At this point in time movie audiences are very familiar with the titular characters of both Batman and Superman. What we have never seen until now is the combination of the two and to see them in combat with one another. In concept this should actually be a really intense and intriguing battle yet in the execution within this film I couldn't quite figure what their real motives were for fighting. Despite the extremely long run time it just didn't build much of a case for me to side with either and they just sort of brawl at one point during a chance meeting.
I also wanted to mention that I'm going to try my best to conduct this review without the use of spoilers as to keep it fresh and only vaguely touch on certain points. Batman (played by Ben Affleck) is reeling after the decimation of the Wayne Enterprises Metropolis skyscraper during the battle of Superman and Zod. This somewhat leads him to despising Superman and eventually working towards finding a way to combat him. I was actually pleased with performance of Batman from Ben Affleck and found his take on the caped vigilante quite well.
On the other side of things Superman (Henry Cavill) is going around saving people and relaxing in bliss with Lois (Amy Adams) which is going alright for him. Man of Steel is the film that preceded this one so I'm going to assume people have an idea of how this Superman is presented. Things start to heat up again once Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) comes into the equation and puts things in motion for most events in the film. I felt this take on Lex was fine with him being a hip and younger take on the character, but he was a tad too psychotic at times when he should have been more of a cunning enemy.
We also got our first glimpse into the life of the new Batman including yet another origin story for the character and a look at Alfred which is more of a tech assistant than butler in this one. I thought that Alfred was neat in this, but honestly didn't see enough of him for me to make any decisions on that one. I'd have to say that one of my favorite aspects of the film was actually the introduction of Wonderwoman (Gal Gadot) which brought a great performance and did perfect justice to the character. I'm actually quite excited for the standalone Wonderwoman film after this small, but key role in the film as Gal Gadot nailed it.
Continuing on the discussion of the characters I felt the costumes were also well done across the board capturing the source material well while moving forward with the gritty look these DC films carry. Considering the length of the film and the lack of the motive for both characters I also found there wasn't much of a narrative to this story with it mostly being just a chain of events loosely connecting the two combatants. The cinematography wasn't anything special in this one and I found the near ending battle sequences to be a bit messy. It was somewhat hard to keep up with what was happening in the mess of CGI and the explosion color schemes didn't help at all with that. There was also another party present in the film towards the ending which didn't have a very well done CGI design making it look not very realistic which was disappointing.
While many have been looking forward to this epic battle between the two big characters in the DC Universe I found it to be a weaker outing for both of them which have seen their fair share of performances in the past. The premise was interesting enough with even a decent setup to get things rolling, but after what was a long movie I didn't care for either of their motivations or even felt much of a story going on. It seemed at many times the movie wanted to anchor onto a certain detail such as bombings or painting characters in certain lights and it just never committed to any of these.
I also found the lack of humor or even hope that was presented in some overly benevolent way didn't help the cause as it was just far too serious. They're heroes and are supposed to inspire us, but these two made me care less about both of them after their petty conflict which caused bits of destruction. Again looking at the CGI it was solid until the ending battles where it got somewhat out of hand and didn't keep the fight intimate enough.
There's also this odd thing where Superman seems to be distracted with Lois at the worst of times and during combat he should not be having smaller intimate moments with her. I felt the casting choices were great for these characters with each capturing their roles well and the costumes all matching the heroes perfectly. Wonderwoman was particularly great in this one being true to what I imagine of the character and really look forward to seeing her standalone movie in the future. This might not have been a strong outing for what's aimed to start the DC Cinematic Universe, I still felt that this was a decent starting point moving forward.
Review for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice at Theater with IMAX Viewing
Screening Provided by Warner Brothers