Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Don’t shoot me, but I love Ben Affleck. He will always have a special place in my heart as Bartleby in ‘Dogma’ (the first R16 movie I was allowed to own). While the rest of the world seemed to be doubting and hating on the casting choice for Batman, I was quietly cheering him on. As more promotional content started to appear and more Bat-fleck hate resurfaced I would even occasionally (half-heartedly) try to defend the choice. So, how did he do? I may be bias…but he did me proud! The Bat-fleck is the only thing I walked out of the movie wanting to see more of. He’s a more morally-compromised version of the character than I’m used to seeing – complete with guns and a searing hot bat-brand. 20 years of fighting crime in Gotham certainly seems to have twisted his judgment, but it did lead to some pretty ruthless action sequences that I’m ready to see more of! Ben got ridiculously buff for this role. Seriously. He’s like a man-bear. A man-bear-tank. He’s looking fit.
I struggled to imagine Christian Bale’s Batman teaming up with Superman or Wonder Woman in any meaningful way and…well….I don’t know if director, Zac Snyder, really pulled it off with this version of Batman either. It’s hard to understand the hatred they seem to have for each other and even harder to understand how that changes so suddenly. Their reactions to each other seem a little forced – as necessary responses to move the story along and nothing more. Although Batman’s relationship with Superman isn’t the most convincing, it is fun to see them go head to head in an epic battle and even more fun to see them team up with Wonder Woman. Even when Batman begins to seem a little redundant with the other two by his side, he takes it all in his stride – doesn’t let it hurt his pride.
Henry Cavill is a solid Superman and it’s interesting to see him deal with a world divided in their opinion of him. His personal vendetta against Batman does seem a little juvenile at times in relation to all the other chaos going on around him, but he’s pretty so I will allow it. It was also great to witness Batman’s superior martial arts and fighting techniques against a kryptonite-affected and powerless Superman. It’s the first time I’ve thought that Superman could do with some training instead of heavily relying on his other-wordly powers.
I’ve never been convinced or even interested by the relationship between the Henry Cavill and Amy Adams ‘Superman and Lois Lane’. Their lack of chemistry even distracts from the purpose of many scenes for me. As much as I like Amy Adams, they could have taken her out of the movie entirely and I wouldn’t have noticed (although fanboys may have missed the bath scene).
A welcome female addition, however, was Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. Surprisingly a very convincing Amazonian warrior, Gadot presented a fearless, battle-thirsty Wonder Woman surrounded by mystery. She certainly doesn’t get enough screen time, but that may have been intentional, as I was left wanting to see more about her past and eagerly awaiting her stand-alone film.
The promotional trailers had me dreading Jesse Eisenberg’s version of Lex Luthor. He seemed a little too crazy – a little too ridiculous. Strangely enough, despite not having a clear motive or end game for any of his extreme actions, he still came out as one of my favourite characters! Even though clearly an unhinged little creep, he somehow managed to remain endearing as well. Although again, the lack of real motive or purpose for his actions left him seeming more absurd than intelligent or sinister.
There’s no denying that this movie is epic and Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL were a solid choice for the score. At times it felt like they were just trying to rip my face off and assault me with loud noises. I’m still not 100% convinced that the content was actually as epic as they made it seemed. I found ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ an overall entertaining film with enough interesting character development for me to look forward to stand alone Batman and Wonder Woman films. The action sequences alone make it well worthwhile viewing in IMAX, but definitely not one for the whole family (heed the M – recommended for a mature audience 16 years and over – warning).
Rating: M Violence.