Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Review

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Batman v Superman is not meant for critics, it’s meant for the audience.

The new Batman v Superman film has all kinds of mixed reviews. Superhero nerds love it while film aficionados aren’t impressed. There are hidden winks at comic fans and cameo appearances by many different DC characters. But is it enough to make it a great movie?

The film starts out with the well-known tragedy that gives Batman his mommy-issues: the death of his parents. In an absolutely breathtaking sequence, the film goes through the traumatizing events in slow motion, flashing between the incident itself and the funeral after. In typical Zack Snyder fashion, the shots are beautiful and whimsical, teetering between reality and a dream world. The film continues in the same style as Man of Steel, full of color but dark in tone. And, of course, massive destruction.

The film is so big it almost misunderstands itself. There is so much information jam packed into 151 minutes that it’s inevitable to have loose ends and missing elements. The motivation for the villain is never quite revealed, but his hate for Superman is apparent.  Batman v Superman stops short of being a jumbled mess, bringing together the complicated worlds of three heroes in order to unite against a greater threat. However, the viewer is left with many questions, which will hopefully be answered in the upcoming films.

Ben Affleck plays a new, dark, brutal Bruce Wayne. Bulked up with muscle and encased in armor, this Batman is more angry and cynical than ever before. Henry Cavil reprises his role as Superman, but more vulnerable than before. Jesse Eisenberg plays a quirky and borderline schizophrenic Lex Luthor. Gal Gadot blows audiences away as Wonder Woman, proving that the superhero game is for girls too as she fights just as well, if not better than both Batman and Superman. Amy Adams is also on the front lines as Lois Lane, aiding the plot, not just standing by as a passive love interest.

Batman v Superman fulfills its job requirement: it sets up the next movie. In addition to that, it provides the audience an entertaining yet exhausting story about our favorite superheroes coming together to fight a supervillain, with very few chuckles along the way. This is not a lighthearted Marvel film that audiences are used to. It’s a dark, gloomy, special effects packed DC film about the darkness of humanity and all that entails. It’s fighting for its identity amongst the never ending storm of hero films we get each year. This film is not meant to blow critics away (something they aren’t understanding). It’s not meant to be funny. It’s meant to set up the beloved characters of the gloomy and heroic DC universe. It’s for the nerds.

Batman v Superman isn’t The Avengers, and it isn’t supposed to be.

-B

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