Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Review - IGN (2024)

After three years of intense hype and scrutiny, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (henceforth known as BvS) is finally here. And it’s OK to good with some very fine and some very off-base moments peppered throughout. BvS never fully transcends into being an awesome viewing experience and yet is also too competently made to be anywhere near the disaster its haters have predicted. That said, if you've already made up your mind about BvS then the actual film itself won't do much to change your mind one way or another.Part Man of Steel sequel and part Justice League prologue, the Zack Snyder-directed BvS chronicles the violent, early encounters between the Dark Knight (Ben Affleck) and the Man of Steel (Henry Cavill) and their eventual reconciliation to being Super Friends.

Starting with the Metropolis-leveling battle previously depicted in Man of Steel, BvS introduces an aging, bitter, and increasingly violent Batman obsessed with stopping Superman, an alien worshipped as a god by some and deemed a global threat by others, including brilliant tech billionaire Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg).

Superman, for his part, is equally disdainful and suspicious of the ultra-violent, civil rights-violating Batman. As expected, both heroes are being manipulated by the megalomaniacal Luthor for his own nefarious agenda.

Meanwhile, the enigmatic Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) shadows the proceedings for her own purposes before revealing herself as the benevolent demi-goddess Wonder Woman. Justice is dawning and this trinity of superheroes aren't the only exceptional beings out there waiting to help save the world from grave threats as yet to arrive ...

For much of its two-and a half-hour running time, BvS is just sort of there, with various characters brooding, talking, and pondering, dotted with bursts of superhero action until its eye candy-filled third act. It’s largely a straightforward drama with some sleuthing sequences, and is thus more engaging on a cerebral level than as a fanboy-friendly adrenaline rush. Those expecting BvS to be DC's answer to Marvel's Avengers will find it more akin to Snyder's Watchmen instead.

Kids going for a superhero slugfest may be disappointed they have to sit through so much soul-searching and politics to get to the cape-and-cowl action sold in the trailers. (And Warner Bros. is going to need to win the kids and families if they're going to truly compete with Marvel Studios at the box office.) While the Nolan Batman films were similarly drama-driven, they were also focused on a solo, reality-based hero so that approach largely worked. But when you have Batman and Superman and Wonder Woman in your movie then you expect more interactions between them in costume than out. Batman does his thing, Superman does his, but those moments are fewer than those of them in their respective civilian guises.

When we do see Batman, he is absolutely brutal and Affleck really nails it as both the Dark Knight and Bruce Wayne. He’s a physical powerhouse, the dapper playboy, the serious businessman, an obsessive authoritarian, and a relentless detective. Affleck is the best thing about BvS, instantly making the character of Batman his own. He should prove a sturdy anchor for future DC movies (but more on that later).

The movie simply has more energy whenever Batman is onscreen. You’re left suspecting Zack Snyder really wanted to just make a Batman movie but was saddled with Superman because the backlash over Man of Steel’s finale had to be addressed. And there’s no denying that BvS is an utter and complete reaction to the outcry over that. The civilian bodycount and psychological impact of the battle in Metropolis is brought up many times, and BvS goes out of its way to hammer home how few civilians are around for the final battles this time around.

While Batfleck may steal the show (and largely drives the plot), Cavill’s Superman is very much the heart of this story. He’s trying to do good in the world, but every action he takes provokes an even greater reaction. However, there’s an early sequence of an incident in Africa that’s repeatedly brought up as an example of Superman being a lethal menace to others, but it never quite holds up under scrutiny and is a convoluted subplot that seems to exist merely to give Lois Lane (Amy Adams) a story to pursue.

As much as Cavill still tries to imbue Superman with humanity, he’s proven fairly wooden outside of his work on The Tudors and that remains the case here. It’s also tough to buy no one has figured out he’s Superman since, unlike Reeve or Routh, his Clark Kent has no “cover” outside of a pair of glasses. There’s no separate personality to his Clark Kent. Cavill is more like classic TV Superman George Reeves in that regard.

