Batman VS Superman Review (Spoiler Free)

Posted: March 30, 2016 in Comics, JD Hardin, Movies


By: JD Hardin

I’m usually pretty late to see Marvel films, I’m not that big of a Marvel guy. However, I prefer to see DC films as soon as possible. The newest addition to the DC Extended Universe, Batman VS Superman: Dawn of Justice had me openly weeping at the end. Suffice it to say, the film was far more than I had bargained for. Dawn Of Justice has been out near a week and the reviews are a little on the harsh side.

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice smothers a potentially powerful story — and some of America’s most iconic superheroes — in a grim whirlwind of effects-driven action.”

-Rotten Tomatoes

“Somewhere in this overcooked pudding of a movie there are a couple of nice performances struggling to get out”

-The Guardian

“I get that this mano a supermano story line is a sacred text among comic-book aficionados, but Dawn of Justice doesn’t do the tale any favors. It’s overstuffed, confusing, and seriously crippled by Eisenberg’s over-the-top performance.”

-Entertainment Weekly, Chris Nashawaty

“Batman v Superman lunges for greatness instead of building toward it: It’s so topheavy with false ortent that it buckles under its own weight.”
 -Time,  Stephanie Zacharek
Personally, I’m now of the belief that these people didn’t watch the movie entirely if at all. Yes, the movie spends the first hour or so setting up the conflict and characters. Considering these two heroes fight for the same side, it would take something special to get them into a grudge match. That “something” would require a thorough introduction and explanation.
The majority of the begining puts you in Batman’s shoes and allows you to see things from his point of view. He’s been through a lot, and to understand the reason for his hatred of Superman, you need to sympathize with him. The same goes for Superman, you have to sympathize with him as a person, not just as a hero, to see exactly what he’s going through emotionally, physically, and mentally.
Jesse Eisenberg’s performance is the key to the future of the franchise. In live action we’ve seen the blunt and brutish Lex Luthor. He’s never been the multi-faceted evil genius that lurks inside of every  comic book. We’ve seen this portrayed in animated features and even in Smallville, but never in a movie. The only true fault in Eisenberg’s performance is that his portrayal will always be compared to Hackman and Spacey.
When it comes to Ben Affleck playing Bruce Wayne/Batman, I couldn’t help but think of the travesty that was Daredevil when I heard he was cast. As time went on, I became a little more willing to give him an honest chance. From everything I’d heard and read, he was just as disappointed in his portrayal of Matt Murdock as the fans. I can honestly say after seeing BvS, he has redeemed himself. His performance as an older Bruce Wayne is spot on. Those who watched Batman: Beyond, or read any of Millar’s Dark Knight saga will agree. His portrayal as Batman is intense, dark, and intimidating.
Henry Cavill’s acting is absolutely phenominal. The British born actor makes you believe he was raised in Kansas. It would be impossible to not feel for Superman or Clark throughout the film. From beginning to end, the emotional aspect of this film is powerful, primarily due to Cavill’s performance. As an already established actor in his role, Cavill has the easiest part to play compared to Eisenberg, Affleck, and Gadot. Regardless, the thespian didn’t disappoint.
The number one complaint I’ve heard from fans about BvS is the lack of Wonder Woman’s screen time. While Gal Gadot does don the scarlet and gold corset, she doesn’t wear it for very long in the film. The reason for this is well founded in my opinion. Wonder Woman has never had a presence on the big screen. WB and DC are smart enough to know that the character can’t be just thrown into the universe and expect the audience to absorb or assume her history and motivations. Interaction to our other heroes prior to her showing off her Amazonian garb isn’t required, but it would certainly help the plot by closing holes. Gal Gadot portrays the pride of her character phenomenally, and as far as her performance goes, I couldn’t think of any actress that could pull it off as well. Her physical resemblance falls a few marks short of the source materials representation, however, with DC being a multiverse with hundreds of representations of the same characters, the idea is not far fetched or hard to believe.
(Lynda Carter wasn’t as curvy as people remember) The most common complaint I hear about Gadot herself, is her lack of curves. Which, when question them to elaborate, they tend to refer to her cup size above anything else. (That’s just shallow)
Bottom line, she was great, and I can’t wait for Justice League and Wonder Woman and see what she can really do with more screen time.
The most common thing I hear in reference to the DCEU is the great variation from the source material. The only response I have (or need) is that DC is a multiverse. With hundreds, or possibly thousands of universes unfolding simultaneously each with different versions, outcomes, and characters. DC and WB can do near anything they like with their stories and remain in canon. The next most common complaint is the great difference between the comic movies of the 70’s and 80’s and now. It’s easy to fall in line with this line of thinking. It’s not what you grew up with, it’s not what you’re used to. As these stories get passed down from one actor, director, writer to another, the vision and expectations do not. Each individual has their own dreams and visions for the property they are given. Something else to consider when comparing the new DCEU to the original movies of the 70’s and 80’s is the content itself. At that time, comics were very innocent and usually didn’t confront complex issues in the adult world. The cinematic representations of such tended to incur a PG rating. However, modern era comics confront complex sociological issues head-on. The adult world has a fair presence in modern day comic books and as such, the cinematic version will, more than likely, carry a PG-13 rating on average and at times an R.
All and all, BvS is a phenomenal film worth every penny to see in theaters. It was everything I expected, and so much more I didn’t. To be truthful, I plan to see this as many times as I can afford while it’s still in theaters. I would suggest you do the same.
  1. courtneydare says:

    A lot of people don’t realize that Jesse Eisenberg is actually potraying Lex Luthor Jr., who is dramitacally different than his father and why you don’t get the dominating presence that some were expecting. So I can understand why some were deterred by his seemingly over the top performance, but it was actually brilliant considering his actual role in the film and it shouldn’t be compared to any previous portrayals of Lex Luthor Sr. This was a great review!


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