And so the age of the superhero movies dominating the box office continues, and 2016 begins with Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Probably the most anticipated movie for a long time, purely because of it’s title and because two of the most iconic fictional characters and superheroes history will ever see are going to fight each other!
Superman (Henry Cavill) is seen as a controversial figure in Metropolis after the events seen in Man of Steel, and while there are many in the world who see him as a superhero or a God, there are many others who view him as an extreme threat. Bruce Wayne or Batman (Ben Affleck) falls into the latter, having witnessed the destruction and death caused by Superman fighting General Zod in Man of Steel. As a result, he vows to use his power and resources to stop the danger that is Superman.
Straight away, I observed and listened when a lot of people gave it bad reputation, mainly due to the fact it wasn’t Marvel and the fact DC is known for not being on top form (but reminder, that neither is Marvel.. remember Iron Man 3?) But does that mean because it’s DC it’s already set out to fail before even entering the cinema? Of course, Batman V Superman had it’s flaws. To start with, we had some poor, cliché dialogue constantly surfacing, to the point I was rolling my eyes numerous occasions. Secondly, I think always will find scenes with Superman a bit lacklustre, leaning almost towards snooze-worthy. Unfortunately his powers and gentlemanly characterisation is no longer captivating audiences. Since we can utilise our VFX and SFX much more effectively nowadays, we can create a less conventional hero with more unique powers and be able to do them justice, for example newcomers Ant-Man, Jessica Jones or even non-humans Rocket and Groot! And thirdly, I will also never be convinced on the casting of Amy Adams as Louis Lane.
However, despite this, the movie itself was not cliché and surprised in being unconventional. Firstly, I adored the opening; it was provocative, artful and a fresh way to introduce our new Bruce Wayne, without giving him another dragged out origin story. And I was completely intrigued by Ben Affleck’s Batman. If this is the Batman we are staying with for now, I’m really excited for what’s to come. I’ll be honest and say the scenes that stood out for me included Batman/Bruce Wayne, particularly Bruce’s visions and scenes with Wonder Woman (the incredible, enchanting Gal Gadot). Shout out to Jeremy Irons too as Alfred, but who is now a mega hybrid of butler father-figure Alfred and tech genius Lucius Fox.
Batman V Superman is unlike any of the superhero movies I’ve seen so far because it is visually engaging. The cinematography is excellent and it’s post production colour grading makes it look even darker than The Dark Knight Trilogy, but equally as coarse and urbanised. The action sequences, like Man of Steel, are fast and warped, which brings my boyfriend hope they’ll finally be able to create a credible live action Dragon Ball Z movie also, as the fighting, movement and pacing of the final fight scene against Doomsday is resonant of the anime.
My only other quibble is there is not enough interaction between Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent and I would have definitely liked to have seen more. However, when they do come together without the capes and masks, it’s one of the most intense, well written scenes of the movie.
Overall, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was anything but dull in my opinion. No, it’s not Marvel but this is because it’s DC, and I commend it for not jumping on it’s band wagon. It had a few issues, but otherwise I found it a well crafted film that was thoroughly enjoyable; well shot, decent script with decent acting and a kick ass fight scene that featured three of the most iconic comic book heroes – what more can you want? And with it’s book ended opening and conclusion, and thanks to those awesome “teasers” shown to us by Wonder Woman, we can only assume there is more to come!
(Also I’m totally psyched too that Bruce Wayne’s mother is called Martha and that Clark Kent’s mother is also called Martha!)