Amy Adams brings her usual warmth, humanity, and mix of moxie and vulnerability to the Daily Planet’s most intrepid reporter. She is, even more so than Batman, the “real” human face of the movie. The rest of the cast are fine — with the standout being Jeremy Irons as Alfred, a less refined Pennyworth than we’re accustomed to seeing on the big screen — but the supporting players fans are most interested in hearing about are clearly Wonder Woman and Lex Luthor.

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.

Jesse Eisenberg's performance as Lex Luthor, though, was inconsistent. His worldview and motives are quite interesting and heady, with a more theological bent than moviegoers are accustomed to seeing Lex have. But Eisenberg’s performance can be too obvious at times; his Lex is crazy, clearly suffering from a psychological disorder rather than just being greedy, evil, or driven by ego. That choice makes his Lex a bit too tic-y and manic at times, but you certainly buy he’s a genius with a deep disdain for what Superman represents.

BvS does delineate the philosophical divide between its eponymous heroes, with Batman’s truly brutal methods unnerving the morally upright Superman. By the time he finally faces off against Superman, Batman has essentially become like Gregory Peck in The Omen when he's dragging his son Damien into church to kill him.

Now for the million dollar question. How were Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman onscreen together and how did the film handle all the DC movieverse world-building? Let’s start with the last part first. They did fine, but it’s not really the focus of this movie. Yes, there are glimpses of Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Flash (Ezra Miller), and Cyborg (Ray Fisher), but between that and the introduction of Wonder Woman it’s all handled pretty simply and efficiently. However, “Dawn of Justice” is overselling the set-up to Justice League a bit; this is less of a Dawn and more of a Shortly After Midnight of Justice. BvS is ultimately focused on Batman and Superman, with Wonder Woman popping in and out until the final battle.

One big element that does undercut the climactic showdown is Doomsday. The character's visual effects are just awful, and they repeatedly pull you out of the movie at exactly the moments you need to feel most invested and afraid for our heroes. You can sense the “tennis ball acting” of the stars going up against a CGI effect to be added later, and this emotional disconnect is egregious given the stakes of the finale.

Unfortunately, finally seeing the trinity of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman together on the big screen was rather underwhelming. None of them really know each other so there’s not a lot of emotional investment between them, and to a larger degree the film’s marketing essentially spoiled what should have been the most joyous and revealing moment in the movie. In hindsight, there was no good reason for Warner Bros. to reveal Doomsday, Aquaman, and so much of Wonder Woman beforehand.


While Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has good things to recommend it, its shortcomings are undeniable. The action sequences whenever Batman is set loose on the bad guys are cool, and the story strives to explore human and philosophical elements, but it’s often not much fun. Not every superhero movie should be like a Marvel one (because every hero and piece of material is different), but even the melodramatic X-Men movies never lost sight of pure entertainment value while also exploring heady and heavy topics.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Review - IGN (2024)


Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Review - IGN? ›

While Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has good things to recommend it, its shortcomings are undeniable. The action sequences whenever Batman is set loose on the bad guys are cool, and the story strives to explore human and philosophical elements, but it's often not much fun.

Is Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice worth watching? ›

This movie is so well crafted, the cinematography is epic, Hans Zimmer killed it with the score, Ben is the perfect live action Batman we've scene till date (2022), Henry is perfect as Superman and Wonder Woman was the show stealer in the movie.

Why did BVS fail? ›

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice's reported lack of test screenings likely contributed to its poor reception and negative criticism from critics. Test screenings could have helped catch mistakes and inconsistencies in the movie's editing and storytelling, improving its overall quality.

Is Batman v Superman Ultimate Edition better reddit? ›

The added depth to Clark's dislike of Batman was greatly appreciated in the Ultimate Edition. Still doesn't fix the things I dislike though. First viewing, theater version: Good movie. Second viewing, ultimate version: Great movie.

