Claudio Says BATMAN v SUPERMAN Sets Up the DC Universe Well, But Not Without Some Struggles

Share Button

FILM REVIEW:   BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE

BY CLAUDIO ZELAYA

 

batman-superman-header2

 

 

The moment we’ve been waiting decades for is finally here! Batman and Superman are sharing the screen together…and it’s a mixed bag. Jumping off right where “Man of Steel” ended, “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” introduces us to a world struggling to deal with a God-like being flying  around the world and saving kittens from trees while giving us a new interpretation of Batman. It is directed by Zack Snyder and written by Chris Terrio. The movie stars Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne, Henry Cavill as Superman, Jessie Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, and Amy Adams as Lois Lane. Despite all the fears that the movie would be overcrowded with Wonder Woman and other Justice League type characters potentially showing up, the movie is really about those four main characters. While over crowdedness wasn’t a huge issue with the film, let’s delve into some actual ones.

batman-vs-superman-info-tag

The plot itself is thick, to say the least. There are a lot of threads going on and references to the bigger DC universe that may go over the general audience’s head. Being the comic fan I am, I was able to pick up the subtle things Snyder put in. After having time to process it, the story can come off complicated, but at its core it’s pretty simple. All the threads did payoff in the end, and that’s the issue; we shouldn’t be confused the rest of the way. I don’t blame the production as a whole because the story bits were all there to make a compelling movie, but the way it was pieced together was just sloppy. One of the first things I learned in editing was that each shot should try to set up the next. Will it always work out that way? No, but there is a level of cohesiveness that must be reached in the editing room. It felt very choppy when it cut from scene to another. It took me out completely because I was still busy processing what happened to then move on to something else and then come back to the previous scene to piece it all together. Once again, as a whole the plot pays off, but getting there left me scratching my head. The pacing would’ve been much better with a different editing style. While weaving through some weird cuts, the characters were able to keep me pretty interested.

batman-v-superman-trailer-screengrab-2

The beloved Dark Knight trilogy that Christopher Nolan brought us ended not too long ago and with the casting of Affleck as the new Batman, people were left wondering if he could live up to the legacy thus far. I’m comfortable saying that those worries are officially unfounded. This Batman is meaner, darker, and probably destroys any other Batman in a fist fight. I will say that for the universe they are building, he’s a great Batman, but he’s not MY Batman. I won’t go into spoiler territory but he doesn’t represent that Batman I grew up with at this moment. I’m interested to see how he became the brutal bat that he is now, but for now he’s just too violent for my taste. Henry Cavill’s Superman is top notch once again. Since “Man of Steel” I’ve had no problem believing that this guy would have no problem of carrying on the legacy set before him. This movie gave him more to do in terms of development. We all know he’s not trying to be some all mighty being on Earth, so it’s interesting seeing him take the criticisms that world has to offer about him.  There is still some of that “Jesus” imagery attached to him, but it’s not in your face. We also saw him punch a lot of people in the last movie while in this one; he doesn’t even touch the guy that is clawing at his boots, Lex Luthor.

Batman-V-Superman-Dawn-of-Justice-Henry-Cavill-Amy-Adams-Laurence-Fishburne

This is a different Luthor then probably any other iteration ever brought to the page or screen, but I actually appreciated and would go as far as to say that I liked Jessie Eisenberg’s portrayal. He comes off a bit whimsical at times, but goes dark in the right spots to tell you that a lot of his mannerisms are a facade. Once the threads came together, I realized that this character is frighteningly smart.

The actual fight between the caped crusader and the man of steel was epic! Everything in the trailer was just a small taste. The fight was vicious and seemed to teeter to both sides throughout. One thing you can never tell Snyder is how to direct action. This is the best moving Batman, period. The Nolan films, while rich in plot, lacked in fight choreography. The comics were truly coming alive.

batman-v-superman-trailer-full-hd-with-stills-362568

Well, there you have it! There is a lot to say about this movie, but most of it would be going into that spoiler territory. It may have looked like I bagged on the movie a lot, but I did enjoy it overall. It’s well documented that I’m probably one of the biggest comic book fans writing for CineSportsTalk, but sometimes you have to tell it how it is. The DC fan in me understood the “Justice League” references that were being weaved in so in that aspect, I’m excited. I fear the scripts failure to make some of those things more clear may confuse regular movie-goers. I am still worried about Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and Zack Snyder as the director moving forward. However, by no means was it bad and I had fun. But it doesn’t matter what I think! If you’ve seen the movie, what do you think? We were lucky enough to see it early so a lot of you probably haven’t, but when you do, make sure to come back and join the discussion! Man, we’re in for some debates!!

FINAL WORD: StarStarHalf StarEmpty Star