Friday, March 25, 2016

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - Movie Review: Why the Filler??





I liked it…. I think
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Jesse Eisenberg, Gal Gadot, Amy Adams, and directed by Zach Snyder. The title says it all. The movie is about Batman fighting Superman, but eventually teaming up to fight something else. Which even the trailers have shown us.
Let’s start with what I didn’t like about the movie. The film is too long, and seems to drag. There are story elements which could be completely removed and the story they are trying to tell would still make sense. There are dream sequences for example that could have been completely cut. There are parts of the film which could have been changed or altered to make the movie more coherent and have more impact. The movie starts out with Bruce Wayne witnessing the destruction of his building in Metropolis. This is what drives him to put Superman in check. They should have stayed with this thread, but they introduce another element which isn’t needed and bloats the story. The resolution between Superman and Batman is also handled poorly and needed to be more developed. They didn’t earn story elements which happen after the resolution because the resolution is so poor.
If the story and its elements are so bad, how can I say I liked the movie? Well to start the performances are all really good. Henry Calvill turns in another great portrayal as the Man of Steel. If you didn’t like him in Man of Steel, you probably aren’t going to like him in this. Ben Affleck is fantastic as Batman and Bruce Wayne. I won’t say he stole the entire movie, but everyone complaining and worried about him being Batman shouldn’t have been. I look forward to him playing the character in the future. Gal Gadot’s role is small as Wonder Women, but impactful. When she finally shows up in the movie it packs a punch and is well done. I’m excited to see her movie next year. Jesse Eisenberg worried me initially from the trailers, but I liked his portrayal of Lex Luthor. Not everyone is going to, but I liked that he was an unhinged genius. The last person I’ll mention is Jeremy Irons as Alfred. I loved him in the role and he provided some good levity throughout the movie.
The film does have a dark gritty feel, which I don’t mind, and it tries to delve into some heavy concepts. I’m not sure if they hit the mark with anything they were trying to get across though. They came close with the idea that even though mankind has a propensity for violence we still have enough good to keep fighting for. If we didn’t who would need the Justice League? The film does a good job of setting up the cinematic universe, but I think they should have focused more on making this film a better movie before trying to launch the DC film franchise.
The movie is divisive either you are going to be okay with story elements lacking, and grab onto the characters and how they are portrayed or you aren’t going to like it. I’m not sure you can like the story, and if you don’t like the characters there is nothing to like in the film. The only other thing to grasp onto and like is the action, which is well done and exciting, however it still can feel misplaced and overdone within the movie. Since the movie is not a hit critically and fan reception may be lackluster what will Warner Brothers and DC do with the rest of their movies?
The film currently sits at 31% on Rotten Tomatoes with a fan rating of 74%, which I expect to come down after more people see the movie this weekend. Justice League is supposed to start filming in the next few weeks, will Warner Brothers continue to let Zach Snyder direct? I think he is a good director, but they may need to evaluate if letting him direct another movie is best for the franchise overall. He doesn’t create films which are widely accepted and loved by a mass audience. Maybe they aren’t shooting for this, but it would be nice to have fans and critics praise a DC superhero movie again. They have an excellent director on set playing a title character. Could Ben Affleck step in and direct Justice League? Would he even want to? I think at this point it would need to be discussed.
After saying all of this I still think the movie is Worth Seeing, and I liked it. It’s good to just to watch the spectacle of the film, or just to go and see what everyone is going to be talking about, and form your own opinion and see if you can like the story. If you are not a big superhero fan, then you could wait to see it when it’s available to rent. I liked the characters and the action enough to say I liked the movie and can see myself watching it again. I’ll own it on Blu-Ray, but that’s just because I love Superman. I’m not sure how often I will watch it after I buy it.
Let me know what you thought of Batman v Superman if you have seen it. If you haven’t seen it are the negative reviews going to keep you out of the theatre? Comment and let me know. 

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