The first reviews are in for ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’, ahead of the film’s worldwide release later this week and the critics haven’t exactly been kind to Warner Bros and Zack Snyder’s epic.
The range of middling reviews have praised the visuals, soundtrack and a handful of the film’s central performances, but criticised its plotting and attempts to set up for future films and atone for 'Man of Steel’.
The Telegraph’s Robbie Collin wrote in his two star review: “No major blockbuster in years has been this incoherently structured, this seemingly uninterested in telling a story with clarity and purpose.
“It grumbles along for what feels like forever, jinking from subplot to subplot, until two shatteringly expensive-looking fights happen back to back, and the whole thing crunches to a halt.”
Chris Nashawaty wrote in his review for Entertainment Weekly: “’Dawn of Justice’ starts off as an intriguing meditation about two superheroes turning to an all-too-human emotion: hatred out of fear of the unknown. Two and a half hours later it winds up somewhere very far from that—but at the same time, all too familiar.”
SlashFilm had a lot of praise for the film’s opening hour, saying: “Zack Snyder knows how to start a movie with a bang, often doing so with a kick-ass montage. Batman v Superman is no different from Snyder’s previous films in offering us a visual feast up front.”
However, the review also reveals a disappointing truth about the film marketed and named after its clash between two superhero icons: “If you’re going to see ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ to see Batman fight Superman, you might end up being disappointed. The film only features a few minutes of the two DC superheroes battling it out, and you won’t see that until a long way into the film.”
Empire Magazine’s middling review contains praise for Ben Affleck’s performance as the Dark Knight, summed up in this gem: “Affleck underplays the role nicely, exuding rumpled world-weariness like only a man who’s survived Gigli can.“
On Gal Gadot’s performance IGN’s Jim Vejvoda says: "Gal Gadot turns out to be a fine choice as Wonder Woman, although her screen time here is limited. Overall, the decision to introduce Diana Prince as a Woman of Mystery was a smart choice and she has good chemistry with Affleck.
“Unfortunately, she doesn’t really have any interactions with Clark Kent or Superman until the Doomsday battle, which undercuts seeing the big three together (more on that in a bit).In fact, I don’t recall Superman and Wonder Woman ever actually speaking to each other.”
Critics weren’t so kind to Jesse Eisenberg’s turn as Lex Luthor, with The Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy saying: "The solemn, grandiose atmosphere is severely disrupted by Luthor, portrayed by Eisenberg as a privileged high-tech guru who would make the actor’s take on Mark Zuckerberg look like the epitome of style and manners.
“Loaded with vocal ticks and gushing with smarmy ripostes and threats, the character is loathsome without an ounce of insidious charm; if the legacy of the studio’s Dark Knight films might have suggested anything, it should have been in the area of great villains, but here there is just a great vacuum.”
Finally, Den of Geek’s Ryan Lambie says: “Explosive, visually stunning and sometimes thought-provoking, ‘Batman V Superman’ is undeniably a feast for the eyes and ears.
“Yet as the final credits roll, the overwhelming sensation is not of satisfaction, but of shell-shock. Like Snyder’s divisive ‘Man Of Steel’, ‘Batman V Superman’ goes for a maximalist approach which is likely to thrill some and alarm others. Once again, Snyder brings a gun to a knife-fight.”
'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ will be released in the UK this Friday, 25 March.
Picture Credits: Warner Bros