Thursday, September 8, 2016

Film Review: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Review)
United States/2016
Format Viewed For Review: VUDU
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"I was pleasantly surprised..."

Fearing the destructive power of Superman (Henry Cavill), Batman (Ben Affleck) decides to confront the Man of Steel, while the rest of the world debates about its heroes...

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a huge film, so I'll try to give you the gist. The film is a sequel to Man of Steel, a Batman reboot, and a teaser of what's to come – yeah, it's a lot. Superman is targeted by the media after a few deaths are blamed on him, which is thanks to Lex Luthor's (Michael Cera Jesse Eisenberg) scheming. Batman has already witnessed Superman's destructive power first-hand and, while conducting his own investigations, decides to take matters into his own hands. Oh, and you can toss Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) in there, too. It starts off rough, feeling very disjointed and lost, but it progressively gets better as it finds its focus. It often leave you wanting more, but the offering at-hand isn't bad. It leads to a fairly solid ending, too.

I honestly had zero expectations for Batman v Superman. It's not because I'm a Marvel fan or anything like that, I've just grown a little tired of superhero films. Fortunately, those low expectations worked in my favor. I really enjoyed BvS. Yeah, the story isn't really tuned or focused, the villains aren't particularly effective, and there are some questionable plot points, but I was entertained. Despite many of its issues, I thought it worked very well as a blockbuster action movie. The villains might fail, but the conflict between Batman and Superman, although a bit weak, ends up working – that's the show you came to watch. And, I didn't think the Justice League tidbits were bad at all. I know some people were disappointed, but I thought they were well implemented.

Ben Affleck performed very well as Bruce Wayne/Batman. I wasn't exactly skeptical considering his recent films, but I'm glad to see he didn't fail. Henry Cavill is still a great Clark Kent/Superman. Jesse Eisenberg plays Jesse Eisenberg again – I thought he was overdone. I know they went for the conniving villain, but it just didn't resonate. The supporting cast was great, too. The film looked and sounded great – obviously, this is a big budget film, so you should expect big budget production values. The film was directed by Zack Snyder and written by Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer. I think Snyder is a great director and the writing was also solid, but the editing was bad. Whether it's 150 or 180 minutes, I think this needed to be a two-part film. I know some people dismiss two-part movies as cash-grabs, but an extra hour would have made this an unforgettable experience and excellent set-up for the future of DC.

Overall, Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice was a fun experience. I was pleasantly surprised by the film thanks to the bad reviews and my own low expectations. It has its fair share of flaws – especially in the storytelling/editing department – but it wasn't bad. In fact, I thought it was a great blockbuster. It's better than many of the recent superhero movies that feel like they're just being recycled every year. (It's not as good as Deadpool, though.)

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Violence and blood.

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