Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) – Ignore the haters, it’s pretty damn good

OK let’s get stuck straight into this. The reviews for BvS are, to put it kindly, mixed. If you browse through Twitter you’ll find no end of armchair pundits proclaiming this to be “the worst film ever made” and a few saying “Batman was mean to people in it, I don’t like him anymore”. So I knew you’d come straight to Screenkicker to discover the truth! The big questions on everyone’s lips are – What’s the movie like? Should I go see it? Are you single? I’ll answer all of these and more in this Screenkicker v Batman v Superman: Review of Justice!

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He’s basically Iron Man without the smarmy-ness.

First of all, the film isn’t a disaster. It isn’t even bad. In fact it’s pretty good, inconsistently good but good nevertheless. If you’re expecting it to be like Christopher Nolan’s already classic, gritty depiction of Batman then you might be disappointed. If you keep an open mind then there’s a lot to really like. Crucially the performances are uniformly excellent. Henry Cavill feels like he’s truly Superman now, Gal Gadot seems to be having the time of her life as Wonder Woman (call me!!!), and most surprising of all – Ben Affleck is fantastic as The Dark Knight. I was one of the doubters who thought he wasn’t up to it but he seems to inhabit the character, giving Bruce Wayne a world-weary, pessimistic, almost broken persona. You’ve converted me Batfleck.

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More of this please! And I mean that in general.

The main problem with BvS becomes apparent quite early on. The structure and pacing of the first half of it’s almost three hour running time isn’t great, rendering some scenes of exposition a bit tedious. The decision to introduce a new Batman in the film means director Zack Snyder has to fit in an entire origin story for him; and this is supposed to be a Superman sequel! We see his encounter with the bats, his parents’ murder, and him taking down criminals. This pushes the Superman narrative into the background and stretches the length of the film out considerably.

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Should I recycle the conjunctivitis joke from my Man of Steel review?

BvS is the film equivalent of the old Buckaroo plastic board game you had as a kid. Snyder keeps putting on more and more seemingly random parts – a plastic pickaxe here, a big bucket there. The further he pushes it the closer the whole thing comes to flipping out and collapsing. The movie skates a thin line between glorious sensory overload and incoherent mess but for me it falls just on the positive side and gets my recommendation.

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I f**king hated that red bucket.

Ignore the reviews (yes, even this one), go see the movie and make your own mind up. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is a fun change from the Marvel formula, it’s silly, bombastic, uneven, and sometimes infuriating but unlike any other superhero film you’ll see this year.

7/10

Have you seen Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice? Did you like it? I feel like I’m in a small group of critics by enjoying it. Are they assholes or is it me who’s the asshole? Let me know in the comments below!

Screenkicker Quality Index (SQI)

BEST

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buckaroo_5

hungry-hungry-hippos

WORST

24 comments

  1. . . . well I wasn’t expecting that particular SQI. hahah!

    We do indeed seem to align on this one. Fucking A man, I don’t understand the hatred for it. I’d love to see these same critics unveil their thoughts on things like Heaven’s Gate.

    Like

  2. Just saw it and….
    …I liked it!!! Affleck was brilliant throughout, Eisenberg was annoying throughout, Caville was, Caville throughout, but angry – I liked that. Gadot was attractive throughout.

    Overall there was much to like, and I like how it didn’t shoe horn in lots of shit jokes like the Marvel films. For a film about a man dressed as a bat fighting a flying alien, it still felt like an films for adults.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really enjoyed myself and I was mainly there for Wonder Woman. I think the biggest surprise for me was Batfleck, such a good Bruce Wayne and not at all bad Batman. Excited for the Justice League now! Great review

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  4. While I definitely wouldn’t rate it so low as the Internet has, BvsS has numerous flaws. I am strangely happy that I saw it the night of the release here in SA because I really wouldn’t have bothered to go since most of the Internet is calling it trash.

    It’s not trash. It has fatal flaws, but it’s not trash. Some scenes look really good and the majority of the cast work well -kick Eisenberg out now- but if DC wants even a stab at launching the Justice League properly they need to work harder than this.

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  5. It won me a over but I guess I was just a giddy comic book geek and wouldn’t allow my more critical voice to scream too loudly. I think it will eventually be enriched by Justice League as there’s a lot of foreshadowing of what’s to come.

    Great review mate!

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  6. Sorry Mikey, I just finished reviewing this and I must say the bad far outweighs the good on this one. I do like Batfleck and Wonder Woman but there’s very little to recommend it apart from those two factors.

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  7. Great review! I went in expecting to hate it based on the negative response from the critics – watched it on Friday and came out feeling like I watched a different movie from what they were saying. Don’t get me wrong – it’s flawed and it sticks out like a sore thumb, but I had fun watching it and surprised that I enjoyed so much of it. Loved Ben Affleck’s interpretation of the Dark Knight – hardcore and brutal.

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