Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Non-Spoiler) Review
March 21st, 2016 was not just another day in another year. This was the day many fans have been looking forward to since they were told last April that we would be getting a sneak peek at the new Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice movie. I received my invite on February 29th and have been counting down the days ever since. I worried all day that lines would be forming coast to coast and did not even want to go to work – this is an event not just a movie. I arrived at my theater around 4:15pm, still had a good 5 hours and 45 minutes to go until showtime, and promptly placed myself first in line. I was so hyped that my stomach was churning. I kept asking myself, Do you eat now or wait? As I stood there more and more people began to walk up. One person became four, four became 10, 1o became 20, and soon 20 became about 100+. At about 9:00pm there were some theater reps and a rep from Warner Bros. who came out and urged us not to spoil the film. They also made us turn our phones off before we entered the theater. Apparently the chain had to sign an NDA about our phones since a user from the NYC premier filmed some of the movie on his phone and that did not sit well with the studio.
We all got to see it in IMAX and luckily we got assigned seating which was nice. I took my seat around 9:15pm and the countdown had begun. Three years ago we were told this movie was going into production. Two years ago we were told it was delayed until 2016 and it was being moved from May to March, what was 45 more minutes gonna harm? At 10:00pm sharp the lights go down, ladies and gentleman, it’s showtime! All the hype and emotion seemed to cease and now it was time to take it all in. For the next 2 hours and 31 minutes, I was going to finally see how this was going to all play out. No more trailers, no more TV clips, no more magazine articles, just me and the screen.
The opening of the film was excellent. Right away you are treated to Hans and Junkie’s amazing soundtrack. You get to experience the raw emotion of Bruce Wayne and the events of his life leading up to the events presently. I cannot say enough about how well this is shot and the photography is excellent. The cast really pops and they are fleshed out more than they were in Man of Steel. You can also tell right away that this is some of Snyder’s best work and having Chris Terrio really helps. The script was so much better and written so crisply. You did not have those missing dialogue pieces like you did with Goyer’s Man of Steel script. There were no cringe-worthy moments when the script would be great and then a cheap joke was thrown in. This all was fluid and flowed like it should. I cannot say enough about the score, it made the movie and made each scene POP. You felt immersed in the film as the soundtrack was playing. It really drags you in and has you gripping your arm rest.
Snyder often gets complaints about his story telling but let me tell you that he tells one hell of a story in Batman v Superman. I did not think Man of Steel had a bad story but there parts that I felt were dull. This was put together nicely and keeps you wanting more and more as each scene passes by. of course the acting helps as well. With Ben Affleck (Batman) you do not even have to hear him speak to appreciate how great he is as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Affleck can carry a scene with just the emotions on his face. Affleck is Batman, he will be hard to beat from anyone else ever trying to wear the cape and cowl. You can see how troubled he is, how 20 years as Batman has taken a toll on him. He is a no-nonsense Batman who is dark and gritty and potentially controversial to some but he is the Batman from the comics. You will walk out of the theater wanting the solo Batman movie tomorrow. Henry Cavill (Superman) is just as good if not better than he was in Man of Steel. Henry is another actor who can convey emotions with his face rather than words, which is good because we get less dialogue from him this time out. Henry plays such an amazing version of Superman. His Superman is still trying to come into his own but still questioning why he is here and if people really want him. You can see the pain on his face knowing that humanity doesn’t truly accept him and deep down that is all he truly wants. His relationship with Lois is often tested at times because of this and even she has doubts about them being together. This is for sure a more emotional Superman than we have ever seen. Also we get to see more of Clark Kent reporter. This Clark isn’t bumbling and stumbling and he takes his job seriously. He wants to be a great journalist and report on news that matters. He cares about what the Daily Planet stands for and his scenes with Laurence Fishburne are some of the best and also get some laughs.
The supporting cast steals the show in many ways. Jesse Eisenberg (Lex Luthor) was very surprising and knocked it out of the park. His version of Lex is cunning, manipulative, and creepy at times. He comes off innocent but behind closed doors he is an evil mastermind. His motivation is fueled by his hatred and jealousy of Superman. I think they need to expand the relationship between Superman and Lex in future movies. I felt that we saw more of one between Lex and Bruce. Jesse has some great scenes and you can see he really went all in for this character. You want to laugh at him at times but other times you just want him to get whats coming to him. I felt Amy Adams (Lois) had a much better role this time out. We never got to see her true potential in Man of Steel. Here we see her being more of a journalist but they do try to drive home her relationship with Superman/Clark more than they do the other side of her life. She is key to certain plot points and it was good they got her involved once again but I feel she can bring so much more to the table and I hope she is used better in future movies. Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) steals the show. The crowd was fist pumping and clapping whenever she was on-screen. People could not understand why Snyder would hire her as Wonder Woman. “She is too skinny and her boobs are not big enough”, people complained. Give me a break! She was fantastic and her solo movies is going to be huge. She really put the time and effort into proving the doubters wrong. She was in great shape and she is so beautiful. Her fight scenes were some of the best ever and you will be in a trance with her theme song. The way she handles herself with Bruce will have the ladies loving every minute of her.
Jeremy Irons (Alfred) was not your typical Alfred. He was not the father figure like Michael Caine was in Nolan’s Batman films but he was a trusted friend and confidant for Bruce. He was hands on with everything from fixing the Batmobile to creating weapons and armor. He was always there to try to talk reason to Bruce. The scenes with Ben and Jeremy are some of highlights of the film. The emotion each of them carry is amazing and you can tell Alfred loves and cares for Bruce but he does not always agree with his methods. Laurence Fishburne (Perry White) had a much larger role than I felt he did in Man of Steel. His character is very involved with Clark this time around. There are some great scenes with and Henry disagreeing about a news article and I loved it when he called him “Smallville”. The banter does not stop there, of course him and Lois are at it as usual. I cannot really go into details without spoiling lines from the movie but trust me his scenes are much better this time out. He is hard on his employees but he cares for them like family and you will see that.
The movie does a great job setting up this universe and bringing the characters together. The pacing was never off and it flew by. I caught myself checking my clock just because I did not want it to end and wanted there to be 15-20 minutes more. The movie is a much like a tale of two cities. You have Superman who wants to be accepted and feel like he has a place in the world, then you have Batman who has seen it all and lost a lot. He feels like he is doing the right thing but lets feelings get in the way of seeing the truth at times. It’s a learning event for both of them. They both come to learn that they are not much different even though they are from other worlds. The film is so full of emotion. It’s not a popcorn flick at all. You will need to pay attention at all times or will you might miss something important. Each cast member lends something to the movie and has a place. Snyder and company did a lot to right the wrongs that people felt Man of Steel had. You could tell the listened and went out and got great actors and an Oscar-winning writer. They are serious about this universe and the movie showed that. Is it flawless? No but it’s going to go down as one of the best movies ever in my opinion. It is beyond a comic book movie. Snyder has done a great job being real but also allowing fantasy to intertwine. There are consequences with the characters and they do not always get a free pass. They answer for their actions just like we do in our lives. I will go much more into detail once its been released and I can talk more about certain scenes. I urge people to go see this movie and give it a chance. Go in with open minds and hearts and not already have you mind made up about Snyder and DC. You will miss something truly special if you do.
9.5/10 – MUST SEE!
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