“Batman v Superman” disappoints DC fans

There are few things more disappointing than getting hyped for a movie that’s supposed to be great, only to realize that it’s a completely and totally terrible film (i.e. “The Phantom Menace,” “Batman and Robin”). One thing that is more disappointing is when that let-down of an anticipated movie doesn’t even have the decency to go all the way and be a complete piece of garbage, and is instead stuck in the joyless void between good and terrible (“Thor: The Dark World”).

What’s even worse than that is when you’re hyped for a movie for three years before realizing that the movie is not only mediocre, but is also a let-down when compared with all expectations and marketing associated with the film.

This is the case with “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”

Almost three years ago, Warner Bros. and DC revealed that the sequel to 2013’s Superman film, “Man of Steel,” would be a Batman vs. Superman movie. Those three years have finally passed, and “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” has, at long last, arrived in theaters.

This was easily one of the most anticipated films of the decade, up there with “Star Wars VII” and the “Avengers” films. With the recent marketing push claiming the film to be “the greatest gladiator match in the history of the world,” the expectation was that the Dark Knight and Superman would have an epic battle and that everything in the film would revolve around this clash of titans.

Unfortunately, the worst thing about the movie is that “Batman v Superman” doesn’t have enough Batman v Superman, and what it does have isn’t very good Batman v Superman.

The fight between the two heroes feels tacked-on, like it only exists so that a movie studio can market the fight to the public … oh, wait, that’s probably the exact reason it exists.

The fight isn’t the only problem with the movie. BvS suffers from an extreme case of “Avengers: Age of Ultron”-itis. This disease is characterized by a movie suffering from too much stuff, “stuff” being defined as subplots, references, sequel set-ups and other things that are appearing more and more frequently in shared-universe movies. BvS has so much of this crammed into one film that, combined with other parts of the movie, it just feels kinda incoherent as a whole.

In addition to the jumbled atmosphere in the movie, there are many things that can best be described as “dumb.” Many of the characters’ motivations are pushed just for the sake of the narrative. Also, several plot points revolve around things that seem extremely forced and downright nonsensical just for the sake of the plot or a cool moment.

Another thing wrong with the film is that some of the characters end up being dislikable due to the movie’s serious tone. Superman, for instance, the stereotypical symbol of hope and justice, seems mopey and uncharismatic. Lex Luthor, too, feels more troubled than intimidating, like the character should be.

Many of these issues spring from the fact that the movie is far more grim and serious than it should be. I mean, it’s (supposedly) about a rich guy in a bat suit fighting an alien in blue Spandex. Make your movie accordingly, DC.

There are many good things about the movie, however. Much of the acting is good, especially Ben Affleck’s job as Batman, which is probably the highlight of the movie. Much of the action is pretty good as well. One sequence, where Batman takes out a bunch of evildoers, even stands out as quite possibly the best Batman action I’ve ever seen on screen.

There are also several moments in the film that just blew me away. One scene in particular that has to do with Lex Luthor was just fantastic and made me almost want to forget about all the problems with the movie.

But at the end of the day, these gems ended up buried within the mess that is “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” The fact that the it is heavy-handedly setting up Justice League movies, while it may get some DC fans excited, isn’t doing the movie any favors. (On the bright side, the Marvel fan in me gets to gloat that DC doesn’t know how to handle a shared movie universe. Yay Marvel.)

On the whole, BvS isn’t a terrible movie, but it isn’t really a good one either. It’s disappointing. However, it’s a must-see for anyone interested in the DC cinematic universe.

And hey, if you get lucky, you may get treated to a “Captain America: Civil War” trailer if you go see BvS. That trailer got more applause than the movie itself at my showing.