Early Wednesday afternoon, Newsarama solicited brief reviews of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice from our readers who had seen the film in advance screenings. Not positive or negative reviews, just the raw reaction by readers who had experienced it. The following is the unfiltered (though slightly edited for grammar and spelling) response we got back.
But first, a brief preamble.
As most readers know by now, Batman v Superman is not being reviewed relatively well by the critics’ community, as best as the tools we have to measure such things indicate. To be clear, the following is not any attempt to correct or answer the opinions of critics.
To be even clearer, let’s go on the record about a few things:
- We don’t think BvS is a movie that can and/or should only be best understood and/or appreciated by comic book fans. In fact, any movie of this stature should ideally be accessible and play to all audiences, including critics.
‘Buzz’ and word-of-mouth are factors in the success or failure of would-be (and in this case, need-be) blockbusters That BvS’s early reviews are relatively negative is neither ideal nor insignificant to Warner Bros. and the future of DC Comics films, but what – if any – ramifications there may or may not be due to the reviews is a story to be revealed and written about another day.
- Most importantly. We’re not suggesting any opinion is more right or more wrong than ours , yours or anyone else’s.
Again, this is a random sampling of reviews by Newsarama readers (every one sent to us). No conclusions are being drawn or implied. And with that, we’ll let them take it away…
There's nothing quite like the fanboy rage of Marvel vs. DC, from comic books to television and more so, where it seems to burn most ardent these days -- the film arena. If you haven't read a Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice review by now, then you've done well to stay off social media or just hid under a rock. If you have, most of them haven't been critically receptive but as Michael Bay's taught us -- it ain't always about substance. In this case, Zack Snyder remains as consistent as ever and true to form, delivering a visual spectacle whose grandiose action sequences rival the biggest blockbusters Hollywood can offer.
BvS relies heavily on style over said substance, I'll admit, but it's wrong to say the visuals totally trump David S. Goyer and Chris Terrio's storytelling. Because while bucking the old depictions and characterizations of the heroes we know, there's still enough underneath the surface of this film to latch onto for diehards. More so there's even more connective tissue to the modern approach adopted from stories a la Birthright, the "Earth One" titles and the "New 52" era of the Justice League. In short, yes, it's a Justice League prequel. And yes, the story isn't the best-written. But in a world where Transformers makes billions and Deadpool's wonton violence has us lapping it up, BvS is thoroughly engaging, relentlessly-paced and a blockbuster ride to kick back to, snack on popcorn and enjoy.
In short, this isn't the World's Finest that fans of the '80s and '90s grew up on. Snyder and co. clearly focus on the anti-Marvel Studios equation, which sees them building a universe through incidents as opposed to establishing proper character development. We can't stop that snowball, not since Man of Steel set fire to the rain.
That said, the glaring mistakes of this predecessor (which I loved), the consequences of Superman's actions and the gritty, bitter route taken by Ben Affleck's Batman, snarl at you with a very relatable ease. The 'heroes' -- which I use loosely because they're clearly not the boy-scout or sentinel of the night we're accustomed to -- are rash and make mistakes which make them that much more human. Henry Cavill is as solemn as can be, but exudes a charisma matched by Affleck's inner turmoil, which strikes a much-needed balance and contrast, especially with Jesse Eisenberg's off-centr rportrayal of Lex Luthor. He's as unconvincing as ever despite some brief moments of brilliance. Quite the opposite to Gal Gadot who dominates when on-screen, thanks in part to Hans Zimmer's score. She's silent yet floats through each scene with such an emotive drive. Where the rest of the cast falters and the script veers off course, there's the aforementioned and I must say lengthy action bits (particularly the finale) that compensate.
I'll admit also, things get a bit crowded as Snyder tosses in Easter eggs, cameos and tries to weave in so many foils and villains for the title characters which kind of feels like a more rushed Iron Man 2-- setting up the future of DC's film-verse. It's a monstrous finale and turbulent climax to say the least and it's spectacularly-executed but if you didn't like Man of Steel, you'll be wanting your money back when you exit the cinema. While full of intent, the choppy plot and off-key editing take away from the relentless behemoth that is BvS; but for old comic book collectors like me, it's a gamble that distinguishes itself from arcs that have become so boring to me. I view this as an Elseworlds tale and despite being gloomy and emotionally dour, this vision laid down by Snyder's team works for me. Amid the brooding drawl, there's a lot to kick back to and enjoy. It certainly lives up to its billing as a clash of comics' biggest titans and as the Trinity tussle, bear in mind the apparent. They didn't have it lined out like Kevin Feige's posse. Yes, this studio's reactive and not proactive as Marvel's. But DC and Warner Bros. are showing patience and a long-format game; which is a gamble given that Captain America: Civil War is bearing down -- but one thing I can say is that like The Winter Soldier, BvS keeps me on the edge of my seat. Don't need the one-liners or punchy jokes. This is a universe of real-world terrorism. And what it lacks in depth and soul, it certainly makes up in entertainment. RATING: 7.5 (of 10) (Renaldo Matadeen)
I loved it. It does have a lot of moving parts and intricacies, but the fact is they all make sense and work together. It's a very, very heavy film. But it needs to be. It really has a lot of really heavy ideas. It's like what if 9/11 was caused by aliens? That would shake the bedrock of our society. This film may take itself too seriously, but that's because it is addressing serious questions.
