Film Review: “Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice” (2.5 out of 5 stars)


By Murphy Kenefick, Columnist

The highly anticipated action film “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice” may not be up to the standards DC Comic enthusiasts would like. Photo courtesy of DC Entertainment

The biggest realization I had immediately after walking out of this movie was that I could not give a plot summary. There are several visuals, scenes and conversations that I can bring to mind, but as for the actual happenings of the entire movie, I could not give you a play-by-play. Here is my best attempt: Batman does not like Superman because he accidentally killed a lot of people in the previous movie, Lex Luthor gets in with the government and gets some kryptonite and then Batman hacks into a mainframe.

Right. Well, the intentions are good, I would say. The writers clearly want to establish something more dramatic with higher stakes, all the while creating a universe. The problem is the execution, especially in the dialogue which is still mostly goofy and heavy-handed. The characters are pretty flat, for the most part, except for Batman, who I actually liked for the majority of the time. The scene with the Batmobile and the hand-to-hand combat towards the end is fantastic, and is exactly what Batman should be. For everybody else, though it does not work as well. Surprisingly, Jesse Eisenberg especially does not function at all as Lex Luthor. He is too loopy without being compelling or interesting. He just ends up being a weird goof who is not scary in the slightest. I was looking forward to Eisenberg bringing something new to this universe, but he was at once too much and not enough. Superman is still fairly uninteresting, but I did feel myself slightly caring more than usual. Every other character is completely useless, except Wonder Woman, who has a fantastic entrance.

The main problem I have with this whole franchise is that DC and Warner Brothers are clearly trying to rush and catch up with what Marvel has been developing since 2008 with “Iron Man.” DC knows that a Justice League movie would be incredibly profitable based off of the tremendous success of 2012’s record-breaking “The Avengers.”  And this one is looking to make a lot of money itself, but they are obviously more concerned with money and quantity rather than steadily building a quality series. This is demonstrated in the sequel-baiting practice of constantly referencing more and more as opposed to focusing on developing the current characters at hand.

I will say that they look great, the three of them. They look like members of the Justice League. But everything I like about this movie is very superficial. The rest lacks subtlety and is as uncreative as it can be. Tonally, it is all over the place, and there are too many laughable lines and empty plot-points to make it noteworthy. It is a noble effort, one that entertains well, but overall, it is not a good superhero movie or a good movie on its own.



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