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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Sean Kelly

Review: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

The Dark Knight holds a vengeful vendetta against the Man of Steel in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Two years have past since the world was introduced to Superman (Henry Cavill). Despite being hailed as a savior by many, there are some concerned with the collateral damage he frequently leaves behind. One of those concerned is Bruce Wayne, aka Batman (Ben Affleck), who lost many employees during Superman's battle with Zod. Batman sets it upon himself to destroy Superman before it is too late. Manipulating this feud behind-the-scenes is Lex Luther (Jesse Eisenberg), who has his own plans for the two.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a film that both acts as a sequel to 2013's Man of Steel, while also setting out to establish a cinematic universe for the DC Comics superheroes, in a similar vein to what has already been done with Marvel. In addition to introducing a new cinematic version of Batman, the third in my lifetime, the film also marks the big screen debut of Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), whose brief appearance in the film is arguably the highlight. There are also brief cameos by other DC heroes, which will all lead towards the two part Justice League movie, with part one scheduled to come out next year.

With there being so much that director Zack Snyder is trying to accomplish, it is no wonder that Batman v Superman is a flawed film. I will not say that I disliked the film and there are in fact many elements of the film that I enjoyed. However, the film does go into a much different direction with the characters than people are used to, which is certain to result in a lot of nitpicking by comics fans. Particularly, this would involve the film's depiction of Batman, who is influenced by the character's look in the graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns. Probably the biggest change from the comics is a reversal of Batman's stance against killing and using guns, which has always been one of The Dark Knight's core character traits. Then there is also the stylistic choice of Batman speaking with a voice modulator, which makes him sound way too robotic.

There are probably countless things I could nitpick about Batman v Superman, such as Alfred (Jeremy Irons) being underutilized and Lois Lane (Amy Adams) being reduced to a typical damsel in distress role, with Superman always on hand to save her. However, I do have to say that I quite enjoyed the film's climatic battle, particularly the grand entrance of Wonder Woman, who practically steals the film from the two titular heroes. Also, I have to stay that I ended up digging Jesse Eisenberg's very snarky and pompous "spoiled rich kid" Lex Luther, even though I'm sure there were many who were wanting a more serious interpretation of the character, which is more true to the comics.

I am not going to deny that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a flawed film and there are some notable issues with the first two thirds of the film. However, I also thought that the film came together with an enjoyable climax, which is enough for me to give the film a mild pass. I also have to note that the film looked great in IMAX, with many sequences having been shot with IMAX cameras.

7 / 10 stars
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Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).