Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
Directed by Zack Snyder
So, I’ve now watched Batman Vs Superman for the third time, and I must say, this is probably my third favorite Superhero movie of all time… WHAT? Yes, you read that right. I liked it better watching it at home because at nearly 3 hours long and I was able to take a couple of breaks. My all-time favorite Superhero movie is The Dark Knight. For as realistic, close and confining The Dark Knight is, Bat v Sup is the opposite; fantastical, large scale and existential. The fight scenes with Doomsday are spread out over miles, seriously, they detonate a nuclear missile as part of the battle! When Doomsday throws Superman, he ends up a half mile away, skidding on the ground and breaking infrastructure into rubble. The action and destruction in the film are incredible and has few rivals in film except for maybe a Godzilla movie. The film is put together well, from the visuals to the music to the storyline. Sure the actual Batman vs Superman battle was only 10 minutes long, but that left more time for the real battle against Doomsday. I wondered how Batman was supposed to fight Superman without just getting his ass kicked in the first few seconds and being killed. The film showed how, with the right technology and weapons (i.e. Kryptonite) it could be done. I’m sure much of that must’ve been explained in the Bat v Sup comic book issue but kudos to Zack Snyder for getting it done in a convincing manner in the film.
Ben Affleck played the role of an older, bitter Bruce Wayne nicely, reminding me of the series, Batman Beyond. Henry Cavill has settled into the role of Superman comfortably. Perhaps the most controversial casting was Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. While he didn’t match the visual image we know to be Luthor, I think he played the role of the mentally “off” villain quite nicely. Of course, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman was mesmerizing and I’m so glad her superhero powers were portrayed as powerful and fantastic. They were much more exciting than any previous renditions of her in film/TV. I’m looking forward to the WW film in 2017.
The socio-political aspects reflect the recent US election with Lex Luthor bending the truth and using propaganda about Superman, in order to get his way and turn people against him. There’s also the aspect of whether a person can be good for his/her whole life or if there are gray areas that need to be explored in order to succeed. That’s been a theme in Batman movies for a while now but in this film, they brought Superman to that crossroads. Of course, Superman decided not to cross that line and to stay on the side of goodness. One of the down sides of the film is Superman’s death at the end of the film. It’s a somber ending but of course we get a sign that he’s not dead, right before the credits role.
There were a lot of gripes and complaints about this film when it was released, but that seems to be the status quo these days, arm chair quarterbacks wanting to call the shots. I hope the studio goes by sales figures alone ($873.3 million) and let’s Zack Snyder direct more films in this series.
Dynamic action, fantastic visuals and fast-paced storyline make this a super superhero film in my book.
I give it 4.3 Fantastic Foes out of 5 on the Satisfying Superhero celebratory union!