Batman V Superman is the movie I have been waiting for my entire life. The first comic book I ever picked was a World’s Finest comic when I was 5 years old and since I lived in India at the time, we would get these issues all out of order.
The movie starts with a focus on Batman & rightly so since in this universe Superman has already had his own movie. We see Affleck right in the middle of the Metropolis destruction and you get to see the horrors of the alien invasion caused in the finale when Superman saved mankind through a set of human eyes. The whole sequence is breathtaking, specifically the shot of him running towards a crumbling Wayne building. As soon as you see that moment when he embraces the little girl in the middle of the Zod – Superman fight, you instantly know that there is no way this guy thinks of Superman as a hero. Another great scene comes in the form of the film’s opening montage. Now, since every incarnation of Batman gets his own origin scene. I know going in that I wouldn’t be too keen on this & well, I was very wrong. Snyder keeps this short, dark & symbolic to the point that it will have it’s own artistic value in the Batman mythos.
Every great superhero has always had great supporting characters surrounding the protagonist I was very worried about that here since we have two. Alfred played by the great Jeremy Irons is the most sarcastic, ill-humored & badass Alfred we have gotten yet.
This is not only a butler but Bruce’s partner in his war on crime and you can see why he is the way he is given he has been fighting crime 20 years with Wayne now. Their constant banter is the highlight of the movie.
Affleck gets some great scenes. One particular one is when the trinity are at Luthor’s party but with agendas of their own. They couldn’t have made this scene better and I just loved how Clark could instantly hear Alfred talking into Wayne’s headpiece. The following Bond’esque sequence between Bruce & Diana was great. Since this is our first look at the WW character who is considered by many the greatest female superhero ever I was very wary of Gal Gadot’s portrayal of the icon. Thankfully in the limited time she has on film Gadot pulls it off. Every scene she is in, she is good. I can now confidently say this – Zack Snyder is an expert in directing powerful women. Faora was the biggest badass in Man of Steel & now Wonder Woman in this one.
My favorite sequence though besides the actual Batman V Superman battle is the nightmare sequence where Batman sees a possible dystopian future. You get to see how glum things can actually get if Superman ever goes rogue and you get to see a glimpse of a cinematic Flash – which was spectacular. Besides being an amazing sequence this reinforces Wayne’s belief to take down Superman.
Talking about characters, lets jump into the next new one we are introduced here – Lex Luthor. Portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg here, this was something I was very doubtful about. There has been so many renditions of the character in the books that I was not sure which Lex we are going to see here. Eisenberg plays the crazy one. There are multiple allegorical references here as how he perceives Superman and why he has this pathological hatred towards god which actually stems his hatred for Superman. He plays this ADHD clumsy Lex well, but fans of the animated series will be disappointed since we don’t see the calm calculated villain we were expecting. I do see however why that choice was made. This movie needed an animated character between the world-weary Batman & the almighty ideal Superman.
Cavill plays Superman with a lot more conviction here. He is still struggling to find his place in society and fazed by the age old comic book question – “Does the world need a Superman?”, strikes the perfect balance between the christ-like empathy needed for Superman & the day-to-day human struggles that Clark Kent faces as a reporter. The more scenes we see of him, Perry & Lois, the more you realize how desperately we need a standalone sequel to Man of Steel.
The best part of the film is the fight when these titans collide in full glory. Like Man of Steel, Snyder gets rid of a very crucial plot device from the books – How can a genius like Lex not know who Superman is? Well, guess what? He does and not only does he know who Superman is, he also knows Bruce Wayne is Batman. I have seen a lot of comic book movies but none show a fight even remotely closer to what you see here. It just shows how invulnerable & how relentless both Superman and Batman respectively are and yes, there is a winner.
The final battle with Doomsday although very engaging came as a huge surprise to me. Like many others I was thinking we would see a proto-Doomsday fight the trinity. Surprisingly the movie went into Death of Superman and closed on one of the biggest cliffhangers. This makes a lot more sense and I applaud Warner Brothers for making such a bold choice.
My biggest gripe in the film was Doomsday. The CG used was not the greatest and they could have definitely made it better given the time they had on their hands since this film was completed a year and a half ago. I had the same gripe with the Force Awakens which came out later last year where the CG was pretty bad for the Snoke character. In terms of completely CG characters I think everyone should take a page out of Marvel’s book as how they finally got the Hulk right after so many failed attempts.
Overall, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is a spectacle film, not without it’s faults but a spectacle nevertheless. Watch it in surround sound in IMAX for the full experience. I saw it in AMC prime (a bit of a unsponsored plug here) and it was totally worth it.