Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ★★½

Ooohh boy this is one hot mess!

Is Batman v Superman a good film? Probably not. But is it enjoyable? You know, if you go in with low expectations like I did, yes it is.

Probably this film's biggest issue is an identity crisis. At first it goes for an uneasy political drama feel, giving all these glimpses at what could be a thought-provoking and thrilling superhero film akin to Zach Snyder's previous work, "Watchmen". But it's script is limited by a plethora of underdeveloped supporting characters and subplots, most of which end up serving as nothing more than vehicles to further what appears to be the main conflict: a super powered showdown between Batman and Superman.

Now, I'm not saying a showdown between Batman and Superman is a bad thing to lead up to. I mean, it's the damn title of the film after all. It's just that all this social commentary buildup from the first half of the film seems to dissipate into thin air in favor of what ends up being yet another hour-long pew pew fest of action and explosions.

I think that if Batman v Superman had remained a more subdued and mature alternative to its jokey fun Marvel rivals, I would probably have given this a positive score. But the last act succumbed to all the formulaic trappings of the comic book sub-genre, and therefore discredited all the efforts made previously by Snyder and crew to differentiate Dawn of Justice from its light-hearted peers.

Of course, this messy plot isn't the only issue I have with Batman v Superman. While I liked how his character worked into the plot, Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor annoyed the living hell out of me. I mean sure he was "crazy", but there's ways to play psychotic without overacting at every turn.

While it was cartoony and overlong, I was able to get some enjoyment out of the final act. The actual Batman v Superman fight was intense and fulfilling to watch, and Wonder Woman kicked ass too. So yeah, as overdone as they can be, the fight scenes were fairly well made for the most part. Let's just hope that Justice League offers a bit more in terms of developed substance.

So, am I optimist about the future of DC? Not necessarily. I think more solo films are a good idea (Wonder Woman in particular sounds exciting), but seeing as this same crew is working on the upcoming Justice League films, I'm a little worried. There's a lot of room for failure, that's for sure.

But hey, if you like Batman and Superman, and you want to see them fight, I think you'll enjoy this film. It's nothing groundbreaking, but it's a good time if you go in with the right expectations.

Tooley liked these reviews