“The greatest gladiator match in the history of the world”. This quote by Lex Luthor is everyone’s expectations on this mammoth task of a film. The two iconic and greatest superheroes to have ever lived meet on the big screen for the first ever time; so of course, expectations are stupidly high. After the lukewarm reception to 2013’s ‘Man of Steel’, Warner Bros decided to scrap a sequel for Superman and instead introduce Batman into the mix in this superhero showdown. Set just after the events of ‘Man of Steel’, we meet Bruce Wayne as he watches on as his friends and co-workers die due to the destruction that General Zod and Superman left behind. Intent on delivering justice for his lost ones, Batman wants to eradicate Superman to prevent further casualties to the human race.
Leading the pack in this action-crammed film is Ben Affleck. Playing Bruce Wayne/Batman, the actor is probably one of the most hated actors in modern history. So when the announcement came that he was cast as Batman, the internet lost their minds. After seeing his interpretation of the Dark Knight, I can safely say that he has done a great job. Maybe not the best Batman we have seen on screen, but Ben Affleck gives us one of the best Bruce Wayne’s we’ve encountered. He manages to bring something fresh to Bruce Wayne; he doesn’t act like a yuppie or a spilt brat. Yet, as a seasoned veteran, he is wise and very much in control. Henry Cavill was a brilliant Superman in ‘Man of Steel’. He completely resonated what it is to be Superman. His second time round isn’t as convincing. If it isn’t the fact that he is blown off the screen by other interesting new characters, its maybe that he didn’t seem to deliver the emotional aspect that he portrayed so well in ‘Man of Steel’. He gives off the feeling that he is bored and is very wooden throughout the film. Surprisingly, I actually enjoyed Jesse Eisenberg’s performance as Lex Luthor. I thought he was going to be incredibly annoying, but the Oscar nominated star does a great job of making the character psychotic yet completely in control. And that’s the best way to portray Lex Luthor.
The film itself I thought was hugely entertaining. The story does incredibly well to carry on from the events of ‘Man of Steel’. Honestly, I think the film has been unfairly treated by other critics. It’s been labelled as a complete mess and a terrible film. It’s far from it! There have certainly been worse films out there. It’s definitely not the best superhero film of all time. But, this is probably the biggest task for any film maker. The two biggest superheroes in pop culture colliding on screen for the first time! There was always going to be huge expectations and I think it’s done incredibly well to carry the burden on their shoulders. The film is far from perfect and it does have its downfalls. Because of the insane amount of characters we have in the film, everyone is crammed into a 2 and a half hour running time. That’s a long time but it still doesn’t seem long enough to cover everyone in a fair way. There is a lot that could be cut out; as much as I think she’s great, but Wonder Woman didn’t need to be in the film. Neither does Doomsday, all we need is Batman, Superman and Lex Luthor. Concentrate on these pivotal characters and work around them.
Zack Snyder’s direction is impressive. Always known for his brilliant visual work, he does a great job of delivering a great looking Batman v Superman movie. If he’s the right man going forward in the DC universe is another question, but there’s another time for that debate. There’s a lot more than can be done for Batman and Superman together on screen, but I don’t think Snyder is the right man to help them develop.
Overall, Dawn of Justice is hugely entertaining. Ben Affleck does a great job of bringing a fresh take to Batman and Bruce Wayne. Wonder Woman and Lex Luthor are surprise winners for the film as they both entertained me while they were on screen. And to see these great superheroes battle it out on the big screen for the first time was something special. Even though its covered in faults, this is something to be expected from a crammed film like this. Dawn of Justice gets 3.5 out of 5 stars.