Batman v Superman Review: A Movie for the Fans

March 27, 2016 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | Features, Movie Reviews

Batman-V-Superman-Movie

Batman v Superman is the darkest re-imagining yet of the famous DC caped crusaders. With early critics slamming the movie, should you go and see it?

Collective hate and fear mounts upon Superman (Henry Cavill), with the world fighting against his misunderstood god-like status. Batman (Ben Affleck) lashes out bitter hatred against criminals and the man who takes away his company. With 20 years of crime-fighting and working above the law under his belt, he’s bitter and has apparently loosened on his morals and is feared more than lauded.

Both of these characters make for an angst-ridden movie, with their rivalry machinated by the insane, super genius Lex Luthor Jr. (played by Jesse Eisenberg). With Ben Affleck and Jesse Eisenberg in tow, how was this controversial casting choice?

I’m still not used to Ben Affleck’s face on my favourite superhero of all time, but he surprisingly pulls off Batman’s bitter, veteran broodiness really well. He’s no Christian Bale, but his version of Batman stays faithful to the character and even brings a tortured aspect which inspires fear in the hearts of criminals and civilians. His character arc was an interesting one, with the most controversial as Batman giving no thought to the casualties in his wake. Batman is known for not killing anyone, after the famed murderer that took away his parents, and I find it hard to believe that Batman’s morals would have loosened so much in just 20 years. This particular fatal flaw has lead to Joker getting away numerous times, and this aspect was not developed well in Batman v Superman. 

That’s how it starts. The fever, the rage, the feeling of powerlessness that turns good men… cruel. – Alfred

This Batman is angry, hateful and vengeful to the point where he obsesses over defeating Superman. He’s directed all of his rage of everything he’s lost to this alien target, to the point where he strains his relationship with his faithful butler Alfred. It’s at this point where I feel there’s something missing – how did Batman turn so angsty? Seeing him utilise his array of fancy gadgets and his mech suit in the fated duel was thrilling and really brought the best of his character though, and that is what Batman’s about.

batmanmecha

Superman on the other hand is a tortured soul struggling against the injustice of Lex Luthor’s framing. He’s always stood for saving people and justice, and that is thrown back into his face at every turn by the misdirected media and politicians. As from Man of Steel, Henry Cavill brings a god-like presence to the character but he also adds a further complexity of misunderstanding and self-loathing. Without Lois Lane’s influence however, I wonder if he would have broken.

Lex Luthor’s imagining here is perhaps my greatest criticism; his blathering super genius presence did not fit the movie and it felt like a large departure from the expected character. I can see how Zack Snyder wanted to update the character to suit the Facebook and Apple genius’s of modern times, but it was a strange fit amongst the brooding heroes.

At 2.5 hours, the pacing of the movie is slow at the start, building up the conflict of both heroes. You’d be surprised to hear that the movie could have benefited by an extra few scenes that drew together the convoluted fragments from past, present, and future. It’s a thinking movie where you have to put the pieces together yourself, wondering what happened to Batman, when he constructed his mecha suit and why Superman wants to bother with Batman.

Twenty years in Gotham. How many good guys are left? How many stay that way? – Bruce Wayne

The duel between them yielded a surprising result which is heavily foreshadowed during the movie’s beginnings. It’s incredibly satisfying seeing them fight, but I wish it was longer.

With break out performances from all three actors, the true star of the movie however is Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. I can’t believe after all these years that a movie is finally being made with DC’s greatest female superhero and she brought a sensual, feminist and unnerving presence to the film. She absolutely kicks ass and I’m looking forward to her solo film and part in the Justice League film.

epilogue

For the usual movie goer, the confusing fragments, the departures from your usual characters and the non-linear time frames would be a headache-inducing experience. But as a major Batman and superhero fan, the movie surprisingly exceeded my expectations by giving us many nods to the franchise in a re-magined and modernised world. Unlike the Marvel franchise, the conflict and character development is what excels in these movies, and it really builds up the tension and the fighting scenes. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is dark and gritty, an unexpected superhero enterprise. I enjoyed it, but I don’t think it’s for everyone.

Verdict: One for the fans.

