Movie Review: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Rated PG-13: (For Intense Violence and Some Sensitive Themes)

Running Time: 151 minutes (2 hours and 31 minutes)

Genre/s: Action, Adventure, Adaptation, Drama, Science Fiction, Superhero

Released on March 25, 2016 (US Release Date, Available For Worldwide Viewing)

Presented by Warner Bros. Pictures

Writers: Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer

Director: Zack Snyder

  • Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman
  • Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Kal-El/Superman
  • Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor
  • Amy Adams as Lois Lane
  • Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman
  • Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth
  • Laurence Fishburne as Perry White
  • Diane Lane as Martha Kent
The greatest gladiator match in history is here. Critics have called this as one of the worst movies of all time, fans however rejoice as it is one of the best superhero flicks of all time. Trust any of them, but one thing is for certain, one of them is lying. To be honest, I was looking forward for Captain America: Civil War more than this one, but thanks to Lamudi Philippines and Megaworld, we were able to see DC's potential universe that can rival Marvel's own at the Ultra Cinema 1 of Newport Cinemas at Resorts World Manila in its very comfortable reclining chair with butler service, complete with popcorn and drinks for the ultimate cinema experience.  Boy that was really good!

DC fanboys and Internet surfers, here is Dateline Movies' review of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

What is the movie about?

Veteran Gotham-based vigilante Batman, who goes by the public guise of entrepreneur Bruce Wayne, played by Ben Affleck (Argo), watched in horror as Superman, played by Henry Cavill (The Man From UNCLE) destroy a Metropolis branch of his company, with many of his friends in it. Seeing him as a threat, Batman exits the shadows in fear that he may destroy the world with his power, with the assistance of his trusty confidant and butler Alfred, played by Jeremy Irons (Eragon).

Meanwhile, Superman, living in the identity of Daily Planet journalist Clark Kent and working for Perry White, played by Lawrence Fishburne (Matrix), tries his best to be appreciated by everyone, but the government sees him as a threat, especially when he is suspected of massacring an entire village. While not everyone hates him, others see him as a Christ-figure, or a certain someone who has returned to answer everyone's prayers. The love of his life, Lois Lane, played by Amy Adams (American Hustle), and his adoptive mother Martha, played by Diane Lane (Hollywoodland), supports him as well. Lex Luthor, played by Eisenberg (Zombieland), on the other hand, shares the fear Batman has, and he sets-out to destroy Superman from the inside. In addition, a mysterious meta-human known publicly as Diana Prince, played by Gal Gadot (Triple 9), joins the fight.

What we think of the film?

Acting = (4/5)

After Daredevil, many fans believed Ben Affleck would not be worthy to don the cape and cowl, but I for one remained faithful that "Batfleck" would deliver. Should he made other misses such as the dreaded Gigli and the somewhat okay but in the end shallow Pearl Harbor, but let us not forget he won and got nominated in several categories for the movie Argo and The Town. In the end, Ben Affleck as the Batman was the highlight of the entire movie. We would say Ben Affleck carried the entire movie on his back, but that would just be biased, because apart from his suave and brutal approach to the Dark Knight, another superhero makes a lasting impression as well.

Whoever said Gal Gadot doesn't fit the Wonder Woman role because of "physical limitations" better think twice. Right here is, despite a very, very limited screen time for the character, an impressive portrayal that manages to honor the comicbook interpretation, and set the bar for future female protagonists in the movie world.

Regarding the cast of Man of Steel, Henry Cavill shows-off a great interpretation of Superman. Despite his edgier portrayal here, which means unlike his comics version, he rarely smiles, more gruff, and is somewhat difficult to be related with by people. Many claim the darkness doesn't mesh well with Superman, which I agree because Superman is known for the brighter one compared to the Batman, but we for one was alright with it. Even though they had small parts, Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane gave the movie humanity to balance out the entire spectacle. Also, I actually had a laugh when I found out Scoot McNairy, Callan Mulvey and Tao Okamoto appeared on-screen, because I remembered that they appeared in different Marvel movies, but even though their characters died in the movie, they were pretty good henchmen.

The more mixed performance here is Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. My dad thinks he's the spoiled brat kind, unlike the threatening, calculating and terrifying version as seen in the comics, and even Kevin Spacey's portrayal. I agree, because this right here was more of a bad Joker impersonation crossed with Jim Carrey's Riddler. For some reason, I mildly enjoyed his interpretation, as I see this as a unique version, compared to the usual that I regularly see. Then again, his work was more of an action of disrespect than an act of honor to what DC created.

Production Value and Cinematography = (3/5)

I'd have to say, the CGI is pretty descent here. The cityscape, Doomsday, everything was eye-candy for us. Regarding the cityscape, the details are very well layed-out, and unlike the other superhero movies we've seen, it is very clear that Metropolis is still healing from the previous events, which is good as it is realistic and above all logical. C'mon, have you even stopped and thought about how on Earth did the city heal quickly? At least DC is playing it real.

