Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a 2016 Superhero film featuring the DC Comics characters Batman and Superman, directed by Zack Snyder and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, it is the second installment in the DC Extended Universe.
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.
- Executive meddling: Initially the movie was supposed to be Man of Steel 2 without any plans for a DC movie universe, but due to the massive success of Marvel's The Avengers which came out shortly before Man of Steel, Warner Bros. mandated that Man of Steel 2 had to be turned into this movie as means to start up the DC Extended Universe.
- Overtly grim and dour; even the other bad DC movies Batman & Robin and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace had some light-hearted elements. Sometimes it's so dark that it's actually hard to see anything.
- Superman is portrayed very negatively. It almost feels like Zack Snyder just flat-out 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 that almost never smiles.
- Batman on the other hand is portrayed as an angry, paranoid psychopath 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!
- In fairness, Batman has indeed killed people in multiple incarnations before, but whenever he does he's given a reasonable explanation why. However this version of Batman doesn't have a good reason to kill, he just kills for the sake of being edgier than The Dark Knight version.
- Batman never gives a proper reason to want to kill Superman other than paranoia.
- The whole point of Batman and Superman's rivalry, and what made their fight so iconic in the comics, is their opposing ideals and views of the world; Batman is dark and cynical while Superman is light and hopeful. But in this movie both Batman and Superman are dark gloomy vigilantes with questionable morality, which completely destroys the point of their rivalry and makes it feel forced.
- On top of that, there is no explanation as to why they hate each other aside from the fact that the other one is a vigilante, making both of them hypocrites for that matter.
- Batman's origin of falling into the pit full of bats and his parent's deaths, which has already been shown many times before in recent years, was shown yet again.
- Desperate sequel baiting. The movie focuses more on setting up future DCEU movies than being a movie on it's own.
- Batman and Superman only have one very brief encounter with each other before the titular fight, which itself was very short. You'd expect a movie titled "Batman v Superman" to have more Batman interacting with Superman.
- The "Save Martha" scene has become a very infamous moment for the whole DCEU.
- Abysmal acting (save for Ben Affleck, Jeremy Irons and Gal Gadot).
- The movie shoves too many plots into itself. This was done because DC was clearly rushing to reach Justice League as quickly as possible because Marvel already had two Avengers movies at that time.
- Some of those plots are quickly dropped or never go anywhere, for example Clark Kent investigating Batman's vigilante activities.
- Terrible, embarrassing interpretation of Lex Luthor by Jessie Eisenberg. ONE OF SUPERMAN'S MOST ICONIC ENEMIES looks like a college student, isn't bald, has a lot of awkward nervous ticks, barely acts like Lex Luthor, and very obviously went through a lot of rewrites. It almost feels like The Joker was supposed to be the villain but they changed it to Lex Luthor at the last moment.
- The scene with the Jolly Rancher candy was a particularly infamous moment for this Luthor.
- Out of nowhere, the movie literally pauses to show cameos of Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman for no reason other than to tease Justice League.
- The movie wastes a lot of time pondering about spiritual, moral, and political topics but never actually does anything with them.
- Darkside was foreshadowed in a very vague and convoluted way. In the middle of the movie Bruce Wayne has a dream about a post-apocalyptic wasteland with Darkside's Omega symbol and an evil Superman when suddenly the dream is interrupted by The Flash coming from the future to warn Bruce to keep Lois Lane alive which ALSO turns out to be a dream meaning it's not clear if Flash really time traveled or not!
- For that matter, was that scene supposed to foreshadow Darkside or Injustice? Neither of which appeared in the Justice League movie nor was this scene even mentioned again, by the way.
- 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 literally the only reason they included him was so there was a villain for Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman to fight.
- Doomsday was completely spoiled in the trailers so there wasn't even any shock when he appeared and instead it just pissed off fans.
- Wonder Woman, while epic, didn't contribute to the plot at all besides joining the fight against Doomsday, which as metioned above was also pointless.
- Superman dies despite this being only the second movie in the DC Extended Universe. "The Death of Superman" story had literally nothing to do with the rest of the movie and it was only done to give Superman more Jesus symbolism.
- Killing Superman was even more pointless because he was revived in Justice League and everyone already knew he wouldn't stay dead for long.
- The popular Mercy Graves and Jimmy Olson (one of Superman's best friends!) are unceremoniously killed off in a few minutes flat.
- Good soundtrack.
- It has a few touching moments, such as the revelation that the Joker murdered Jason Todd, just like in Batman: A Death in the Family.
- Great action and the scenes of Batman and Superman fighting are really well done, despite how short they are.
- Great performances from Ben Affleck as Batman, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. The scene in which Batman saves Martha is probably the best Batman fight scene seen on screen.
- Spectacular visuals.
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 (even worse than Batman and Robin's) 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.
The "Ultimate Edition" cut was widely considered to be vastly superior to the theatrical release, as it fills some of the massive plotholes and re-adds previously deleted scenes that help the story make more sense and feel less cluttered. At the same time however, audiences were outraged when they learned tht the "Ultimate Edition" was supposed to be the theatrical edition in the first place.
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.