A much anticipated movie, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, had a lot to live up to. Much excitement and fervour has built up over the years since this project was mooted. Did it deliver the goods? Well in my opinion, it certainly did.
With Henry Cavill reprising his role as the wholesome hero Superman, the focus was on how well Ben Affleck would fill the mighty boots of Batman. Christian Bale was the man he was tasked to replace, having made the character his own in the previous Dark Knight series, so it was never gonna be an easy task to convince fans of his suitability. However, with a grizzly, brooding and darkly fearsome performance, Affleck excelled. And then there’s the introduction of Gal Gadot, striding onto the landscape magnificently, as, to many, the show-stealing Wonder Woman. As Diana Prince is gradually introduced to the audience, with tantalising hints as to her identity and the excitement of her revelation building, her eventual surge into action comes as a gust of demi-godly exuberance. Her forthcoming solo outing is definitely one to look out for.
Zack Snyder is known for his panache with the visually spectacular and that’s exactly what’s delivered. Although many of the scenes are dark and moody, when the action arrives, it absolutely explodes onto and nearly through the screen. The climactic battle is like an on-screen fireworks display, with bangs, flashes, ‘ooohs’ and ‘ahhhs’. As mentioned, though, there are also large elements of darkness and political overtones, akin to Watchmen, which he directed earlier in his career. Many fans of the superhero genre may be disappointed by a film not packed full from start to finish with action and drama, but this was never going to be that kind of movie and was never really intended to be, as most aficionados would be well aware of. This sentiment extends to certain views of the main protagonists as overly serious or boring, which is merely a superficial and uneducated view. I applaud Snyder for sticking to his guns and not pandering to the masses.
The basic storyline follows directly on from the conclusion of The Man of Steel, with the destruction of Metropolis. Bruce Wayne fears the potential destructive power of Superman and intends to destroy him, while Clark Kent scorns upon Batman’s increasingly violent form of vigilante justice. Thrown into the mix is Jessie Eisenberg’s evil genius, Lex Luthor, playing an almost crazed uber-evil villain, stopping at nothing to secure his supposed plan of world domination, by quashing the threat of Superman, Batman and anyone else who may ‘potentially’ stand in his way…
If I were to cite a negative, it would be Eisenberg’s portrayal of Mr Luthor. Rather than the usual measured, calculated and charismatic supervillain, Eisenberg, as aforementioned, depicts him in a manic and neurotic fashion, as per many of his previous roles. Had you not known better, you may be forgiven for thinking he was playing the alter-ego of The Riddler or Joker. And playing such a central figure, it can be a little off-putting.
For a true fan, I have no doubt that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, will not only fulfil their expectations, but possibly surpass them, enthralling with its thrills, questions and teasers, leaving a trail of fans eager for further instalments.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is in cinemas now.