Batman v Superman: Dawn of disappointment


Ben Affleck kicks ass as Batman.
Ben Affleck kicks ass as Batman.
Photo: Warner Bros.

The battle between the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has been billed as the greatest gladiator match of all time, but if you’re looking for a film with substance and cohesion, you should probably avoid the new movie like Clark Kent shuns kryptonite.

The sad truth of BvS is that it beats itself into a bloody pulp thanks to its brutish director, Zack Snyder, who can’t tell a compelling story to save his life — even when he’s got more than 70 years of comic book history to mold to his will.

In BvS, the message is as clear as the Bat-Signal: It’s time to pull Snyder away before he ruins more movies that could have been great.

The fact that the new Batman movie disguised as a Superman movie is superbad truly came as a shocker to me. Considering Snyder’s body of work, though, it shouldn’t have.

I fell in love with his style as screams of “This is Sparta!” shrieked through cineplexes when 300 came out. But looking back, the plot and the characters weren’t that great. And that problem has plagued the director in all his other films, including this one. Sucker Punch, that Owl movie and Man of Steel should have been clear signs that Snyder cannot be trust with revered characters like Batman and Superman.

That’s not to say BvS is an absolutely horrible movie. It’s very bad. However, mixed in with all the silly story lines and dark, brooding scowls are some bright rays of light that comic book nerds and casual fans will enjoy.

What’s good about Batman v Superman



Ben Affleck is a great Batman and an even better Bruce Wayne. He’s a worthy successor to Christian Bale’s Batman and absolutely nails the role.

Affleck’s take on Bruce Wayne is different from Bale’s. He seems more confident and enjoys the vices a billionaire can indulge in, while Bale’s Bruce Wayne used them as a cover. Affleck also doesn’t do the deep, scruffy Batman voice all the time, which is a welcome change.

Both new versions of the batsuit look great. Bruce’s weapons and vehicles in the movie are all about brute strength and lack the subtly of design that would make Jony Ive proud (the Batplane especially looks weird), but they get the job done. I came away from BvS more excited about the possibility of a new solo Batman movie directed by Ben Affleck than anything else.


No one will top Michael Caine as Alfred, but Jeremy Irons works well as this character. His version of Alfred is younger and a bit more badass, and Irons and the Batfleck exhibit great chemistry.

I only had two small quibbles: 1) Nearly all his lines are spoken into a microphone. 2) The bond between Alfred and Bruce wasn’t really explored at all. We get shots of the past but no conversations about what’s happened that changed Bruce. There’s one line that vaguely mentions good guys that went bad, but no depth.

Wonder Woman


Gal Gadot is really underutilized, but when she finally comes on the screen as Wonder Woman it takes the film to an all-new level. She spends most of the movie making small appearances as Diana Prince, jetting around the world and living a lavish lifestyle. Once she enters the big battle to bust out a whooping with her lasso, shield and sword, you fall in love with her.

Perry White

I didn’t expect Laurence Fishburne to be the brightest ray of light in this movie, but as Daily Planet editor Perry White, he gets to drop some of the best lines. The few scenes he is in add much-needed levity to a movie that’s got more dark stares than a runway fashion show.

What’s bad about Batman v Superman


Lex Luthor

Jesse Eisenberg has a tendency to play slightly neurotic, schizo characters. In Batman v Superman, he takes it to an all-new level with his portrayal of Lex Luthor. Eisenberg tries so hard to come off as hyper-intelligent by adding tons of nuance to his facial expressions and body language.

Instead of seeming brilliant, he looks like a 5-year-old who just ate way too much candy. There’s no reasoning to why he wants to destroy the world,  so he comes off as crazy rich guy who somehow runs one of world’s largest companies. You could imagine the role going much better if Eisenberg added some Steve Jobs flair, but the performance ends up being entirely too contrived, like he went “full retard.”


The plot

What the hell is going on? I lost count of the number of times my buddy and I turned to each other completely baffled by what was happening onscreen. Much of the movie doesn’t make any sense at all: The film wanders almost aimlessly for two hours before finally coming up with a bad reason for Superman to beat up Batman.

The entire plot is a convoluted mosaic. Scenes of Bruce Wayne, Lex Luthor and Clark Kent play out with no particular order or structure. Each scene reeks of self-importance, yet fails to seamlessly fit with what comes next. Wonder Woman is around, too, but not doing anything significant. Most of the time, she and Lois Lane are just there because why not include them in as many scenes as possible even if it adds nothing?

