Review: “Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice”


Sophia Bone

With a budget reaching $410 million, Batman Vs. Superman reached around $860 million in the box office, a sizable flop when reaching for a $1 billion box office hit.

Evan Frook, Reporter

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice suffers from an excess of ideas and lack of organization. It had it’s high points, but was irresponsible with management. The movie commits too much time preparing for the films following it (read: studio pressure) to leave enough for the long list of ideas that the movie conceives. It seems that as soon as someone tried to put pen to paper, the movie began a slow slide towards mediocrity.

It’s tragic, because it could have been so much more. The “list of ideas” is strong. There could have been two interesting characters in Batman and Lex Luthor. They could have garishly contrasted to the always-virtuous Superman. Instead Batman is toned down to remain everyone’s favorite and Luthor is toned up to fill the role of the villain, instead of creating deep anti hero-type characters with twisted motivations. It just sells better – people know Batman. However, Batman’s dubious motivation and character development fell through in execution.

Jesse Eisenberg, who plays Luthor, also butchers the role. While I like his acting, he overplays his character to a laughable extreme. His concept of Luthor’s motivation and manifestation is accurate, but it’s as though nobody ever told him to tone it down a bit. In that sense, I blame director Zack Snyder far more than the actors. Eisenberg’s flop as Luthor wasn’t his fault alone. Ben Affleck, who plays Batman, showed promise despite the poor writing and direction. Given a better script and director, there’s no doubt he would have excelled.

There’s some excellent moments as well, besides good acting. There are moments where it’s easy to see how good it could have been. For example, the shot of people worshiping Superman in Buenos Aires is gorgeously composed, and effectively instills an idea larger than the sum of its parts. But the rest of the concept is largely abandoned.

I’ve noted what’s good because it’s hard to talk about what’s bad. Ultimately, the film lacks expansion and resolution. There are too many characters, too powerful concepts and too much studio money in the film.

It’s the most successful March release of all time, but the things that make the movie good failed to make the movie successful. There is a fundamental lack of expansion and resolution. Character and story arcs are introduced, but the movie slogs along without them going much of anywhere. These arcs are then ended by inaction or convenience, such as how the titular fight is resolved. The movie essentially tells you to go see its sequel.

It’s as if the film was composed of masterfully crafted and beautiful puzzle pieces, but instead of deftly assembling them into a coherent image, they were cut, smashed and broken until viewers were presented with a vaguely rectangular mishmash of color and concept. Some pieces fell into place, but overall, the holes between them are too easy to see through.