Jeann-Sig

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Jeann is an Aussie blogger, gamer, reader who loves to read, write, fangirl, geek out and eat food. You can find me glued to one of my many mobile devices 24/7, or fangirling over the latest YA book, TV show, movie or game. Chat with me on Twitter @happyindulgence

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28 responses to “Batman v Superman Review: A Movie for the Fans

  1. I actually hadn't watched any Superman or Batman movies before watching this – though I knew the general, basic things about them both (and for some reason our graduation speech from our principal and student council presidents actually ended up revolving around Batman?? lol). However, I fell in love as soon as I watched this movie, and now I'm obsessed haha! I can't wait for the DVD to come out so I can watch it again!!
    My recent post Let's Chat About ACOMAF + Giveaway

  2. I am not a DC fan (I find Superman to be incredibly boring and Batman is too serious, although I like most of the Batman films lol) and I only saw this for shallow reasons, so my expectations were in the basement. I'm not sure if it was the fact I thought I'd hate it or not, but I loved the film!

    It is the one that might actually turn me into a DC fan after all these years. Which I find completely surprising (and very strange).

    A couple of the dream sequences confused the hell out of me, but a quick google helped me out and I saw it again (yes, really) and it made more sense. Ben Affleck was probably the biggest surprise of all, he nailed Bruce Wayne, I thought. He's older, wiser, more guarded and sceptical. I believed him as Bruce, so while it may not fit the character history I do like where they're taking it.

    I think the critic reviews are a bit harsh, it's like they were expecting a Marvel film and not a broody DC one (why, I'm not entirely sure. The last Superman film – which I dislike so much – solidified my belief DC are often broody :/ ) I am rather pleased it smashed it at the box office.

    The next big film for me is Civil War. I'm getting a bit sick of Marvel to be honest (never thought I'd say that!) the last Avengers film turned me right off, so it'll be interesting to see if they win me back!
    My recent post State of the Whimsy #9

    • Yeah, the last Avengers movie was awful and just not done well at all. That Hulk/BW romance was so cringe worthy. I can't wait until CIvil War though because Captain America is my favourite and I loved his last movie. I do think the critic reviews are ridiculously harsh but most viewers enjoyed it, so there's that. I fell asleep watching MoS and didn't go back to watch it lol.

      Yeah, surprisingly Ben Affleck did well didn't he? Google definitely helped me out with those dream sequences too. I'm so excited that you're slowly moving towards DC! Yay!

  3. She was brilliant Aentee, she totally stole the show I think! I'm not big on Superman and tried to watch Man of Steel and fell asleep too *high fives*. I can't wait to hear what you think!

  4. I kinda considered watching this even though I know NOTHING about DC (I do love to quote the Joker though) because Wonder Woman XD I might check out her solo film in any case. Oh, and the trailers were REALLY cool — especially love the line about good guys staying that way. I actually think Ben Affleck suits the character of Batman, speaking as someone who has no knowledge of the character XD *whispers* he just seems very broody, IMO. Is that a good thing?

    Thanks for the review, Jeann! 😀 Still a Marvel fangirl through and through, though ;P
    My recent post In March: I reveal giveaway winners, flailed over ADSOM, and rewrote the witchy WIP!

    • Yesss, I just can't wait until her solo film, the movie stills look stunning! YES the brooding really came through in this movie, plus he has the perfect jaw for Batman strangely. Hehe thanks Alyssa! I still like them both XD

  5. Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy

    I'm not a big superhero fan, but I was interested in how this movie played out – so I'm very glad to read your thoughts. It's interesting they took such a darker turn with the characters, especially Batman. I can see why this movie didn't sit well with a few people. I love that Wonder Woman was such a standout though – I want to watch her movie!
    My recent post Movie Musical Challenge: Kiss Me Kate

    • It's a really interesting twist on the usual 'do-gooder' superhero theme! I can't wait for her movie, I love the movie stills that we've seen!

  6. aentee @ read at midnight

    I want to watch this because of the beauty of Wonder Woman alone. I am honestly still a bit nervous because Man of Steel did not work for me and my bf at all – we almost fell asleep during that movie because it was just 2 hours CGI and explosion-fest. It sounds like the relationships and characters are explored in more details in this follow up! Thanks for the review, I hope to check this out while it's still in cinemas XD So glad you enjoyed it, Jeann <3

  7. To be honest, this movie does not appeal to me at all. I haven't seen the latest Superman movie, and I'm not that keen on Ben Affleck as Batman. Wonder Woman on the other hand, is someone I can definitely get behind. I think I might hold out for her movie!

