Somewhere an unwritten memorandum must be written that 2016 is the year to twist everything we love about superheroes and upset the balance. Pitting good guy vs. good guy thereby forcing loyal fans to pick sides is the new normal of iconic comic book fandoms. DC Comics is among the first to unveil this story arc. Herein things are about to get dicey.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) Film Review
Nearly two years ago, Superman was embroiled in a devastating battle that wrecks havoc on the city. The ensuing result leads some to question whether or not they need Superman’s “Savior” or if he’s good. By day, Superman hides who he really is as the socially-awkward Clark Kent (Henry Cavill). As a normal guy, Clark works at the Daily Planet and falls head over heels for intrepid reporter Lois Lane (Amy Adams). Lois is only just now realizing what her love for Superman may cause. While chasing a story in a foreign country, she finds herself in trouble which beckons Superman, and the destruction of a small desert village.
Back in the States, chaos reigns. Senate hearings are organize and the media crucifies Superman. One such person seeking revenge is Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck). Eighteen months ago, one of his companies was destroyed during Superman’s latest battle. Now Bruce blames Superman for the destruction and loss of thousands. Now, masquerading as Batman, Bruce sets about planning how best to exact his revenge little realizing a greater force seeks to destroy him and Superman.
This means something. – Lois
It did on my world. My world doesn’t exist anymore. – Superman
To say Zack Snyder has a unique vision for his productions would be understating his style. Though he helmed Man of Steel, his idiosyncrasies seemed on great display in effect hampering what otherwise might have been an intriguing experience. As I sat through this film, having seen it was Snyder behind the camera I didn’t remember that it was he who also captained the aforementioned Man of Steel. But no matter the shared director, I cannot help but feel like this DC Comics adaptation was (production) “worse” than its predecessor, and missed so many marks.‘BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE’ (2016) – Human and Alien Square Off #FWarchives Click To Tweet
Just a few of the quibbles I have with this as a production are the following things. Its length should be shorter (it tries to be “too much” – lead in, sequel, emotional battle – in too small a cinematic space) and the method of storytelling doesn’t help. They pull us in and out of dream sequences, and even within the “surface” dream, another dream is embeds. This tug of war is more confusing than visually stimulating. I know its purpose is probably to offer insight into the character’s frame of mind, but overall, it doesn’t work that way. Another big theme I take some issue with is Clark as a savior.
The legend of Superman is largely allegorical and always has been. While I can appreciate this and understand it being likened as such, this script oversteps. Much as I adore Clark Kent and his do-good alter ego, the blatant visuals were too much in my opinion. Heroes are imperfect like everyone else, and while they are often held to a higher standard, they aren’t a god. That said, with all that in the open, there was plenty to love. I love the evolving romance between Clark and Lois (haters gonna’ hate) and I love(loveloved) the mysterious introduction of Wonder Woman.
Beyond that, I think what I like best about this reboot is the cast. Everyone brings their a-game. This is true of the return of Diane Lane, Adams and Cavill; and newbies Gal Gadot, Jeremy Irons (brilliant Alfred!) and Jesse Eissenberg (can we say creepy). What’s so interesting about this adaptation is that everyone is a kind of “tortured” soul. Prior versions give us a lighter view of the iconic monikers. Remarks even hint that Superman will be a darker incarnation in the next DC installment; my response would be something akin to asking, “How can he go darker!?”
The serious nature of the story and atmosphere leaves little to no room for laughter, but what’s here is good. (Most notable when the three heroes finally come together, shedding all pretenses to work together.) As the story works towards its pinnacle, tears are inevitable, but with the promise of 2017’s Justice League in our near future, we hope good things are to come for DC Comics.
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Photos: Warner Brothers