Thursday, August 18, 2016

Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice (2016) Review

Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice is, as the title itself implies, a dozen different films forced together into one ridiculous storyline. And mind you, I've only seen the neverending three-hour Ultimate Edition version, which is supposed to make MORE sense.

After the massive attack on Metropolis in Man Of Steel, Superman becomes a controversial figure. Believing that Superman is a pretend God and that people shouldn't believe in him because he is not all-powerful and all-good(or something... it all boils down to daddy issues), Lex Luthor kidnaps his close ones, sets him up in a confrontation with Batman and creates "the Devil"(who is also not all-powerful and all-good, except he's more evil and more destructive... so where does that fit into Lex's weird biblical motivations??) aka Doomsday from his own DNA and General Zod's.

Meanwhile, Batman is becoming jaded from years of fighting criminals and starts believing that Superman is too dangerous to be let loose. After the Flash visits him from the future in his dreams(???), he steals kryptonite from Lex Luthor and dukes it out with Superman, until he realises their parents have the same name and that somehow convinces him Superman has human interests in heart... even though Superman had never actually hurt anyone, UNLIKE HIM) and that he should join forces with him.

Also, Wonder Woman hangs around the movie for no reason until it's time to fight Doomsday. She later joins Bruce Wayne in a quest to form the Justice League against the upcoming rise of Darkseid.

Now, I never saw Man Of Steel so this was my introduction to characters from that movie as well...

Henry Cavill was a decent Superman, although the script only gave him like one or two jokes in the entire movie. Throughout most of it, he's grimly struggling with his messiah destiny.

Amy Adams irritated me as Lois Lane. Not only did she lack Lois' trademark sassiness, she was also randomly given plane tickets around the world by Perry White despite the fact that on her last trip, she got MISSILES fired at her!

Laurence "Morpheus" Fishburne was a hilarious Perry White, and one of the few sources of genuine comic relief in the film. Although I'm not sure why he's completely disinterested in Batman, his exasperation at Clark was hilarious.

Once Ben Affleck gets his own movie, he might just be my favourite Batman yet, combining the quiet awesomeness of Michael Keaton with the practicality and drama of Christian Bale. Jeremy Irons is DEFINITELY my favourite Alfred Pennyworth, though(sorry, Michaels, I love you both). He's sarcastic, yet caring at the same time. And if you close your eyes, you can hear Scar from The Lion King.

I don't have much to say about the future Justice League members. Wonder Woman was alright, although her sword and shield seemed kind of primitive to me. I've liked Jason Momoa in other roles, so I'm all for him as Aquaman. The others... who knows(what was up with that cube bringing Cyborg to life)?

Probably the most controversial of performances is that of Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor(Jr). I can't really say I disagree. He didn't annoy me, but he's just... weird. His motivations are all over the place, and he's the complete opposite of what Lex usually behaves like, trading in the comic version's icy demeanour for a socially awkward, bouncy attitude(both a facade for Luthor's insanity, true, but still... weird). His mental breakdown is interesting, and well acted by Eisenberg, however.

This is definitely the film's strongest part. The cinematography is excellent, with lots of memorable imagery(the murder of the Waynes is a particular highlight).

I can't fault the use of CGI either. Whilst Doomsday looks a bit too much like the cave troll from The Lord Of The Rings, it's not a bad effect. I think the only time the CG bothered me was the overuse of lightning in the finale. It just hurt my eyes and was way too confusing. Lightning attacks, lightning explosions...

The choreography was most excellent, although the Superman/Batman fight felt slightly lacking in that aspect. It should've been longer, and faster, especially when Superman is slightly weakened and brought down to Batman's level. I was expecting something like the Neo-Agent Smith battles, but instead they just throw each other around a bit.

I was far more impressed with the Batman-focused action scenes. I loved the way the little "bat touches", like having him hide in the corner of the ceiling, and quietly swoop down. His fights were also remarkably intense and excellent, the first time the live-action Batman fights have matched the animated ones.

But by far the best part of this entire movie was Hans Zimmer's soundtrack. It was way too good for this film. I especially loved Lex's discordant piano theme and Wonder Woman's electric guitar score.

I feel like this film would've worked a lot better if A) Had it been two movies, Batman V Superman AND Dawn Of Justice and B) Had the Justice League members, ESPECIALLY Batman been given their own movies before this.

The narrative is just incapable of holding the weight of all of these different stories without any sort of introductions before this whatsoever. They're all good things on their own, but it's a bad mix.

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