Well, I saw Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice when it opened a few weeks ago, and I’m finally getting around to writing my review. Awhile back, I wrote a piece about why Marvel was going to do so much better than DC when it came to their cinematic universes. It appears that I was correct. So, here’s my review of the film and it’s implications for future DC movies.
I thought the movie opened strongly. The scenes of Bruce Wayne running through Metropolis while Superman and Zod fought during MoS was a nice touch, and a great way to tie the two heroes together and set up why the hell it is that Batman hates Superman so much. From there the movie devolved into a bunch of extraneous crap and pointless subplots. Eventually, after a lot of weird dreams and flashbacks by Batman (did they honestly have someone from the future come back to him? groan) and some less-than-stellar dialogue, Batman gets some of Lex Luthor’s (more on him later) kryptonite and fights with Superman. Eventually they become friends and team up with Wonder Woman to fight some big bad genetically engineered CGI creature for another half hour. Superman dies (yeah right) in the battle and the Justice League is set up. Ta da.
This movie was horrible. And that’s coming from someone who had low expectations to begin with. Let’s go for a point-by-point examination of where the movie stood out and where it faltered.
- Ben Affleck. I actually thought he was a really good Batman. He was angry and gritty and I thought that overall he did a fine job.
- Wonder Woman. She was under utilized, but was a welcome addition to the movie. I thought she kicked a lot of ass, and strong female superhero characters are sorely lacking in film.
- The fight between Batman and Superman. Synder can’t direct his way out of paper bag and the dialogue was horrible, but he can definitely do action scenes.
- Way too much. What the hell is going on in half this movie? Lois Lane serves no purpose. They go into Batman’s origin..AGAIN. The Daily Planet is pointless. Holly Hunter’s Senator Finch is also pointless. The dream sequences pulled me out of the story way too much. And so on and so on…
- Lex Luthor. Jessie Eisenberg sucks. His manic, helium-voiced performance just did not fit with the tone of the whole movie and the character of Lex Luthor. More often than not it felt like Batman and Superman were fighting Johnny Depp’s Willy Wonka than an arch-villain.
- The CGI. The animation for the entire fight with Doomsday looked and felt really bad. It didn’t seem very high quality.
- Too many endings. The movie SHOULD have just ended once Batman and Superman stopped fighting. Instead, there was another 40 minutes of cramming another villain in for everyone to fight. Why? What’s the point? At that point in the story, they were already on the same team. It would have made more sense to end the movie there, hinting at a big bad guy for the next film’s set up.
- The mothers. I saved this one for last because it’s the most ridiculous of them all. So Batman hates all that Superman stands for during the whole movie, and then because their moms are both named Martha they’re suddenly best friends. Gag me with a spoon.
Personally, I would give the movie 6.5/10.
Other critics haven’t been so kind. And the box office return reflects all of this. The movie will be lucky to make over $350 million in the US, which is less than what Deadpool made. It’ll probably come close or just barely hit $1 billion worldwide, which means it won’t turn much of a profit. Rumor even has it that it’s failure forced re-shoots on Suicide Squad to made it less bleak and depressing.
Suffice it to say, I don’t think that the DC movie universe is going anywhere anytime soon. The Wonder Woman movie is already filming, so we’ll at least get that, but I doubt it will be successful if it’s in the same vein as BvS. If people wouldn’t even turn out to see Batman fight Superman, they certainly aren’t going to come out to watch a solo Flash or Aquaman movie. And if they won’t do that, then there really is no DC extended universe.