Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice Film Review

Despite being released to extremely poor critic reviews last week, Batman V Superman has seen a strong resurgence at the box office, and a growing user score on review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes.

After the alien invasion of Gotham by Zod in the last movie, which caused much destruction to Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck), he is determined to end the havoc caused by Superman (Henry Cavill) by being undercover Vigilante Batman, whilst on the other hand, Clark Kent wants to expose Batman as a dangerous figure.

The two's secret rivalry is escalated by Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg), who also sees Superman as a danger and sets in motion a series of events that lead to the two battling it out to the death.

From the film's concept to execution, it was no doubt that this whole movie would build up to the ultimate fight scene between two iconic superheroes, Batman and Superman. Unfortunately, at the expense of any character development or solid plot lines.

Whilst the themes of Superman being godly and how humans are idolising him, whilst others see him as a threat is a strong one, it was underdeveloped and never really the focus of the movie (because of this impending Batman fight). 

Conversely, the rivalry, undercutting and mysterious notes passed between the two and Lex Luthor was an extremely interesting dynamic which felt crammed in and incoherent.

Had director Zack Snyder took any one of those and just ran with it, it could have been a much stronger movie, albeit the former not needing Batman at all. Unfortunately, the movie tries to do too much and the result is a rather fluffy piece of work. What's more, this movie tries to set up the future DC universe by introducing Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and cameos from The Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman. Too much.

As a character, Superman is completely undeveloped in this movie, and 90% of the time just there as an action figure. Whilst he should be tormented by this hero/human/god dichotomy, he has no time to show it. Batman on the otherhand, perhaps gets the most character treatment this film, and even then, is lacking. Amy Adams, 5 time oscar nominee, is treated even more as a cameo, often placed in predicaments that purely require rescuing.

Finally reaching that fight between Batman and Superman, it was rather anti-climatic. A few cool contraptions by Batman, but apart from that there was no real wow factor to the entire choreography, and the resolve was rather cheesy, predictable and formulaic.

What did make me sit at the edge of my seat was the cinematography for the final fight sequence against Doomsday. Here, Snyder manages to bring comic book imagery and transitions beautifully on screen, with dramatic zooms, pans and slow motion. Whilst this final sequence does redeem the movie somewhat, overall, there was a lot left to be desired.

Henry Cavill- Clark Kent/ Superman
Ben Affleck- Bruce Wayne/ Batman
Gal Gadot- Diana Prince/ Wonder Woman
Amy Adams- Lois Lane
Jesse Eisenberg- Lex Luthor

Also stars Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons and Kevin Costner.

~~~OVERALL 7/10~~~
Zack Snyder's Superman sequel perhaps introduces Batman and others too soon, leaving Cavill's character underdeveloped and glazed over. Despite trying to bring in interesting themes and dynamics, too much is crammed in, resulting in an incoherent at slightly jarring story line.

The build up to the main event of Batman V Superman is anti-climatic and short-lived, though redeemed by the beautiful final fight sequence. You could possible just watch the latter half and not have missed much.

Side note: these promo posters are some of the best I've seen :P

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