‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’ Doesn’t Like Its Characters

The movie gives much of its focus to its iteration of Batman, who doesn’t appear to be connected in any way to the Christopher Nolan Batman films.

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice introduces Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) by retelling in slow-motion the tragedy that would lead him to become the Batman later in life. It then zooms ahead to the events of Man of Steel, where Wayne witnesses the destruction in Metropolis caused by the battle with Zod. Some time later, Superman (Henry Cavill) has become a controversial figure, the hero criticized for acting unilaterally, and accused of killing innocent people. Back in Gotham, Bruce Wayne has been preparing for a war, the vigilante becoming obsessed with taking Superman down.

In pitting these two heroes against each other, the film plays at some sort of ideological difference between the two. The problem with Superman, as presented in this story, is that he acts unilaterally, with absolutely no oversight. He is also accused of killing people. This is, unfortunately, no different from the movie’s depiction of Batman. Rather than present two opposing portrayals of goodness, the film basically crafts two detestable fascist superheroes. The best conflicts are complex, with each side presenting qualities worth rooting for. In this story, the conflict is complex because neither side is particularly compelling.

The movie gives much of its focus to its iteration of Batman, who doesn’t appear to be connected in any way to the Christopher Nolan Batman films. He is a much older figure, and much more prone to lethal violence than previous iterations. This Batman comes with an arsenal, his vehicles equipped with plenty of firepower that he gleefully uses on bad guys. Fans of the character will find this problematic, as should the rest of the populace. The iconic hero, largely still marketed to kids, is a fascist nightmare that shoots down scores of people when he isn’t crushing them with his armored vehicle.

But the real problem is that this depiction makes the central conflict really uninteresting. There are no philosophical differences between these characters. Batman is basically just afraid of Superman, fearing that the alien will use his power to bring the world to heel, not realizing, apparently, that it’s already what the Bat is doing to Gotham. This movie largely becomes about Bruce Wayne trying to acquire the tools to take on the alien superhuman, large swaths of the film dedicated to Batman on a nonsensical wild goose chase tracking down “The White Portuguese,” a subplot that reveals that this version of Batman isn’t a very good detective at all.

It isn’t even fun. The tone is too dour, the film playing at a seriousness that becomes laughable at points. The opening sequence pretty much says it all, the iconic images evoking little emotion, no matter how much slow motion it uses. By the time the movie gets to the big fights, the tedium of the film’s tone has already ruined everything. It doesn’t help that the big climactic fight is burdened with subpar visual effects. As Superman, Henry Cavill remains an uninteresting lump. Ben Affleck’s Batman is just a pile on anger. Gal Gadot doesn’t get to do much as Wonder Woman, which really points to another big problem with this film.


And that problem is in the subtitle: Dawn of Justice. This movie, at some point, went from being just a film about the two superheroes, to a film meant to launch the series of films set in a shared universe. The clunky inclusion of Wonder Woman is only one part of the film’s larger-world agenda. There are even clunkier scenes laying down the seed for future installments in this movie world. The way everything is tacked on really points to the core issue with this film: the filmmakers don’t seem to particularly care about any of these characters. At best, they are just vehicles leading into wide scale cinematic destruction. It almost doesn’t matter that they’re Batman or Superman. All that matters is that things blow up.

Get Our Newsletter

Our weekly highlights and entertainment guides, straight to your inbox

My Rating:

Recommended Videos

Related Content

Movie Info

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Action | Adventure | Sci-fi


Batman Vs. Superman in MX4D doubles the thrill of movie watching at Vista Cinemas in Evia
Expect a movie-watching experience like no other in MX4D.
"Batman v Superman" Flies Past Half a Billion Dollars Worldwide, P200-M in PH
Warner Bros. Pictures’ Super Hero Battle Hits the $500 Million Mark at the Global Box Office in Only Its Fifth Day of Release
"Batman v Superman" Storms PH Box-Office, Earns P86.65-M on 1st Day
Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” took the Philippine box office by storm on its opening day yesterday, earning P86.65-million across 598 screens and setting new box-office records, with no signs of slowing down.
Amy Adams' Lois Lane, as Fearless as Ever in "Batman v Superman"
Five-time Academy Award-nominee Amy Adams (“American Hustle,” “Doubt,”) has built an impressive body of work, challenging herself with each new role. She now returns to play the iconic character of Lois Lane in Warner Bros. Pictures' new action-adventure “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”
Eisenberg Adds Sinister Humor to Lex Luthor in "Batman v Superman"
Academy Award-nominee for his portrayal of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in “The Social Network,” Jesse Eisenberg plays one of the most fascinating anti-heroes in cinema – Lex Luthor, in Warner Bros. Pictures' new action-adventure “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”
Here Comes Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in "Batman v Superman"
Rapidly emerging as one of Hollywood’s most engaging and sought-after talents, Israeli-born actress Gal Gadot (“Fast and the Furious” franchise) plays Diana Prince aka Wonder Woman in Warner Bros. Pictures' epic, action-adventure “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”
"Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" Stars Kick-off Promo Tour in Beijing
Director Zack Snyder recently teamed up with Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill, bringing their new film “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” to China's capital city, Beijing.
Zack Snyder Pits "Batman" Against "Superman" in "Dawn of Justice"
Certified fanboy and acclaimed director Zack Snyder pits the Dark Knight against the Man of Steel in a Super Hero face-off for the ages, in Warner Bros. Pictures' new epic, action-adventure, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”
Let the Battle Begin in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice"
Born one year apart in separate runs of DC Comics, Batman and Superman have leapt off the page to become cultural touchstones across the globe, embraced by generations of fans through decades of social and political change
Behold "Batman v Superman's" Exclusive Poster for IMAX
The battle is bigger in IMAX! Take your first look at exclusive IMAX poster of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” which has just been unveiled by Warner Bros.
All Hell Breaks Loose in 'Batman v Superman' Final Trailer
The epic final trailer of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” is now online and may be viewed at here at ClickTheCity.
Get to Know the Characters of "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice"
The official descriptions for the characters in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” have been released by Warner Bros. Pictures, giving fans a peek at how the iconic personages will clash and the stories play out.
"Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" Launches Character Posters
Fresh from coming out with a well-received new trailer, Warner Bros. Pictures has now released the “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” character posters showing the trinity of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman in hero poses.
Greatest Gladiator Match-Up in New "Batman v Superman" Trailer
The highly anticipated new trailer of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” has just been unleashed by Warner Bros. Pictures and may be viewed here at ClickTheCity.

Share this story

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
Share on telegram
Share on whatsapp
Share on email