Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Review of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

If you need me to tell you what Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is, then you are obviously a guy I don’t know and someone I have no interest in knowing.

The first feature film to show both Batman and Superman together has been promoted like crazy by Warner Bros. Pictures. The backlash by critics and Marvel fanboys has been just as intense. So in the end, who is right?

I fall strictly on the side that says Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a kick-ass movie that do not deserve half the criticism it has been receiving. Luckily, I’m not alone because fans throughout the world has been flocking to see the movie. At last count, the movie earned over US$750 million and still counting. No matter what they say, this movie is a hit and a richly deserved one.

Directed by Zack Snyder, starring Ben Affleck as Batman and Henry Cavill as Superman, the movie begins 18 months after Man of Steel. The destructive attack by General Zod in Metropolis has made Superman a controversial figure. Half the world fear him and the other half worship him. On his part, billionaire Bruce Wayne sees Superman as a potential threat to humanity and aims to find a way to stop him. Superman also has the same view on Batman, seeing the Bat of Gotham as a threat who do more harm than good.

Outside the two, other players are also in the action. LexCorp's mogul Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) tries to convince Senator June Finch (Holly Hunter) to allow him to import Kryptonite retrieved from the Indian Ocean as a "deterrent" against Kryptonians. He also wants access to Zod's body and the Kryptonian scout ship. Gal Gadot appears as a woman named Prince who also has an agenda of her own.

In the end, Lex orchestrates events that force Batman and Superman into conflict and unleashes a monstrous creature called Doomsday. A monster so powerful, it require Superman, Batman and Prince to join forces to defeat it.

Now considering all the criticism the movie has been getting, you must be wondering what I like about the movie. Simply put, I like the fact director Zack Snyder takes so much risk with the movie.

Unlike the recent Star Wars: The Force Awakens, this is a movie that has a vision and is bold enough to implant it. In some way, I think that’s one of the reason why so many people dislike it. This is a movie with its’ own vision of the superheroes and does not care about the previous visions in other movies. Case in point; Batman.

Ben Affleck’s Batman is one that has been operating in Gotham for over 20 years and is jaded by his fight. Forget the vision by Christian Bale, Michael Keaton or Val Kilmer; this is a brand new Batman that has never been seen before in film and that was great.

I also like how the movie refuse to hold your hand. Gal Gadot’s character is clearly Wonder Woman but the name “Wonder Woman” was never mention once in the movie. Ditto for the only characters. Aquaman; Cyborg; The Flash? You don’t know who they are? Too bad. Go Google it. This movie do not serve things up on a plate and I love it!

The ending fight was also very good. When Wonder Woman show up and you could see the Trinity together for the first time; Wow! (You don’t know who are the Trinity? Go Google it).  The performances of the main actors were also very good. Ben Affleck's performance as Batman was excellent and Gal Gadot made good use of her character’s limited screen time.

However, I’m less of a fan with the performances of some of the other characters. Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor was strange. So much so that I just can’t take him seriously as a threat to Batman or Superman, much less both of them together.

The movie was also a movie of 2 halves. The first half was a mystery with Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent, Lex Luthor, and Prince moving quietly to get an advantage on each other. The second part of the movie was more like a regular superhero movie with fights and destruction the order of the day. The two halves perhaps does not gel as well as they should.

On the whole however, I thought there were way more pluses than minuses in the movie. The critics are wrong about this one, this is a very good movie. See it and judge for yourself. 

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