PG-13 | 151 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Review - Matt Mungle
**In theaters March 25th 2016**
Synopsis: Fearing the actions of Superman are left unchecked, Batman takes on the man of steel, while the world wrestles with what kind of a hero it really needs.
Review: In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice no one wins. If anyone comes out on top it is the die hard DC fans who have the chance to see new characters pop up on screen; momentarily. The rest of us are left with a hodge-podge of muddled plot lines. confusing character arcs, and a dark story that is neither intriguing nor entertaining.
Everyone is still reeling from the devastation that Superman (Henry Cavill) brought upon Metropolis when he battled his home planet. Many fear that left to his own devices he may become more a hinderance than a hero. Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) is licking his wounds and skulking around as well. He well remembers the destruction and the loss of many of his friends. So Bruce is just itching for a reason to take out the man of steel. Enter Lex Luther (Jesse Eisenberg); another cog in the wheel of haters. This young and slightly psychotic wonderkin has a plan - why is not important obviously - to use some recently found kryptonite to bring down the chiseled messiah. So bottom line, things are about to get crazy.
Early on in the films process everyone was up in arms about Affleck playing Batman. Now that the film is finished it is obvious that Ben is the strongest element. He is a fantastic Wayne/Batman. There is no doubt that he was the right choice. Granted the script is such a mess that he ends up being sort of a jerk trying to keep his bat ears above water. Batman comes across as such a tool that he should be hanging from his own belt. His decision making is obscure and makes very little sense. The fact that he has held this grudge for so long that he is willing to take on Superman makes no sense. Added to a long list of things that didn't make sense.
Superman is caught in the middle and has a lot of soul searching to do. But he comes across as whiney and wishy washy. Lois Lane (Amy Adams) and his mother Martha (Diane Lane) have to keep setting him back on course. Luther is the most confusing character. Love or hate Eisenberg in the role (I liked him) the problem is that none of his reasons are merited for hating Superman. The back story is fuzzy and with everything else going on the dialogue is lost is a sea of nonsensical verbiage.
There are a few other side characters that muddy the water even more. Zack Snyder is a great director but the amount of story lines and piles of plot points are unruly and impossible to manage. It is like a freight train derailing at breakneck speed. He simply can't keep it on a solid mental track. Fans of Marvel movies who have come accustomed to humor and light hearted banter will be depressed by the very dark overtones that permeate the entire film. You actually have no one to root for which in a film like this is uncommon.
Wonder Woman makes her Justice League debut here and is met with cheers and applause. Other than a few classic poses though she doesn't get to shine much. It would have been better to have her show up much earlier, get all this childish behavior out of the way, and get to the meat of what the two super heroes were meant for. The movie would have been shorter and could have purged much of the dead weight.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is rated PG - 13 for intense sequences of violence and action throughout, and some sensuality. The main parental issue is how dark the films themes are. The violence feels more malevolent because of the characters personalities and mind sets. Many young kids will certainly want to see it but I would caution parents that this is not your typical Saturday morning super hero production. I give it 2.5 out of 5 bat brands. Hard to pinpoint one problem, it simply gets lost in its own vastness.
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