Spoiler scope: A couple of spoilers in the review. If you’re really interested in the movie, see the movie first, otherwise they won’t completely give the plot away. One major spoiler at the end, which is marked.
Movie reviews are a funny thing. I thought Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice was a decent movie, but it has a 28% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and generally received bad reviews.
Going into the movie, I didn’t have high expectations, and I expected a campy and cliched moralistic crisis performed by Superman.
I’d heard good things about Ben Affleck’s portrayal of Batman, giving a sense that ‘Batman is the only good thing about this movie’.
The movie overall, exceeded my expectations, and in my opinion is a decent superhero movie. We should remember this when reviewing (or producing for that matter) superhero movies, they’re superhero movies, not ground breaking scientific research or or deeply profound insights into the human condition. We’re there to see a spectacle, be excited, and be immersed in a different universe.
The movie isn’t without it’s faults. For example the set up to have Batman and Superman actually face off is pretty forced. While Batman has a good reason to be suspicious of Superman – he sees Superman (unknown to Batman, accidentally) collapsing a building. On the otherhand, Superman doesn’t have a reason to fight Batman. To make it happen Lex Luthor kidnaps Superman’s mother and tells Superman that he has to fight Batman in order to save her. Not an entirely convincing plot, surely Superman would find a different way to resolve this issue.
Another slightly lame plot point was Batman firstly just leaving a perfectly good kryptonite spear behind, and then Lois Lane for no reason throwing the in a pool. This then leads to the spear not being immediately accessible when they need it later, and Lois almost drowning and requiring saving from Superman.
So not a perfectly tight superhero movie, but the rest of the movie, the superhero elements were great. Great, spectacular fight scenes.
A particularly enjoyable part was a small scene were Batman views a file containing video footage of other meta-humans – and we get a sneak peek of The Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman.
Wonder Woman’s part in the movie wasn’t terrible, but wasn’t particularly good. She more or less turned up just at the end for the boss fight. While that fight was good, I felt that she good have a more interested part in involving her self in the plot.
Major spoilers past this point.
The main reason I think it’s difficult to make any movie involving Superman work, is because Superman is so powerful that it’s difficult to justify the involvement of other characters in the movie. Superman can fly, has superstrength, is invincible. Unless there’s an ongoing ready source of kryptonite, there’s no reason for Batman and company to resolve the plot, when Superman can do it himself.
To this end, I like how this movie ended. Superman dies, impaled by the partly Kryptonian monster Doomsday.
Now – possibly he’s coming back for the Justice League movies, but I hope he isn’t. That’s going to make for a far more tension filled plot.