Many fans had high hopes for “Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” the first movie in the new DC Comics superhero franchise.
The film’s initial reviews were generally positive, but now it has fallen under waves of criticism for many reasons. Personally, I feel that much of the criticism is unfounded, and that despite some disenchanting scenes near the end, this really is an entertaining movie.
As the film opens, we see billionaire Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) driving through the streets of Metropolis as the city is falling apart. Superman (Henry Cavill) is fighting General Zod (from the movie “Man of Steel”) and is causing catastrophic destruction. When Wayne sees an office building full of his own employees be destroyed during the fight, he swears revenge against Superman, who Wayne feels is responsible. During this opening sequence, we also see flashbacks highlighting Bruce Wayne/Batman’s back story. It is very dramatic and impactful.
More than a year later, Batman is busy breaking up a human trafficking operation with ties to Lex Luthor’s company, Lexcorp. He attends event hosted by Lex Luthor’s son, Alex, to gain information. There he meets Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and Clark Kent/Superman.
Meanwhile, Alex has gotten his hands on some kryptonite to potentially weaken Superman. He acquires the dead body of General Zod, and gains access to his ship. He then uses the ship to gain profound knowledge about the universe that is unknown to everyone else on earth.
When Clark/Superman’s mother, Martha, is kidnapped by Lexcorp, Superman goes to the company’s headquarters to talk to Alex. Alex gives Superman 30 minutes to kill Batman (who has been causing lots of trouble for Lexcorp), or his mother will die.
Batman and Superman fight soon after.
Batman thinks he is being taunted by Superman’s repeating of the name Martha. (Both of their mothers are named Martha but Batman’s was killed by a gunman when he was just a boy.) Batman then realizes that Superman just wants his mother to be saved.
Batman goes to save Martha Kent, and Superman chases Alex back to General Zods’s ship. There, he is met by the huge monster, Doomsday, created by Alex in the hopes that it will destroy both Batman and Superman. Now it is up to the two heroes (with help from Wonder Woman) to save Metropolis and themselves from Doomsday and to stop Alex Luthor’s plan.
There are a lot of layers to “Batman V. Superman’s” Although some aspects of the story are more fleshed out than others, nothing really gets lost or feels unfinished.
One aspect of the film that has caused some confusion is Batman’s dream sequences. They foreshadow future events in the DC franchise in a way that will only become clearer when upcoming films are released.
There also are many previews of other upcoming DC movies, such as “The Flash” and “Aquaman.”
Affleck plays a very engaging Batman. When this movie takes place, Bruce Wayne has already been Batman for 20 years and is very knowledgeable about how to do so. This is illustrated by his efficient nature when dealing with criminals and a gruff demeanor that complements it.
Cavill is an adequate Superman. He is soft spoken and honest when it comes to the difficult moral situations he must face because of his immense power and the responsibilities that come with it.
Wonder Woman doesn’t have many lines but Gal Gadot seems like a good fit for the role in the future. Jesse Eisenberg is fine at playing Alex Luthor, but he can come off as too similar to the Joker in some scenes.
This movie runs very strong until the end. The climactic battle with Doomsday seems relatively tacked on and unnecessary. The destruction that takes place seems too over the top. It just puts a damper on an otherwise great first entry in the DC cinematic universe.
In conclusion, “Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice” is a very good superhero movie that stops just short of being a great one by its unnecessary climactic fight scene, which is even longer than the titular fight between Batman and Superman.
That aside, what we have here is a good comic book movie that references much of it’s source material and provides lots of content for diehard fans who can understand it, but an experience that may be unfulfilling for the casual moviegoer.
Quinn Zack is a freshman at Hamburg High School.