Batman V Superman's Only Superpower is Mediocrity

Category:  The Arts
Thursday, March 31st, 2016 at 12:42 PM
Batman V Superman's Only Superpower is Mediocrity by Britton Rozzelle
Zack Snyder’s latest fails to capture the strength of either Batman or Superman, ultimately becoming a relatively lackluster film.

Bad movies have a quality to them that make them an absolute joy to watch. Ridiculously poor films like “The Room” or “Manos: The Hands of Fate” have everything from bad acting to bad camera work and direction. We, the viewers, recognize that time and effort went into making these disasters, and that sick irony only adds to the fundamental hilarity of these films.

I honestly wish that Zack Snyder’s “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” was one of these movies. I’d rather have something terrible and fun to watch than something, like this film, that’s just blisteringly average.

That being said, I’d like to first point out that I mostly disagree with the general consensus for this film and give credit where credit is due. I do not believe it’s worth the 38 percent grade it currently maintains on Rotten Tomatoes, and I think putting it that low discredits some of the strengths this movie did have, specifically the performances of Ben Affleck (Bruce Wayne/Batman), Gal Gadot (Diana Prince/Wonder Woman) and Jeremy Irons (Alfred Pennyworth), along with the sound design and score by Junkie XL and Hans Zimmer.

Affleck is probably one of my favorite on-screen Batman performances thus far. He absolutely nails the duality between the debonair Bruce Wayne and the relentless Caped Crusader, and as most of the movie revolves around him, it certainly helps. While in precious few scenes, Gal Gadot does a great job delivering a performance of the warriorgoddess Wonder Woman, and I would have loved to see her interact with the cast more often.

Jeremy Irons exists as a perfect foil to Affleck’s Bruce, and does more than just portray a father figure to him in the film — something Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy lacked.

As I mentioned, the sound design of the film was top-notch, but I believe a lot of that comes with the fact I was forced into the front row of the theater because of the sheer amount of people who went to see this movie. The soundtrack matched beat-for-beat with the action the whole time, with Wonder Woman’s theme standing out specifically as one of the more powerful tracks.

To put it bluntly, I don’t like Zack Snyder movies for various reasons, but “Batman V Superman” not only defied my expectations set by his track record, but ended up being a generally solid introduction to this new universe of DC films.

On the flip-side, this film does have many problems, and without treading into spoiler territory, most of them are found within scenes that essentially felt unnecessary for the plot. The news that the extended cut on the Blu-Ray release will not only be rated “R,” but 30 minutes longer, makes me question the intentions of Snyder and his team.

Where Affleck’s Batman was an interesting and (almost) true-to-the-comics take on the character, Henry Cavill’s Superman lacked any dynamism at all, and fell flat in comparison to the strong performances around him, much like in Snyder’s “Man of Steel,” which suffered from many of the same problems.

Jesse Eisenberg’s Alexander Luthor Jr. (Lex) wasn’t a particularly great experience either — with many of his lines eschewing the heavy-handed religious references that Snyder alluded to in “Man of Steel,” and for lack of a better phrasing, becoming annoying throughout the runtime. This, I feel, is not the fault of Eisenberg himself — as he has proven time and time again his ability as an actor — but of the writers of the movie. Each character has a moment where it seems like time stops and they can spew whatever political/ religious/ideological theories they want, and none of these really add to the plot.

To be frank, I wanted to dislike this movie. I wasn’t at all looking forward to this dark, overtly symbolic film that Snyder had promised via interviews and trailers, but I left the theater mildly surprised. If I can give any advice going into this movie, and you haven’t seen it yet, it’s not as bad as people are saying, but it’s not particularly great either.

“Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” is simply okay, and that’s its biggest offense.

Britton Rozzelle is The Arts Editor for The Spectator and he can be reached at

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