Dream sequences in BvS impart no meaning or consequence to the overall story and serve only as an opportunity to show some crazy visual effects work or to bring Kevin Costner‘s Pa Kent back from the dead to talk about how one time he saved his family farm from a flood.

Character development

BvS boasts an absolutely stellar cast from top to bottom, yet it’s amazing how little the actors were given to work with in their roles. Henry Cavill gets one decent scene with his mom and one slightly not-cheesy scene with Lois Lane. The rest of the time he’s forced to brood, beat people up or stand tall and quiet.

Lois is just a prop throughout the movie. Affleck alone enjoys strong scenes that show his character struggling as a human, which makes Batman the only character you care about.

Justice League

The movie’s Dawn of Justice subtitle might lead you to believe other superheroes will share some screen time with Batman and Superman, but that doesn’t happen. We see one short scene each of the Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg. The way they’re introduced is ridiculously lazy and boring.



Alert! Minor spoilers below:
Doomsday is a weird amalgamation of bad CGI that looks like a crossover between The Abomination in The Incredible Hulk and a troll straight out of Tolkien’s Middle-earth.

The ultimate showdown with Doomsday, which has been teased in BvS trailers, turns out to be a gigantic letdown. Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman finally join forces for a huge fight full of really loud noises and huge explosions, but the confrontation ends up being forgettable.

There’s a lot of booming and smashing. Nothing really cool happens. And then Doomsday is gone just as quick as he arrived. Just like the rest of the movie.

Deals of the Day

  • The Horn with Cream

    So all other posts laud the film and say how good it is, but here, on a bloody APPLE forum, we get this idiot posting one idiot’s opinion. Well played you utter cockwombles.

    • Luke Dormehl

      Did you like the movie?

    • BusterH

      I’m not the only idiot who says it’s bad

      • sapporome

        LOL, the same site who has the most recent Indy movie at 78%.

      • ex2bot

        Rotten Tomatoes doesn’t score movies. It shows the percentage of positive reviews for a movie out of the x number of reviewers it follows. 78% doesn’t mean C+. It means 78% positive reviews among followed movie critics.

      • sapporome

        thanks Capt. Obvious

      • ex2bot

        Oh, I got a promotion! Lt. Obvious didn’t make much sense.

    • Undivided

      Wow… A man writes an opinion piece in regards to a movie review and because his opinion differs from yours, this makes him an idiot. What makes your opinion more valuable than the authors? Let me answer that for you…..NONE.

  • Carlitos Manzano

    Watchmen was a harder movie to make… Maybe Nolan is involved in all of this, like turning Superman dark and serious

  • Rodrigo Garcia

    I am just wondering why cult of Mac does movie reviews now O_o ?

    • Adam D

      It ok! He said Steve Jobs in the article. It’s all good

  • Orlando Mascorro

    Not going to lie. I went into the movie thinking it was going to suck really bad because of this article Buster wrote and I really loved Jesse’s portral of Lex. The move was good. Not great but it was good.

  • Gill Raker

    —como si les rompieran un tazón de porcelana en la cabeza, en un “amanecer de la justicia” tan largo como cuando uno pasa toda la mañana viendo el reloj con ansia de que llegue la hora del almuerzo, la película es muy complicada, caótica, excesiva y a ratos hasta absurda, y lo único realmente interesante parece ser la presentación estelar de la Mujer Maravilla, sin origen y sin propósito más que el de ‘ayudar’ a los super/bati machos de capa y con los calzones por fuera, a combatir a una bestia gelatinosa horrible creada por un mediocre Lex Luthor, en medio de un discurso de apoteósicos alcances matizados por el toque intelectualoide de Cristopher Nolan que ahora participa como productor… quiero pensar que a las 2:30a, quienes fuimos a la premier de media noche teníamos muy pocos ánimos, y mucho más sueño, para expresar algún tipo de comentario [póstumo], pero no, sólo caras largas y rostros confundidos ante una cinta que simplemente solicita ser aceptada en su estruendoso argumento y sin protestar, pero no: una vez derrotado el monstruo con el sacrificio del indestructible, y un Batman que queda muy bien parado, los últimos 20 minutos con al menos 4 finales, como si la cosa no pudiera acabarse, son realmente insufribles…

  • The movie was a nightmare, almost literally.

  • Future Burrito

    The only thing from this review that I disagree with is Ben Affleck’s acting; it’s terrible.