Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice is a mess. A wonderful and extremely fun movie at parts but still an unbelievably huge mess.
Directed by Zack Snyder (Watchman, 300 and Man of Steel), BvS is a movie packed with everything plus the kitchen sink. Some of it works better than any of the previous incarnations of Batman or Superman while other aspects consistently fall flat.
BvS has a fantastic cast and some of the most brutal yet satisfying action in any DC comic movie to date.
Ben Affleck should now be the standard audiences look at when they think of a live action Batman. He plays both the role of the bat and his alter ego, Bruce Wayne, with an unparalleled swagger that will hopefully make his version of the character an icon into itself.
Jeremy Irons is also similarly noteworthy for his take on Batman’s faithful butler, Alfred Pennyworth.
Gone are the days of Alfred as the pithy one liner side character or even the dramatic father figure Michael Caine played in the Christopher Nolan trilogy. Alfred is now an active participant in Batman’s war on injustice.
On the other hand, many of the other well-known actors that were introduced in Man of Steel are given very little meaningful screen time.
One new character that gets too much screen time is Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor, who is a mix of calculating scientist and mad man. There are over the top moments that seem very out of place for anyone but a stereotypical villain, who Luthor is not supposed to be. It does not add to the development of the character.
The action of the movie hits harder than any other DC comic property to date. The titular showdown is one of the satisfactory superhero showdowns audiences will witness.
Batman’s choreography is especially noteworthy as it is reminiscent of the Arkham Asylum video game series, which won multiple awards and critical recognition for its combat.
The final showdown is also a sight to behold. Batman takes a back seat for most of the fight because of the nature of the enemy, which is why Wonder Woman, played by Gal Gadot, is allowed to shine so much.
Superman is also a key player in both major fight sequences, but his role is outshined by the other heroes.
The pace of the movie is where most problems are visible. BvS goes from zero to one hundred and then back again to zero too frequently.
Additional heroes make short and unnecessary appearances that throw off the pace without adding anything to the story. There is over use of dream sequences that disorient viewers with confusing imagery that the average viewer will not understand without a crash course in comic book history.
It seemed as though the writers hamstringed BvS as they packed too much depth into one movie without sufficient explanation.