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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Film Review)

26 Mar

A Warner Bros. Film, Directed by Zach Snyder

Released: 25th March 2016

Starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Jesse Eisenberg, Gal Gadot, Amy Adams, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter and Laurence Fishburne.

Review: What if Batman was real?

A figure so traumatised by a childhood event that he dresses up as a devilish creature and administers his own brand of ‘justice’ to those he feels deserves it. He would be brutal, unrelenting and focused; he would have a complete disregard for the lives of those he pursues.

This is definitely the case in this milestone superhero movie epic. Batman takes down criminals with a brutality akin to his fighting style in the Arkham Knight game and its predecessors.  His fight choreography is both beautiful and harsh. It works well, until the film gets to its titular battle, at which point all that brutality is focused on Superman. At which point you’re once again reminded just what you’re watching: Something unpleasant.

batmanvsuperman

At no point was this fight fun to watch

Batman v Superman was a film that held a lot of promise. It was meant to be, as Lex Luthor states “The greatest gladiator match in the history of the world”.

But in DC’s desire to match Marvel’s cinematic universe, it went too far; failing to focus on what the film actually should have been about. On paper, the idea that Superman, a godlike figure who could destroy the world if he wanted, would attract scrutiny from men like Batman and Lex Luthor, makes for a good film. But Zach Snyder ham-handedly throws in Justice League cameos and irrelevant dream sequences (one of which is somehow orchestrated by the Flash?) which add nothing to the plot and are more confusing than helpful.

Not only is it plagued with unnecessary storytelling, but the direction itself is something rather tragic. The film jumps about from Clark in Metropolis, to Bruce in Gotham, to Clark in the Africa, to Lex in Metropolis, to Bruce having another unnecessary dream, to Wonder Woman wandering around, to etc. etc. with no real time spent to trying to justify what’s going on. And if Snyder’s jumpy film-cutting hadn’t already put you off, all the laser-beams and explosions that completely blot out everything that’s going on will.

doomsday

Guest starring a troll from Lord of the Rings

The writing is also a mess. Whilst characters like Jeremy Iron’s Alfred and Laurence Fishburne’s Perry White offer humorous little breaks from the rather maddening plot-line and begin to bring the film back to reality, other characters like Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne and Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor stop that in its tracks, speaking in unnecessary and unbelievable grandiose styles that really don’t fit the piece.

And then there’s Wonder Woman, who doesn’t really say much. She’s suggested to be a mysterious bad-ass, but then barely features and has all her appearances drummed out by horrific rock theme-music.

wondy

Keep an eye out for W.W. rocking the 1910s garb with Chris Pine

The messiness of the film is at its most apparent right at the end, where they orchestrate the ‘Dawn of Justice’. Throughout the film, the Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg are seen ever so briefly, and at its conclusion, Bruce states that they must find the ‘others’ as he knows there is a greater threat coming than Superman or Doomsday.

Why is it Bruce deciding this? Because obviously he’s pretty much the main character. His Batman is efficient, his motivations drive the narrative and his quest is told in full. Meanwhile, poor Henry Cavill’s Clark Kent is naught but a side piece; a ragdoll for Batman to fling around after exposing him to Kryptonite.

rainysuperman

He’s had a pretty bad day

If you’re a fan of Superman, I’d warn you to stay away from this film. People thought Man of Steel was bad (although I for one quite liked it), but this film basically should have been advertised (if you’ll excuse my use of expletives) as ‘FUCK SUPERMAN’.


 

This review comes from my website in progress, newtocomics.com.

It’ll be filled with comic book suggestions, news, reviews and character bios to get you up to date. If that strikes your fancy, then follow me on Twitter for progress on when it goes live. And if it doesn’t strike your fancy, please do it anyway because it’s for my MA project and I’d love you forever.

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8 Comments

Posted by on March 26, 2016 in Comic Books, Film & TV

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

8 responses to “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Film Review)

  1. Pingupol

    March 27, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    In incoherent mess of a movie where characters act without motivation and plot developments make no sense. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a good time though.

     
    • Emrys M.

      March 27, 2016 at 4:53 pm

      Despite what I said, there were moments when it drew me in. Batman taking down all those thugs in the warehouse being one of them. That was pretty awesome.

       
  2. Pingupol

    March 27, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    I thought the actual Batman and Superman fight, although too short, was pretty sick, along with the Batmobile chase scene. Could have lived without the whole Doomsday bit though.

     
    • Emrys M.

      March 27, 2016 at 5:43 pm

      I was really torn with the titular fight. I was a bit put off by the fact it was more Batman brutally beating Superman nearly to death. Then suddenly being like “yeah, our mum’s have the same name. We should be bezzies”

       
      • Pingupol

        March 27, 2016 at 6:14 pm

        If Superman had lead with “Hey Batman, Lex Luthor has kidnapped my mother and I need your help to rescue her” the scene would have gone down very differently.

         
      • Emrys M.

        March 27, 2016 at 7:15 pm

        Haha, that would have saved them a lot of time. Although I suppose it would be somewhat lacking in drama

         
      • Pingupol

        March 27, 2016 at 7:43 pm

        They could always have built legitimate conflict between the two and have that lead to the fight. Then again, that might be asking a bit much of an oscar winning screenwriter.

         
      • Emrys M.

        March 29, 2016 at 3:23 pm

        I know right? After all the interviews Jesse Eisenberg spent complementing the guy, for him to write this mess. Disappointing.

         

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