‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ is as long and confusing as its name

Timothy Page, Reporter

As the superhero genre continues to get bigger and bigger, chances for missteps becomes bigger too. Marvel has seemed untouchable, while DC has been chasing it’s tale trying to get The Justice League off the ground. The result of this rush is felt in Batman V Superman, a movie that feels like it’s trying to shove way too much into a few hours and suffers for it.

I liked Man of Steel, a lot actually. The way they reinvented Superman and the loud, bombastic action worked for me. I left that movie buzzed, excited for what was to come. I left this movie considerably underwhelmed, and a bit confused how the story worked.

I can’t say much without spoiling anything major, but by the end you’ll be scratching your head wondering how it got from point A to point B. That’s the issue. This is about 3 movies stuffed into one. The result is something that jumps from scene to scene without much context as to why for the first half and then explodes into loud and explosive action in the second half without it feeling like it is earned. You’re left staring at the movie screen wondering why you should care.

The sad part is you SHOULD care. This is Batman V Superman for crying out loud! Something a lot of us have been waiting for years to see. This movie isn’t all bad, but it had so much potential to blow every other superhero movie out of the water that it feels like a missed opportunity at times.

The best part of this movie is Batman, hands down. Ben Affleck, which everyone doubted, shines here as an old and rugged Batman. You understand his motivations for why he’s doing what he’s doing and why he hates Superman. An opening scene showing a street level view of the destruction of Metropolis at the end of Man of Steel is powerful and tense. Bruce Wayne lost friends that day and it’s all because of that one man.

From there the movie stumbles, introducing us to a neurotic Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luther. I thought Eisenberg did a fine job, but if you were hoping for the cold, serious Lex Luther, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Eisenberg as Lex is probably exactly how you imagined it to be when you heard he was cast for the role. He does give it his all, but there are times when you aren’t sure whether you should laugh at him or with him. Henry Cavill is a bit wooden and stiff as Superman, but he does a good job here. If you liked him in Man of Steel, you’ll like him here. He looks the part and handles himself how you’d imagine a modern Superman would.

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman isn’t a huge part of this film, but when she’s on screen, especially for the climax of the film, the movie improves and she gives the movie a much needed shot of energy. It makes me excited for her standalone film being released in 2017.

Honestly it’s hard to pin down my exact thoughts on this film without spoiling the story, but just know that Zach Snyder has created a loud, bombastic, and cool movie. It’s visually impressive, but lacking in story. I can’t help but think this movie had a lot of studio interference. Warner Brothers is trying to rush the Justice League out of the door, and it shows. This is an overstuffed and crowded film that didn’t need to be. Marvel took its sweet time getting us to The Avengers and the payoff was incredible. DC is playing catch up, so the story elements feel rushed, cameos feel forced, and this movie just feel less fun and tiring because of it.

If you enjoyed Man of Steel, check this one out. Just don’t expect it to be the be all end all of comic book films. It makes me worried for the universe that Warner Brothers is building, and I hope that they can take a step back and let the film makers do their thing in the future. This is a movie that should have been awesome, but it ends up a bit flat in the end.

Rating: 3/5 Loud, long, and joyless. The great moments make it worth the price of admission, but I can’t shake the feeling that it should’ve been much better.

Warner Bros. Pictures