Rotten Tomatoes gave this movie a 30 percent rating. Metacritic gave it a 44 percent, IGN gave it a 6.8 out of 10 and IMDB gave it a 9.4 out of 10—a broad spectrum of mixed reviews for the toe-to-toe battle between the Caped Crusader and the Man of Steel. But R | U | NTRTND? doesn’t understand all of the hate.
First, let me start out with my beefs about this movie—first being the beginning of the film. I felt that it jumped around quite a bit and left us feeling confused. We’re first introduced to a young Bruce Wayne as his parents are brutally murdered in the middle of the night during a flashback—something that we’ve seen from nearly all the Batman trilogies—but then, we’re taken into this trippy dream state where young Bruce is falling through some hole in the ground, only to rise (yes, literally fly) with the bats as they fly up from the hole. After that, the film jumps to a present day Metropolis where it seems like some collateral damage from Superman killing General Zod in “Man of Steel” is taking place. The film really makes you guess the reasoning behind all of the buildings crashing down and the random spaceships hovering in the sky. We see Superman (played by Henry Cavill) crash into a building and an older Bruce Wayne (played by Ben Affleck) run into the smoke of a building as it falls down. The film then jumps to present-day Africa where Lois Lane (played by Amy Adams) is used as a pawn for a failed CIA sting. It was a very interesting way to start the film because it threw the audience right into an unexplained plotline.
My next beef comes with the very shallow, almost lazy plot point that comes when Batman decides to spare Superman during their epic fight scene. If you’re a comic book fan, you probably know that kryptonite is Superman’s weakness. Well, Batman finally finds out how to harness this kryptonite as he steals it from Lex Luthor (played by Jesse Eisenberg). After this gullible Batman falls into Lex Luthor’s trap to fight Superman, Batman has the chance to kill Superman with his kryptonite spear but chooses to spare the Man of Steel because both of their moms are named Martha. (And we thought we were going to get a darker Batman.)
My final beef comes with the very ending of the film. Lex Luthor makes the kryptonite-powered Doomsday villain, and Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman (played by the gorgeous Gal Gadot) all team up against this deformed demon. This was an awesome action sequence. We got some great special effects, but I was left with some questions about where the DC Universe was going with this climax. It turns out that Doomsday is too powerful for Batman and Wonder Woman, so Superman decides to sacrifice himself by jamming the kryptonite spear into Doomsday to kill it. Superman gets the job done but not before getting himself stabbed in the heart after the kryptonite blast. Superman dies, and we’re taken to a funeral scene where Batman and Wonder Woman decide to get the Justice League together (including Aquaman, Flash and Cyborg). Superman/Clark Kent gets buried and Lois Lane is devastated. Traditionally when someone passes away, you throw dirt on top of the casket as a sign of one final remembrance, so Lois Lane pays her respects by throwing dirt onto Clark Kent’s casket. The final cut shows the dirt rising off the casket, which leads us to think that Superman will be back for the next Justice League movie.
Now, I get that the Justice League needs Superman because it wouldn’t survive without a man that can fly, has heat vision or is nearly indestructible, but if a kryptonite blast won’t kill Superman, what will? They probably shouldn’t have killed Superman in the first place, but the fact that he survived a nuke and a kryptonite blast is kind of sketchy, in my opinion.
Don’t get me wrong; this movie was very entertaining. I’d even go out on a limb and say “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” is on the same level as the “Avengers.” I just think DC made the mistake of making it the first movie in this new phase of movies.
I also think a lot of people were so used to the quality of the “Dark Knight” movies by Christopher Nolan that they were let down by this movie that has more of a popcorn appeal. I think if DC would’ve made some standalone movies for the Justice League characters and then made this “Batman v. Superman” movie, it would’ve had more of an impact.
Another thing I think DC should’ve done a better job with was the marketing for this movie. At its core, “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” is really a “Man of Steel” sequel—the focus seems to be based more on Superman and we only see Superman villains in this film.
But to see an all-star cast of characters together on the big screen is really cool. Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Jesse Eisenberg, Amy Adams and Gal Gadot meshed as well as all of the Marvel cast did in the “Avengers” movies. It definitely deserves a better score than 30 out of 100.
I thought Jesse Eisenberg played a very different, very cool Lex Luthor with the humor and the hipster vibe. I thought Gal Gadot played a great Wonder Woman—I actually would’ve like to have seen more Wonder Woman in this movie, not just for her good looks, but for more background as well. Despite all the criticism, I thought Ben Affleck killed it as an older, already established Batman. I am a huge Ben Affleck fan, so I think this role just builds his résumé even more.
My favorite part of this film was probably when we were introduced to Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman as Wonder Woman looked into what Bruce Wayne sent her on the encrypted hard drive thing. Those Easter eggs are on the same level as Marvel lays in its movies.
In conclusion, “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” was entertaining, it laid out the blueprint for the “Justice League” movie and it touched on a few moral topics such as, “Does absolute power corrupt absolutely?” and “Can a vigilante be a hero?” It definitely has its flaws and its plot holes, but it’s definitely worth seeing. Don’t buy into all the bad ratings. In the end, the DC Universe will be just as successful as the Marvel Universe.