Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ★★★★½

"That's how it starts. The fever, the rage, the feeling of powerlessness that turns good men... cruel."


That's how Zack Snyder introduces us to the universe of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice - an inevitably chaotic mess that opens the film on an incredibly bold, epic note. Metropolis is facing the destructive consequences of Superman's battle from Man of Steel, and Bruce Wayne is there to see everything. Synder pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the film with this scene, and you can instantly tell whether or not you'll enjoy the film a a whole. It's not for everybody, but it was certainly for me. Forget the gleeful, light-hearted quality of the MCU. This is Snyder. And as he did with Watchmen, right off the bat, he sucks you into an epic, dark, chaotic universe.

Ben Affleck is the Batman that we deserve - a certified badass, out to battle, who he believes to be, an illegal alien. The showdown? Amazing, but not nearly as interesting as the tense moments building up to it. There's a certain quality to Affleck that seems to suit him well to play the "Bat of Gotham" - perhaps it's the bulky build, or his resting bitch face. I don't know, but nevertheless Affleck is fantastic as Batman. Notable as well is Henry Cavill, who returns as Superman, but his character, unlike Man of Steel, seems invigorated. There's moral conflict, emotion and depth of character that was missing from Man of Steel. And eventually, we see Wonder Woman fly into the scene, and the entire audience is in awe. Gal Gadot, an actress that's not really known for many big roles, steals the show. Together, Gadot, Cavill, Affleck and the wonderful Amy Adams combine for one of the most epic casting in a superhero film ever.

I heard someone refer to this film as being, as they said, basically Transformers. If you're familiar with Snyder's work, you know he's no stranger to action. But the action in Dawn of Justice isn't without purpose - from the epic showdown between Batman and Superman, to the final battle sequence, everything seems necessary. The big, messy action is a part visual grandeur of the project, and Snyder totally owns it. Are there narrative issues with Dawn of Justice? Sure there are, and for the first half, it seems incredibly unfocused and all over the place. But the thing is, it ties everything together by the end, and that's all that matters. Part of the journey is being left in uncertainty throughout the first half, so that when you're eventually introduced to everything in the finale, it's even more satisfying, at least for me.

I recognize that I'm in the minority in saying that this film was amazing, but fuck it, I loved Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Snyder throws out all subtlety and glee from the mix, but that's what's necessary for a battle this epic. I went into this movie expecting it to be mediocre, and I was dead wrong. Congrats Mr. Snyder, in Watchmen and Batman V Superman, you've now crafted two of the most epic superhero films of all time.

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