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'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' is a great start


March 28, 2016

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GOTHAM-METROPOLIS HARBOR — Ever since Warner Bros. announced “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” a few years ago people have either been anticipating the release of the film or were at least curious to see it.

The time is finally here, and audiences will soon start seeing the "Caped Crusader" take on the "Man of Steel" on the big screen, but is the epic battle worth it? Is it any good? Or is it a total disappointment? Well, that’s why I’m here. Hopefully I can give you some insight into the superhero showdown.

Before you go any further you can rest assured that this review is spoiler free. At the press screening a short video preceded the film of director Zack Snyder asking the audience to please keep their reviews and social posts spoiler free so people could enjoy the movie and its surprises for themselves.

So here we go. Here are some reasons I really liked “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” and some reasons I felt it was a disappointment.

Success

Batfleck

As you can see I didn’t just say “Batman” of “Ben Affleck,” because it was both that really gave “Dawn of Justice” depth and intrigue.

The Batman character is a much more interesting one than Superman and it’s just what this franchise needed. Sure we already know Bruce Wayne’s tragic story, but that’s what makes Batman such a great character and he’s just as dark and complex in this story as we remember.

And now for Affleck. A lot of people went into orbit when they heard the taller half of the Damon-Affleck bromance was cast as Bats, but people also lost their minds when Michael Keaton was cast as the Dark Knight. As history goes on I believe Affleck will be in the same boat as Keaton, the haters were wrong.

Affleck seems born to play the part and really brings something new to it. I always had hoped that Affleck would nail the part, and I think he did a good enough job that he can win over most of the doubters.

Gorgeous

I’m not a huge fan of Zack Snyder’s films as a whole. I believe he has one of the most gorgeous eyes in Hollywood, but his storytelling lacks. “300” looked amazing, but wasn’t a great movie. You could say the same about “Watchmen,” “Sucker Punch,” and even “Man of Steel.” While I feel the storytelling is stronger in “Dawn of Justice,” it’s still lacking, but it looks amazing.

There are some gorgeous visuals, and it also contains some of the most impressive and entertaining Batman fight scenes to date. Again, I wish the story and pacing were a bit stronger – we’ll get into that later – but the movie looks phenomenal.

Wonder Woman

I wasn’t sure how Wonder Woman was going to fit into the film and was worried that throwing in one more superhero was going to be just too much, but I was wrong, dead wrong.

Gal Gadot really owns the part and when we finally see Wonder Woman in action it was possibly my favorite thing in the movie. I didn’t have a lot of interest in the upcoming Wonder Woman movie, but it’s now one of the film’s I’m really looking forward to in 2017.

What I've come to realize is I'd rather watch these three battle some monster/threat/bad guy than the Avengers take on another villain and a lot of that is thanks to the butt-kicking ability of Wonder Woman.

Disappointment

Wasted potential

This movie pits two of the most iconic and popular superheroes against each other so this has bonkers amount of potential, and unfortunately it didn’t reach it.

There are some really interesting parts and, for the most part, I was entertained throughout the movie, but there was a lack of character development, unmotivated decisions and some plot holes. Those things kept this from becoming a really amazing superhero film.

This one is hard to explain, but as you see the movie you’ll likely be frustrated by the missed opportunities.

Lex Luthor

While everyone was freaking out about Ben Affleck as Batman there was another casting decision that really concerned me, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. I tried to keep an open mind about the casting and look at it as an opportunity to take the character in a new direction.

Then the full-length trailer came out and I saw the clip of Eisenberg chatting up Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne and all my fears came true. That scene still makes me cringe a bit, but it should be noted that in the entire context of Luthor’s personality Eisenberg’s manic delivery kind of makes sense.

I actually like the direction they took Luthor, but Eisenberg’s portrayal goes just a bit over-the-top and plays awkward as opposed to menacing too often.

Unnecessarily long

With a run time of 151 minutes “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” is a long film, and it really didn’t need to be. We already know both Batman and Superman’s back stories, so all the set up wasn’t totally necessary.

There are also a few segments that contain some cool locales and great fight scenes, but don’t really help movie the story along and just act as filler in a movie that doesn’t need any filler. That’s all the detail I’ll go into in an attempt to avoid giving anything away.

Overall

At the end of the day I really enjoyed my time in the theater for “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” It has issues and isn’t a great film, and my guess is I am contrary to most of my counterparts in the critic world, but I don’t care. I had a good time at the theater and I’m looking forward to seeing more in this cinematic universe.

I have no doubt many people will head into this movie already hating it, and if that's the attitude then you will not like it. If you go in hoping to be entertained, see some good fight scenes and watch a new franchise kick off, then you should at least enjoy your trip to the theater for "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice."

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