As one of the most highly anticipated films of the year, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice did not quite achieve the super reception it had been expecting. Unfortunately, although I tried to keep an open mind, it became almost impossible to deny that this wasn’t quite the epic battle that had been promised.
Before its release, the film showed a lot of promise. Though some may not think Ben Affleck was the best choice for the next Batman, he still is a talented actor. Oscar-winning and highly respected Jeremy Irons was also cast as Alfred, as were many other well-known stars: Jesse Eisenberg as the villain, Kevin Costner (a two-time Oscar winner), and Amy Adams, Henry Cavill and Laurence Fishburne continuing in their roles from Man of Steel. On top of this, Hans Zimmer would be composing the soundtrack, and the most exciting promise of all: Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) would be making an appearance.
This is precisely the reason that Batman v Superman was a disappointment. So ambitious were the filmmakers in creating excitement around the film, and trying to fit so many different things into the film, that the actual plot and substance of the film falls flat. Though the title promises the ultimate fight between the two DC super-superheroes, the actual fight scene between the two has barely begun before they are already hugging it out and calling each other friends. The story feels muddled and unclear, with multiple contradictions and things left hanging. Is there any point to the mysterious dreams Batman is having? In fact, is there any point to calling the film ‘Batman v Superman’ when they reconcile halfway through the film and start working together?
Despite the stellar cast, again the performances are a bit of a let-down. Screen legends Irons and Costner are reduced to minor roles, and those who are given the bigger roles – in particular Cavill as Superman, who has to keep up the moral, selfless, do-gooder personality – appear wooden and emotionless, most likely due to the poor script writing (be warned: there are some very cringeworthy scenes between Superman and Lois Lane). Jesse Eisenburg was also underwhelming as the megalomaniac Lex Luthor, with few distinctive characteristics – it seemed as if his character’s behaviour was largely based off the Joker – so no points for originality.
One positive, however, is the introduction of Wonder Woman, who was very well played by Gal Gadot. The discovery of the files on the Justice League members did make me very excited for the future films, and though I have never been a massive comic book fan, Wonder Woman has always been a personal favourite.
So why is this making Movie of the Month? I hear you ask. Despite all its flaws, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is still an unmissable film. Rarely has there been a day this past month where I haven’t seen some mention of it, and it has left critics and fans divided. Some, in fact, argue that this is a brilliant film – the only way to find out is to see it for yourself.