FILM REVIEW: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice, which pits Batman aka Bruce Wayne against Superman aka Clark Kent, is an extremely dark but compelling and complex movie that pits the comic book heroes against each other in ways that make sense.
The scope and production of this film is just stunning, and the aspect ratio changes to scenes actually shot in Imax are awesome. Before I properly delve into it, there are several things I would like to address. Firstly, Ben Affleck is the best version of Batman I have ever seen in a live action movie. He is the straight talking, no crap taking, truly tortured Batman that I’ve always wanted to see. He won’t make you forget Christian Bale (a lot of people will typically compare the two), but this Batman is far more brooding and angry. We understand why he has it in for Superman, blaming him for the tragedy in Metropolis that caused so much destruction. Although Superman is presented as a dutiful hero two years after those events and the alien attacks, there is a complexity now where people, particularly Wayne, are asking: just how much power can one man have for good and is he using it for the greater masses, or himself?
I don’t really understand some early critiques of the film from people who seem to want to see their comic superheroes in explicit terms of black and white. This is the rare entry in the genre that provides shades of grey on these iconic figures and seems to be right in line with the world we’re living in now. To that, I say well done. DC proves that there is room for intelligent and more serious themed superhero movies instead of the stale overdone Marvel films aimed at kids (Deadpool excluded of course).
Henry Cavill returns for another round in this Man of Steel role, expanding on his internal struggle of essentially being a God in the eyes of the human race. Intensely played by Jesse Eisenberg, the chief villain is Lex Luthor, now a tech giant — a sort of Mark Zuckerberg on meds. He’s a manic, power-mad force of bad nature, who takes sides in the superhero confrontations for his own benefit. Interestingly all three of these guys have father issues to deal with, having lost their dads and mentors in very different ways. Many reviews are saying how serious this film is, well yes it’s serious. This is not the light hearted movie that fans have been given by Marvel! And guess what, it shouldn’t be. You cannot compare this to Marvel, because like the comics, the tones are completely different. This does justice to the tone of many DC comics and again as a comic fan, dark and gritty is what I want from a DC film, not another painfully cheesy Marvel film aimed for 10-year-olds.
As I write the film is currently standing at a 31% on Rotten Tomatoes…meanwhile Sharknado stands at 82%…need I say more about how flawed that is? I would not let this deter you from going to watch this fantastically made flick. It definitely stays true to comics in many ways, sure they change some things, but I must say I have never seen a movie before this one that tried so hard to stick to its source material. For the casual cinema goer this could cause confusion, but for anyone who knows the lore and history, this movie is everything you could want. This is why this newer version of Lex Luthor is so fresh and exciting…he’s a different take on the character, and only this his first appearance; I am very excited to see where they go with him in future installments. Suffice it to say, some of the fans are most looking forward to seeing Wonder Woman aka Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), though you’ll after wait until the third act to see her in all her costumed glory, and she acquits herself nicely in battle with Batman and Superman against the Lex Luthor created Doomsday.
The supporting cast are incredibly top notch as would expect. Amy Adams is back as Lois Lane, Diane Lane as Martha Kent and Laurence Fishburne as Daily Planet editor Perry White. Jeremy Irons ably takes on Bruce Wayne’s confidant Alfred, who tells him sagely, “Even you’ve grown too old to die young, not for lack of trying.” Love that line — best and most pointed in the movie. Another Oscar winner, Holly Hunter, turns up as a U.S. senator in charge of hearings on Superman.
In the end, Zach Snyder, in my opinion, has outdone himself with this and it’s his best work to date. Perfectly balanced with the right amount of screen time for the two leads. A great script with a compelling story and well choreographed breathtaking action sequences make this a must-see. So do not pay any attention to the negative reviews, especially if you’re a true fan. Keep an open mind and please do not get caught up in your preconceived notions of what superhero movies “need” to be like! So go see the movie, enjoy it, sit back and watch these amazing performances and the beginning of the DCEU.