24 Mar [Spoiler Free] Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Review
This has been a highly anticipated movie. As the Marvel machine continues its run of highly successful movies, DC has been building up its own momentum as it prepares to set up the Justice League, the DC version of The Avengers. Cue: Dawn of Justice.
Aside from all that, this movie was touted to answer the all important question. Who would win between Batman and Superman. And secondly, is Ben Affleck the Batman we deserve?
This film was a 2.5 hour eyegasm that never seemed to end. Throughout the movie, there were times my jaw dropped at the sheer audacity of what I was seeing. With such a massive budget, this should come as no surprise but nonetheless it has to be mentioned. This film will arrest your eyes and not let up until the credits roll over.
The internet lost its collective cool once it was announced that Ben Affleck would be Gotham’s Bat. Understandably so, given how well Christian Bale owned the role. However, the internet’s fears were premature as Affleck gave a stellar performance. His delivery of lines, how he radiated intense fury – it all came together to produce a riveting performance that really kept the film going.
A darker DC
Admittedly when you compare DC to Marvel, it already seems like a solemn affair, but DC dug deeper into its reserves to produce a gritty film. An older and more cynical Batman who cared less about the lives of those in his way, a tortured Superman trying to stay on his righteous path, it all made for some tough and enthralling storytelling. Enthralling to an extent, but more on that later.
Some people may dislike this, but nothing is more exciting than watching a series of storylines come to a head. You’re imagining where the twist is going to come; how it’s going to end. Your mind is racing with possibilities and as you see the emotions each character feels as the plot unfolds, it can make your blood race with anticipation. This would have been what I’d written here if the second trailer hadn’t completely given away absolutely every single plot in the movie. Every single one. Without fail. Attempting to ignore that aspect, the slow build up might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it was certainly great to watch in my opinion.
That second trailer though. It literally gave away the entire movie, like who on earth signed that off?!
Watching a Batman that cared very little for how badly he punished criminals was refreshing. He was no longer bound by his ethics of preserving life and it made for a more aggressive, angry hero. Also, and without saying too much, the fight between Batman and Superman may not have completely lived up to the hype, but it was brutally entertaining due primarily to the choreography.
With two such massive heroes, and surprise appearances/teasers of others, you would imagine that there would be rich territory for the writing team to work in. Instead, it seems the plot took a backseat in this movie and you’re left with a lacklustre story, driven only by Affleck’s incredible performance and the visual feast that was the cinematography. The empty plot also did little to help a bland Henry Cavill performance. I loved him in Man of Steel but here, he lived in the shadow of Affleck.
Apparently Zack Snyder, the director, didn’t believe in strong women for this film. Lois Lane was as irritating as ever in her supportive role that encompasses staring dreamily at Superman and not very much else. Oh yes, sometimes she stumbles along as a plot device. Riveting stuff. The outfit choices for Diana Prince, who is later revealed to be someone rather exciting, leaves pretty much nothing to the imagination. And before you retort by saying that her costume designs come from previous comic books, let’s not pretend like costume designs don’t get reinterpreted all the time. They could have aspired to better.
Marvel is generally the comic book universe that suffers from shallow, one-dimensional villains, at least in the films, but in this case Lex Luthor fits that bill all too well. Poor writing, a flaw throughout in this film, created a dull villain despite Jesse Eisenberg’s spirited attempt to bring Luthor to life.
If you can accept that the purpose of this movie is to set up the rest of the DC universe and what is to come, aka Justice League, then you will have an absolutely incredible experience. This eyegasm of a film will leave you breathless for long periods and when you think it visually couldn’t get any better, the next scene will blow you away. Batman v Superman does the word “epic” absolute justice.
On the other hand, there really is no plot nor writing ability worth mentioning. For a DC film, it really lacked the depth and insight I’ve come to expect from them, but given how much this film had to do, it was to be expected.
At the end of the day, you’ll be hard pressed to regret spending money to see this film in all its glory. It releases today at Nu Metro.