The most frustrating part about the critic's reviews, thus far, are that if you took the superheroes out of it, it's the kind of film critics would typically eat up. Chris Terrio has said this movie was written as a second act, and it really plays like one. Things are always darkest before the dawn they say. It is a tragedy, and it plays like one. The movie isn't perfect, but it's a pleasant departure from the formulaic comic book movies we've grown accustomed to. RATING 8.5 (of 10) (Bradley Painter)
Grandiose. This is how I would summarize . With any comic book movie, there will be good and bad things. I’d like to think that the movie studios do learn, and apply the better parts of what they’ve learned into upcoming releases. Batman v Superman is Warner Bros’ jumping on point for a shared DC Comics movie universe. In my opinion, this is a great start. It has foreshadowing and well-placed hints for what’s to come. The film elevates itself using strong emotion. Emotion you can feel in the first 20 minutes of the movie, while applying the action one expects from a super hero movie
The movie gives fans a great set up of why Bruce Wayne is against Superman, something I think critics missed. Being a fan of the genre and an avid comic book reader, you can understand plots points better than the average moviegoer.
Ben Affleck gives an amazing performance…and I was against his casting. But he won me over. He will be the definitive Batman for many people. He pulled off both Bruce Wayne and Batman seamlessly. Something none of the previous actors were able to really do.
Cavill, of course, is this generation’s Superman. BvS shows a more “human” side of him, something a little lacking in Man of Steel. He’s definitely more vulnerable and that makes his Superman closer to what fans have wanted. He is in no way on Christopher Reeves’ level, but it goes well with Warner Bros.'s vision for their comic book movie franchises.
Gal Gadot to me is the break-out star of this film. So many skeptics hated this casting, but she does the role justice! Gadot stole every scene she was in. Her interpretation of the character is exactly what die-hard fans of Wonder Woman want to see. She’s smart, stylish and cunning, at the same time a fierce warrior. Every moment she is on the screen is pure magic.
All-in-all, this was a fantastic movie. Not perfect. But no comic book movie has been perfect. It has action…it has emotion…and it has icons of a caliber that anyone would recognize. Critics and even comic book fans will of course nitpick it, as is their right. But overall, as a movie, the general masses and the comic book readers can enjoy it and some will even love it. I know I did. RATING 8 (of 10) (Tony Garcia)
Batman v Superman is a movie that isn't without passion. That can be seen clearly through classic elements of both heroes' stories coming to fruition in cinema for the first time, but the movie also holds to some of the more common blockbuster elements that, unfortunately, hold the story back from reaching its true potential.
Visually, it is a good looking film and the action is on par, however I was hoping that Snyder would cut back on the bombastic and ridiculous destruction during the fight sequences and it almost seems like he has suppressed this deep urge in himself, until he once again gives in to its power for the closing fifteen minutes of the film.
There are a lot of things that work here, surprising Ben Affleck is one of them. If you have seen Man of Steel and felt like the aesthetic or tone was off, then it should come as no surprise that Snyder's movie plays out the Batman portions much better than the Superman ones. While neither character is completely fleshed out, Batman is a bit more relatable while Henry Cavil's Superman is a tad more wooden. He doesn't come across quite as the all-American boy Superman we grew up with, but more as a meandering, brooding shell of what he could be. This isn't to say that the portrayal is all bad. The very few moments that Cavil is given to reach toward some sort of emotional connection he does pull it off, which leaves the viewer pinning for a bit more of that emotional weight.
