The Man of Steel and the Dark Knight face off on the big screen in “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” a continuation of DC Comics’ film franchise. Zack Snyder returns to direct this show- down, a follow-up to 2013’s “Man of Steel,” which drew a line between those who loved or hated the film. Originally, a script for this film was written back in 2003 but was canceled because of issues with the proposed storyline.
After “Man of Steel’s” success, the film was brought to life and was to have the two title characters face off and set up the Justice League. Fans were worried the film would be trying to accomplish too much in just one movie.
Taking place 18 months after the events of the last film, Superman (Henry Cavill) is struggling adjusting to the life of being a savior. Some people view him as a hero, while others see him as a threat that could wipe out the entire human race if he wanted to. The negativity catches the attention of Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck), who brings bad guys to justice in a brutal manner as Batman for 20 years. Also in the mix is Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg), who discovers Kryptonite, a radioactive fragment from the planet Krypton that can weaken a Kryptonian including Superman. He plans to use the fragment as a weapon, and hopes to get Congress to approve the plan, while having another agenda of his own. Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), also known as Diana Prince, also has an agenda of her own trying to get something of great interest to her, which also happens to be what Wayne is looking for as well.
Affleck absolutely knocks it out the park as both Batman and Wayne. This is a different Batman from others both on the big screen and television as his fighting style is very brutal and also emotionally damaged in many ways after many years protecting Gotham City. Those who doubted Affleck’s ability to play the Dark Knight will be proven wrong in this film. Cavill even steps it up as Superman, getting more confident in the role, though it’s hard to compete with the late Christopher Reeve, which is an unfair comparison. You do feel for him as he’s going through the people’s criticisms to the events of the previous film, which brings it to the next thing this film succeeded in doing. In the beginning, you see the climax of “Man of Steel” in the eyes of Wayne, which adds a different perspective that will hook the moviegoer and adds an understanding to why he wants to bring down Superman.
Batman (Ben Affleck) stares down Superman (Henry Cavill) in an intense showdown in “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.”
Eisenberg’s portrayal of Lex Luthor was extremely different from the performances of both Gene Hackman and Kevin Spacey in the past Superman films. He is extremely psychotic and has a very dark sense of humor that will split people down the middle on his performance. It does work for this film because we yet to see this version of Superman’s arch- enemy put on film.
This movie, however, does have many flaws with the script, making the film feel disjointed and also sloppy at times with the editing. It tries to fit in the Batman vs. Superman story and set up the Justice League into one film. The way the scenes are edited makes it feel uneven and rushed at times because the editing was poorly handled. The final act of the movie involves another well-known Superman foe appearing for the epic showdown in which this particular character looks bad. How this villain comes to play seems interesting at first, but once he finally shows up right off the bat you can tell that he is computer generated and that makes you wonder why they put in him in this movie. Although Snyder does a great job with the action sequences in this film, some of the effects in this movie are still inconsistent and do become style over substance unfortunately.
However, this film succeeds in setting up future films in the proposed DC cinematic universe not only with the “Justice League” two part films, but also a standalone Wonder Woman film. Gadot also does a great job as the Amazonian heroine and although her action scene was brief it will leave people begging for its June 23, 2017, release date to arrive faster. Hopefully the editing flaws will be rectified in the proposed extended cut on its Blu-ray release to even out the film.
“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” is an overall disjointed entertaining film that should honestly be seen in theaters. It has great performances across the board, intense action sequences, and is also a very well-shot film despite its many flaws. Let’s hope that Snyder balances the plot better in the upcoming “Justice League” films and finds the perfect balance between style and substance in his films.