Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice -- What's Not to Like?

To start, actor Ben Affleck did well as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Now that that's out of the way we have a lot of ground to cover and spoilers are ahead. So let's get to it shall we.

It has been called dark, somber, convoluted, overstuffed, loud, fascist, nihilistic -- and the descriptions go on. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has touches of all that, some more than others. But it's still worth the watch.

It's dark and somber for a reason, yet could do without being overstuffed. And while having a convoluted plot may be suitable to drama films and Toni Morrison novels, in a superhero film, that's risky. As far as it being loud, it is a superhero film after all. While not excessively so like a Transformers film.

After the flashback intro of that fateful night of Bruce Wayne's parents getting killed when he was a boy, the next scene jumps years ahead, titled, "Metropolis: Mankind is Introduced to Superman." The vibrant city of Metropolis is suffering major collateral damage from a fierce battle. Engaged between the Kryptonian alien known as Superman, fighting fellow Kryptonians General Zod and his 10 soldiers to keep them from terraforming the planet Earth into a Kryptonian-like planet. That which would result in mankind's extinction, though necessary to rebuild a Kryptonian race. Such damage was caused by advanced alien technology, while also keeping in mind that General Zod and his Kryptonian followers all have the same powers as Kal-El/Clark Kent/Superman, because of their exposure to Earth's yellow sun. All depicted in the previous film Man of Steel.

One of my favorite scenes in B v S is still near the beginning, when Bruce Wayne is seen racing his black Jeep Renegade towards Wayne Financial on the verge of collapse. Actor George Clooney was once asked who are his heroes in real life. Clooney's reply, "Anyone who runs towards danger, not away from it, military, firemen, aid workers and journalists." That's when the London born British-Iranian Christiane Amanpour CNN journalist came to mind. A woman known to have parachuted into global conflicts such as in Bosnia. A real life Lois Lane.

Bruce Wayne then gets out of the car, and is seen running into a dense cloud of smoke from smoke debris. He soon finds Wayne Financial employee Wallace Keefe trapped under a heavy beam, played by Scoot McNairy of AMC's Halt and Catch Fire. Quickly after helping to free Keefe, Wayne sprints to save a girl from falling debris, whose mother was also trapped in the building. Bruce Wayne, multi-billionaire owner of Wayne Enterprises, employer of 190,000 in 190 countries, a multinational conglomerate of at least seven major divisions and subsidiaries, including aerospace, technology, shipping, even entertainment which includes The Daily Planet where Clark Kent works. A member of the top one-tenth of one percent of Americans, running towards danger to save members of the 99 percent! All without his bat suit and bat gadgets.

While kneeling and holding the little girl in his arms, Wayne then looked to the skies pierced by streaks of shooting fire and debris. Among which, he sees a red caped man in dark blue locked in a fight with a dark figured man, who would be General Zod, both hurtling downward. And anger is then seen upon the visage of Bruce Wayne.

Following all that as a preamble, the story continues 18 months later. One scene sets the tone of the film about the ongoing dilemma of Earth's most powerful being, Clark Kent/Superman (Henry Cavill). It's when he pays a visit to Lois Lane (Amy Adams), whom he had saved from a terrorist while she was on an assignment in Nairomi, a fictional name of an African nation.

Clark Kent enters Lois's apartment all smiles with a bouquet of flowers and also expects to cook, telling her as she's in a bathtub. And that's when she mentions about the consequences of his actions, and his dis-favorable PR recently received at the Washington D.C. Capitol hearings chaired by Senator June Finch (D) (Holly Hunter) about the Nairomi aftermath. That incident also involved the death of innocents whom in actuality were not killed by Superman.

"I just don't know if it's possible," says Lois. "Don't know if what's possible?" asks Clark. "How you can love me and be you?" Lois replies. Even so, that's the dilemma she chose to share with him. Their love, while also his carrying the weight of responsibility of being Superman.

It's also worth noting that the word "God" is mentioned several times in B v S. Used as a moniker, or as in scorn most notably by Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) in describing Superman. The name "Superman" itself Clark Kent had never ascribed to, but was thrust upon him from a scene in Man of Steel. "Colonel Hardy's on his way and he's got Superman in tow," says an Army soldier. "Superman?" asks General Swanwick, played by Harry Lennix, reprising his role in B v S now as U.S. Secretary of Defense. "The alien sir. That's what they're calling him, Superman," the soldier replies. So now it's the twin burdens of being called "Superman," and most recently called a "God" that Clark Kent never desired yet has dealt with while on Earth.

Things begin to roll after Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth (Jeremy Irons), Wayne's butler and surrogate father, discover a link between Russian mercenary Anatoli Knyazev (Callan Mulvey) and Lex Luthor in the bat cave. Knyazev was among mercenaries at Nairomi while Lois Lane interviewed a terrorist leader. Discovering Lane's photographer Jimmy Olsen had a camera with a tracking device revealing him to be CIA, Knyazev quickly shot Olsen afterwards.

Also with Alfred's help, Wayne was able to steal info from Luthor while invited to a party at LexCorp. A multi-billionaire businessman with a genius level and gifted scientist, Luthor is also psychotic and actor Jesse Eisenberg did well in the role. Luthor is irritating, and only influential wealthy people are tolerated for being irritating, hence Luthor's persuasiveness to get access to the crashed Kryptonian ship at Metropolis, and to study the deceased body of General Zod.

Yet a beautiful mysterious woman at the party steals the data Wayne acquired from Luthor's mainframe, Diana Prince/Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot). Later after she fails to decrypt the data and returns it to Wayne is when B v S gets convoluted. During data decryption in the bat cave, Wayne has a sudden vision of a post-apocalyptic world. Soldiers are bearing the S symbol of Superman, hence the fascist and nihilist critique of the film, and winged creatures appear with also a large Omega sign on the landscape. Yes their meant to be parademons heralding the coming of Darkseid whose symbol is omega. Afterwards the Flash appears as a time messenger, saying that Lois is the key, and for Wayne to find the others.

The others who are meta-humans, whom Wayne discovers in the data file as Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, and Cyborg. The beginning of the Justice League. Which its introduction was done tactfully very well. From there, B v S launches ahead. Wonder Woman was also great.

So yes, all those critiques previously mentioned about B v S were fair. But there's others that were not fair. Some so petty as meant to be taken so serious, and listing so long, that you'd think that director Zack Snyder and writers Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer had all committed war crimes. For example, one critic questioned why Superman saved a manned Russian rocket launch. To which I would ask: why not? And another critic thought that Superman healed way to fast, shortly after the nuclear missile explosion in space involving Doomsday. To answer that, Superman, who looked emaciated in the scene, was able to heal while in space as sunlight hit him, being powered by the yellow sun. I give Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice three and a half stars out of five.