3 years ago, when Harry Lennix walked onto the stage at Comic-Con and read out a passage from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, the world collectively lost it’s shit. The dream was now a reality. Batman and Superman, two of the most iconic characters in pop culture for over a century were finally getting a vehicle that pit them against one another and we could not have been happier.
Ever since then, everything associated with the film has been absolutely dragged through the mud, suffering a barrage of criticism over casting choices, marketing,etc. A month before it’s actual release, rumors were filtering out about how WB were unsure about the movie and Snyder’s role was called into question again which once again didn’t help the film’s cause and actually caused some serious concerns amongst the fans.
So the question here is that does it deliver? Err,no.
This film has problems. So many problems. Every step forward is accompanied by two steps into the random, and not in a good way. What Snyder, Terrio and Goyer have primarily done is take a bunch of stories, blend them into a fine mix and proceed to splat it against a wall and use the material that stuck which contributes to the film’s downfall.
The film begins during the events of Man of Steel and does a great job in setting up the rest of the film. The opening ten minutes is Snyder at his best and I’m not going to lie, it had me staring at the screen, mouth wide open and all that jazz. And that’s what pisses me off. After setting up things so well, Snyder decides to delve into a plot even he’s not sure about. Each time he sets off on a particular path, he veers the film onto another, never really investing you in a proper story to begin with. There are 5 different films in the FIRST HALF alone and had they stuck to just one of them, we’d have had a fantastic experience with this movie. But no, Snyder goes about trying to set up the DC Universe, failing quite visibly and in the process boring you to tears in a film that stars Superman and the goddamn Batman. I kid you not, there were instances in the film that made me sit up and go, “wow, they’re really going there? That’s awesome!” And they just dropped the idea as a whole and proceed to something totally and completely irrelevant.
But that’s not to say that the film is downright unwatchable. Like I mentioned, the first ten minutes of the film is stunning, a visual delight. The setpieces in general are terrific, one with Batman taking down a warehouse filled with Russian terrorists being the highlight and I for one really liked how they ended it, cause it takes real balls to finish it the way they did.
As for performances, Ben Affleck is making us all eat humble pie, giving us arguably the best portrayal of Batman/Bruce Wayne on screen, ever. Honestly, hands down, the best part of this movie without a shred of doubt. Jeremy Irons as Alfred is terrifc too and the chemistry and relationship the two share is a throwback to the days of the animated series, where Alfred was more than a monologue-ing old buffoon. Cavill’s barely in the film, and never really gets to showcase his talent due to Snyder’s ADD problems. Gal Gadot is awesome as Wonder Woman and even though she’s barely got any lines, her screen presence is quite formidable, holding her own against the heavyweights in this movie. Amy Adams suffers from a once again terribly written Lois Lane, Eisenberg is more SRK circa Darr than Luthor and I just didn’t see it. He supposedly plays Luthor’s son trying to be this movie’s Alberto Falcone, but it just does not work at all, his intentions as askew as the film’s story.
Dawn of Justice is more or less a disappointment, but there’s promise here for future DC films.It hasn’t tanked the franchise as a whole and there’s enjoyment to be had in parts, but you feel that there’s a lot of wasted potential here and that can’t help but make you feel a little sad. Irrespective of what I say, please do go watch it and draw up your own conclusions. There’s still some fun to be had somewhere in there.