Movie Reviews

Dawn of Batffleck (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Review)

It’s been nearly two years since Superman’s (Henry Cavill) colossal battle with Zod (Michael Shannon) devastated the city of Metropolis. The loss of life and collateral damage left many feeling angry and helpless, including crime-fighting billionaire Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck). Convinced that Superman is now a threat to humanity, Batman embarks on a personal vendetta to end his reign on Earth, while the conniving Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) launches his own crusade against the Man of Steel.

This is a big one and rightfully so. If you read some earlier reviews for this film, they haven’t been very good but I didn’t think it was as bad as those made this out to be. When I heard that they were making a Batman vs. Superman film, I was a little skeptical as to how it would work but it surprisingly did.

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The story this time is after Superman’s (Cavill) battle with General Zod (Shannon) (from “Man of Steel”, I think I should re-watch that film) which left Metropolis devastated, the destruction and sheer loss of life made many people angry and feel helpless. This included crime-fighting billionaire Bruce Wayne (Affleck). Convinced that Superman is a threat to humanity, he embarks on a personal vendetta against him while Lex Luthor (Eisenberg) begins a vendetta of his own.

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I will get this out of the way since the casting of Affleck became quite controversial and I understood this as it also felt a little odd to me but I am happy to say that he was good here. His chin did look good with the bat-mask on (Ben Affleck has a great chin) but his performance was more than just that as he just perfectly embodied Batman. I found the film had a much darker tone, more so than Nolan’s past Batman films, which I enjoyed and I thought Affleck excelled with this. While previous incarnations of Batman relied mostly on charm and gadgets, Affleck’s Batman didn’t need to be this way as he is much older and he was shaped by his experiences (which we do get a glimpse of and by that I mean his parents dying, again). He actually did a lot more fighting here where he handles himself admirably. What helped his case was how well choreographed and well shot it was.

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Being that this is a superhero film, there usually are a lot of things going on and that was the case here. This film here served multiple purposes as it is meant as an introduction to the DC film universe. I won’t really go into this with too much detail since there is plenty of information out there concerning this but I will just say that it did do this and I didn’t find that this fact took away from this film’s plot. I will say that knowing this beforehand (I’m sure I’m not the only one) did affect my enjoyment but not drastically.

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Like I said, there were a lot of things going on here and that was the only thing. This film had many other subplots brewing as each character had their own respective stories leading up to the moment when they inevitably all came together. I will say that most of them worked but I did find that a few of them seemingly went nowhere and for which the film probably could have gone without. I don’t want to give too much away but most of my problems fell on the Superman side of things. He faced opposition not only from Batman and Lex Luthor but also from Senator June Finch (Holly Hunter). She and many other “talking heads” represented the opinion of the people angry at Superman for all the aforementioned death and destruction. I’ll just say that after this film, their opinion will probably not change.

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This is a big-budget action film so expect all in which this encompasses, the big and elaborate scenes, lots of explosions, and all other various special effects. Some were glaring but for the most part, they were well done and exciting. The action was exciting not only from Affleck but from everyone and kept me engaged. This could partly be because of the seat I sat in while watching it, one that shakes and moves along with the film, pictured below.

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Everyone was good here performance-wise. Cavill played Superman in pretty much the exact same way as “Man of Steel” which was good (he was probably the best part of “Man of Steel”) but I thought he was outshined by Affleck’s Batman. One other casting choice which I was unsure about was Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. He portrayal of him was just like a lot of characters he’s played in other movies but was still good even though I wished he were a little crazier. Gal Gadot was good here as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, holding her own with Affleck and Cavill but I would have liked to have seen more of her. Jeremy Irons was great as Alfred in albeit a smaller role but was always there whenever Affleck’s Batman needed assistance. Complaints aside, this is the start to many more films so it could get better.

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Overall, this is still a good film and a promising start to what will be an interesting DC cinematic universe. I just would prefer a more refined story the next time.

Score: 8/10

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