Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) – Film Review

Title: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Cast: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter and Gal Gadot.

Director: Zack Snyder

Genre: Superhero, Action, DC Extended Universe, Comic Book Adaptation

Rating: 3/5


In my opinion, superhero and comic book movies has become one of those genres that can attract a very diverse audience. From diehard fans who enjoying seeing their favourite hero/antihero play it up on the big screen, to people wanting to experience a form of escapism into a world where good guys beat bad guys, and marvellous powers and technologies are the norm, superheroes represent the protection, power, and that being different isn’t a bad thing.

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So when it was announced in 2013 that two of the biggest and most celebrated superheroes would be put in a film together, the anticipation was rife across the globe. In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, two of DC’s greatest and most read-about heroes faced off in an action-packed, CGI riddled movie that would not only launched the start of a new superhero franchise, but would be the first live-action movie starring these two fan favourites.

Set eighteen months after Man of Steel, Superman has become a figure of controversy. Thanks to destructive battle with General Zod, Superman has changed from a hero of protection and peace, and into something that people have started to fear. And there is no person who hates Superman more than billionaire tycoon Bruce Wayne. After the ruin of Wayne Tower, Wayne holds a grudge against Superman, and sees Superman as being a threat to humanity due to his overwhelming powers. And vice versa here, as Superman views the Batman as being a threat, and acting above the law. So, with the two most powerful men in Gotham and Metropolis actively loathing each other, it is then up to power mogul and other-all bad seed, Lex Luthor to interject and orchestrate a colossal battle. However, all is not as it seems, and it soon becomes apparent that instead of fighting each other, there is a bigger foe that threatens world peace.

So, what did I enjoy about this film? Well, first of all I was pleasantly surprised by Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne. I have watched Affleck through various different films, from Daredevil to Gone Girl, and when he was announced that he was going to play Batman in this movie, I was eager to see how he would play him. And all in all, I was surprised about how serious he was. In the beginning of the film, we are given a refresher course about Wayne’s tragic past and his parents death, and with a very chilling shot of the mugger’s gun wrapped around his mother’s string of pearls, the shooting scene was done with enough drama to really hit a nerve. This flashback to Wayne’s childhood also helped cement what kind of Batman Affleck would portray, as he is shown to be very troubled. He portrayed a Bruce Wayne that was very different from Christopher Nolan’s, as he wasn’t as jokey or wise-cracking as The Dark Knight hero. He seemed a lot more troubled by his past, which in turned affected his Batman. As his alter ego, he seemed a lot more vicious and macabre, and definitely as more of a vigilante.

The Batmobile and his suit has been rejigged and redone as well, and like with the Superman, this Batman wasn’t supposed to be a continuation of The Dark Knight Trilogy, but an entirely new version. Henry Cavill’s batman-v-superman-trailer-fight-heat-visionSuperman has also been given more of an insight into the trials of being Superman. The fact that he is an alien, and his powers are feared rather than revered is talked about throughout the film, however there are moments of religious symbolism which did show that Superman is still worshipped as a higher power. Cavil is chiselled, cool and plays both Clarke Kent and Superman well.

But what did irk me was the high levels of damsels in distress in this movie. Amy Adam’s Lois Lane didn’t necessarily have any life in her character. She waits to be rescued, and when she does, she promptly goes off and gets herself in more danger. In this film, all she seems to do is wait for Superman. Which is highly disappointing, especially as it is put next to the highly advertised appearance of Wonder Woman. Gal Gadot doesn’t get the screen time she should have got. She only reveals her super alter-ego in this last big battle, and appears before in various dresses at glamourous events.

What I also found disappointing was the jumbled and jolted way this film didn’t follow one plot. It messily jumped from subplot to subplot, before climaxing in two very epic and dramatic battles at the end, where everything is resolved very quickly. The end battles were good, don’t get me wrong. Watching as Superman and Batman mercilessly attack each other in haze of heat vision, kryptonian smoke guns and fancy Bat-gadgets was entertaining. But I don’t think that Marvel and its well- defined movie franchise has anything to worry about when it comes to this particular film.

On the surface, the movie was an action-filled explosion extravaganza. I thoroughly enjoyed the tension between Clarke Kent and Bruce Wayne, and how these two superheroes faced the Fall from Grace into being feared and not understood. Jeremy Irons’ Alfred was also another moment of dry humour in the darkness of Bruce Wayne’s world. But underneath, the dialogue was long and drawn out – especially when it came to Lex Luthor and his crazy monologues – the film was oddly paced, with the end coming too soon and the rest bumbling along, and the soundtrack wasn’t up to scratch. I am eager to see what the DC Extended Universe comes up with next. But let’s just try more with sticking with one plot, and less with the damsels.

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But what do you think? Did you enjoy this new movie? Do you think marvel has to worry about this new franchise? And what superhero movie would you like to see? Leave me comments!

 

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