I will admit that going into the movie I had preconceived notions of the cast, but almost all of them were able to sway me into the positive realm. The one bleak outlook on the cast is the misfire of Lex Luthor, and herein lies one of the largest problems of Batman v. Superman. Lex is set up to be the main antagonist, however he is given no real motivations for his actions. Without giving away too much of the plot, he is the driving force behind most of the decisions that lead to an epic battle that closes out the movie. However, we never truly understand Jessie Eisenberg's Lex Luthor; he is played with weird quirks and ticks, but never any reasoning.
I also can't help but feel that Wonder Woman is shoehorned into the movie as is the big bad. Continuing with the trend of casting, it is possible that many will see Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman as scene stealer, but that isn't necessarily a great thing since her character seemingly comes out of nowhere. I believe Gadot is capable of handling the character, but we almost never get a clear image of that because her screen time and dialogue is so limited.
This movie tries to be too many things at once. It wants to be The Dark Knight Returns, but it also decides that it wants to follow another famous story arc. The are within its darkest elements and most of its cast. If you loved Man of Steel then you will likely love Batman v Superman. If you thought that film was deeply flawed, then this one will give you a certain level of redemption. It holds a bit more true to the heart of Superman than Man of Steel, but it also takes some big leaps with a few classic portrayals of villains.
If you are looking for a movie that has a lot of interesting aesthetic elements, action pieces and the touching of some famous story arcs and aren't as bothered by the blending of them, then you will likely come away from the film more pleased than someone who is looking for a bit more coherent of a story. RATING: 6.9 (of 10) (Steven Edwards)
My first thought walking out of Batman v Superman is that it is both darker and funnier than Man of Steel. Cavill and Adams are more comfortable and confident this time around as Superman and Lois Lane. Adams especially plays Lane with a sense of charm and fun. And as a comic book fan, after five years of Superman and Lois barely speaking to each other, seeing them in a loving, supportive relationship is a joy.
This film is dour and dark, but the humor is strategically used to keep things from getting too bleak without damaging the movie’s overall mood.
The performances in this film are stellar. Eisenberg plays a Luthor you’ve never seen before, but perfectly captures the character’s essence. His cunning, his megalomania, his utter contempt for Superman’s existence, Eisenberg brings them to life. He may be a funny jokester, but make no mistake, he’s never more terrifying than when he makes you laugh.
Affleck is effortless as Batman. He leaps off the screen fully formed, every line, look, and action is quintessential Caped Crusader.
Gadot has limited screen time, but steals the show every time. As Wonder Woman, she’s breathtaking and badass and I left the theater desperate to see her full movie.
The film’s biggest flaw is a slow first act, which takes more than its time in putting the pieces into place. By the third act though, the doors have been blown off the building. Watching the climactic act, I was a wide-eyed child seeing what I’d always dreamed of. The nitty-gritty details of the plot may leave something to be desired, but the quibbles are minor and mean little in the face of the film’s powerful emotional impact.
Asked to describe the movie in one word, I choose ‘operatic.’ This movie is a visual spectacle I couldn’t look away from. If you let yourself get swept away in the excellent performances, vivid cinematography and overall emotional journey of the movie, I think you’ll have a very enjoyable experience. RATING: 8.5 (of 10) (Ben Kahn)
I came into this film with many expectations, theories, and preconceived notions that were quickly flipped on their head and thrown out the window. Right off the bat it is clear that this film isn’t another Marvel movie, nor is it a Man of Steel clone or continuation of the Christopher Nolan legacy. It is something else entirely.
In scale and tone, from the score to the fight scenes, this movie is nothing if not epic. The whole movie has a mythological, almost Biblical, feel to it, as it befits characters of this importance and magnitude. The film balances its fairly large new slate of characters very ably, with Ben Affleck’s Batman being exactly the dark, menacing spectacle we were promised and then some. In addition, Jeremy Irons takes the wit and sarcasm of Alfred Pennyworth and adds a layer of grit and grime which meshes perfectly with this film’s older, more violent Batman.
Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman is fantastic. Strong, confident, and seemingly ripped straight from the page, my only gripe is that there wasn’t more of her.
Eisenberg’s Luthor on the other hand, is so different that at first he doesn’t seem particularly villainous. As someone who grew up with the deep-voiced, suave, menace of the animated Luthor, I was initially taken aback by his light, almost quirky persona. However, at the end of the day, Eisenberg still delivers all of the key facets of any Lex Luthor: Brilliant, power-mad, maniacal, and conniving, with a deep hatred for Superman.
The plot felt a little convoluted at times, but on the whole the story was clear enough.
