Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice Review

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Here’s my full spoiler-filled review

So, I was really not sure what to expect here. As we’ve all chatted and had fun with, there have been a LOT of things that made me scratch my head or shake my head as the making of this movie progressed. The name. The casting. Etc. I actually liked Man of Steel for the most part. I just thought the ending went on too long. But as this movie evolved I just feared for a mess like Amazing Spider-man 2 or (almost worse) something really dour and boring.

So I was REALLY pleasantly surprised by how great the movie is. I’m seeing it again tomorrow! I actually think a lot of the plotting choices are smart. The merging of their two worlds is great. Having a Wayne building be at the center of the destruction of Metropolis makes the ending of that movie more worth it and gives a real emotional core to Bruce’s motivations. It’s pretty brilliant. But it carries over even from that with Wally (no relation to West) and his predicament and manipulation by Luthor. Diana/Wonder Woman is weaved into the story really well, and Gal Gadot pretty much steals every scene she’s in. Affleck is FANTASTIC as Bruce and Batman. He’s easily my favorite Batman since Keaton. I just never really bought into the Dark Knight Trilogy’s Batman. But this Batman just feels right. And he MOVES like Batman. He’s such a great realization of Batman.

I also feel like any lingering doubts about Cavill’s Superman are totally cleared up by the end of the movie. If there is one complaint I have, it’s that this movie REALLY made me wish we had a Man of Steel 2. I just wanted more time with Superman/Clark (Cavill’s Clark is great) and to get in his head more. How did he feel about the lives lost in Metropolis? We are never given a totally clear window until the scene in the capitol and, ultimately, during his sacrifice fighting Doomsday. I was a bit surprised they went there (and it’s another reason I wish we’d had a MOS 2) but it’s actually the perfect set-up for the Justice League, where Superman basically inspires Batman to bring them together along with Wonder Woman.  It’s like Coulson’s death x 100.  It works.

The other cameos are shoe-horned in, and in a way that is actually quite silly but also kind of fun in a comic book way. The fact that Luthor has a database of all these metas (along with accompanying logos!!!) is kind of hilarious. And literally Diana just clicks and watches them. But, even though it’s a bit silly it actually works pretty well and is less obtrusive and time consuming than it could have been.

As for things I didn’t like… the brief shot we get of Ezra Miller’s Flash in Bruce’s “vision” is AWFUL looking. Let’s hope the eventual director of The Flash changes that. It just looked weird. That being said, the “Knightmare” Bruce has is VERY cool. Not because of evil Superman and his soldiers, but the CLEAR set-up for Apokolips and Darkseid. Eisenberg’s Luthor has his moments. He’s kind of hit and miss. I have a feeling that when he’s being chipper that Eisenberg is  making him feel forced on purpose. Because this is not Lex’s natural mode. You see more of his dark, intelligent mind at work in scenes like when he messes up his speech at the library or his full on crazy at the end. But I found the moments when he was being chipper to be sort of grating. That being said, I like his Lex. His darker moments are his best. I wish they’d set up his motivation a bit better. I seem to remember Snyder saying Lex would come in and rebuild Metropolis and try to be his hero, and that the fact that Superman became Metropolis’s hero is part of what drove Lex and why he hated him. Or maybe I made that thought up myself. Anyway, I think that’d be brilliant. You get flashes of that, but it’s not clear. 

I wish Doomsday had more spikes. That’s all he’d need to look cooler and more comic accurate. But he only really gets them seconds before being killed. There’s a little bit of that “CGI dolls being thrown around” feel that plagues these movies sometimes during the final battle, but overall I really liked it. Again, Wonder Woman is awesome.

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