Why did Lex Luthor hate Superman? ›

23 (1940), Luthor has been singularly obsessed with Superman, and his quest to destroy the world's first superhero has been relentless. In the 1960s it was revealed that his hatred was rooted in a childhood accident caused by the young Superman (then Superboy), which made Luthor go prematurely bald.

Why Dawn of Justice is good? ›

This movie really does fix many of the issues many had with the theatrical cut. The pacing is perfect and this movie is much more balanced between superman and batman compared to the theatrical cut. Many of those additional 30 minutes are Clark Kent scenes that was cut.

Why did Batman hate Superman in BvS? ›

Batman feared Superman's unchecked power, and Superman (Henry Cavill) hated Batman's brutal methods, but the real reason why Batman and Superman fight is manipulation by Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg). Batman emerges victorious, and from a narrative perspective, Batman v Superman could go no other route.

How old was Henry Cavill in BvS? ›

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice's principal photography began on May 19, 2014, with Cavill at 31. The actor's next time as Superman was in 2017's Justice League. The movie started shooting on April 2016, making Cavill 32 at the time.

How did Lex Luthor get kryptonite in BvS? ›

When Lex Luthor failed to acquire the import license for the radioactive mineral, it was hidden aboard the White Portuguese and smuggled into the U.S. The overseer met up with Anatoli Knyazev's mercenary group to ensure the smooth transition of the kryptonite into Luthor's possession.

What Batman suit can beat Superman? ›

Strength Enhancement: Similarly to Bruce's normal Batsuit during his resurgence as Batman, the Exoframe Batsuit had mechanics which strengthened his body. Electrified Gauntlets: The suit had enough electrifying power from its gauntlets to electrify a weakened Superman.

Are there 2 versions of Batman vs Superman? ›

The Ultimate Edition of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a longer version of the 2016 film, directed by Zack Snyder, which contains approximately 30 minutes of additional footage not included in the theatrical release.

What is the difference between BVS and BVS Ultimate Edition? ›

One of the biggest additions to the extended cut is the additional minutes added to the “Africa” subplot. The main change here is the fact that we're given knowledge that the cameraman hanging out with Lois Lane is in fact Jimmy Olsen, who quickly meets a gruesome end after his character's reveal.

Is there a movie after Batman vs Superman Dawn of Justice? ›

Suicide Squad is set after the events of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Affleck and Miller reprise their roles as Bruce Wayne / Batman and Barry Allen / The Flash from that film.

Will Superman return after Dawn of Justice? ›

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice killed Superman, who returned in both versions of the Justice League movie.

What movie to watch after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice? ›

DC Movies in Release Order

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) Suicide Squad (2016) Wonder Woman (2017) Justice League – (2017)

Which version of Batman vs Superman is better? ›

As a whole, the Ultimate Edition does a much better job of illustrating the villainy of Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor, which is a pivotal component to the plot. Although Eisenberg's deliriously deranged performance was always a highlight of the film, the Ultimate Edition gives the character much more room to breathe.

Is Dawn of Justice Superman good in injustice? ›

Dawn of Justice Superman is a formidable bruiser and the first character in the game to have a passive that can disable gear. Players who only completed his Challenge when it first aired during the 2.8 update could not directly promote him with Power Credits (but this has been fixed as of the 2.10 update).

How long is Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice film? ›

The theatrical release (rated "PG-13") is 151 minutes in length. The "Ultimate Edition" director's cut (rated "R" for scenes of violence) is 182 minutes in length.

How much money did Batman vs Superman Dawn of Justice make? ›

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Lilliana Bartoletti

Last Updated:

Views: 6161

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (73 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Lilliana Bartoletti

Birthday: 1999-11-18

Address: 58866 Tricia Spurs, North Melvinberg, HI 91346-3774

Phone: +50616620367928

Job: Real-Estate Liaison

Hobby: Graffiti, Astronomy, Handball, Magic, Origami, Fashion, Foreign language learning

Introduction: My name is Lilliana Bartoletti, I am a adventurous, pleasant, shiny, beautiful, handsome, zealous, tasty person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.