BvS Packs a Lot of Punch

March 28, 2016 at 10:00 AM | Posted in Film Reviews, Geekdom, Movies | Leave a comment
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batman-v-superman-dawn-of-justice_IMAXposter

Photo Credit: ign.com

When I first heard the news years ago that there was going to be a movie about Batman versus Superman, I was sceptical. My initial reaction was, “Why would they want to make a movie about Batman and Superman fighting each other? That’s not a good idea.” Even though it happened in the comics (which I didn’t know and never read), I still thought it’s not a good idea. I love Superman and Batman but I didn’t want to see them battling against each other. Then the news that Ben Affleck was going to play Batman came. I was indignant. I thought he wasn’t the perfect actor to replace Christian Bale as Batman. I couldn’t imagine him as the Caped Crusader. For quite some time I was adamant about my initial perception of the movie being made and the fact that Ben Affleck was playing Batman. But then I saw the first trailer and got curious and excited. It was always my plan to watch the movie despite my misgivings about it because I’m a big fan of Superman. And I enjoyed Man of Steel a lot. Even though I wasn’t that partial to Henry Cavill playing Superman at first, he eventually grew on me after watching Man of Steel for the second time. That in itself was reason enough for me.

So I braved the large crowd and long lines at the cinema and watched Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Even the largely negative reviews by the critics didn’t stop me from watching it. When I emerged from the cinema I was stunned. The movie blew me away. I loved it. I didn’t even notice that the movie was more than two hours long. It was action-packed right from the start.

Batman v Superman picked up where Man of Steel came off. Actually, the movie mainly starts during the later part of the scene in Man of Steel where Superman was in the middle of an epic battle with General Zod in the heart of the Metropolis. Amidst the destruction caused by that battle, Bruce Wayne watched helplessly as the skyscraper bearing his company name got destroyed. The building and its occupants were just one of the many casualties of the battle. It was for this reason and the overall destruction of the Metropolis that Bruce Wayne’s anger and suspicion towards Superman started. It set the tone for the rest of the movie leading up to the inevitable fight between Batman and Superman.

Fear and hate towards the unknown and what we don’t understand was one of the running themes of the movie. Bruce Wayne and the people of Metropolis and Gotham city became wary of Superman because of what he could do with his powers. They certainly saw the impact of that power when innocent people got killed or injured during Superman’s fight with General Zod. While some people saw Superman as a hero, others saw him as dangerous. They couldn’t fully fathom Superman’s agenda or where he actually stands in the justice system. Was he a friend of the people or a foe? Superman, on the other hand, felt guilty about the destruction he unintentionally caused.

The movie also poses several questions. It tells us that when there’s war, sacrifices are to be made. We are forced to make a choice. Do we sacrifice a few people for the good of the many? Do we really need to let some people die so we can win the battle? Must we take the law into our own hands and become vigilantes? These arguments were reflected in Superman’s emotional struggle and actions. He sought the advice of his mother. He confronted Bruce Wayne. He came to the hearing. In the end, he sacrificed himself.

Batman, Superman & Wonder Woman

Photo Credit: bgr.com

Henry Cavill delivered a powerful performance (no pun intended) as Superman, a.k.a Clark Kent. I actually got a bit teary-eyed when Superman begged Batman to save his mother even though Batman got him on a chokehold. Ben Affleck wasn’t bad as Batman after all. I mean, he wasn’t as worse as George Clooney was. Although there were a few scenes where his performance, especially his facial expressions were lacking in depth. But even so, I’d still prefer a different actor to play Batman for the Justice League movie. I think Sam Worthington would play a better Batman.

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was awesome. It’s a shame that she only had a few scenes in the movie. But then again, since this movie was all about Batman and Superman, I get why Wonder Woman had limited screen time. I particularly enjoyed her scenes when she was fighting Doomsday alongside Superman while Batman just stood and watched. That was a bit funny. That scene was really a fight between Kryptonians and meta-humans not with rich billionaires with expensive gadgets (But I still love you Batman!).

Wonder Woman

Photo Credit: independent.co.uk

Jesse Eisenberg was miscast in the movie. He looked too young to play Lex Luthor. I still couldn’t wrap my head around that. Whenever I see him on the screen I kept thinking he’s better off playing Jimmy Olsen than Lex Luthor (Interestingly, Zack Snyder initially wanted him to play Jimmy Olsen.). I think Eisenberg channeled a lot of Heath Ledger’s The Joker because I certainly got that Joker vibe in his performance.

While I generally loved the movie, there are still things in it I didn’t like and that bugged me. First of all, why did they make Lois Lane looked like a damsel in distress? I know she’s not supposed to be a weak character but the movie kept showing her as being always in need of Superman’s rescue. I was annoyed that Superman had to momentarily stop his fight against Doomsday so he could rescue Lois from drowning. Lois should’ve been smart enough not to retrieve the Kryptonite spear without some solid plan. Secondly, how could Lex Luthor have known about Superman and Batman’s real identities? How did he find out?

BatmanvSuperman_insideDailyPlanet

Photo Credit: nydailynews.com

Also, I really didn’t like the fight scenes between Batman and Superman. It’s not because they’re not well-executed. It’s because that part was just a ploy to get the fanboys all excited. It’s all testosterone-driven. Had Superman insisted and told Batman sooner about Lex’s plan of wanting them to fight each other, they could have avoided that confrontation and saved a lot of time to help Martha. Honestly I would rather see an extended fight scene with them and Wonder Woman against Doomsday.

Admittedly, Batman v Superman isn’t perfect. I know some of the story’s loopholes can be attributed to the fact that the writers are saving them for the Justice League movie and the rest of the DC cinematic universe. While it has its flaws, for me it didn’t fail to entertain. I used to read Batman and Superman comics when I was a child but I didn’t follow the stories when I grew up. I stopped reading comics in high school and moved on to books. So I really don’t care if the movie wasn’t truthful to the comics or whatever it is that die-hard fanboys are complaining about. In the end, it’s my movie experience that matters anyway.

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