by Becca Naylor
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice follows Man of Steel in DC’s phase one cinematic universe launch. Man of Steel received mixed reviews. However, fans of DC’s graphic novels will not be disappointed with Batman v. Superman. The film incorporates story lines and other Easter Eggs taken from the DC Comics line. While many fans are satisfied and anticipate the next films in DC’s phase one, moviegoers and critics alike find many flaws with the film. It seems as though Zack Snyder, the film’s producer, just tried too hard.
Snyder’s Batman v. Superman suffers from poor storytelling and awkward pacing. The finished film is two hours and thirty-one minutes, but the original cut lasted four hours before undergoing edits. The title of the movie itself implies two different storylines, and the introduction of Doomsday late in the movie brings in a third. The three storylines are haphazardly woven together, but none of the three receive the justice they deserve. The conflict between Batman and Superman alone could have been a separate film. The introduction of the Justice League came across as forced, while the battle against the villain which will be unnamed seemed tacked onto the end of the film. Zack Snyder and his team are capable of stunning cinematography and action sequences, but they fail when it comes to putting together a coherent story.
The dialogue for much of the movie is cliché and weak. Lines such as “Everything has changed,” and “You are my world,” are unoriginal and painfully predictable. The worst part is, someone told the writers that this was okay.
The story lines confuse the conflict of the film. The primary conflict at the beginning of the film exists between Superman and authority figures who oppose his methods, including one Bruce Wayne. Several ethical and philosophical questions are raised, but are never answered. Batman’s main issue with Superman is that the hero causes mass destruction and civilian deaths without facing consequences. This problem is addressed, but never resolved.
The character development in this installment is abysmal. Because Superman/Clark Kent faces no internal conflict, he has no chance for development. Batman/Bruce Wayne experiences a total transformation, but his development is forced and rushed. Lex Luthor is arguably the only character who evolves effectively in any capacity.
While many moviegoers take issue with the casting choice that gave Jessie Eisenberg the role of Lex Luthor, Eisenberg brings a new element and makes the character entirely his own. Eisenberg portrays the billionaire scientist at the beginning of his villainous escapades. He’s a spoiled rich white boy with daddy issues. He is untested in the battle against superheroes, and he only becomes the Lex Luthor fans know so well at the end of the film.
Also, the movie barely passes the Bechdel test, if at all. While there are several named female characters, they hardly talk to each other. Lois Lane (who is handed a terrible subplot) sometimes converses with her female co-worker at The Daily Planet. Good luck trying to remember what her name is, though.
One positive aspect of this film is the well choreographed and executed action sequences. The cinematography is simply stunning. The film opens with Bruce Wayne’s flashback to his parents’s murders, and even though viewers have seen this a thousand times, Snyder brings a fresh attention to detail that lovers of the graphic novels will enjoy. Overall the movie is beautiful and a pleasure to watch if the viewer doesn’t think too hard.
Let’s not forget Batfleck. Sweet, sweet Ben Affleck. That beautiful man cannot be faulted in any way…except for the time he said “Luth-OHR…” again- someone had to tell him that was okay. His performance as the jaded, over-it Batman was exemplary.
Gal Gadot is bae, always.