Batman V. Superman Review

March 25, 2016

Keeping the spoilers minimal.

Just got back from seeing Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice.  The plot focuses on the response to world’s response to Superman’s emergence in the first movie, dealing with the aftermath.  The film opens on the murder and funeral of Thomas and Martha Wayne before advancing to the battle between Zod and Superman over Metropolis from Bruce Wayne’s perspective.  From there it advances to the main action of the film, centered around the aftermath of Superman’s emergence into the public eye and the response.  Batman has reemerged in Gotham while Superman struggles to come to peace with the role he has been forced into.

Overall, I thought this movie was fantastic.  I do actually enjoy the way Zack Snyder has brought Superman to the big screen.  Realistically, does anyone really believe a being of Superman’s capabilities would be universally embraced?  That his arrival as a figure of prominence would not be met with a heavy skepticism and fear?  Over the years, the Superman comics have developed the concept of Superman being a Christ figure, sent to bring hope for a better world–which was the central message Jor-El gave in Man of Steel.  Like Christ, he would have to learn how to do that and a lot of this film dealt with that struggle while reminding how human he actually is.  Amy Adams as Lois Lane does a masterful job of keeping him in touch with humanity.

Ben Affleck’s Batman was exactly what it needed to be.  Dark, weary, but determined.  His past as Batman was touched on–really only hinted in dialog and the appearance of the vandalized Robin costume–while a bit of heavy focus was given to the death of his parents.  Makes me wonder what Jena Malone’s Barbara Gordon would have added to the story.

The main villain is essentially Lex Luthor, portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg.  His performance was actually fairly entertaining and a good source of some comedic relief.  The manic xenophobia came across effectively as an individual who actually believed he was confronting a threat that needed to be eliminated by any means necessary.

The last big hero to appear was Wonder Woman, portrayed by Gal Gadot.  In a lot ways she came across as a half-way point between Batman and Superman–battle-weary and looking for something to hope for.  I would say the main drawback of the character was that there really wasn’t enough movie for there to be more of her.  Despite the limited screen time, this gave me cause to look forward to her upcoming solo film.

The story itself was a bit problematic.  It got a bit too dependent on dream sequences and visions.  I won’t go into detail about it, but the one that really bothered me just dragged on for too long and really did nothing for the story.  It was cool to see the Parademons though.  The actual cameos for the Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg were actually well done and served a good purpose in the course of the story.

Overall, I liked this movie.  I think Warner Brothers and DC Entertainment have a good thing going here.  Like I said about the dream sequence that ran on too long, I think there was maybe a bit too much effort to set up a Justice League movie.  I think that was going to be the biggest obstacle in making this movie, trying not to go beyond telling a good story and setting up a franchise.  I think the story would have meshed better and there would have been plenty of set up without relying on visions.  Looking forward to seeing where Suicide Squad goes with building on the foundation established here.

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