The numerous (and often very explicit) cameos, Easter eggs, and setups for the new DC cinematic universe do break up the rhythm of the plot, but they do so without distracting from the story. Additionally, while the plot isn’t ripped straight from the comic books, many of the key scenes will feel very familiar to anyone who has previous knowledge of DC Comics or DC Animation. The movie was very busy, and had a lot of moving parts, but as a whole, all of these parts fit together nicely to produce a very well-made and entertaining spectacle. RATING: 8 (of 10) (Ian Foster)
There’s a scene in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice where Alfred talks to Bruce about the feeling of powerlessness and how that feeling can turn good men cruel. We see that scene in the trailer, but we fully understand it in the context of the film. That’s what drives this movie. Batman feels anger and powerless against Superman.
Lex’s motivations, while not always crystal clear, seems to hinge on the same feeling. Superman feels powerless against public opinion – damned if you do and damned if you don’t. These are serious emotions in a very serious film. Snyder and Terrio deliver a film that chooses to be more than pure superhero popcorn fun. And while there’s nothing wrong with superhero popcorn fun, BvS’ attempt to be more is what elevates it in to a different category than other films in the genre and that’s one of the reasons I really loved this movie.
Sure, you have beautifully shot and intense action sequences seguing directly into destruction porn, but that’s a result of the powerlessness, not the purpose of the film. While I didn’t love every single choice made in this movie, I did love it as a whole. I love the high aspirations and themes it set for itself and I love the evolution of central characters.
The DC Trinity is perfectly cast – some of the best moments in the film were watching them work together. The score also plays a major role throughout - Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL hit all the right emotional notes and deliver a Wonder Woman theme that kicks as much ass as she does.
The biggest issue I had with the film was a pivotal scene involving Batman in the third act that I felt was rushed – it needed to take more time to play out to make the payoff feel earned. I hope we got more of it from the extended edition.
I felt a little drained after the movie ended. I had friend’s waiting to hear my thoughts, but I didn’t text right away. I knew I loved the movie, but explaining why in a few sentences wasn’t as easy I thought. A mix of heavy themes, religious allegory, damaged heroes, and Batman torture make for one heck of a ride, but also leave a lot to contemplate, especially if you love these characters. This is a movie that demands multiple viewings. Not just for enjoyment, but because there will be more to take from it on a second viewing – it’s too dense to absorb everything in one viewing. Character actions and gestures drive the story more than dialogue at times and it’s easy to miss. I have a feeling that once the movie sits with people for a while and they think about it, see it again, and start to discuss it, they’ll realize there’ a much deeper level beyond the surface of the film. RATING: 8.9 (of 10) (Joey Derryberry)
Overall, Batman v Superman satisfies. The performances, particularly from Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot, are fantastic. Batman is the most comic book accurate portrayal on the big screen ever and Wonder Woman steals the show in the third act. Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor is a compelling villain and works well as the man who orchestrates the conflict between the heroes. The story is powerful, grounding the conflict in something real and emotional. The story may prove to be too much for someone looking for a standard popcorn movie, but it will keep you engrossed. The tone may be too dark for some and the run time and pacing may leave one looking at their watch now and then, but once the movie gets going, you won't be able to look away. Though some may claim the film is overstuffed with content as Warner Bros./DC races towards Justice League, it fits in with the story and doesn't overwhelm or confuse the viewer. RATING 8 (of 10) (James Person II)
Batman versus Superman has been a long running debate, simply because you have two powerful characters that essentially want the same thing, but find themselves with polarizing views. And the movie is a direct representation of that. It cannot be absorbed in one go, because it is simply not meant to. It opens doors for other stories, spinning of from those other creators have already done. The movie is great for those who look forward to comic panels and covers coming to life; fight scenes that only used to live in our heads (and healthy Internet arguments). We are fueled by giddiness over Easter eggs - the kind that make you go, oh shoot, out loud, as we try to remember details of our favorite story arcs. And, after much wanting, we see the light for the Justice League, with this generation finally finding its (much deserving) Wonder Woman. All good things that make BvS deserving to be watched. RATING: 7.5 (of 10) (Shiela Tiongco)
Is Batman v Superman a good movie? Not if you read the majority of the critics who raise the same complaint they always do with any Zack Snyder film: style over substance, which I totally disagree with. But all that aside, this is the greatest Batman movie I have ever seen even though he kills, and yes he does kill.
