Verdict: 3.5 / 5
Zack Snyder’s big and bruising Man of Steel was no stranger to controversy, negative reviews, and discussion. It’s not surprising then that the film’s sequel, billed as the greatest gladiator fight in the history of comic book film, has inspired the same amount of conversation. Regardless, the fans have spoken and Batman v Superman is a box office sensation – a towering moment in comic book geek culture.
From the get-go Dawn of Justice was met with opposition from critics and fans. First, it was the casting choices – 40-something Ben Affleck as Batman, geeky Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and the whisper-thin Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. Then it was the decision to have the headlining god-like titans go to toe-to-toe. That was followed by some rather revealing trailers and a few leaked spoilers. With all these hurdles in its way, it seemed like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice had to prove itself even before its release date. It was a task that seemed too big for a smackdown film that has also been established as a launching pad for future Justice League films.
Like the real world, Batman v Superman starts off with the world at odds with the Son of Krypton, who feels guilty about the destruction of Metropolis. Some deem him a saviour while others are fearful of his superpowers. Both grief-stricken, merciless Bat of Gotham and eccentric Mark Zuckerberg-inspired Lex Luthor are weary of the alien being and set out to destroy him at all costs. What follows is a chaotic comic book extravaganza filled with haunting visions, epic battle sequences, jaw-dropping visuals and an orgy of destruction.
Part Man of Steel sequel and part Justice League prologue, there is enough happening in Dawn of Justice to at least fill a dozen films. This has been the biggest gripe by critics – it’s a film that perhaps takes on too much. In the one corner we have Superman’s life post-Man of Steel, in the other we are introduced to a brooding Dark Knight who is living on the edge. Furthermore, there are subplots about Lex obtaining Kryptonite, Lois Lane uncovering a plot to incriminate Superman and enigmatic demi-goddess Wonder Woman lurking about. It’s a mouthful and too much for some to digest all at once. It’s bursting at the seams with characters, stories and flashbacks.
Comic book fans will easily spot out most of the references, but the casual fan might suffer from a severe case of whiplash. Even so, it’s hard to deny that the dark and gritty Frank Miller-inspired superhero slugfest isn’t a visceral experience. From the thunderous Hans Zimmer score to the vivid action pieces, you can’t help but be in awe. It’s a film that doesn’t attempt to please everyone, but will ultimately find a special place in the hearts of fans.
Don’t believe the critics and their intense scrutiny, the highlights far outweigh any issues. Ben Affleck is a stellar Bruce Wayne/Batman and steals most of the show with his grizzled performance. DC’s cinematic future looks bright thanks to Snyder’s understanding of comic book fans. Prepare for a fanboy-friendly adrenaline rush of mass proportions. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a must-see! If you haven’t seen it, get to your local cinema today.
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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is directed by Zack Snyder starring Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Jeremy Irons as Alfred, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Ray Fisher as Cyborg with Callan Mulvey, Holly Hunter as Senator Finch and Tao Okamoto as Mercy Graves.
It’s been nearly two years since Superman’s (Henry Cavill) colossal battle with Zod (Michael Shannon) devastated the city of Metropolis. The loss of life and collateral damage left many feeling angry and helpless, including crime-fighting billionaire Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck). Convinced that Superman is now a threat to humanity, Batman embarks on a personal vendetta to end his reign on Earth, while the conniving Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) launches his own crusade against the Man of Steel. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice only has 28% on Rotten Tomatoes despite raking in $850 million dollars at the box office worldwide.