Saturday, March 26, 2016

Let's Review: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

It has been a long time since I have posted anything. This has been a long winter hiatus and a lot has happened in the mean time. I have had a really hard time sitting down and writing, but I love writing and I want to do more again. So I have the great honor of starting my return to reviews with a film that had everyone expecting it to be terrible and the reviews have agreed with that thought. I almost didn’t go see this film because I’m honestly tired of being disappointed by films about characters I use to enjoy. So was this film as bad as I was expecting? Let’s review Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

The Negative

Batman kills in this film. This is something that does need to be addressed as Batman’s moral code against killing is one of the most interesting and well defined aspects of his character. That said, Batman killing really doesn’t bother me in this film. I think it’s actually really fascinating that they decided to play with Batman a bit in this film and make him an older version of the character that has been beaten down a little by his ongoing battle through Gotham. You’re probably wondering why this is in the negatives then. The answer is this has been one of the major complaints towards the film and I honestly think it was a very interesting take on the character. The public at large knows by now who Batman is, I should think it would be okay for us to explore different versions of him or aspects of him that have shown up in alternate material. We are talking about a character that has had around 7-8 live action films already.

The major problem I have with this movie is Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor. This is not a complaint about Jesse Eisenberg’s acting as I believe that he actually pulls out a great performance in this. Simply put the character doesn’t work. The character is clearly insane or at the very least unhinged from society and the rest of the world. Almost every piece of dialogue and action from him just strike me as nothing but the machinations of a madman. Nothing about this character makes me believe he would be in charge of a powerful and rich company nor that government officials would ever make deals with him. I have heard him described as being similar to Batman’s archenemy the Joker in this film and I would agree that the two are far too similar. Luthor should be his own character and not a copycat Joker, plain and simple.

The Positive

I have heard people complain about how grainy and washed out this film is color wise and to that I simply ask do you remember Man of Steel? I really shouldn’t be defending one films problems with the example of another film but I think it stands to reason to Batman v Superman actually improved on a major problem found in Man of Steel. We have seen the before and after shots for Man of Steel where we have seen how colorful the film actually was before they viciously grayed it all out. This film actually brought the color back and I highly appreciated it for it. With BvS I can honestly say I saw a lot of improvements for a sequel. They actually took the bizarre extreme violence/action of Man of Steel and turned it into an important point of conflict as well as story development for the characters to go through. I think the mark of a good sequel is not only improving where the original failed but also taking the problems of the original and turning them into solid character drama.

Everyone was concerned about Ben Affleck taking over the role of Batman, I mean just look at Daredevil. I won’t lie that I wasn’t concerned but I also believed that Affleck has been making some smart choices lately and I was intrigued enough to wait and see what he would do with the role. In all honesty, Ben Affleck completely nails the role. I think nailing both Bruce Wayne and Batman is a really difficult thing to pull off but Affleck just knocks it out of the park. I think it really helps that he has a far more interesting Batman to work with than were used to seeing in these films. I think Henry Cavill also greatly improves from his stoic-heavy performance from Man of Steel. One of the standout performances of the film is definitely Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth. Irons’ Alfred really held the level of snarky repertoire of a man who had spent years arguing with Batman and really helped sell this version of a more war torn dark knight. I would discuss some of the other heroes that appeared in this film more but I believe they were mostly delegated to just cameo appearances and leave me looking forward to seeing more of them in future installments.

In Conclusion

After leaving this film I honestly wondered if maybe I was the one in the wrong. I actually liked this film a lot more than I did The Force Awakens, which is something I never expecting to say when I first knew about these two films before they came out. But then I remember that these reviews are simply my opinions and not set in stone facts that all should obey. I’m actually quite excited about seeing a sequel to this film. I’m excited that DC is finally going to show us more heroes than just Superman or Batman. I went into this film expecting absolutely nothing and came out of it having had a good time. I think reviews for a film are important, but I also think you should reserve final judgment for yourself. I give this film a 4 out of 5.