Ben Affleck gives a great performance as a man who has lost so much: his parents, his surrogate family, many of his allies, and now employees at the Metropolis branch of Wayne Enterprises. The anger, pain and vulnerability of Bruce Wayne’s humanity show through his eyes and through the quivering of his voice during deep conversations with Alfred Pennyworth (who is ably played by the great Jeremy Irons). This is Batman as he should be a peak specimen of human accomplishment. He is a swift and brutal fighter, a great detective, a strategist, scientist, and a ladies’ man all the same, and even though his origin story is told over and over again, this is so well done visually and narratively, and ties back into Batman’s battle with Superman near the end.
And yes, the Batman and Superman fight is epic no matter what reviewers say, and what is the greatest part of the fight is the ending of the battle, not the multiple awesome strategies Batman uses against Superman. This is where the combatants realize how similar they truly are, tied together just by a similar name and a love of family and humanity.
This plotline leads to another great fight where Batman goes to save someone important to Superman, while Superman goes to save humanity, again. Finally, they join together to face the villain, where again Superman sacrifices everything to prove his love for his adoptive planet. Even though Superman has been conflicted throughout this film about his place on this planet and what humanity means to him, he makes the ultimate decision. That is what a hero truly is.
Is the movie overstuffed and violent as all hell? Yes, and it has questionable editing choices, leaving some scenes unresolved. But the movie is also very well done with great performance from the cast, to the spectacular set pieces (I thought the CGI was exceptional especially in IMAX), bombastic music (love Zimmer and Junkie XL), and a story that needs to be viewed more than once to unpack all that it’s trying to do. One viewing is not enough. I walked out of the theater knowing I had to watch it again, and throughout the evening, returned to the great first hour of the movie.
P.S. Wonder Woman has a great extended cameo as she flirts with Bruce Wayne and helps in the end battle. RATING 8 (of 10) (Steven Tsai)
Batman v Superman delivered on every promise it made. We as fans saw the introduction of the definitive Batman, we saw Superman face his biggest weakness, failure and we got exposed to the larger world that is the DC universe. I loved every piece of the movie; It was a great cinematic experience that delivered a deep and thought provoking story. It wasn't just a popcorn flick where you knew the hero would win, it's a story about hero's losing and failing. And that, to me, is more gripping than a happy ending every time. Go see it! RATING 9 (of 10) (Shane Williams)
I will preface this by saying, this is a movie made for comic book fans. Batman v Superman completely changes the landscape of what it means to be called a "comic book movie." There haven't been this many comic book panels in a movie since Watchmen. The cast in this movie really understand their characters, down to the essence. Most of all, Ben Affleck as Batman was something most of us have waited our entire lives to see on the big screen.
There were five different applause breaks in my screening. And the biggest of all of them were for Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman.
If you are a "purist" this movie is for you. If you are a fan of these characters, you are going to love this movie. If you have little understanding of how the DC multiverse works, this is gonna be a hard movie for you to watch. Personally, I was at the edge of my seat almost the entire time. There are portions of this movie that the audience went dead silent...and then raucous applause. Those jaw dropping moments are worth the price of admission alone.
Final Verdict: Batman v Superman is a sensory overload that will challenge you in ways you are not prepared for, as a comic book movie fan. There were three times in this movie where I said "They're doing that?!" in response to the section of the expansive DC Multiverse that was actually introduced. The thing that I appreciate most about this movie is the shorthand that is uses for the fans who know what's going on. This is a movie that is truly made by the fans, for the fans. That is not to say this is a perfect movie. But I have to applaud the visionary story telling by this team who refused the formulaic tropes of modern mainstream film making. RATING 9 (of 10) (James Biggins)
Zack Snyder brews a dark cup of coffee with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. For those tipping back Marvel Mocha Milkshakes (Deadpool, the Iron Man series, Avengers), this is an entirely different flavor. (I may be thirsty.) People are going to love this film. People are going to hate this film. And I get both. It’s dark, violent, at times disturbing with nary a hint of humor or fun. The action is big, intense, visually breathtaking, and the cast is terrific.
To anyone who was worried that Affleck wouldn’t work as the Dark Knight, let those worries go. Gadot shines as DC’s favorite Amazon. Eisenberg? Perhaps the most unhinged, malevolent Luthor we’ve seen. When the full title of this film was released, eyebrows cocked over the long, kinda clunky name. But this movie is very much a Justice League prequel — BvS is very much “To Be Continued.” There are more Easter eggs in this film than one could ever hope for, and I’m guessing fans will have fun with them. Is the film overstuffed? Yes. Does it suffer because of it? I thought it did. Plot holes abound.
