Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) Movie Review
“The Red Capes are coming.”
Man of Steel, Superman (Henry Cavill) is under a lot of controversy because of the destruction and chaos that he has caused in his actions. Batman (Ben Affleck) is under the idea that Superman is overly-restrictive and a threat to the city and to maybe even his own life. Under this idea, Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) happens to be in town to pit the two together in the ultimate gladiator match.
There has been a lot of anticipation and hype for Zack Snyder’s early season blockbuster that pits two very interesting comic book heroes together. And the critic reviews lately have been trashing the film for being overlong, choppy and “not fun” but exactly what do you expect from a dark and gritty comic book film that pits heroes against each other and works as a sort of combination of The Dark Knight & Man of Steel. It’s a physiological hold back for each hero when Lex Luthor comes around, but anger that drives Batman to Superman in a gladiator match. So what do you expect? A dumb summer popcorn blockbuster? Or what you really should expect, a dark comic book thriller that is entertaining and smart in how it balances the dark aspects and the “blockbuster” type of aspects. And it’s a total blast from start to finish.
Yes, you heard me right; this review is supporting the very small amount of people that believe that this movie is great. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a perfectly entertaining popcorn blockbuster met with a dark and gritty pit against the odds. It’s so entertaining; regardless of how intense this movie can get at certain times. And don’t think that the trailers show you everything, because there is a lot more in terms plot details that this film has to offer and awesomeness.
What director Zack Snyder understands here is balance in tone and how to make a movie that will please fans. His directing is great and he fleshes it doesn’t matter what the critics are complaining about, because here is still a film that will please diehard fans of the comic book heroes who are willing to see an ambitiously bold and awesome showdown of not only our comic book heroes, but the odds set against each other. Is the film a bit choppy at times? Yes. Is the writing a little messy? Yes. But that doesn’t deny a perfectly balanced thriller.
One reason why this movie is so well-made in my opinion is the performances. The entire cast delivers performances that range from good to amazing. Ben Affleck as Batman completely took my breath away. He completely owns him; he holds his character in tact throughout and becomes him. His performance is dark, brutal yet human like- something that past Batman actors couldn’t balance out. Henry Cavill as Superman is solid once again. He really makes his character feel realistic and have human qualities, nevertheless if he is basically a god. Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was amazing. One thing people were worried about would be that she is randomly introduced in, but she is actually set-up and fleshed out as a character just enough so that once her part becomes more crucial to the whole epic scale of the film, she really adds. And this is mainly due to how realistic she was for the role, and she owned it. And finally, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. There was a lot of speculation about whether his performance would prove successful, and its fine. It isn’t really anything great, but it’s a good enough performance that is convincing for the most part. He isn’t completely over the top, but just enough that we get the feeling that he is a crazy, information-thirsty maniac.
Hans Zimmer’s booming soundtrack echoes through the loudspeakers, bewildering audience members in its reflective and loud intentions to support the film’s tone and make the experience much more engaging and weightful for the audience. For instance, when Batman is fighting against Superman, each character’s different score booms whenever one is on top of another. For instance, if Batman were to be on top of things at one point, his score would be the one that is heard. And not only is it an amazing and reflective score, but one that can stand on its own while listening to it on its own.
The writing is very very mixed. It’s pretty much where the film’s flaws come from. First off, it fleshes out the characters very well and there are some very interesting lines delivered throughout that help determine tone and balance between story elements and characters, but the writing also at times feels rushed, or might once in awhile skim over an important plot detail. So in my opinion, it makes the film feel choppy and a little messy at times, but overall, it does write out its characters very well so it has some redeeming writing qualities.
From a technical standpoint, it’s solid. There are some really nice visuals and the action sequences are fantastic. It’s really a well-shot film, and it lacks annoying shaky cam. There are times when the film tends to have weird and random transition from scene to scene which make some of the film editing poor, but the film nevertheless has a solid technical lineup and a nice use of it.
The story here is something that has been anticipated for a long time, and the film ultimately uses it very well in a story that goes in new and different directions and most comic book movies do. There are still a few generic elements that have to do with writing issues, but Snyder as a director made his story bold, ambitious and a total blast as well as dark and gritty.
What I would say this movie suffers from most is how choppy some portions of the film can be, which make it uneven and a little hard to follow at times. But it’s nevertheless bold, ambitious, engaging and so much fun to watch as well as very intense.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice works very well as a solid comic-book thriller that does feel bloated at times with its narrative, but is still very entertaining, dark, well-acted, ambitiously directed and smart popcorn thriller that balances it’s dark and lighter tone throughout as well as fantastic performances and action sequences that make this something worth seeing at the theater, even if the writing makes certain portions messy.
This movie is recommended.