I avoided watching this for a while because all I heard was negativity. I wanted to put some space between the release and my viewing so that things would settle down and I could give it a fair shot. Now that I've finally given it a chance, I understand where all the hate came from. I can't quite put my finger on it, but DC has just yet to reach the level of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Somehow DC has what should be the two biggest names in the history of comic books (Superman & Batman) but they can't make either of them work.

I saw "Man of Steel" a while ago, and felt similarly underwhelmed. I understand that Superman is a tough character, because he has no real flaws. His established powers are so great that it makes any villainous plot seem futile; having just one weakness makes it obvious that any plan needs kryptonite to succeed. Being so invulnerable makes it hard to relate to Superman; his usual Boy Scout persona also distances him from the common man. DC has tried to grit him up by making him question whether or not he should be using his powers, but it just ended up making him mope around and pout.

"Man of Steel" was controversial for the amount of collateral damage done to the buildings and citizens of Metropolis. Quite frankly I think those are absurd complaints, but the art reflected life, as the plot of BvS starts with Bruce Wayne watching the events at the end of MoS take place. Wayne's buildings get destroyed, his employees are killed or crippled, and he believes it is all the fault of an illegal alien living on our planet. I feel like that could have set up an interesting movie, but then Lex Luthor shows up.

The distaste for Jesse Eisenberg's take on Lex Luthor seemed universal, and I'm totally on board. It's been a while since I really read comic books, but the Luthor I saw was cerebral, stoic, calculating. Eisenberg brought none of that, instead essentially replaying his role of Mark Zuckerberg and trying to channel Heath Ledger's Joker, while only reaching the level of Jim Carrey's Riddler.

Outside of Eisenberg, I think the biggest failure of this movie is the story. The visuals were great - I think Henry Cavill pulls off the look of Superman, I actually liked Affleck as Batman, the Bat-armor suit looked awesome, I even think Wonder Woman's design was pretty good; there was a fantastic dream sequence that might've been the highlight of the whole movie for me. The story, though, just plods along. It's predictable, it's eye-rolling, it's just a two-and-a-half hour setup for the Justice League movie. The thing is, I've heard the exact same criticisms about the MCU (predictable, cliched, and just promoting the next movie), but for whatever reason, Marvel has just been able to pull it off while DC hasn't.


On the [Celluloid Hero] scale, "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" gets at 4 out of 10.




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