Let me start this off by stating very clearly….THIS IS MY OPINION. If you have a different one, that’s perfectly fine. I’m saying that because I have seen way too many ‘if you like Dawn of Justice, you’re a moron!’ takes ever since the reviews started coming in. It takes a whole lot for me to go that route, and to me this isn’t one of those movies. For example if you think Batman & Robin is a good movie, I’m calling the President to send the FBI for you. Same applies if you crap on the original Star Wars trilogy. But anyhow, onto this movie….
What worked for me
- Battfleck. A lot of folks were outraged when it was announced Ben Affleck was cast as Batman. Even I was like, ‘really?’ Not because I was against it but because his name was not one that came to mind. But I can gladly say that they knew what they were doing when they cast him. Even people who have trashed the movie seem to feel Affleck did a good job here. And the chemistry between he and Jeremy Irons’ Alfred was excellent in my opinion. I think he was the best at playing both Bruce Wayne and Batman since Michael Keaton. This was the rare movie where Batman wasn’t overshadowed by the villain (the other one would be Batman Begins) and Ben had a lot to do with that.
- Gal Gadot – She was only on the screen a short time (about ten minutes total) but when she showed up she owned the place. Her casting was another one that was rejected by a lot of people, and they were wrong. Now I’ll admit to being as surprised as everyone else when she was announced but I had absolutely no alternative options, and the ones I heard the most were ridiculous; Gina Carano and Lucy Lawless. Yeah………I think we’re good with what we got.
- The overall story – Despite who you may have heard or read, it wasn’t too complex. Clark is still figuring out how to fit in on our world and be Superman. We’re still wrestling with how to deal with having him here. Bruce is skeptical towards/angry with Clark over what happened at the end of Man of Steel. Lex Luthor wants to discredit and ultimately destroy Clark because he isn’t about having someone like Superman on our planet. And things all clash together.
- The Fight – The showdown advertised in the title delivered. Wasn’t too short and wasn’t too long, and took the turns one would expect from a fight between the two.
- Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane – Fishburne’s take on Daily Planet boss was pretty funny in the few minutes he got on screen. Lane was good as Martha Kent, Superman’s mother. Her scenes added to Clark’s humanity in a good way.
What didn’t work for me
- Length – It was a long movie. I didn’t mind so much because I was into all the details but this isn’t a quick trip to the movies and when watching on DVD/Blu Ray you’re probably going to skip over some stuff.
- The reveals – I wasn’t expecting long cameos from Aquaman, Flash, and Cyborg but I was expecting more than what we did get. Aquaman in particular has been advertised in toys and other merchandise so much that I was looking for more than the brief time he showed up.
Other Important Things
- Lex Luthor – The Jesse Eisenberg casting as Luthor was the one the didn’t win over the skeptics. Those who weren’t feeling it wanted an older, more distinguished version than what we got here and Jesse didn’t do enough to move them off of that point when they saw the movie. I was fine with it. Given the ages of most of the league members having a younger Lex makes sense to me, and he had the usual motivations for taking on Superman. I imagine that over the course of this film run Luthor is going to grow into more of the character that people are used to.
- Superman – People have just not gotten over that final scene in Man of Steel; comic writer Dan Slott has continued his endless twitter rants over it and there have been thinkpieces written about how Zach Snyder has destroyed the character for a generation…..spare me. Y’all are showing way too much concern for how a fictional character is being portrayed, one that was recently being dismissed as too corny for the age of the Dark Knight, Wolverine, etc. I really had no idea people cared about it that much. The concession I will make is that if Snyder had changed that one part of Man of Steel and made Superman’s suit a lighter shade of blue these folks would have likely had an entirely different view of that film, so he probably should have done it differently just to prevent all the complaining. Grow up, people. Nothing else these people say on this issue matters; they’re hung up on one part of one movie that deviates from what they’re used to and it’s coloring their judgement going forward. There’s really nothing I can say or do but be glad I’m not so stuck on that. Henry Cavill is a good enough Superman for me. I will say that it’s about time to make the small changes necessary for the complainers to pipe down a little, namely make Clark smile some more and embrace his job as Superman joyfully. I think the version we’ve gotten so far has been fine for the story to date but it would be a good time to move on now.
- The ending – Yes it’s a blatant setup for future films, namely Justice League. We already knew going in that this is the first of many films. Get over it already.
Overall Grade: 8.5/10
It’s a polarizing film, I get it. Snyder and company did not go for quick and easy payoffs here, and it shows in the reactions to it. Critics hated it, and people who did not get the specific things they wanted aren’t high on it either. And once the green light to crap on it was given, a lot of people have decided to pick at every little thing as evidence of it being bad. Hey, do you. I enjoyed it, they gave me what I was looking for. There have been better superhero films, and there are some things I would have done differently, but overall I think it was very good. I don’t know where exactly I’d rank it among superhero films right now; I’ll need repeat viewings for that. But there will be repeat viewings, believe me.