Another plus side here is the soundtrack. As expected, Hans Zimmer, veteran composer of notable works such as The Dark Knight Trilogy and Interstellar, and Junkie XL, composer for the smash-hit Deadpool, provide an exciting and pulse-pounding atmosphere thanks to his unique scoring.

The downside here is how much of the action-sequences are either overly exaggeratedly done, or poorly executed. One clear example here is the Doomsday effects. It looked like as if it was something Michael Bay would do. There was so much explosions, most of them unnecessary, especially with the sparks coming out of Doomsday's system, which causes much more eyesight loss than jaw-dropping wonder.  Sometimes it hard to catch-up as to who is battling Doomsday or the other way around.

Story, Dialogues and Flow = (2/5)

Underneath the powerful acting and the expert designs lies an uneven and almost unbalanced story. Don't get us wrong, the movie did take the time to set-up a universe, especially setting-up the main conflict, but there are some flaws in terms of logic, especially in Luthor's plans.

For instance, the scene wherein Scoot McNairy's character, Wallace Keefe, had a bomb placed in his automated chair in the hopes that the world may believe that Superman may be responsible. A decent enough plan, but Superman's excuse is pretty much illogical, like how is it possible he couldn't hear the bomb's mechanism? He did say he was distracted, but I guess his super-hearing was far more focused on Lois's safety than everyone else's.

Another illogical thing, but not that related to Luthor's schemes, is the resolution of Batman and Superman's conflict. So just because both of their mothers share the same first name this means they're best buddies now? I get that Batman is a gentle fellow, but c'mon, you're the night!  Just say Martha and Batman will stop hurting you.

The other thing which we both loved and hated was the totally forced-in references and cameos for Wonder Woman's supporting cast, Cyborg, played by Ray Fisher, Aquaman, played by Jason Momoa, the Flash, played by Ezra Miller, and the weird Apokoliptic (Get it? Because there was the Omega Symbol, and it references Darkseid and his domain Apokolips?) visions Batman has been having. I for one am okay with easter eggs, but these here are forced, as in, much more forced than on Iron Man 2. I know that they're trying to catch-up with Marvel, but do they have to rush? In addition, the Flash's time-travelling segment was kinda out-of-place, especially with him mentioning "Him" (Superman) being rogue, and Lois being the key to something. I'd appreciate it if this was a trailer for an upcoming movie, but this is a movie. Then again, we're always up for easter eggs like these, but they could've balanced the story more.

Superman's death at the finale (oops, spoiler alert.) seems a little forced as well. However, it did succeed in providing an emotional moment for the movie, but I can't help but say that this is almost unnecessary.  

Ending, Originality and Story Fulfillment = (4/5)

Despite a bumpy and dragging story, and a rather unnecessary major death to match, we enjoyed the entire movie as a whole. Sure, we nearly became dizzy by the end due to the battle against Doomsday, but it was a very good experience. I enjoyed DC setting-up their own universe, and a rather much more X-Men-ish take on their Justice Leaguers. It's really dark, and I don't see why many people dislike the darkness. Maybe we just got used to Marvel's lighter side of things. Hey Marvel is still great, don't get me wrong.

Both The Dark Knight Returns and The Death of Superman, two stories which the movie is based on, are a few of our favorites, and they both mixed well here. Although the ending did feel like The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, because it kinda felt like the movie refuses to end. We've seen Batman threaten Lex in jail, and it's not yet the end. We've seen Wonder Woman and Batman talking about forming a team, and the credits are yet to roll. We get a close-up of Superman's grave, then at last it ended.

In the end, almost all loose ends were tied (I've been informed that there were plot holes), and the movie has a lot of things worth remembering of.

Overall Evaluation = (4/5)

A darker take on the superhero genre, this movie is wrongly lambasted by critics, because this truly is, as fans call it, one of the greatest superhero movies of 2016, even with its flaws.

TOTAL = 17/25 (Pleasant Entertainment)

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice offers an overstuffed and a flawed glimpse of the DC Extended Universe's future, but charming performances and passable action makes this movie one for the books.

It's a shame that critics failed to see the beauty this movie offered in a shining silver platter, and it was way better than Man of Steel. We originally doubted DC's plans, because for one thing, they have put everything already so far in this single movie, but after seeing this movie, it looks like Marvel is about to get some competition of their own. We can't wait to see more of DC, especially with their next outing, Suicide Squad, making their way to theaters this year. Wait, didn't they confirm an R-Rated Uncut version of the film? Man, so many unseen content that needs to be seen. This marks the end of Dateline Movies' review for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Better hop into your super shoes and fly to the cinemas right away. 

Cheers to you all, and here's a "deleted scene" with Jimmy Kimmel encountering Superman and Batman in real life. Say, Mr. Affleck, what did you feel about the negative reviews?


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