Hollywood did it again. Another superhero movie spat out for the hardly starving populous to lap up. “Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice” is DC’s latest film produced in competition with the seemingly non-stop premieres of Marvel movies over the past year.
While it didn’t totally disappoint, it didn’t totally impress either. Honestly it really only did one thing. It lassoed in a new generation of DC fans while appealing to the masses who just want to see action and have never flipped the pages of the original comics.
Director Zack Snyder was at the helm of this project and I have to say “Thank God” for that because without his experience and talent this film would have gone from decent to awful really quickly.
While he is not loved for his work on the 2009 film “Watchmen” he is known better for his work on “Man of Steel” the newest Superman reboot and his work on “300” which quickly became a fan favorite. But in this latest endeavor he shows his chops.
The cinematography is gorgeous, reminiscent of Vilmos Zsigmond’s work. Close-ups with great light selection along with sweeping visual landscapes play really well to the action and drama of superhero films.
Snyder’s work isn’t what pulls this film together. It no doubt supported the overall picture but it was Ben Affleck and Jesse Eisenberg that really brought me in. Affleck was supposed to be a flop as Batman.
I honestly didn’t think there could be a cooler Batman than Christian Bale in Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy.
I was pleasantly surprised. Affleck ditched the righteous persona of young Master Bruce. As an older man, he has become hardened and this lends to the Batman that we all know and love as a member of the Justice League.
He is a tough nut to crack with little or no mercy for those who have done wrong. It was a nice change of pace for the story.
Along with Affleck there was Eisenberg and his portrayal of the feared Alexander or Lex Luthor. I grew up with a different Luthor. He was a man that was brilliant and ruthless.
He spoke in beautiful prose but was measured and most certainly sane. Clinically at least. But in this saga Eisenberg plays a much different Luthor. Wiry, socially awkward, maddened and almost certainly insane.
But above all he is evil. Truly. This made him a much more dynamic Luthor in my opinion.
While we lose the calm and cool Luthor that we know, we get a much scarier villain reminiscent of Heath Ledger’s Joker in Nolan’s trilogy.
They do say that he is the son of the real Luthor which should satiate the anger of hardcore fans. I am eager to see how this plays out.
While that side of the acting was stellar, there was a lot left to be desired of our previous DC protagonists. Lois Lane played by Amy Adams and Superman played by Henry Cavill.
They played their parts but didn’t shine. The chemistry that seemed so real in the last film seemed forced in this film.
It is always nice to watch two beautiful people be in love but geez it sure seemed to follow Hollywood cliché at the end when the story hinges on it.
Despite all of this the film wrapped everything up very well. With Marvel movies and TV shows working together to give viewers a glimpse into the Marvel Universe in its entirety, it was long overdue that DC made it comeback.
With the entrance of Wonder Woman, played by Gal Gadot, and hints towards Aquaman and Cyborg getting some screen time in the impending sequels, fans were left excited after the denouement of the story starts to lose the viewers attention.
Snyder did a good job of setting up the next movie no doubt set to release next year.
“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” was an overall success for me. While it is just another money-making play by Hollywood bleeding the cash-cow that is “nerdom” dry, it is a film worth watching.
Any fan of action and the fantastic will surely be stoked when they leave the theater. While more hardcore fans may be disappointed with certain portrayals of characters, it is obvious that there is some respect between the original creators and Snyder as we have yet another superhero film to “oooh” and “aaaahhh” about.
“Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice” is rated PG – 13 for intense sequences of violence and action throughout, and some sensuality.
This article originally appeared in the April 6, 2016 print edition of The Echo.
image via moviepilot.com