It’s no secret that DC Comics have been competing against Marvel Studios in terms of releasing super hero films based on their characters. 2013 was when DC got the ball rolling with Man of Steel, a reboot of the Superman franchise. Now they plan to keep going forwards with the film’s sequel: Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.
The story takes place 18 months after the events of Man of Steel, where we see Bruce Wayne (Batman) starts forming a grudge towards Superman after witnessing multiple casualties at Wayne Industries during the destruction of Metropolis in Man of Steel. Which leads him to take on Superman; all the while Lex Luthor is creating a weapon that could be powerful enough to destroy them both. First things first, the cast does great with what they’re given, especially our main players. Henry Cavil and Amy Adams were great as Clark Kent (Superman) and Louis Lane, and work well together in Man of Steel. And they still do well here. This new film lets us see more of their friendship, and Cavil still shows the compassionate personality of the character,many the film further explores the side of the character is willing to do the right thing to help, even if no one in Metropolis wants him to.
That said I felt Louis had very little to do plot wise other than follow a lead to expose Lex Luthor, she’s clearly a smart and strong character, but this is something added to get her involved with the ending. So now we move on our three new main characters. Starting with Ben Affleck as Batman, who pretty much steels the show. He plays Bruce as a rough and woren down version of the character, similar to the version seen in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. Which given how he lost multiple people in his life, it makes sense. Plus he nails the intelligence, resourcefulness and attitude of the character greatly. Not to mention how well the character is during the action scenes, with his moves, choreography and gadgets, this ends up giving him some of the best action scenes in the film. Plus the costume is just perfect. Then we have the random inclusion of Wonder Woman, and some how it works. Gal Gadot fits the role well, her role makes sense in the story; and we finally she a live action version of the strong, confident and bad ass hero that is Wonder Woman on the big screen….shame really because I liked what I saw and want more. Again costume, perfect.
The weakest link in the cast is Jessie Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. While confident in the role, and the guy is capable of acting well. The social awkwardness of his personality doesn’t really work well given the character of Lex Luthor. While Jessie nails the smooth talker that would seem trusting at first, outside of his intelligence and the plans he enacts, his not exactly threatening. Like the previous film, the effects are excellent. Great attention to detail, well made CGI, with the sound giving it the tremendous impact the scene needs. This gives way into the action scenes. Such as the fast camera movements in the Batmobile chase, the choreography during the fights with Batman, and the scenes with Clark’s powers. Great action overal. However the final fight against Doomsday tries to throw way to many effects into the mix. This isn’t a spoiler you learn this in the trailer. Given the CGI character with tons of lighting effects when he regenerates, I’m surprised the computer that rendered it didn’t explode. Oh and the design of Doomsday doesn’t help matters either. Throughout the beginning of that scene, I was waiting for Viggo Mortenson to go ” They have a cave troll”.
Which leads in to the films biggest problem: it try’s to do way too much, making it longer than it should do. Without spoiling the outcomes you have:
- Clark’s efforts to gain respect from the public after the last film.
- Bruce’s reasons to fight Superman, and his plans to do so.
- Lex’s plan to destroy Superman along with Batman
- As well as using and creating Doomsday.
- Louis uncovering on Luthor’s scheme.
- Wonder Woman’s reasons for going after Luthor.
Now that’s busy enough, but I could manage it, but then the film try’s to include build up to the Justice League film, multiple cameos from other DC heroes, and other characters throughout the story, and other scenes that are just not needed. With the first two acts mostly filled with talking and plot points to set up later; which would be fine if it didn’t run so long. And that’s why this is such a problem, the film ends up going for what feels like forever, in order to finish everything it sets up that isn’t Justice League related. The third act being the most guilty of this. There is so much happening at once, and the ending scene drags on; again, i liked what happened in those scenes, especially the way the plot goes during the end. But a lot of it could be shortened, or flat out removed and it’ll still work.
Overall while i enjoyed the movie, i felt that it had so much on it’s to do list, that it made the film a lot longer than it should’ve done. Like i said, everything with some exceptions were greatly done; and it’s certainly an enjoyable film i recommend you go see. While Man of Steel is the superior film, this is a worthy follow up…..Just don’t see it in 3D.
7/10. Thank you for you’re time.