Batman v Superman’ fails to excite audiences

By Ivan Mateo

As a result of pressure from fans and its competitor Marvel Comics, DC Comics has been pushed to serve “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” as an equalizer on the superhero/ heroine playing field.

Marvel carefully built up the Avengers by providing most of its heroes with standalone films in a slow burn toward each “Avengers” movie. Here, DC elects to cram as many superheroes/heroines into its first, err second film.

Since “Man of Steel” serves as a prequel to “Batman v Superman,” the film addresses Batman’s backstory. The opening scene involving Bruce Wayne’s parents puzzled me. The second half of “Batman v Superman” was much better than the first half. The first half was littered with strange transitions between scenes as it tried to fit as much exposition as it could to catch the audience up. One second a serious scene plays, then the movie oddly and abruptly shifts in place and tone.

Everyone in the movie seems to be melodramatic and the lighting predominantly dark. Ben Affleck does a pretty good job playing Wayne/Batman when he is not brooding and looking off into the distance. Henry Cavill reprises his “Man of Steel” role as Clark Kent/ Superman. The script provided little for Cavill to work with, other than yelling or looking stoic.

Wonder Woman’s portrayal by Gal Gadot proved to be a stand out performance. All the criticism leading up to the movie proves to be nothing more than unnecessary chatter. Her little smirk during the big fight was a perfect touch. Lois Lane (Amy Adams) shows up anywhere and everywhere trying to help Superman in any way she can. She proves how important she is to Superman and vice versa. Jesse Eisenberg provided his own spin in his portrayal of the villain Lex Luthor. Eisenberg delivered a sociopathic, crazy manner, but it did seem similar to the Joker character at times.

Even smaller roles like Kent’s mother, Martha Kent (Diane Lane); Wayne’s butler, Alfred Pennyworth (Jeremy Irons); and the Daily Planet editor-in-chief, Perry White (Laurence Fishburne) swayed crowd reaction in some form or another.

Action sequences in “Batman v Superman” generally impressed. Wonder Woman wielding her sword and shield displayed awesome action.

Seeing Batman and Superman fight has to be every DC fan’s dream: Batman with all his cool gadgets and gizmos ranging from his Batmobile to Batplane versus Superman’s inevitable annihilation of Batman in the blink of an eye!

During the fight, Superman even comments, “If I wanted it, you’d be dead already!” How do they fight on an equal playing field, you ask? With Superman’s greatest weakness ” Kryptonite, of course! Conveniently found in the ocean! The ending to this fight falls a bit flat. I can see how the link is supposed to work, but the buildup is poor.

Hans Zimmer & Junkie XL teamed up for the soundtrack behind “Batman v Superman,” so audiences are primed for a musical treat. Superman’s theme from “Man of Steel” delightfully returns. The themes of Wonder Woman and Luthor immediately resonated with audiences.

So many questions are left to ponder throughout the movie and after. Why does Luthor orchestrate and mastermind his plans if not purely to move the plot forward? While trying to focus on Batman’s motivations for vigilantism and fighting Superman, audiences never really see why Luthor dislikes Superman other than him being an alien, godlike figure. What were the reasons for Batman actually killing bad guys? Sure, this choice made for frenetic action sequences, but we never discover what causes him to inflict all this pain.

“Batman v Superman” is filled with its share of good and bad. For every good, almost assuredly a bad step or two follow. Great action sequences unite Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman. The entire cast achieves solid work all around, but poor pacing, plot holes and abrupt transitions bog “Batman v Superman” down. I cannot help but feel the crew behind “Batman v Superman” tried to do much in so little time.

Courtesy of DC Entertainment

‘Batman v Superman’

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