Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice should be one of the most exciting superhero movies ever made. It not only features two of the most popular characters in comic book history together for the first time in live action, but is also the opening salvo in the DC movie universe, which is looking to compete directly with Marvel’s enormously successful slate of features for the next decade and beyond. While the film has been successful enough from a financial standpoint to justify future films in the franchise, as a film, Batman v Superman is a real heartbreaker. It’s definitely not Fantastic Four bad, but it’s is easily one of the worst superhero films of the last decade and makes us hesitant to want to go see future films in the franchise. Really, this list could be doubled in size and still not cover all the problems with this film, but for brevity’s sake, here are the main reasons why Batman v Superman utterly disappoints.
Warning: Full SPOILERS for Batman v Superman are discussed in this post.
10. Batman’s Kill Policy
One of Batman v Superman’s few pleasures is Ben Affleck’s portrayal of Batman, which if nothing else inspires confidence in the actor’s ability to carry his own solo movie. Unfortunately, while Affleck’s performance is worthy of praise, the film’s characterization of Batman borders on offensive. For some unfathomable reason (other than it being a lazy way of establishing the character’s grimness) Zack Snyder and his screenwriters made this version of Batman a seemingly remorseless killer. Batman kills at least a dozen people in this film, which wouldn’t be such a problem if the film did a better job justifying it. Yes, Alfred (Jeremy Irons) pays a bit of lip service to Batman’s escalating level of violence but even with that brief speech, it’s difficult to accept Batman as a killer.
While contrarian comic readers (you know: the TRUE fans) will tell you that Batman is a killer, this isn’t an overriding trait of the character most of us know. Batman goes out of his way to avoid killing because it’s the one thing that separates him from the criminals he hunts. There’s a reason one of the central conflicts of The Dark Knight — still the best Batman film ever made — revolves around Batman’s refusal to kill. In Batman v Superman, all this is stripped away, to the point where Batman often comes off as a thug rather than a hero.