“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” began reaching up to its potential from the first scene; a retelling of the deaths of Bruce Wayne’s parents immediately followed by a flash forward to his view of the city-shattering fight between Superman and General Zod at the end of “Man of Steel.”
From that point begins a battle arc of Batman vs. Superman as Bruce Wayne, artfully played by Ben Affleck, seeks revenge on Superman for the collateral damage he’s caused in the past and will inevitably continue to cause. Clark Kent (Henry Cavil) tries to stop the vigilante justice of Batman. Mix in Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg), the live action debut of Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), and a few hints toward the formation of the Justice League, and the audience is left with a full-fledged comic book movie.
Affleck carried most of the movie, as the audience was exposed to an aging, darker, contemplative Batman. The interactions between him and his butler Alfred (Jeremy Irons) were refreshing; Irons provided good comedic relief coupled with the serious tone needed to ground a comic book movie in reality. Cavill gave a solid performance with what he had to work with as Clark Kent, but clearly most of his appeal comes from his powers in the red cape. A major acting disappointment came from Eisenberg’s portrayal of Lex Luthor. His high-pitched voice and uncommonly used metaphors came off as goofy rather than eccentrically brilliant.
The interaction between Batman and Superman certainly lived up to expectations with the captivating appearance of Batman’s new costume design, which seemed more like an armored tank welded to Affleck’s frame than the flexible Batman suits of yesteryear. The fight was spectacular, but ended in what seemed to be forced, and possibly contrived, resignation.
The major downfall of the film, oddly enough, came before you even sat down. So much information was revealed through trailers that preceded the release of “Dawn of Justice,” that the movie suffered from predictability. Inevitably, the producers tried to counteract the information over-share with head-scratching plot points towards the end of the movie.
“DOJ” was a solid B+. It remained enjoyable, despite anyone’s views on superhero movies but missed the mark on explaining a certain plot point in the near three hour film. Affleck’s Batman certainly saved the integrity of the movie, but even he couldn’t make up for the perplexing significance Lois Lane (Amy Adams) added to the story. Superman and Batman did their duty; their movie is enough to garner interest for the next DC film, Suicide Squad, set to release this summer.