Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice: Good Performances Let Down by a Clumsy Script

Man of Steel, the predecessor to this film, was a huge disappointment, at least for me. When the cast for this one was announced, I was taken aback by the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman. While he was good in Gone Girl and Argo, which also had him in the director’s chair, I thought, like many, that he wasn’t right for the role. Not after Christian Bale. Glad to say he proved me wrong. To give you a gist of the plot, in case you don’t know it already, the film takes place a year and a half after the events of MoS. After having witnessed the destruction of Metropolis, Bruce Wayne is, well, pissed off. He feels that Superman, who is an alien, could also use his powers for bad. And so, in his guise as Batman, he decides to take on the man in the blue outfit (with a red cape and pulled-over-pants underpants). His belief is backed by a young tech mogul called Lex Luthor. Soon however, Battie and Chaddie join up for a super-lame reason and decide to take on Luthor, who has created a monster using the body of Chaddie’s late nemesis, General Zod. Also featured in the film are Lois Lane, Wonder Woman and some other DC based characters, including ol’ Alfred.

DIRECTION: Better than MoS. Certainly could’ve been better. Zack Snyder is certainly not in top form but he does a passable job.

STORY/SCREENPLAY: The story was the largest letdown for me. It didn’t make a lot of impact, unlike the Nolan films. There were some good plot points but there were also some rather absurd ones, like the reason for Battie and Chaddie to join up. That said, I quite liked the idea of a veteran Batman. A somewhat older guy. And a not-so-morally upright, gun-toting Batman. That way, Affleck pretty much fits the bill. The screenplay does seem a little crammed at times, with the writers trying to achieve more than what is possible. One very enjoyable scene is the exchange between Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent, who are soon joined by Lex Luthor. Wayne utters what I took to be a subtle, rather cool reference to the Joker: “Maybe it’s the Gotham City in me. We just have a bad history with freaks dressed like clowns!” Also, there was a little too little of Wonder Woman and a lot of Lois Lane. But I bet that’ll be rectified since the former is getting her own film soon.

VFX: Let’s face it, BvS is no 300 but the visual effects are quite impressive. Doomsday was one of the stand-outs. There were some rather amateurish shots, but all in all, a job well done.

CINEMATOGRAPHY: The tone of the print should’ve been a little lighter, though I didn’t really mind the darkness. The cameras moved fast but one rather odd thing was the slow motion bits. You don’t see a lot of those in a Hollywood movie and so, they were a little irritating. The fight sequences were rather well-captured.

PERFORMANCES: Amy Adams was a little disappointing in her performance. I expected more from one of the more experienced actors in the cast. Gal Gadot was quite impressive in her brief role, especially in the action sequences. Jeremy Irons’ Alfred was more of a Jarvis to Batman, only a human one. He was good but when compared to Sir Caine, which is obviously going to happen, he falls considerably short of the benchmark. Jesse Eisenberg was really good as the eccentric and psychotic Lex Luthor. The enthusiasm he brought to the character, apart from the various other mannerisms, was admirable. Henry Cavill was a dud. He was very good as Napoleon Solo in Guy Ritchie’s The Man from UNCLE but he failed to make an impact here. Ben Affleck, while certainly not a patch on Christian Bale, is my second favourite Batman. He was a little sluggish in certain scenes, which only added to his performance. Plus, he plays a slightly older Batman compared to Bale and the likes of Keaton, Kilmer and Clooney, which was a rather nice change in the character, though he still had mannerisms of the youthful Bruce Wayne. The use of weapons by Batman is also a new development, which seemed pretty cool.

Overall, I enjoyed Batman v Superman more than I thought I would. Watch it after having rid yourselves of the memories of the Bale-Nolan partnership and you too will enjoy it. Cheers!

My rating for Batman v Superman: The Dawn of Justice: 7/10

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