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Film Review – Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

 

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Distractions: Batmen and Kaiju

“The Arrogance of (Students) is Thinking (Essays) are in our Control, and Not the Other Way Around”

It’s that time again. The year is winding down, and about this time next month, I’ll be preparing to get on a plane and fly off from rainy Wales to sunny California. I can’t wait. Between now and then? A few parties, saying goodbye to friends, moving all my belongings between various houses… and completing an essay and an exam.

Obviously, out of all that, those last two are the least appealing to me. However, for once, I’m actually on top of things. Although I didn’t do any work over the Easter holidays, I’ve still managed to work at a relaxed pace, yet complete essays before the deadlines hit. I can’t claim that these essays are the best quality work I’ve ever done, but frankly at this stage, with too much time on my hands, my mind has been elsewhere.

Primarily in the world of contemporary American Cinema.

First up, there’s the new Batman costume reveal.

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I for one think it looks great. As much as I love Christian Bale’s Dark Knight trilogy (I used to religiously watch The Dark Knight nearly every week) I think this is the first time Batman truly looks like Batman. As a comic book fan, I love that they’ve chosen to take his appearance in a way that sticks much closer to the source material; it gives him the intended weary look, makes him look capable of brutalizing criminals, and strongly differentiates from what’s already been seen on the big screen.

In fact, so far my excitement for the Man of Steel sequel has remained pretty high. I’m fine with the casting of Ben Affleck, especially after watching Argo last year. I even don’t mind Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor; I think it’s an interesting new take, especially when you remember Eisenberg is the same age as Henry Cavill. The only issue I have so far is Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman.

It’s not that I have anything against Gadot; she looks stunning. But unfortunately, she also looks a bit too dainty for an Amazonian warrior. But whatever; I initially thought the same thing about Affleck, and he’s proven everyone wrong with his impressive muscle gain. I have hope for this franchise, even if I’ve always been more of a Marvel fan.

The other thing my minds been pretty focused on is the latest Godzilla movie.

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I’ve watched the trailers over and over and scoured the net for reviews. However, to my disappointment, the first couple I read weren’t very positive. Describing the film as a misleading disappointment, these reviews have left my conflicted, as the epic Kaiju flick maintains high ratings on both iMDB and Rotten Tomatoes. Perhaps it’s for the best; with my hopes lowered exponentially, chances are that I’ll now enjoy the film far more when I see it tomorrow.

But more on that tomorrow night…

 

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2014 in Comic Books, Film & TV, Life

 

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