Review – Batman vs Superman : Dawn of Justice
Here it is. The most hyped film of the year so far, and what is clearly the start of a big push to establish a Marvel-Esque universe film franchise for DC comic characters.
Zak Snyder directs (following his work on Man of Steel) and the script is by Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer (who had in varying levels on involvement in the scripts / stories for Man of Steel, Batman Begins, Dark Knight and Dark Knight Rises amongst others).
The plot centres around the two characters as they each attempt to comes to terms and find resolution for the challenges that they are facing. Superman is struggling with the expectations and concerns of humanity as they seek to treat him as a God and hold him accountable for his actions and motives in equal measure. Bruce Wayne, reeling from his own impacts of the events of Man of Steel is seeking to address the perceived risk that Superman represents.
The Superman side of the cast remains unchanged from the first film with Lois Lane (Amy Adams), Perry White (Laurence Fishbone) and Martha Kent (Diane Lane) all featuring. On the Gotham side, we see Ben Affleck taking on the roles of Bruce Wayne and Batman, and Jeremy Irons playing Batman.
In regards to Affleck’s Batman, he is very much at the other end of his career to the Batman in Batman Begins. He is close to moral bankruptcy using increasingly direct tactics in fighting crime in Gotham and appears almost burned out.
The film has taken a bit of a panning across the reviews that I’ve seen so far, some of them absolutely scathing.
So, to be honest. I enjoyed it. And I also think that ultimately the negative head of steam that is building up, may actually work in its favour because the low expectations that had been created were probably part of my relief in this film.
Don’t get me wrong. Its not perfect. But I definitely don’t think that it’s bad. Are there holes in it? Yes. Is it Batman and Robin, or Batman Forever, or Superman 3 or Superman 4? No.
It’s a dark film. Affleck’s Batman is far darker than some of the others that we’ve seen. He’s at a later stage in his Bat-career than previous iterations, than have bread a level of cynicism that again is not what we’ve seen before. Superman is operating with increasing frustration with the human race in both their expectations and judgement and that too is pushing him to a darker side than again we’ve seen before. So it’s dark. Dark. DARK!
But its full of action, its shot as well as any comic book film (and a lot better than most) and whilst they’re different approaches to the characters, I think the lead performances are strong (although Jesse Eisenberg became annoying at times).
But this film is clearly going to divide audiences more than most comic book films, and what it doesn’t have is ‘something for everyone’ like something like The Avengers was nearer to achieving.
Final point – This film is the least 12A that I have ever seen. I’m yet to read the justification for the rating, but I would have thought this was much nearer a 15.
6/10 (A rounded down 6.5)