    • LOL if you're keen definitely wait for Wonder Woman! Yeah, I was one of those who was complaining about Ben Affleck but hey, he surprised me.

  8. I was pretty disappointed in this movie, sadly! I didn't really feel Affleck as Batman at all. I felt like he tried too hard to be the stoic Batman we all know, and instead turned out to be pretty emotionless. The only time I felt like he really excelled was in the Martha scene, where he's screaming. I was like: FINALLY, he's actually doing something right. I also didn't like the addition of the fact that Batman now kills people. And like you said: where and when did that progression even happen? T.T

    It's funny that you didn't like Jesse Eisenberg's Lex. I feel weird about it because on the one hand I hated that rendition of Lex. Lex isn't an insane hipster. He's powerful and in control and suave. So I was not on board with this new Lex at all. HOWEVER, I loved how Jesse Eisenberg portrayed it. He was the only character I was interested in whatsoever, and the only actor I felt did his character any kind of justice. So even though I didn't like that rendition of Lex, I loved that character.

    I'm keen for the Wonder Woman movie! Although I have to say that she really needed more clothes. When she stood next to Superman and Batman – who were both decked out heat to literal toe in armour and suits and whatnot – and she was in a sleeveless leotard, I was a little pissed.

    I'm glad you liked this one, Jeann! But I'm definitely sticking to the Dark Knight trilogy <3
    My recent post Simply Sunday (#28)

    • Awww that's pretty disappointing Emily! I actually felt like Clark and Bruce didn't have enough dialogue, instead most of their story was conveyed through their body language and facial expressions, and I felt like Batfleck did really well in that respect. I thought Jesse Eisenberg did well as Lex, but it didn't FEEL like it was true to character. I know what you mean though, I saw a few people say he would've made a good joker, and I agree.

      Wonder Woman has always had a lack of clothes unfortunately lol! I'm looking forward to that one <3

  9. Braine-Talk Supe

    No wonder the ratings for this movie isn't high. It's like an inside joke that only fans will be able to appreciate. That's worrying because it's obvious DC is trying to ride Marvels' coattails with all it's superhero series and films. And if this tanks then I'm not sure if the following will be as successful as it is with the Avengers.
    My recent post Loved It: The Beast by J.R. Ward

    • I don't think this one is tanking actually – even though critics hate it, it's getting really good views and doing well at the box office! I like how it takes a darker, more adult tone to the Avengers movies. I thought the 2nd Avengers movie was terrible.

  10. lekeishathebooknerd

    I saw it last night and I give it a 7/10. I get that they're setting up for the Justice League, but it also was giving that viewers backstory on this "new" Batman. I wasn't sure about Afleck, but I think he at least fills out that darn suit. LOL! I already love Henry as Superman, so his part was perfect. Lex Luther got a good portrayal, Wonderwoman was great I just wish she would have been in more action than just the ending. I'm ready for Aquaman and the others!
    My recent post Stacking The Shelves #76 + Giveaway!

    • Yesss, I'm so glad that you still enjoyed it overall! He did so well filling out that suit ahhaha. I wasn't too sure about Lex Luther, but I loved the rest of the characters. I can't wait for the WW movie!

  11. thebigfatf

    OOOOO, INTERESTING.
    I have heard really mixed things about this movie. The fans (hehe, me) are absolutely fanatics (hehe, punny) about this movie but the critic reviews are really disappointing.
    AWWWWW.
    I just really want to watch this because of the Wonder Woman and The Flash cameos but you're right when you say this movie is for the fans, But it is sooooooo funny how the Ben Affleck sad face is going viral. H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S.

    • So have I Faith! I tried not looking too hard at the critic reviews because my first pass is that I enjoyed it. Those cameos were seriously the BEST! Oh man, I've seen that around LOL

  12. I am so excited to watch this and I'm glad you loved it, Jean. I hope it's for me as well. I agree with you about Ben Afflecl. He's not the typical person casted for movies with genre like this. I'm thrilled to see though if he pulled it well 😀