Reviews: Batman Vs Superman – DC’s filmic comeback
Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice,
Directed by Zack Snyder,
Starring Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg
The Dark Knight of Gotham is going to go head to head with The Last Son of Krypton in the start of the DC universe.
Since the announcement of this film the fans of the comics and the Superhero movies have picked the sides. Not which hero is going to be the victor, but if the film is going to be good or going to be bad. I’m the bearer of good news today as I tell you that this is a great adventure with the characters that I loved when I was a kid, and that I still love now. I’m trying to review this film as a neutral critic but it’s hard. The only good thing here that will balance this review out is that I don’t like Zack Synder as a Director. There, I said it. He relies on the same tricks through the different stories that he’s telling and his version of storytelling isn’t as good as he think he is. I did enjoy Man of Steel.
Batman Vs. Superman starts at the end of Man of Steel. Bruce Wayne is just landing on the outskirts of Metropolis and is in his car trying to get to the city’s branch of Wayne Enterprises. Tying in closely with the finale of Man of Steel as Superman is going toe to toe with Zod. Fast track to eighteen months later, and the American people are having political hearings of the events in Man of Steel, Lois is in Africa investigating a story, and Bruce Wayne is trying to track down something that will help him in his future battle with Superman.
As Superman battles public opinion as to who, if anyone, pulls his strings, his girlfriend Lois is battling her relationship with Clark, wondering if them being together is stopping Clark doing his duty to the planet. Bruce Wayne is trying to hack into the Lex Corp servers. Lex Luthor is controlling his hatred for the Kryptonian while trying to get Government support for his silver bullet to stop any more alien destruction. This leads Lex to desperate measures and the creation of something more deadly than Zod and his minions.
While it is hard for me to take my love for the Caped Crusader and the Man of Steel out of the equation, I did. I watched Dawn of Justice with one eye being critical and one eye just being that young lad watching Richard Donner’s original Superman movie for the first time. The critic in me still doesn’t like how Mr. Snyder tells a story, but it’s Bats and Supes, so what are you going to do. Adding in Lex Luthor played by Jesse Eisenberg gives the traditional Superman villain a new outlook for modern times. Here Luthor is barely holding his mentality together, rather than the always-sure, always-evil Les we have had in the past. It’s nice that he has a little more of the sociopath tendencies showing through the film rather than just an evil monologue at the end.
Amy Adams returns as Lois Lane, and although she’s one of the better Lois Lane’s we’ve had over the years, the part now is trimmed down because the scope of the film has increased. Cavil is Superman for an entire new generation of fans and he will always play this part like it should be played. Their are further returns from Man of Steel, the expansion happens with Lex, Politicians and Batman, always with his trusted butler Alfred. Alfred is played brilliantly by Jeremy Irons, almost bitter about his young Master Wayne’s night-time activities as The Gotham Bat, but still willing to help.
There were many doubters of Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman; for me it was an obvious choice, and he nails the character both in and out of the tights. There have been few interpretations of Bruce/Bats that capture the playboy image that he must show. You agree with his view on Superman, that if there is one percent chance that he can turn bad then we have to accept it as a reality, and I for one wanted him to take Superman out. I cannot wait for Affleck to write, star, and direct future adventures of my Dark Knight, lets remember that he’s won Oscars for this stuff and is a far better storyteller than Mr. Snyder, just in my opinion.
Joining the story is Diana Prince aka Wonder Woman, the immortal Amazonian Princess. She’s trying to get a photo back from Lex Luthor and will do anything to get it back. When the finale starts, and thankfully they take their sweet time in the finale, she joins in the action and shows that it’s not just a boy’s world.
Some may complain that it’s too long, and they are allowed to complain, but they are still wrong. When dealing with two mammoth characters like Clark/Supes and Bruce/Bats you have to take your time and tell a story. We don’t need the same style superhero movie that we get two or three times a year from the other guys all the time. When you add to the film the amount of world-building that they are doing here for the upcoming DC movies you want them to show you that our treasured heroes are in good hands. Maybe, for me, it shouldn’t be Mr. Snyder’s hands but bringing in the comic talent who have held these treasures over the years and giving the fans scenes and action that they want is a hugely good thing.
Man of Steel separated the fans, so I’m told; I don’t see how it was an evolution of a loved character to make him relevant to a new century and to a new group of fans. Dawn of Justice is a hard movie to watch for all the right reasons, and I’m going to let you into a little secret, I cried at the end. I will happily watch this film, the longer version that is coming out on DVD/BluRay, and any other version at any time. The future looks bright for the DC Cinematic universe, as it is for their TV universe. Bravo to all involved.