Film Review “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn Of Justice”

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First, the Recap:

Heroes. They come in so many forms. Always touted to be the bearers of good fortune, safety for the masses, capable to doing incredible feats, all for the sake of others. And yet, what happens when two such men–one embraced worldwide as a symbol for good and another feared despite the favorable outcomes of his actions–meet? The weight of Metropolis hangs on the shoulders of Krypton’s last son, Jor-El, aka: Clark Kent, aka: Superman (Henry Cavill). Still facing doubts about how the Earth sees and/or accepts him, his actions continue to be scrutinized. In Gotham City, a darker persona brings justice through fear to the city’s criminal element in the form of the Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne, aka: Batman (Ben Affleck).

Reeling from the events in Metropolis when battling General Zod, the city and government seek to determine exactly what Superman truly represents, hero or threat. When multiple new incidents occur, seemingly caused by his actions, the court of public opinion comes to the forefront. Having lost friends in the Metropolis attack, Bruce Wayne decides it’s time Superman answer for his actions. Little do both heroes know, a wealthy scientist, Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg), is the architect of their feud, behind which he masks a much more sinister plot. Initially combative to an almost fatal blow, Batman, Superman, and a new ally, Diana Prince (Gal Godot) must rise to a superhuman challenge to save humanity. But, at what cost will Earth’s freedom come?

Next, my Mind:

As one would expect, director Zack Snyder’s venture into this first installment of Warner Brothers and DC Entertainment’s upcoming slate of pre-“Justice League” films is one that had so much overall potential, but just doesn’t quite live up to the hype. At two and a half hours, even given the story being presented, it’s simply too long, takes too much to really develop, gets somewhat bogged down in sub-plots, and by the time we actually get to some serious action–it seems anti-climatic.  Now, don’t get this reviewer wrong–visually those moments are stunning to watch and it does produce a thrill. But, when seeing that relative to the rest of the film, it just falls flat in total.

Affleck does do a solid job as Bruce Wayne/Batman, as I felt from the start he would.  The performance still gives the Wayne persona his rich-boy swagger along with the businessman’s authority, while then providing a decidedly edgy Batman who takes the Dark Knight’s menacing tone and methods to new levels. Cavill remains strong as Clark Kent the nerdy, awkward reporter who turns into the Man of Steel in this effort, and actually infuses his Superman side with a sense of doubts about who he is or is supposed to be, while also showcasing rarely seen, blatant anger from him when the circumstances get dicey and a dire choice has to be made. Then there’s Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor who, honestly, despite the minor chuckles he periodically induces, is more annoying and clownish than the pure evil he is.

Finally, there is Godot’s Wonder Woman, who really ends up stealing the show during the film’s final act, and I believe seriously puts to rest any doubts of how she will enact the Amazon warrior now and in the future–which is awesomely! The supporting cast is impressive, with many returning faves, new and old, played by Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, Diane Lane, Jeremy Irons, and Holly Hunter. Hans Zimmer’s score is, as always, excellent. With a finale one could see a mile away and hints at heroes to come via cameo appearances, “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice” is not all bad but far from great visual bombast that, in the end, doesn’t have enough punch.

As always, this is all for your consideration and comment.  Until next time, thank you for reading!

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