Sunday, March 27, 2016

Batman v Superman: Trailer For Justice

March 25th, the day legends collide on the big screen. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is one of the most highly anticipated and hyped up films of 2016, and one could go as far to say the past 5 years. It seems like they have the perfect formula for an amazing movie, take 2 of the biggest superheros ever created, and pit them against each other in a fight most fans would only be able to see in a comic book. This has never been done before on the big screen. Now that the movie is out, I've seen it, and I'm about to try and write a review with as few spoilers as possible. I'm not going to reveal anything major, but if you want to go in with a clear mind, this was your warning.

I bet you can't guess how BvS starts, that's right, with the death of Batman's parents. Right from the get-go this movie is obviously picking up a monumental task. How do you establish Batman into this film universe with Superman, and also establish Wonder Woman later on, the third major player in this movie. After the flashback of Batman's parents murder, it flashes forward to the climax of the previous Superman movie; Man of Steel. Only this time the scene is viewed from Bruce Wayne's (Ben Affleck) perspective. Bruce views the new "alien" Superman (Henry Cavill) as a dangerous being. He thinks someone with that much power is a very volatile thing, and should be kept in check. This sets the stage for the next 2 and a half hours as Batman prepares to go toe-to-toe with Superman, fight Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg), team up with Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), introduce The Flash (Ezra Miller), Cyborg (Ray Fisher), and Aquaman (Jason Momoa), and fight Doomsday and save the world. Yes in 2 and a half hours, all that happens, and then some, the issue here is clear.

So with that brief plot synopsis, you can see why this movie might be getting some slightly negative reviews from critics. Director Zack Snyder bites off far more than he can chew for one movie. He gets a lot of things right, and a lot of things wrong, let's start with what he got right.

Batman, everything Batman. This is one of the few times I will admit I was wrong. I pissed and moaned when the decision to cast Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman, but this is honestly the best on-screen adaptation of the character. I can already hear people saying "But wait Chris, Christian Bale was the best on-screen Batman in the Dark Knight trilogy." No he wasn't and here's why I will argue for "Batfleck". This is finally the Batman right out of the comic books, he can have crazy gadgets, an outlandish Batmobile and Batwing jet, he can fight alongside superhumans and still be a major player in the fight. These are all things that were never truly grasped in previous Batman films, and Snyder really gets it right, as well as Ben Affleck with his acting. They also did a fantastic job introducing the rest of the future "Justice League" while not making them the focus of the film. No spoilers, but they all do have a brief cameo, minus Green Lantern. Wonder Woman was also a stand-out. It's great to see the character finally on the big screen, it's been far too long with too few female superheroes making their debut.

Now onto the bad. This movie, much like Man of Steel before it, fails to get Superman right. Superman is always that campy, feel-good, all American hero. He's not supposed to be this dark and gritty type of hero. This movie continues the trend set by Man of Steel and tries to make Superman something he's not. Another sour note for the film is the "primary antagonist" Lex Luthor. Much like the Ben Affleck casting of Batman, when Jesse Eisenberg was cast as Lex Luthor, many people were left scratching their heads as to why. After seeing the movie, I'm still wondering why the casting was made. Going with the route of a younger Lex, we are given a whiny, millennial genius with a psychotic tendency. He comes across as this pseudo-Joker-Lite that will be completely useless to these films, after the actual Joker is introduced in August's superhero team up film "Suicide Squad" is released. His scenes dragged on because it just wasn't a proper Lex Luthor that this film really deserved. Perhaps my biggest complaint with this film comes from the title itself. You can't title a film "Batman v Superman" and then make the title fight a measly 5 minute shove fest that feels rushed to begin with. The whole fight is basically in the trailers and none of it felt high stakes or anything worthy of a climax. Sure when Doomsday is unleashed and the real final fight begins the third act of the film picks up. At that point though you're most likely getting angsty to leave because you've been sitting for so long, or you've just genuinely lost interest and are just going along for the rest of the ride.

Now the big question is, are the critics right? I would say no. This is not a bad film by a long shot, but at the same time, it's not a great film either. This is a classic popcorn flick, I enjoyed myself while I watched it. Sure I could pick out everything that was wrong with it. But as a comic book fan there was so much on screen to feast on. While some scenes will confuse the average audience member, Comic book aficionados will be in their glory with some of the Easter Eggs hidden throughout. In the end though, this felt like a big 2 and a half hour tease for what's to come in DC Comic's expanded movie universe.  Now that we have one superhero fight out of the way, it's time to get ready for "Captain America: Civil War" in May. Until then, check out "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" in theaters right now!

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