Final Word: Mr. Snyder has most likely produced another polarizing film. I won’t even know how I truly feel about it until a second viewing. RATING 8 (of 10) (Dave Bratton)
This film is getting a bad rap. I'm not sure if people are just naturally pessimistic or just want the film to be bad, but I feel that I've had to justify my genuine admiration for this movie every time I'm asked "So, was it really good, or are you just being a fanboy?"
Mind you, I have no involvement with this movie. I have no vested interest. I'm not an employee of DC Entertainment, Warner Brothers, or any of their subsidiaries. I'm just a big fan of comic book movies, and this one is no exception. Yet, people are grilling me about this movie like I'm Zack Snyder himself.
You might be asking yourself why I'm bothering defending the film. Do I want to see DC films succeed and be just as robust as Marvel films? Absolutely. Do I love the idea of Batman and Superman on screen at the same time? You betcha. But none of those things apply to this. I'm defending it because it's a genuinely good film. Ben Affleck is the best Batman since Kevin Conroy in Batman: The Animated Series, Gal Gadot is a revelation, and Jesse Eisenberg steals the show as Lex Luthor (and when you consider that the only two other people that have played Luthor in a major film have both won two Oscars, that says a lot).
Not perfect, but building to something phenomenal and certainly worthy of your $15. Go see this movie. Don't believe the negative hype. RATING: 8 (of 10) (Justin Tasolides)
After viewing Batman v Superman this past Monday night at the special fan screening, I left the theater feeling very fulfilled with what I had just witnessed. The spectacle of it all, from the Black Zero event through Bruce Wayne's eyes all the way to the closing moments of the film, was Zack Snyder's best work to date. His vision as a director mixed with Terrio's script gave us an action-packed story with a deeper philosophical story of man's place in a world where someone with godlike powers exist and their need to feel safe.
Ben Affleck is Batman! He absolutely nailed the role in every way. We finally get to see the Batman from the comic books that we have never seen in live action before. His banter with Alfred was smart, witty, and had great chemistry between the two.
Amy Adams as Lois was exactly what you would expect from her, just more of it than in Man of Steel. The Lois/Clark relationship really came into its own.
Jesse Eisenberg as Lex is insane! He's sneaky, conniving, and sadistic in his two persona role. This is not the Lex I was expecting but by the end of the film I felt he was a standout character.
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, while not a huge role, gave us a glimpse of what to expect next year in her solo movie. She was sultry but powerful, and her action sequences were exciting and fun.
The trailers didn't give anything away. There was so much in this movie that I wasn't expecting to see and was very surprised and happy with the direction of the film and the universe. The ending was unexpected but got me excited for the next story for these heroes. I'm going back Thursday to experience it all over again. RATING: 9 (of 10) (Jared Yelverton)
Being a DC fanboy, I have been excited for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice for a long time, and it did not disappoint. The story was steeped in political drama and spy action. It had elements from all of the greatest graphic novels DC has ever published and honestly tied them in perfectly with the story.
Ben Affleck is arguably the greatest live action Batman to date. Gal Gadot Shines as Wonder Woman and should make the haters of her casting eat their shoes. While Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor is not exactly what we have come to expect from the Lex we know and love, he does bring a multilayered character to the table, and not everyone will like that. At times the story can feel over stuffed and some motivations can be convoluted but this fanboy had a religious experience watching this film. RATING: 8.5 (of 10) (Coty Keziah)
Arguably DC Films' first movie to set up its own shared universe, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice faced the risk of being compared with the 8-year old Marvel Cinematic Universe. But I believe Zack Snyder pulled it off! The movie felt like reading the first issue of a Justice League comic, with subplots setting up a possible conflict in upcoming movies; the snappy but perhaps, too-convenient-way intro to other players; and the stylized flashbacks and flash forwards.
The movie validates the events of Man of Steel. It may be questionable though how things were manipulated in a very short time period. There are minor plot holes and too much information crammed in the movie, but these do not outweigh the enjoyment from the dramatic pacing and intense, wonderful action scenes. RATING: 8 (of 10) (Jerald Uy)
Just saw Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice at the Midnight showing at Southland Melbourne Vic Aus and I loved it. It is truly DC Comics heaven -- both characters where treated with respect and done justice to as well paving the way for future films.
Ben Affleck is now the quintessential Batman on screen and Bruce Wayne. Jeremy Irons is amazing as Alfred and the chemistry between Alfred and Bruce is like the animated series of the nineties. Doomsday was great in the film. We didn't see a lot of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman but she was great as Diana Prince and when we finally saw her as Wonder Woman it truly was a beautiful sight to see the trinity together and I take back my criticism of Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. My god he was truly menacing and the slimy worm you really love to hate. A lot of various comics are hinted and references throughout the movie and big DC fans will notice ties very nicely with Man of Steel. RATING 8.7 (of 10) (Mike Wayman)
Is Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice the perfect comic book film? No, but it's damn close. Without delving into spoiler territory, here are some brief thoughts on the film.
