Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, the greatest gladiator match in the history of the world!
I was lucky enough to be invited to a free fan screening to see the movie in IMAX before anyone else. Boy, was it an experience. What can I say without spoiling anything? First off, these are my opinions of the movie. The giddy fan in me would be jumping for joy proclaiming it to be the greatest comic book movie ever. As fans, we all say that after watching a big movie like this but over time our views slightly or drastically change. I said that about The Dark Knight, The Avengers, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. But as a filmmaker and one who is very passionate about the movies, I have to give my unbiased view of the movie. So here goes.
Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice is a great, complicated, visual spectacle as well as an emotional roller coaster with many surprises. Many, not all, fans will appreciate what has been done. The tone of the movie - the look and feel of it, is a bit different from what Man Of Steel established. It definitely goes into darker territories and this was a very hard PG-13. So parents use discretion when bringing your children. Now before some of you conclude that it's just another movie that goes dark and gritty to be relevant (it worked for Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy), there is a reason for the darkness, but that doesn't mean there isn't any light. There is, and plenty of it.
Just like its predecessor Man Of Steel, the movie will be divisive among fans, critics and general moviegoers alike. And most of it for the wrong reasons. For starters, the fact that Zack Snyder directed the movie doesn't sit well with some people considering his previous work being hits and misses. Some just don't like his style of filmmaking. I loved Dawn Of The Dead, 300, Watchmen and Man Of Steel. But I can't say the same about his other films. Not every director, no matter how great they are, will have a hit. Secondly, the movie has a disadvantage because many feel DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Pictures are very late in the game of establishing a comic book movie universe. Marvel has done a marvelous (oh look, a pun!) job with their cinematic universe and to that extent, Fox has had success with their new and former X-Men universes colliding. In most cases moviegoers will have certain expectations because of what has been established in other cinematic universes. Marvel films are lighter in tone and have humorous moments and are colorful. DC Films are darker and humorless and bland. As a result, people become closed minded and feel Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice or any other DC Film that follows needs to be the former and not the latter. If not, they will hate it or rate it at a lower score. The comparisons need to stop in this ongoing fan war between Marvel and DC. It's unfair to the movie to have this kind of mindset because you end up basing your views on what you're already familiar with rather than keeping an open mind to what the movie could be and could mean for you.
Now, moving on to the characters. When Ben Affleck was first announced to take over the role of Batman, it caused a firestorm of outrage from die hard comic book fans. The guy who played Daredevil? Really? That movie was over a decade ago. Get over it! Since then Affleck has had successful hits as an actor and director in movies like The Town and Argo. Ben comes with a bit of weight behind him. Being a two time Oscar winner, he comes with a bit of legitimacy as an actor and director. I was okay with his casting. I wasn't upset nor was I excited. But I was very curious and interested in what he can bring to the role. While he wouldn't be my first choice, he is the right choice to play Batman in this new universe. It is the actual comic book character come to life and very reminiscent of Batman The Animated Series and the Arkham video games. It's nothing like the Nolan Batman played by Christian Bale. And I love those movies! Here's a quick fun fact: Ben Affleck is the only actor to play Batman and Superman. If you don't believe it, check out the movieHollywoodland.
Henry Cavill reprises his role as Superman from Man Of Steel. Here we see the character struggling to fit in a world whose views are so divided (kind of like people's views of Superman in real life). Is he our savior, or is he here to destroy us? Many people died. There was a lot of destruction. These were the many complaints of Man Of Steel. In this movie, he is facing the consequences. He's Superman, but he can't save everyone. To me, that's what makes Superman relatable. Yes, he's a powered being from another planet but he can also be very vulnerable with very human characteristics. Afterall, he is not God. All I can say is that whatever you thought of the character in Man Of Steel, whatever doubts you have, your views might change this time around and hopefully for the better. He is Superman!
Jesse Eisenberg's take on Lex Luthor is definitely different from what I'm used to. He's the Lex Luthor for the millennials. A Mark Zuckerberg-type character running an online conglomerate. It was a fresh and risky take on the character. And finally, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. Another casting many were worried about. Well, I can happily say that everyone needs to put their worries to rest. She's the right choice and she totally stole the show. Once again, my opinion!
Some may feel the movie is too crowded with many iconic characters. But I felt the movie was well balanced. Batman may have a little more screen time but when you think about it, Superman had his own movie three years ago and next year Wonder Woman will have hers. This is an introduction to the new Batman and an introduction to an extended universe of iconic characters and iconic worlds. Wait, did I just hint at something? The subtitle is called Dawn Of Justice for a reason, so go figure.
While I enjoyed the film overall, it's not perfect. There were some things I didn't like and some things I felt could have been done differently. But it was an experience I'll never forget. I look forward to what Warner Bros. and DC has in store for us. For those who haven't seen the film and are skeptical about it, keep an open mind and don't expect it to be like a Marvel movie. It doesn't have to be the same for everything and for everyone. Stop the comparisons and conjure up your own views based on what you saw and not what you think it should be. Don't let other's views alter your way of thinking about the movie. That goes for any movie of this genre. Us fans are getting all these movies with all our favorite characters come to life. We are living in the golden age of comic book movies. Whether it's Marvel, DC, or any other franchise, let's stop this flame war and just enjoy the ride together for the next several years. Can't we just love both? As for Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, it's not for everyone but it's action packed, thrilling, and filled with several easter eggs hinting an extended universe. I give it a 4.5 out of 5. Can't wait to see it again.
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