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Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice… Nope

Jose+Mendez+-+Hannah+Hwang
Jose Mendez – Hannah Hwang

Column by Jose Mendez
mendezjo@grinnell.edu

Jose Mendez - Hannah Hwang

Alright people, it’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for since they announced it three years ago: a movie finally exists where Batman fights Superman. Tell me, how can I not get excited for that? As you might have heard, considering this review is coming weeks after the movie’s release, this movie has gotten abysmal ratings from movie critics but praise from comic book fans. And as a comic book fan and a movie reviewer I will give you the critique from a perspective from both the ‘critics’ and the ‘fans’.

So “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” is really an introduction into the DC comics’ cinematic universe, even though “Man of Steel” came out not too long ago. I say this movie is the real introduction because of the ensemble of characters that this movie has. And trust me, this movie almost has every single DC hero you can think of: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman—this is the “Dawn of Justice” that the movie’s title is pointing to. But more on that later.

This movie starts out with Batman, played by Ben Affleck, getting the ultimate POV shot of what happened in “Man of Steel” where Superman threw down with General Zod, destroying half of Metropolis before snapping Zod’s neck, scaring kids everywhere and letting them know that Superman will snap your neck if he needs to. For me, whenever Batman was on screen, it was such a great time. If you are a fan of a Batman who is the ultimate fighting machine and is not afraid to get down and dirty, Affleck delivered.

You have Bruce Wayne’s agenda of preparing to take down Superman because he sees him as a threat and Superman’s agenda of saving people from chaos in a slow-motion manner (I swear, most scenes where he’s saving people are in slow-motion to emphasize his parallelism with Jesus and how fucking cute he looks, thank you Henry Cavill for your perfection) while being judged by the world of his power. On top of that, there’s Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor planning his own agenda to have Batman fight Superman while he’s playing with kryptonite, Wonder Woman stalking Bruce and receiving emails from him about other metahumans, Lois Lane wanting to be the best journalist ever and Alfred bitching about how Bruce is just so dark and serious and just needs to let Superman do his thing.

And finally at the end of the movie, Batman throws down with Superman and it’s pretty cool to see. It’s Batman and Superman going head-to-head, how can you not enjoy that?! To be honest, this movie felt more like a Batman movie than a Superman movie but that’s okay, I guess.

And in that, we come to the things I really didn’t like in this movie. Those giant run-on sentences of a synopsis that I gave you in the previous paragraphs is exactly how the pacing and editing of this movie is. You basically have about five to six movies going at the same time, causing you to lose interest in anything that is going on. I give props to the marketing team’s attempts at trailers because if you saw any of those trailers that were more than 30 seconds long, you basically saw the movie. They gave us transparency through its trailers, showing us all of the movie’s content. And I know that some may argue that that is my fault for watching the trailers but that’s what trailers are for,  so there’s no excuse. Eisenberg as Lex Luthor had me hating his character in the trailer, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt. But nope, he acted like a snobby, annoying and ridiculous brat. Seriously, Jim Carrey or Michael Cera could have been cast as Lex Luthor and would have given the same performance. And the pacing of this movie, my god, this movie is two-and-a-half hours-long just so that the production team can cram so many unnecessary plots into this monstrosity. When it’s that easy to point out multiple parts of the movie that could have been taken out, you just begin to think about the lack of time the director and the editing team put into this movie. Then you have a final antagonist named Doomsday at the end of the movie that was shown in the trailers (I’m telling you, those trailers gave everything about the movie). I kid you not, this antagonist looks like a rejected CGI orc from Lord of the Rings. So many plots were in this movie that I might as well have gotten Frodo Baggins and Gandalf the White to join Batman and Superman to fight this rip-off orc. And just as many people thought, this Doomsday character was just shoehorned into the final 10 to 15 minutes of this two-and-a-half-hour long movie just so Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman have something to punch.

Overall, this movie really did justify many worries that movie audiences had when first hearing about the movie and viewing its trailers. Batman is great, Superman is eh, Lex Luthor is fucking annoying, the pacing is off, the “Dawn of Justice” part of this movie was interesting but really did not belong in this movie and Doomsday was there for just 10 to 15 minutes for the sake of explosions and meaningless fighting. And Wonder Woman. I can forgive them for giving their audience a poor movie, but just shoehorning in such a great character without any character development or deserved screen time is offensive. Not only is it offensive to the character but also a slap in the face to everyone who has waited for this character’s deserved time on the silver screen.

We’re in 2016, we shouldn’t be getting rushed mediocre garbage like this. The more I think about it, the more I begin to agree with Rotten Tomatoes’ score of 29 percent. But I leave you to decide.

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