Director Zack Snyder and screenwriter Chris Terrio show a true understanding of the source material. The plot uses elements, from "The Death of Superman,"The Dark Knight Returns, and even Injustice, as well as taking visual cues from dozens of other classic stories, such as Superman: Peace on Earth. The movie seeks to directly address many of the criticisms that Man of Steel drew from fans and critics, and for the most part it deals with them in a very clever and organic way.
The action, while still amazing, is de-emphasized to create a more story/character driven film. The cameos by the other future Justice League members are handled expertly. They aren't forced, nor do they distract from the central plot of the film. Illusions to what the future Justice League film might include are handled a little less delicately, but the sequence is so visually interesting, and epic in scope, you can forgive a hiccup in the otherwise smooth story telling.
The cast all handle their iconic roles well. Gal Gadot, is a real scene stealer, and will leave you eagerly anticipating next year's film, Ben Affleck may just be the definitive Batman/Bruce Wayne, And Jessie Eisenberg brings a manic energy, to a truly disturbed version of Lex Luthor. It should go without saying that Henry Cavill is excellent as Clark Kent/Superman, but I'll say it anyway. You will walk out of the theater wishing Justice League was coming in August instead of Suicide Squad. RATING: 9 (of 10) (Jeff Grimes)
I saw the film Monday. The way I would put it is the flick was a perfect Batman movie that was force to include Superman. I don't think it's fair for people to say Superman is "dark and gritty", he's just never given a chance to truly be himself. The film expects you to already know the good man Superman is w/o really showing many examples of it. (Yeah I remember the montage of him saving people, but feel that really didn't count)
That being said, the movie really did shine with Batman. You finally get a comic book-realized version of Batman. He might be a little too Dark Knight Returns for the average fan, but I have no complaints.
Also, as many have said, Wonder Woman was incredible.
The BIG plus of the movie as with most Zack Snyder flicks is the action. That alone is worth a single viewing in theaters; some of the most fun and heart racing ever. At the end, I felt it was an over ambitious project that wanted to hype people for the future of the DC cinematic universe, but didn't pan out as well as people had hoped. That being said, I plan to see it at least two or so more times in theaters and am just as hyped for Justice League Pt 1 as I was for this movie. RATING 7 (of 10) (Esahn Tiberius Dulin)
Batman v Superman is one of Zack Snyder’s finest works, the casting is spot on and so is the acting. Ben Affleck is perfect as Batman and the script is very sophisticated and sprinkles in some political commentary on todays society. RATING: 9 (of 10) (Markus Mattila)
Batman v Superman is a big ambitious movie that has a lot riding on it. The Justice League is coming and how excited people are about the DC Cinematic Universe hinges on this movie.
There are a lot of things working in this movie. Ben Affleck’s performance as Bruce Wayne/Batman is probably the most noteworthy in that we get an entirely different Batman who is war-torn and quite frankly isn’t putting up anyone’s crap anymore. From the bit that we see of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, it seems they have the right person for the job. She has this playful, mysterious side we see as Diana Prince but a powerful warrior who loves a challenge as Wonder Woman.
The action is incredible and you feel how powerful these heroes are - even though one of them is a rich, human, billionaire with no superpowers.
The only hang-ups in the film seem to come from the construction of the movie itself. The beginning is gripping in some ways and very rushed in others. Some of the action scenes suffer from very tight, quick shots that cause you to lose the characters from time to time. The plot itself is good, ultimately connects the characters and builds towards the third act, but does tend to get buried in the details at times, causing you to pay attention to make sure you don’t get lost. RATING 8 (of 10) (Wess B. Pasour)
There are more bias opinions and preconceptions surrounding this movie than any other recent film release and all I can say is that if you are a neutral and open minded person going into this movie, than I highly doubt you will have a negative cinematic experience with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Some of the bigger negative comments I’ve seen are a hatred for Zack Snyder’s filmmaking style and Ben Affleck’s acting ability. It should go without saying that if you’re not a fan of Zack’s previous work than you won’t enjoy this movie. I like to say that his approach to filmmaking is all meat and no potatoes, as there is no filler in his movies. Zack is unapologetic and uncompromising in his approach to each film venture. He doesn’t pull out the “How to make a successful Hollywood movie” checklist and make sure to check each box. He puts a certain amount of faith in the audience that we’ll understand that not every movie must be cut from the same mold. Where certain directors will say, “Alright this scene is for the kids.” He simply doesn’t do that. Which is quite evident in every Snyder movie ever. So the people saying it’s “too dark” must not have been paying attention to any of his previous films.
