes. Even though its depth and screenplay weren't strong enough, I think it's fine for what it's trying to do. Also, due to its tone, there can be some moments that might be too frightening for young children or concerning for some comic book fans. It's not considered a flaw or anything, just a warning.
Overall, "Batman v Superman" is no masterpiece when it comes to the story and its underwhelming, yet somehow engaging, first half, and that's OK. Zack Snyder delivered a pretty solid superhero mash up that's filled with good performances, some entertaining fight sequences, and stylistic visuals. I can understand why it's not as great as people hoped, but it could be worse. It could wind up like the Fantastic Four reboot. If you're planning on seeing it, let me provide you, the people who are fans of Superman and/or Batman, with some advice: keep your expectations at a minimum and don't listen to the negativity.