“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” is a dark superhero-comic book movie, whatever you would choose to call it. Batman (Ben Affleck) is a dark, brooding, masked vigilante in this picture. Many fans expressed a lot of anger when Ben Affleck was cast in this role but, to his credit, he does a good job. Unfortunately, the writers don’t allow him to be charming in the movie. He is dark and grim throughout the entire film. On the other side of the coin, Superman (Henry Cavill) is usually upbeat, but even he begins to lose the faith at one point in this shadowy film of evil and villains. He tells Lois Lane in one scene, “No one stays good in this world.” Yet, isn’t that what Superman represents: Goodness? Isn’t he supposed to be a role model to kids? To be fair, Superman comes through in the end (and pays a heavy price for his victory), but this movie is not for kids. In fact, sorry to say but it is not going to receive our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal due to the heavy language and violence. Part of this violence includes Batman putting his brand on sex offenders, leaving them with a bleeding bat wound. He tells Alfred, “We’re criminals, Alfred. We’ve always been criminals.” But isn’t Batman supposed to fight the criminals?
Superman and Batman misunderstand one another and have a great battle between the two of them. However, something happens that makes Batman realize they are both on the same page. I won’t spoil the plot, but the last 45 minutes of the film are, to me, the most enjoyable, with the good guys (including Wonder Woman) taking on a comic book villain of epic proportions. As already mentioned, Ben Affleck does a good job as Batman, as does Henry Cavill as Superman, but I found Jesse Eisenberg to be a weak Lex Luthor. He talks fast but doesn’t showcase the charm that some other actors have in the role (Michael Rosenbaum of “Smallville” comes to mind, as does Gene Hackman of the Christopher Reeve “Superman” films). Of course, Amy Adams is always a delight and turns in a good effort as Lois Lane.
Once again, the darkness of this film is heavy. At one point, a figure of Superman is burned in effigy — a statement from those who have been tricked into believing he is responsible for the deaths of many people. It seems as if the man from Krypton has outstayed his welcome…or has he? Sadly, the filmmakers chose to feature a lot of strong violence and language. A movie with more humor, lightness, and Superman’s fight for “truth, justice, and the American way” would have been more palatable. Instead, we have a film that many parents won’t go and see, let alone take their kids to see. Sadly, this film does not earn a Dove Seal.