‘BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE’ (2016) – Human and Alien Square Off

August 25, 2016 7 Comments

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.    

‘BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE’ (2016) – Human and Alien Square Off. Review of the DC Comics film with Henry Cavill. Text © Rissi JC

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

‘BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE’ (2016) – Human and Alien Square Off. Review of the DC Comics film with Henry Cavill. Text © Rissi JC

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.

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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.

‘BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE’ (2016) – Human and Alien Square Off. Review of the DC Comics film with Henry Cavill. Text © Rissi JC

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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You can find Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice digitally on Amazon Video

Photos: Warner Brothers

About Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

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7 Comments

  • Bekah M. August 26, 2016 at 3:50 am

    I kid you not, I saw this review and said "OMG!!" because I was so excited to read your thoughts on this movie! Wow, you could not have written a more perfect review. I 100% agree with everything you said…I had many of the same quibbles but loved the cast so much. I'm definitely one of those people who thinks about what I'm watching, but at the same time I'm capable of quickly dismissing them for the sake of (sometimes mindless) entertainment. It's probably the reason why I pretty much like all the movies I watch. :P

    Seriously excited for Wonder Woman!! And I'm definitely a fan of Lois and Clark too.

    High five to yet another awesome movie review, Rissi!

    • Rissi August 30, 2016 at 4:20 am

      The cast is a BIG selling point for me on this one, Bekah. I adore Lois (Amy) and Clark (Henry) together despite the controversy surrounding this casting with Man of Steel. They play off each other really well and I love that there's is a "quieter" romance. Sometimes less drama is best. :)

      *high five* I'm exactly like you. I think reviewing has "forced" me to think a bit more about what I'm watching, but I am always (first and foremost) happy to be entertained. I like 99% of the movies I see too – even those everyone else thinks are awful (looking at you, critics). ;)

      Wonder Woman's intro in this is fabulous. I'm excited for her solo movie (plus, *ahem* Chris Pine) and of course, the reuniting of these characters in Justice League. :)

      PS: apologies for the delay in replying to these comments: I don't know HOW the time escapes me!

  • Tressa S August 29, 2016 at 3:56 am

    Your thoughts on those dream sequences were spot on. They were more jolting than anything and I didn't even think they really fit with the story. And since when did Batman become a lunatic? I also had issues with Lex who I felt came across more of a Joker persona than who Lex Luther should be. And yes, I don't think Superman could get any darker and if so, I don't know if I could continue with this one. I love Man of Steel because it's story was so strong and the good was balanced against the evil. Here it felt out of balance.

    Having said all that… I still loved Lois Lane, Wonder Woman, and Superman, and Ben Affleck did better than I thought he would as Batman although still not my favorite. I'm hoping the next movie will be much improved – at least up to Man of Steel's level, with a much better story and a smoother cinematography experience.

    • Rissi August 30, 2016 at 4:15 am

      Hey, Tressa, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! I really enjoyed reading them.

      Dreams: YES! They were so… strange and didn't flow well with the production.
      Batman: Now you mention it, that's so true. Bale's Bruce is more of an ideal character study or he was in Batman Begins. (I still have to watch the other two.)
      Lex: I would agree although I've not met the Joker persona in any adaptation, from what I've read of him, that seems very true.
      Superman: Out of balance is spot on. *sigh* I'm worried about where Snyder is taking these characters.

      Ditto on all you say, friend. I'm hopeful Justice League will enjoy significant improvement. So sad to see all this potential wasted.

      Lois, Superman and Wonder Woman were my favorites. :)

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