It’s an eight out of 10.
With the future of the DC universe hanging in the balance, many wonder if Batman v Superman can pull the weight of being both a good film and a jumping off point for future films.
Director Zack Snyder’s epic blockbuster is a continuation of 2013’s Man of Steel’s, and the end events of that film directly tie into this film. Snyder’s decision to not shy away from the controversial ending of Man of Steel gives the director a chance to not only defend his previous work, but also to build upon it. Man of Steel opened to mixed reviews from critics, with many citing overly bombastic action and not enough character development.
Here, Snyder relives the action-packed ending by showing the ending through the eyes of the audience in Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne. By doing this, it gives the audience reasonable motive for Bruce’s anger towards Superman. Bruce does not trust this alien being, Superman is a global threat.
Ben Affleck is a worthy successor of Christian Bale. While Snyder’s iteration of the character is much more dark and brutal, Affleck still shines and is an enjoyable new Batman for audiences. Ben benefits from having his voice modulated, something Bale needed in his films with Christopher Nolan. The bat voice isn’t hokey.
The majority of the cast gets their moments in the spotlight. Amy Adams returns as Lois Lane, this time given an investigative subplot. Newcomers Jesse Eisenberg and Gal Gadot excel in their roles. Eisenberg gives a neurotic take on Lex Luthor, while Gadot steals the show as an Amazonian warrior. Henry Cavill’s Superman is a bit more nuanced this time, struggling to find his place in the world.
The film itself is quite overstuffed. Zack Snyder had a heavy task ahead of him. Not only is this film an introduction to a new Batman, but the film also has to set up the upcoming Justice League film. It is a lot to cover and at times, the movie can be overwhelming. But thanks to Chris Terrio’s screenplay, the film stays afloat for the majority of the runtime.
Batman v Superman’s editing is strange, however. The film’s scene transitions are a bit wonky. Because so much has to be explained in over two hours, it can feel like scenes are jumping from one point to another in an almost frenetic appearance. Saying that, the film’s pace is quite good. The film understands what viewers are looking for.
For this film, Snyder’s directing style is more like 2009’s Watchmen. This might be due to the fact that he reunited with that film’s cinematographer Larry Fong. The scenes are wonderfully structured, and the visuals are an utter treat to fans of these classic pop culture heroes.
Ultimately, while the film tries to say and set up a lot for future installments, Batman v Superman never feels lacking. It may have editing issues, but it gives fans what they wanted. The film starts the dynamic between Batman and Superman, sets up the DC universe and gives fans a taste of Justice League. It’s a fun time for fans of the superhero genre.