Dawn of Justice Review

A day after watching Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and the Internet debates rage on. Did I like it? Yes. Did I dislike it? Yes. Was it a good movie? No. Was it a bad movie? No. It’s too early to tell, but it seems that BvS will live in infamy as one of the most polarizing comic book movies ever made.

Before you continue:

SPOILER ALERT

Hits

Ben Affleck: Ben. Was. Dope. All of the fears of #Batfleck can be put to rest. He was the clear, bright shining star of the movie, and no one else comes close. His Bruce Wayne was grounded, grizzled, obsessive, calculating, and ruthless. His Batman was completely devoid of Fucks. His Fuck Balance was in the red. Everything that Batman should be, he is. No quips, no cheesy one-off jokes. He doesn’t take what he’s doing lightly. He’s putting in WORK! He’s tactical, he’s ruthless, and he’s ready to die for what he believes in. Not to mention that he was swole AF. He even got a random Rocky-esque training montage, which was just him lifting heavy ass shit. I needed him to scream “WHERE’S MY PROTEIN, ALFRED?!?!?” at the end to put the exclamation point on it.

Supporting Cast: I’m throwing everyone else here because this movie was ultimately Batman feat. Superman and Wonder Woman. Henry Cavill is a decent Superman. His mannerisms were pretty much “look like a broken cheat code for three hours” and he managed. Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was good for the few times that we saw her. She lost more clothing as the movie progressed until she was finally in the Wonder Woman costume, and came off like a badass. Jeremy Irons’s Alfred was very good. Lawrence Fishburne stole the show for me by chewing the scenery as a kinda-sorta comic relief. Amy Adams was bearable. I’m not a fan of hers, but she played a good Damsel in Distress.

The Action: Some of the best sequences that I’ve ever seen a comic book/superhero movie pull off. Ever. Ever, ever, ever. The Batman/Superman fight itself is amazing. Outside of the Daredevil series, nothing that Marvel has done can compare to this. Batman has a solo sequence where he’s just taking out a room full of bad guys. It wasn’t BAM WHIFF or BLAMO, It was modeled straight out of the Batman: Arkham video game series. I could just imagine having a controller in my hands and pressing the right buttons to execute the moves that Batman did. He even had a standoff at the end that played like a Quick Time Event. Those scenes were outstanding. The Batmobile chase was dope. The fight with Doomsday was fun, but it started turning into a CGI fest that Marvel relies too heavily on during their climax scenes.

Tone: Everyone’s biggest complaint about Marvel movies is that they’re too light and bright and family oriented. I personally don’t care about the Marvel/DC comparisons, but there is something to be said about a darker, grittier tone aiding in telling a story about people with superpowers. Batman is a dark comic on its own, and it blended very well with the squeaky clean Superman finally having to answer for himself.

Future Looks Bright: Some events in the movie play off of things that hardcore fans will love. Robin’s suit is spraypainted (supposedly by the Joker), but we never know how. We see a possible connection to the Flashpoint Paradox arc which everyone loves. They set up the Justice League, and did a lot for the future Wonder Woman movie. There’s references to future villains, and a promise of things to come, and that’s exciting..

Misses

Bat Jesus: Starting off with my biggest eye rolling nitpick, Boyhhood Bruce Wayne turned Bat Jesus happening during Easter Weekend was just a bit too ridiculous for me. I don’t care if this is a universe where an omnipotent alien constantly saves humanity with laser eyes and shit, that image was just too insane for me. I don’t care too much for Jesus allegories in movies, because it just comes off so forced and hammy.

Jesse Eisenberg: Speaking of hammy, I’m not the biggest fan of Jesse Eisenberg. His portrayal of Lex Luthor Jr felt like he was playing Mark Zuckerberg dressing up as The Riddler for Halloween. I’ve seen the eccentric mad scientist billionaire done one too many times. He tried his best to put this villain on par with the Jokers and Lokis of the world, but fell just a little short.

Plot and Directing: The flow of the movie felt like someone driving stick for the first time. It’s jerky, it’s random, it’s unnatural. Part of why this movie suffers is because it’s trying to be four different movies at once. It’s a sequel to Man of Steel, it’s a three hour long trailer for Justice League, it’s a Batman reboot, and it’s a set up for a Wonder Woman spinoff. The Avengers used four films to flesh out the main four characters, and when they finally came together it worked. BvS tries to use one movie to establish it’s new universe, but it ends up being crammed with plots on top of subplots. While this movie does great fan service, to the layman, these things fly over their heads. I’m sure the idea is that these events will make sense with later movies, but because we don’t have those movies yet, we cannot assume that they will be. We have to take this film for what it is: Jumbled.

Placement of Justice League Teaser: This is another nitpick. Fight me! The climactic fight with Doomsday is about to go down, and we cut to Wonder Woman looking at Batman’s intel on future JLA members. We just got the conclusion of Batman vs Superman, our adrenaline is primed for this new fight, and this scene brings the action to a halt. This could have worked a bit more after the conclusion of the Doomsday fight, simply because it would have made more sense for Batman to want Wonder Woman to help him seek these people after the Doomsday fight. You could have broken up the eternal funeral with this scene.

Dominated by Batman: The Internet loves Batman. That’s a givem. However, Superman is also in the title. The shots that we get of Superman doing Supermanny things are limited underwhelming. Most of it is in montage form, and we don’t really get too deep into Superman’s mind. We still don’t really know why Wonder Woman is here, and when she shows up to kick ass, it’s only for about five minutes.

Spoiled by the Trailers: The trailers gave us the Robin/Joker teaser, it gave away Doomsday. It gave away Wonder Woman. The movie could have had a much larger impact for me if we never got those reveals in the trailers. I spent most of the movie simply waiting for Wonder Woman to show up, instead of being surprised when she did. Part of the ride when watching movies is when you can be legitimately surprised by a reveal or a twist. If you advertise the twist, it takes me out of the moment. If we were told in the trailer of Sixth Sense that Bruce Willis was a ghost, or if we were told that Brad Pitt and Ed Norton were the same dude with a split personality, then the audience would just be sitting on their hands waiting for those moments to manifest. Less in the trailers would have been so much more in the actual film.

Verdict and Final Thoughts

Ratings Scale out of 5

1 – I can’t get Jiggy wit dees sheet!
2 – Netflix and Chill
3 – Aight
4 – It’s Lit
5 – YOOOOOOO

Overall: 2.5 = Super Okay: As a matter of fact, it’s the most Super Okay movie ever. This movie receives a Platinum Meh. It wins the award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Mediocrity.

There’s nothing wrong with people who liked it. There’s nothing wrong with people who didn’t. I’m legitimately split down the middle with how I feel. Will I watch future installments? Yes. Would I watch this movie again? Not necessarily. I can watch the DC Animated Movies, or read the graphic novels, or play any Arkham Batman games instead. It’s totally watchable, you only need to see it once, and future movies will hopefully justify the choices made in this one.

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