‘Batman vs. Superman’ — the positive slightly outweighs negative

Published 9:08 pm Saturday, March 26, 2016

If you have any intentions of seeing “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” I suggest you go to the theater to see it immediately. Not because it is an amazing movie, but because there are serious spoilers that will be flying around the second people exit the cinema on Thursday night. If you are as anti-spoiler as I am, I suggest you get your butt in a seat immediately to ensure the surprises are not ruined. Note: I have tried to make this review as spoiler free as possible; you’ll realize how hard that is after you see the movie.

Following the casualties and destruction created during Superman’s battle with General Zod in “Man of Steel,” Superman (Henry Cavill) has a lot of angry people to answer to, including legislators, newscasters… oh yeah, and Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) and Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg). Strangely enough, both Bruce and Lex are alike in that they are weary of Superman’s power.

This alien being is a god among man, and although he is a hero for now, what happens if he decides to turn against humanity one day? As Bruce states, even if there is the slightest chance he will turn against Earth one day, Superman needs to be stopped now. Dun dun dun.

In a movie that promises to show superhero titans Batman and Superman square off against each other, there is a lot to live up to. Both characters command such a presence on-screen, it takes a very well-tuned script to ensure adequate representation.

And unfortunately, “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” directed by Zack Snyder, has some problems in that regard, mainly in that it tries to incorporate way too many elements at the expense of character development. Don’t get me wrong, I like the film. It starred many of my favorite characters, had intense action scenes and it was pretty freakin’ entertaining. But it inevitably felt more like a lead-up to a JUSTICE LEAGUE movie instead of being a good movie on its own.

So to honor the premise of the film, I thought I would have the good elements of the movie face off against the bad. What will win in the end?


The Good

Batman V Superman

Come on.. Batman and Superman… in the same movie! This means when the movie works, it really works. Even when there are storyline issues and scenes I wish had been shot differently, “Batman vs. Superman,” at its worst, is still entertaining.


Gal Gadot

Gal Gadot is the best part of the movie. She steals every scene she is in and showed just how powerful Wonder Woman can be. Her take on the character made me cheer from my seat… and can we also get a serious shout-out for her costume designer? Gadot’s dresses were AMAZING. If I wasn’t already excited for the upcoming WONDER WOMAN movie, I am now! It can’t come soon enough.


Henry Cavill

I shouldn’t even have to elaborate. Cavill is perfectly cast in the role. Not only does he look AMAZING in that Superman suit, he also gives a fantastic performance. His chemistry with Amy Adams is off the charts and I hope we get to see even more of that dynamic in future films.


Batfleck Fight Scene

Though we didn’t get to see TOO much of his flashy playboy Bruce Wayne persona, I can say Ben Affleck made a great Batman… chin and all. What we want out of a Batman movie is some kickass combat scenes, and Batman vs. Superman certainly delivered. I especially loved the scene where Batman takes out about 15 guys! But did anyone else find it weird that Batman was killing these guys? Isn’t a huge part of his character that he makes it a point not to murder the bad guys? This change didn’t bother me, but I can already sense the fanboy/fangirl rage.



I won’t say who beats who, but in order for Batman to even stand a chance against Superman, he needed to get cute with his choice of weapons. How the filmmakers set up Batman’s gadgets against Superman, as well as Superman’s outlook on his fight with Batman, made the scene believable instead of cheesy.


The Bad


As I said before, at times, “Batman vs. Superman” felt unfocused. It jumped around from Batman’s angle of the story to Superman’s, which is expected, but then Snyder tried to introduce even more elements to setup the upcoming JUSTICE LEAGUE movie. It seemed he was throwing too many things at the wall to see what stuck instead of focusing on a few key moments that actually worked (:cough: WONDER WOMAN :cough).


Random storylines

I’m trying to avoid spoilers, but there were a few plot points that kinda sorta made sense, but added nothing to the film. For example, what was with Lois Lane’s bullet quest? I understand what it eventually pointed to, but it was completely unnecessary.

The world was upset with Superman enough after his battle with Zod. We didn’t need the whole “trap/setup” element also. Also, why cast Scoot McNairy in such a thankless and small role? If it was for the surprise element of what happens to his character, I will give the film a break… but I doubt that was the case.


Lex Luthor

I didn’t like the way Lex was portrayed in the film – not so much from an acting standpoint, but from a character standpoint. Of course Eisenberg was overacting to the extreme, but I think that is what the character (as written) called for.

This Lex was written more like the Joker, as opposed to the smart, cunning, pragmatic (and okay, a tad insane) businessman that we have seen before. I’m all for character reinterpretations, but this felt more like the same thing we have seen time and time again, a crazed villain out to kill a superhero. We are getting another version of the Joker in the upcoming SUICIDE SQUAD. How about an interesting development with Lex?


Longer, R-Rated version

The movie is over 2 1/2 hours as it is. The fact that we have to wait for the Blu-Ray to see an even longer, R-rated cut of the movie (over 3 hours) is annoying. AND I know that I criticized the introduction of so many characters, but I am mad that Jena Malone’s role (rumored to be Robin) wound up on the cutting room floor. We are going to have to wait for the Blu-Ray to see that too!


My Review: The positive slightly outweights the negative, which leads us to a grade of B-.

LAUREN BRADSHAW grew up in Courtland, graduated from Southampton Academy and doubled-majored in foreign affairs and history at the University of Virginia. She lives in the Washington, D.C., area and can be reached at flickchickdc@gmail.com