Is it four movies for the price of one?
Is it one movie that can't decide what it wants to be?
Is it a desperate attempt by DC/Warner Brothers, to catch up with the Marvel cinematic universe?
The answer is yes, to all three.
I just got home from seeing Batman v Superman:Dawn of Justice, and I'm still trying to sort it all out.
Let's start with what worked.
Ben Affleck is fantastic as Bruce Wayne/Batman. This is also my favorite version of the Batsuit; it;s the first time it doesn't look like either rubber, or armor plating. And the armor suit ain't bad either.
Gal Gadot is an amazing Diana Prince/Wonder Woman. There is a point, during the fight with Doomsday, as she's about to reenter the fray, when she gives this little smile. It says "Yeah. This is what I'm here for, and I love it." It is a tiny little thing, that tells us a lot about the character.
Surprisingly, to me, at least, is Jesse Eisenberg's performance as Lex Luthor. (Or, rather, Alexander Luthor.) What I saw in the trailers had me worried, but he pulled it off with just the right amount of psychosis.
Henry Cavill is just as good as he was in Man of Steel. Take that any way you like. I happen to be a fan.
The fight scenes are great, especially those featuring Batman. The headliner, Batman v Superman, actually works. All I will say is that Batman has more going for him than just the armored suit.
The Aquaman cameo is cool. The Cyborg bit isn't bad. The Flash...well...
I guess it's time to talk about the bad stuff.
The first appearance of The Flash is just bizarre. The second, well, they seem to have made Barry Allen a long-haired, trying-to-grow-facial-hair-but-can't-so-he-looks-like-a-douche character. I'm afraid of where they are going with this. (If you want to see The Flash done nearly perfectly, watch the TV show.)
Some of the writing is terrible. It felt as if someone thought of a line or two of dialogue that they thought sounded clever, and found a way to force it into the script. Really, there is some seriously cringe-worthy dialogue.
The scene in which Thomas and Martha Wayne are killed...wait...what? They are showing us Batman's origin AGAIN? Are you kidding me? They could have left this out of the movie and either made it shorter, or shown us some of the Batman stuff that led up to this more grizzled version.
The dream sequences, while cool(ish), were pointless. Well, pointless as far as THIS movie is concerned. Setting up future movies, on the other hand... (Think the Thor vision sequence in Avengers:Age of Ultron.)
Side note: to those complaining about the Batmobile and Batplane having guns, I believe Christian Bale's Batman fired more bullets in any one of the Nolan movies. It's just that this movie had the balls to show the real consequences of those bullets.
So, back to those three questions, at the top. The first two kinda go together. This movie feels like four different movies. It's a lot of parts that don't always fit together very well.
As a Man of Steel sequel, it brings up some interesting questions about Superman's responsibility, as well as his place in the world, but it never really answers these questions.
As an introduction to Batman, well, do we NEED an introduction to Batman? Instead if showing us the creation of the character, they could have shown us his evolution.
As a Lex versus Superman story...why? Perhaps I missed it, amongst everything else going on, but why does Lex hate Superman? I know why Lex is evil/crazy, because at one point he mentions that his father hit him, when he was a kid. (A throw-away piece of character developement if ever there was one.)
As a Wonder Woman story...okay, Wonder Woman was great.
And, as for that third question, I think it's obvious that DC is trying to play catch-up. They have tried to differentiate themselves from Marvel, by taking a darker tone, but, according to recent reports of reshoots for Suicide Squad, to make it lighter in tone, this doesn't seem to be working. Also, instead of taking the time to establish each character, leading up to The Justice League, this movie attempts to throw them at us, all at once.
In the end, the Batman v Superman:Dawn of Justice is relatively entertaining. The good stuff just barely outweighs the bad. It's biggest problem being that it suffers from Multiple Personality Disorder. Greater focus would have made for a greater movie.