JEANNE'S REVIEW

 

For the life of me, I don't see why so many fans have their knickers in a twist over the fact that Ben Affleck is playing Batman/Bruce Wayne. I happen to like Affleck, and think he makes a perfectly fine caped crusader for Gotham City. And pairing him with Henry Cavill as Superman/Clark Kent is a rather brilliant idea --- they're both pretty hot. It's a shame the execution isn't quite as good as the original plan.

 

With a screenplay written by Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer, based, of course, on the DC Comics, "Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice" takes an inordinate amount of time setting up the story --- and getting to the good part. At 2 1/2 hours, it just isn't necessary to make a film, such as this, that lengthy.

 

The world is at odds with poor Superman. Metropolis has been nearly destroyed due to Superman's chaos with General Zod, and people are fearful of his powers. Batman agrees that Superman has become dangerous, and sets out to destroy him. But, in the end, the two must come together to battle Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) and his vile

creation --- with the help of Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) --- to save the world.

 

The overall sense and feel of "Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice" is dark --- very dark, and gritty. As one would expect, there is a great deal of hand-to-hand combat, that, predictably, goes on much longer than needed. What I didn't expect, or appreciate, especially in our current terrorist climate, was the suicide bomb in the senate hearings.

 

Despite the freedom we enjoy to make any movies one desires, I am of the opinion that Hollywood simply must stop encouraging these acts of violence. I believe that "Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice" would have been every bit as effective and jarring without that horrific scene.

 

Affleck and Cavill work well together. Both are certainly hunky enough for the beefcakes they portray. And having someone a little older playing Bruce Wayne is a clever ploy, allowing for one of the best lines in the film when Alfred (Jeremy Irons) informs Bruce that he's now too old to die young.

 

Everyone in the cast is more than competent. Amy Adams makes a terrific Lois Lane. And Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Clark's mom, has the other great line when she tells Batman she figured he was a friend of her son.

 

But it's Eisenberg who steals the film. His Lex Luthor is just crazy enough without being too over-the-top. His performance is edgy and chilling --- delivering his off-the-cuff humorous quips with perfect timing.

 

Much will be bantered about and written regarding "Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice", but I found it entertaining despite its lengthy run time. Trust me, I'd much prefer to sit through this than any of the movies of the "Divergent" series.

 

Opinion: Mild See It Now!

 

DAVID'S REVIEW

 

As a kid growing up with DC Comics, giddily reading Superman and Batman, among others, the notion that either of these caped crusaders could possibly be a foe to humanity is absurd. So as a moviegoer, and especially a fan of the daring duo, one has to buy into Batman's (Ben Affleck) theory that Superman (Henry Cavill) poses a threat to the human race. Even if there's only "a one per cent chance that he is our enemy", as Bruce Wayne surmises, he must be destroyed.

 

I didn't buy it, so the presumed titanic struggle between the two feels  forced. Screenwriters Chris Terrio (Oscar winner for "Argo") and David S. Goyer, along with director Zack Snyder, felt a need to present something completely different in the long history of the DC creations.

"Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice", at 151 minutes, is too, too long, and the over-the-top blasts and pyrotechnics are LOUD, LOUDER and LOUDEST. The film generates zero tension from what is implicitly marketed as a seismic battle of super heroes.

Despite an outstanding performance by Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, he's a bit too young, and he doesn't come across as menacing in the mode of, for example, Gene Hackman way back in 1978 in the best "Superman". Israeli-born actress Gal Gadot, a former Miss Universe contestant and soldier in the Israeli army, plays Wonder Woman, but there is no red-white-and-blue patriotic costume made famous in the comic books, and no transparent airplane. Instead, she is garbed in drab-looking armor -- a real disappointment.

And the biggest problem with "Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice" is its lack of fun. The occasional droll line from Batman's valet/techno wizard, Alfred (Jeremy Irons), pales beside Christopher Reeve's playful banter with Margot Kidder as Lois Lane. Still, the mediocre "Man of Steel" (2013), also directed by Snyder, amassed some $650 million worldwide, so no doubt this film will resonate with many fans.

Composers Hans Zimmer (Oscar for "the Lion King") and Junkie XL, aka Tom Holkenborg ("Mad Max Fury Road"), provide the score. Snyder also hired his "300" (2006) director of photography Larry Fong, and production designer Patrick Tatopoulos ("300: Rise of an Empire" - 2014) --- notable for making Eva Green a household name.

Opinion: Wait for DVD