BATMAN v SUPERMAN: Dawn Of Justice
With Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Jesse Eisenberg, Amie Adams, Gal Gadot, Holly Hunter, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburn, Jeremy Irons
Written by Chris Terrio & David S. Goyer (based on characters created by Bob Kane & Bill Finger, and Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster)
Directed by Zack Snyder
Marvel has been dominating the comic book superhero conversions to live-action cinema with an iron fist, but DC is set to show its steel by rebooting its properties even further. It's not like anyone has forgotten the Christopher Nolan Batman reinvention, that added dark, emotional and serious tone blended with incredible action and effects. The Man Of Steel reappraisal of Superman didn't do it for me, though.
Here these two high profile and extremely popular characters of over half a century must go head-to-head, a movie clash the fanboys have been screaming for from various sides - including those dying to see these two iconic characters share the screen (let alone take each other on), and also those who shat themselves when hearing Ben Affleck would play Batman / Bruce Wayne. The internet was abuzz with protests and freak-outs… "Wasn't he Daredevil already?" (I guess you're allowed to jump between Marvel and DC worlds)
Still, the storm soon settled as those who were just happy to have this movie hit their eyeballs outweighed the critics (it cashed in half a billion in its first weekend regardless of luke-warm reviews!). And what they get is not just those two comic book heavyweights, but also Wonder Woman, and while this flows as a tale of earthling Bruce Wayne setting out as vigilante Batman to stop the powerful alien Superman from potentially destroying the planet with his unmatched might, it is the birth of the Justice League, DC's mirror image of Marvel's Avengers (with more legendary characters hinted at including Flash and Aqua Man, also set to get their own movies soon). And of course there's the upcoming Suicide Squad.
Batman v Superman picks up after Man Of Steel's destructive closing (with Superman and Krypton villain Zog's aerial battle), Bruce Wayne and many others are a bit pissed at Superman's unchecked power (one of the Wayne skyscrapers collapsed in the melee, with many casualties and much collateral damage).
So many elements, characters and story threads from across the comic book / graphic novels of this DC universe get incorporated, even subtle hints that only hardcore fans would pick up on.
Zack Snyder has rapidly grown to be one hell of an epic director with visual spectacle his trademark. This movie is no different, at times the screen occupied with too much, but he still manages to command your attention with each scene.
While fans have been screaming for this one, so have haters, anxious to pounce and deliver the zingers they've been saving up. And the indifferent? Well, I've been hoping it will be an exciting ride giving the super hero genre a new direction (having turned into a bit of spectacle feeling like you're watching a video game…). In many ways it has, but also resulted in giving you exactly what you expected (besides a sometimes laboured drawn-out vibe adding to the long running time).
The fact that this movie is huge goes without saying, seeing as it has quite a bit to tell and set up as the birth of the Justice League (and a string of related movies down the line with other DC characters). Linked to the drawn-out mention above, it also feels like they tried to include a bit too much here, in setting up the flood of movies to follow this.
The intense visual barrage is matched by the heroic soundtrack (of Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL).
I am not anti-3D, but my well-documented dislike of its current state (not enough being done to fully utilize its visual effect and the glass technology muting the image), bears repeating here in that afterwards I felt I would've enjoyed it more without the specs.
Even with loads of moans and complaints from critics, super fans and people into the inner workings of this universe lost bodily functions in seeing this franchise gearing itself to gain serious momentum in expanding its cinematic oeuvre.
4 / B
5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smolder
2 - Room Temperature
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished
A: Multi-Viewing Potential