REVIEW: Batman v. Superman – Dawn of Justice (2016)

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2016, Warner Brothers Pictures/Ratpac-Dune Productions/DC Pictures

Director:
Zack Snyder
Producers:
Charles Roven
Deborah Snyder
Writers:
Chris Terrio (screenplay)
David S. Goyer (screenplay)
Bob Kane (original character, Batman)
Bill Finger (original character, Batman)
Jerry Siegel (original character, Superman)
Joe Shuster (original character, Superman)
William Charles Moulton (original character, Wonder Woman)
Cinematography:
Larry Fong
Editing:
David Brenner

Cast:
Ben Affleck (Bruce Wayne/Batman)
Henry Cavill (Clark Kent/Superman)
Amy Adams (Lois Lane)
Gal Gadot (Diana Prince/Wonder Woman)
Jesse Eisenberg (Alexander Luthor)
Diane Lane (Martha Kent)
Laurence Fishburne (Perry White)
Jeremy Irons (Alfred Pennyworth)
Callan Mulvey (Anatoli Knyazev)
Scoot McNairy (Wallace Keefe)
Holly Hunter (Senator June Finch)
Harry Lennix (Senator Swanwick)

It’s finally here. The long awaited rivalry between the Man of Steel and the Caped Crusader. How does the film pan out? Despite a few flaws, this is actually a pretty good film driven by the performances of Ben Affleck, the latest to take on the mantle of the Bat; and Henry Cavill, who returns to the role of Superman after Man of Steel.

It has been nearly two years since Superman has apparently saved the world from the clutches of General Zod. The reason why it is apparent is because some people do not believe he is a hero, but rather a troublemaker. One such person who believes he is trouble is billionaire Bruce Wayne, who for twenty years has been fighting criminals as the mysterious Batman. Batman intends to find a way to get rid of Superman if all else fails, even if it means sacrificing his own life to save lives.

However, someone else wants Superman gone. A young businessman in his own right, Alexander Luthor, intends to use Superman’s own weakness against him, knowing full well of the ramifications of using kryptonite. Clark begins to question Batman’s methods of justice as well, causing a conflict between himself and Bruce Wayne when they talk at one of Luthor’s functions. However, when two major incidents are forced upon their hands, the showdown between two of the greatest heroes is inevitable. Who will win and what will happen when a mysterious third party shows up to get in the mix?

Since the major announcement that there would be a battle between Batman and Superman, fans where cheering. Already having got used to Henry Cavill’s portrayal of Superman was a breeze thanks to the success of the rebooted Man of Steel. However, the first of a few shocking announcements came when it was announced that Ben Affleck would be playing the new Batman. As Christian Bale said he was done after The Dark Knight Rises, a new Bats was needed. The other shocking announcement was that there would be a cameo from Wonder Woman, but fans, much like their reaction with Affleck, feel that Israeli actress and model Gal Gadot was not a good fit for the role. The same reaction came when Jesse Eisenberg would be playing Lex Luthor, here known by his full name of Alexander Luthor.

Cavill once again proves himself as Superman. This time, he’s conflicted with being both a hero and somewhat of a misery to the people of Metropolis. He somehow realizes that his actions, while noble, does have consequences and must come face to face with the possibility that some not see him as the hero he was meant to be. This even affects his relationship with Lois Lane, played by Amy Adams, and even affects his work as Clark Kent at the Daily Bugle. Yet ironically, he questions that of Batman’s methods of judgment when he stops criminals.

Fans, it is safe to say that both Affleck and Gadot prove themselves worthy of playing their respective heroes. What is interesting with Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer’s script is that it takes some of the most famous comic arcs and meshes them, notably The Dark Knight Returns and Doomsday. Affleck plays a Bruce Wayne in his late-forties, and fits the mold as the opening scene takes on the famous catalyst that made Batman who he is today. Notable cameos from Walking Dead actors Lauren Cohan and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Martha and Thomas Wayne don’t offer much but give out the same old story. However, when Affleck sees the events of Man of Steel before his very eyes, it gives him a new reason to become even more lethal than he has ever been, for the time may come one day where he will have to face Superman.

As for Gadot, she doesn’t get much screen time, but plays a very vital partin the chaos that ensues. When she finally comes out as Wonder Woman, she may not have the body build everyone expect, but we are talking about an actress who is skilled not only in various martial arts, but was even an Israeli Defense Forces combat trainer before she became an actress. It is safe to say, she pulls off the action quite well. The one shocker is that of Eisenberg, who miraculously proves to everyone that yes, he is capable of playing Lex Luthor. He goes from an overjoyed sometimes obsessed businessman to someone who may in fact be pulling the strings in something even bigger.

Kudos must also go out to Callan Mulvey, who plays a Russian terrorist involved in all the action as well as Holly Hunter as a senator who doesn’t approve of Superman’s actions, but soon finds herself conflicted. As many may have guessed, there are a few special cameos in the film, and only one can be revealed as it doesn’t offer much more than just appearing is that of the future Aquaman, Jason Momoa. However, a special cameo must be seen to be believed as it will shock some fans.

The only flaw is not that there is any dragging, because it hardly does that. For a movie that runs two and a half hours, one would think the film may drag in the middle, but it rarely does. However, the editing of some of the action as well as the difference between reality and dreaming tends to be somewhat icky at times. Despite the shoddy editing, as the film goes on, it will make one want to get all anticipated for what will happen next.

In conclusion, Batman v. Superman – Dawn of Justice loses a few points due to some editing issues, but overall, it is a pretty good film that proves that despite fan shock at first announcement, some are worthy to take their roles and that goes to Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, and Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. Henry Cavill just keeps doing his thing of being a good Superman.

WFG RATING: B+

This film is currently playing in theaters. Check your local theater for showtimes.

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One thought on “REVIEW: Batman v. Superman – Dawn of Justice (2016)

  1. Sorry but that guy as Luthor was so wrong, I had to close my eyes when he talked. Painfully bad casting. The best part was…of all things..Wonder Women. I so want to know her backstory and see her solo movie. a good action B movie , wretched directing aside

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