For starters, I make no bones about the fact that I did not like Warner Brothers first film in the DC Cinematic Universe "Man of Steel".  I grew up on Superman but "Man of Steel" was very flawed and left a lot to be desired.  So I was skeptical about this next installment "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice".  With the announcement of all the characters that would be introduced as well as trailers showing Doomsday as the big baddy of the film, I had a lot of worry that this film would be too much too quickly as well as there being too much potential for things, such as Doomsday, to not be done properly.  But for the sake of being unbiased, I decided to leave my reservations outside the theater and go into this film fresh faced.

Sadly.... it didn't help....

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that this movie is not enjoyable at times, I just wish that the times were more frequent.  Visually, I have no complaints about this film.  The fight scenes are fun to watch actually pretty well done.  A film of this scale cannot avoid using CGI, but the CGI is not too overdone even when it comes to major villain Doomsday at the climax of the film.  Story-wise however, this film suffers from the same flaw as its predecessor in that it comes up short.  This is the first time that we are seeing these two characters, Batman (played by Ben Affleck) and Superman (reprised by Henry Cavill), on screen together in any live action capacity so there is tons of potential that unfortunately is not capitalized on.  With a running time of 2 hours and 31 minutes, you would expect to see more interaction between these two characters on screen but you are just left wanting more.  They share the screen for such a small fraction of the film that it's disappointing.  It's almost as if director Zack Snyder spent too much time focusing on the set up for the next film installment "Justice League" rather than spend the time building a story around what this film is actually called, "Batman v Superman"... should have been called "Batman Misunderstands Superman" at this point.

One of two large fears I had for this film was "too much, too fast".  With announcements coming out that we would see appearances from not only Batman, Lex Luthor (played by Jesse Eisenberg), and Wonder Woman (played by Gal Gadot) in this movie, we would also be getting our first look at Aquaman, Cyborg, and The Flash.  As I've told a number of people this, too many ingredients can spoil the entree.  Less is more.  However I was happy to see after viewing the film that this is something this film actually does right.  The appearances of Aquaman, Cyborg and the Flash are such a small part of the film that is doesn't take away anything from the movie.  The appearances are just enough to acknowledge their existence in this universe then it's on with the show.  While she plays a larger role in the film than the 3 previously mentioned, it was nice to see Wonder Woman properly portrayed in a DC property finally after many failed attempts by Warner Bros. in the past.  Gal Gadot is a great addition to the film and the universe.  Probably the biggest surprise of all though was Lex Luthor played by Jesse Eisenberg.  I was very surprised by that casting and could not picture Eisenberg doing that role justice, but I couldn't have been more wrong.  He plays the part masterfully.

What may come as a shock to some but did not to me was Ben Affleck joining the universe as the Dark Knight.  Many thought this was a poor casting choice but I was in the minority that believed he would kill it as Batman... and I say with pride that I was right.  Affleck's portrayal of both Bruce Wayne and Batman is the most stand out part of this film.  It is a version of Batman we have never seen before but the fans have deserved for a long time.  We are reminded in this film something that previous Batman installments tend to forget and that is Batman is a detective more than anything else.  He is more than just a billionaire vigilante with gadgets.  Dare I say it, this version of Batman played by Ben Affleck may be the best Batman we have seen so far... and I'm saying this as a massive Keaton fan.   If there is anything I would like to see come out of this, it's another stand alone Batman film with Affleck at the helm.

Overall, while enjoyable at times, this film falls short of all the massive hype it is getting.  It's fun at times but the build-up to get to those fun times seems to draw a lot of the breath out of this feature.  It's shades better than Man of Steel so DC is on the right track when it comes to their cinematic universe, but they still have a long way to go.  It's recommended to see in theaters once, but doesn't merit any additional viewings.
OFFICIAL RATING = 5.5 out of 10