One could argue that Superman isn’t supposed to be a dark character but, comic fans know that’s not always true. It all depends on what iteration you hold dearest. Whether you like him or not Henry Cavill’s Superman is a bold step into uncharted territory when it comes to Superman on film. Bryan Singer played it too safe with Superman Returns and it wasn’t received well. Some other facets of the character needed to be explored and Zack was bold enough to do it. Zack found a great way to both answer the fans negative responses to the destruction in Man of Steel and show a different side of Kal as he struggles with the moral code embedded in him by his Earth father and knowing that he is responsible for such a huge loss of life.
Seeing the black zero event and the destruction it caused is a brilliant transition and a perfect way to introduce Batman. Affleck’s Bruce Wayne is easily the most enthralling version of the character ever to be on screen. He is both Bruce Wayne and Batman. Bruce is his mask and he wears it with a rage clearly visible underneath. His Batman is incredible to watch although I have to give most of the credit to Snyder because I can’t imagine how hard he worked to get Batman’s fighting sequences to play out so beautifully. I’d equate watching him fight to watching a live demolition of a building. I would say this version of Batman is a combination of Batman in Mask of the Phantasm and The Dark Knight Returns. Ben’s performance is only rivaled by Jesse Eisenberg’s Luthor. Again nothing like the previous incarnations but amazing to watch none the less. I would say his performance is just as surprising and engaging as Heath Ledger’s Joker.
This is definitely boosted by the dialogue. The writing is one of the things I’m most impressed with in this film. Without a doubt the best dialogue in any superhero movie ever. The dialogue and the score are what make this film feel so grand and even operatic.
The only negative things I can say about the film can be said about all other Snyder films. It plays out a little fast and there’s not much downtime or filler in between pivotal scenes. I couldn’t get enough Wonder Woman which was not doubt intentional due to her solo movie not far behind this film. I won’t drop any spoilers other than there’s no Snyder signature slo-mo and there’s no after credits scene. That’s Marvel’s end signature after all. There are some funny moments but very little compared to Marvel. They are at the just right moments and are about as frequent as in The Dark Knight franchise. If you’re looking for something that’s slow paced and has drawn out sequences matched with very little dialogue than this isn’t it, which should be obvious since it’s advertised as a gladiator match. RATING 9 (of 10) (Mario Campa)
Going into the film, I didn’t have too many expectations and if I had any, it wasn’t good ones. Luckily, I enjoyed it very much.
Ben Affleck does a great job bringing a different kind of Batman that’s more along the lines of Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns. He’s jaded, more violent, and willing to do more and push the boundaries further than any other Batman portrayed in film before.
Wonder Woman, even with her limited screen time, was played very well by Gal Gadot and I can’t wait to see her in the solo film coming up. ‘
One of the shortcomings other reviews have been pointing out is in the character development of Superman. The film, understandably, didn’t spend as much time developing Superman’s character since they had to deal with the new roles, but it definitely shows the aftermath and the public’s opinion of Superman after the events of Man of Steel and how Superman is trying to deal with it.
Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor was just as awesome as I knew he was going to be. Portraying Luthor as a younger, billionaire genius seems to work well in this day and age. I’m really happy with how they used the cameos of the other superheroes-to-come without clogging up the film itself. They don’t attempt to do too much with them, just show enough to make audiences anticipate the Justice League movie even more.
Now, while the story and the characters of this new film were done very well, the actual execution of the film itself was far from perfect. My main problems with the film were more about the stylistic and editing decisions. The scene lengths and transitions gave a very sporadic feel to the film, especially with regards to dream sequences, imaginations, and visions. There were no indications or markers to let you know which “state” you were in. They just jumped along, in and out, with no warning.
The action was really cool to watch. The fight scenes and CGI were done well, how comic book fight sequences should look like on the big screen. The only problem was when things involved actual fight choreography. There is one part of the film where most of the fighting had to be done with real actors and choreography, not CGI, and it was very obvious that the people fighting Batman were waiting on him to catch up and punch them. Fans won’t be too disappointed; they might even be pleasantly satisfied. The film has plenty of Easter eggs and references to other DC comics characters and storylines. RATING: 7 (of 10) (Peter Kim Jr.)