Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Film Review: "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" (2016).

"Who will win?" This legendary question is now realised in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. This superhero film directed by Zack Snyder and written by Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer. It is the follow-up to 2013's Man of Steel and the second installment in the DC Extended Universe. Fearing the actions of a god-like super hero are left unchecked, Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis’s most revered, modern-day saviour, while the world wrestles with what kind of a hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises. Putting mankind in greater danger than it’s ever known before.

This is the first live-action film to feature both Batman and Superman together, as well as the first live-action portrayals of Wonder Woman, Aquaman, the Flash and Cyborg on the silver screen. The film was announced at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con, after the release of Man of Steel. Snyder and Goyer were both brought back in June 2013. Snyder stated that the film would take inspiration from The Dark Knight Returns. It was also clarified that their incarnation of Batman would not be related to Christopher Nolan's iteration. Pre-production began in October 2013, with principal photography starting in May 2014 in Detroit, Michigan, Chicago, Illinois and Los Angeles, California. Filming concluded in December 2014. The film was originally slate for a July 17, 2015 release date. It was then moved to May 6, 2016, in order to give the filmmakers "time to realize fully their vision..." The release date was moved once again to March 25, 2016.

The film stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter and Gal Gadot. The cast gave varied performances, but are sure to eliminate any doubts that plague die-hard fans. Cavill, Adams, Lane and Fishburne gave fine performances, despite not exactly living up to the images of their comic-book counterparts. Affleck gave the best performance of his career and has become the definitive Batman. His portrayal of the Dark Knight makes Christian Bale's look like Barney the Dinosaur. As for Eisenberg, he would have been a great Riddler instead. Gadot was amazing as the Amazonian warrior. Her performance single-handedly eliminated any skepticism that I had prior to my viewing. Irons made a terrific Alfred, giving an iteration like the previous iterations. Finally Hunter gave a fine performance, despite given very little to do.

With Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, fans of the two superheroes will enjoy this epic showdown. But for everyone else, not so much. One can see that Snyder clearly relished making this wonderfully and utterly "comic book" movie. It's a pretty movie to look at with its grandiose sets and top notch action, but it's a lot like Snyder's previous works in that it's all facade and no foundation. In the end, the film lives up to its hype and has finally opened the door to the DC Cinematic Universe at the movies.

Simon says Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice receives:

Also, see my review for Man of Steel.

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