Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a 2016 American superhero film featuring the DC Comics characters Batman and Superman. Directed by Zack Snyder and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, the film is a follow-up to 2013's Man of Steel and is the second installment in the DC Extended Universe. It was written by Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer, and features an ensemble cast that includes Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter and Gal Gadot. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is the first live-action film to feature Batman and Superman together, as well as the first live-action cinematic portrayal of Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg. In the film, criminal mastermind Lex Luthor manipulates Batman into a preemptive battle with Superman, whom Luthor is obsessed with defeating.
The film was announced at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International, after the release of Man of Steel. Snyder stated that the film would take inspiration from the Batman comic book series The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, but clarified that it would follow an original premise. The incarnation of Batman in the film would also be different than the character's previous portrayal in The Dark Knight Trilogy, serving as a cinematic reboot of the character. The film is also inspired by narrative elements from the "Death of Superman" story arc. Pre-production began at East Los Angeles College in October 2013, with principal photography starting in May 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. Additional filming also took place in Chicago.
It's been nearly two years since Superman's (Henry Cavill) colossal battle with Zod (Michael Shannon) devastated the city of Metropolis. The loss of life and collateral damage left many feeling angry and helpless, including crime-fighting billionaire Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck). Convinced that Superman is now a threat to humanity, Batman embarks on a personal vendetta to end his reign on Earth, while the conniving Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) launches his own crusade against the Man of Steel.
- Overtly grim and dour; even the other bad DC movies Batman & Robin and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, at least seemed to have fun.
- Superman is portrayed very negatively. It almost feels like Zack Snyder actively hates the character. Rather than the iconic symbol of justice that gives people hope, Superman is an eternally depressed gloomy person with obvious jesus symbolism.
- Batman on the other hand is portrayed as a paranoid hypocrite who spends over half of the movie planning to KILL Superman! You know, BATMAN, the superhero whose most well known trait is that HE NEVER KILLS ANYONE EXCEPT IN THE EARLY COMICS!
- The movie focuses less on Batman and Superman and more on setting up the DC Extended Universe.
- There's little actual Batman fighting Superman.
- Batman and Superman's rivalry feels forced. On top of that, there is no explanation as to why they hate each other.
- Choppy acting (save for Ben Affleck, Jeremy Irons, and Gal Gadot).
- The movie shoves too many plots into itself. This was because DC clearly is rushing their movies to catch up with the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- Lex Luthor in this movie looks like a college student, isn't bald, and acts like the Joker more than being what the character is known for. The scene with the Jolly Rancher candy was a particularly infamous moment for this Luthor.
- Shoe-horned in cameos of Justice League.
- While the action scenes are impressive to look at, they tend to drag too long in extremely tight situations, like how Batman doesn't save Martha Kent (who you know, is about to be killed by a guy with a FREAKING FLAMETHROWER!!!) until he defeats all of the minions.
- Doomsday's inclusion was completely pointless to the plot and it is well known that the only reason they included him was so there was a villain for Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman to fight. (It's not even Doomsday! IT'S NUCLEAR MAN 2.0!!!!).
- Wonder Woman, while epic, barely contributed to the plot.
- Superman dies despite this being only the second movie in the DC Extended Universe. Even though he will be revived later, it still was too soon to do that and his future appearances would have less impact. The only reason Superman was killed was to give him yet another jesus symbolism (he dies then comes back to life).
- To add insult to injury, the extended cut was meant to be the version shown it theaters but they decided to leave it out and put a watered down version full of plot holes in the theaters instead.
- The popular Mercy Graves and Jimmy Olson (one of Superman's best friends!) are unceremoniously killed in a few minutes flat.
- Good soundtrack.
- While the ending is bad, many fans believed that Superman is just sleeping, and that he will return in the new Justice League film.
- It has a few touching moments, such as the fact that it is revealed that Robin died (this could be hinting a live action version of Under The Red Hood).
- Wonder Woman's role makes a lot more sense after watching her movie.
- Great action and the scenes of them fighting are really well done despite how short they are.
- Great performances from Ben Affleck as Batman and Jeremy Irons as Alfred.
- Spectacular visuals.
- The deleted scenes help the story make more sense and feel less cluttered.
- The scene in which Batman saves Martha is pretty cool and probably the best Batman fight scene seen on screen.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice premiered at the Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City on March 19, 2016, and was released in the United States on March 25, 2016, in 2D, 3D, IMAX 3D, 4DX, premium large formats and 70 mm prints. Following a strong debut that set new box office records, the film experienced a historic drop in its second weekend and never recovered. Despite turning a profit, it was deemed a box office disappointment and received mostly negative reviews from critics. A director's cut, dubbed the Ultimate Edition with 30 minutes of additional footage, was released digitally on June 28, 2016, and on Blu-ray and DVD on July 19, 2016.
Following the success of Marvel's Captain America: Civil War, which was released around the same time and follows a similar theme of superheroes fighting each other, Batman v Superman was further criticized and both movies were frequently compared.