‘Batman v Superman’ review roundup

The embargo has lifted and the reviews are in! I was lucky enough to see Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice at the NYC premiere last weekend, and I can say that I think fans will really enjoy it!

For me, it was a huge improvement over Man of Steel, which I liked, but certainly didn’t love. Ben Affleck is Batman. His Batman is brutal and mean, and I loved every second of it. He may be too brutal for some fans, though, and may spark some controversy. My favorite scene by far is Batman vs. the thugs, which we got a sneak peek at in the beginning of the final trailer. Wait until you see the entire thing! It’s literally a live-action version of the Batman: Arkham games.

My biggest issue with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was the end of the Batman/Superman fight. It just didn’t work for me at all. I can’t include spoilers in this review, so stay tuned to the Batman News podcast next week to hear all of my thoughts on the movie! For now, you can also check out what the rest of the internet thinks by reading the reviews below.


As a pure visual spectacle, however, “Batman V Superman” ably blows the hinges off the multiplex doors, and editor David Brenner does excellent work to comprehensibly streamline the chaos, capably captured by d.p. Larry Fong. Composers Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL are again key assets here, with Gadot’s theme in particular proving quite infectious. Snyder largely tamps down his penchant for hyper-stylized combat imagery until the end, where he stages a series of galactic battles that take style notes from sources as varied as classic WWE rumbles and Harryhausen creature features. As overblown as the lengthy showdown might become, Snyder gets closer than ever before to the classic chiaroscuro palette of classic comics, and even if his scrupulous efforts to avoid reopening “Man of Steel’s” collateral damage debates are a bit on the nose, at least he’s clearly received the message.

The Wrap:

The whole enterprise comes wrapped up in the usual trappings, including a bombastic score by Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL that could use a lot more Drang and a lot less Sturm. An army of effects wizards make the impossible plausible, but during one of the several climactic engagements, Snyder allows the battle to descend to Michael Bay levels of visual cacophony, where one can’t be entirely sure who is doing what to whom, and how, and where all those beams of light are coming from.


While Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has good things to recommend it, it’s shortcomings are undeniable. The action sequences whenever Batman is set loose on the bad guys are cool, and the story strives to explore human and philosophical elements, but it’s often not much fun. Not every superhero movie should be like a Marvel one (because every hero and piece of material is different), but even the melodramatic X-Men movies never lost sight of pure entertainment value while also exploring heady and heavy topics.


Overambitious and overlong, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” aims to tell a collection of stories instead of focusing on one. In doing so, it underserves its classic characters, undercuts its battle scenes, and disrespects the audience who has been waiting decades to see this epic showdown on the big screen.


Despite having Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Lex Luthor sharing a screen, Dawn of Justice lacks the magic of feeling being incredibly new. Several major plot moments are comparable to a few featured in The Dark Knight trilogy with Zack Snyder’s style crafted onto them. It is, in many ways, the planting of seeds for what promises to blossom into an astounding DC movie universe and, now that all of the establishing is out of the way, a huge step in the right direction for DC characters in film.


I personally liked Man of Steel better, but I’m guessing I will be in the minority on this one. I can see why people might enjoy Batman v Superman more, and as I said before, it improves Man of Steel in some ways.

At the end of the day, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is one of the biggest event films of the year and if you want to be part of the conversation you must see it. The film sets the course for Justice League and the future of the DC movie universe, and if any of that interests you, you should probably buy a ticket. Sure, you might walk away from the film disappointed, like I was, but maybe still entertained by moments of spectacle. And if you see it, I urge you to see it on the largest screen possible (i.e., big-screen IMAX).


Throw in some groan-y dream sequences, an out-of-left field Easter egg or two (that point to an expanding paradigm for the Justice League film and/or films) and more than a few brief, cheeky character introductions — wait’ll you hear the Immigrant Song-like guitar riff they play every time you see Wonder Woman in a breastplate — and Batman v Superman is kind of a disaster.

But dang, is it a watchable one. And it’s got its twists and turns, its surprises and stabs of satisfaction — just enough that whether you’re a fan of these Hero Brands or not, Batman v Superman is an entertainment worth your time.