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Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice - Movie Review


3 stars

Already hearing divisive accounts of this film. In the red corner we have the fans, who are beating a drum of success and love. In the blue corner, the critics, who are not happy, if Rotten Tomatoes is anything to go by. Now I consider myself a member of both these camps. I have loved the products of DC comics and been an avid reader for thirty years and I am also asked to put my thoughts down about the latest films from time to time.

So I'll stick with what this film set out to do. From a business standpoint, this film had some enormous tasks placed on its shoulders. It was to be DC's rather accelerated answer to the Marvel juggernaut that has dominated this genre since 2008. It only had 2013's Man of Steelbefore it, so its job was to set up a world in which Cavill's Superman shared the spotlight with a new Batman, the first cinematic Wonder Woman, and other characters destined to become part of the ultimate goal: The Justice League—DC's answer to the Avengers.

Batman: Ben Affleck was vilified as soon as he was announced. Let me say right off the bat (pardon the pun), he's pulled it off resoundingly. He is jacked; by far the most physically dominant Batman a film has had the pleasure of including. He also, in this reviewer's opinion, demonstrates the most kinetic, comic style, bone crunching fights committed to celluloid to date. He outfights all of the previous Batmans hands down. They are a dizzying pleasure to watch. They have made the Batman a presence of technology rather than psychology in this one. Bruce is a messed up, bitter man, and Affleck brings predominantly fury to his incarnation and does it well.

Superman: my reaction to this incarnation of the Man of Steel was more welcoming than many critics in 2013, because I had taken the title of that film to mean Cavill's take was not fully formed at the conclusion. But Superman is used in the title of this one, and if you're gonna use that name, then the most famous big blue boy scout has to be shown, fully formed. And he's still not the character we know and love in this one, even with the narrative being more on Batman's side, and the conflicts he faces rather grave, to say the least, the continuance of the 'alien' not knowing where he fits in another movie is a misstep in my opinion.

The story crams too much in, there are at least three sweeping epic comic book pillaged stories shoehorned into this one movie. As quite a few superhero movies have learned the hard way, Batman v Superman has to be included in the pantheon of tales that tries to cram in too much. Because of the sheer volume of characters and setting up this shared world it's impossible not to lose something, and what's lost is thoroughness in character.

The performers are all the right choice for their roles and do very well with what they've been given, but given more time to flesh out these characters, would have benefitted immensely. This film is not stupid, not by any stretch, but its heavy narrative doesn't let itself of the audience breath.

Special effects are impressive. Snyder's penchant for slow motion has returned with a thirst in this one. It is a visually beautiful movie, a very dark palette accompanies a very dark story. The score is inconsistent, with both Zimmer and Junkie XL handling different characters in the film. As a film judged on its own legs, it's a good but flawed product. But it is part of a sequence, and that may have more resonance when we get to the stand alones and the Justice League movies. It is technically brilliant, and has many, many excellent points that would take pages for me write down. It's good, but it could have been great.


[tab title="Film Details"]

Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: PG - 13 for intense sequences of violence and action throughout, and some sensuality.
153 mins
: Zach Snyder
Chris Terrio; David S. Goyer
Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams
: Action | Adventure
Dawn of Justice
Memorable Movie Quote: "Twenty years in Gotham. How many good guys are left? How many stay that way?"
Warner Bros
Official Site: http://batmanvsuperman.dccomics.com/
Release Date:
March 25, 2016
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.
Synopsis: Fearing the actions of Superman are left unchecked, Batman takes on Superman, while the world wrestles with what kind of a hero it really needs. With Batman and Superman fighting each other, a new threat, Doomsday, is created by Lex Luthor. It's up to Superman and Batman to set aside their differences along with Wonder Woman to stop Lex Luthor and Doomsday from destroying Metropolis.


[tab title="Blu-ray Review"]

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