|Batman (Ben Affleck) and Superman|
(Henry Cavill) square off.
Are DC and Warner Brothers really so desperate to cash in on the success of Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe that they would rush the production of the Justice League? Well, yes. Yes they are.
Warner Brothers launched the so-called "DC Extended Universe" with Man of Steel back in 2013, a film plagued by a painfully serious mood, extensive shoed-in messianic overtones, a confusing editing style and a climax in which Superman commits cold-blooded murder and produces $750 million worth of property damage. (That's thirteen 9/11 attacks.) Years later, the loquaciously titled Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice tries to rephrase that film in terms of a serious discussion about the nature of messianic figures and individual vigilantism. It doesn't work, instead providing a painfully long, loud and bland attempt to rush the formation of the Justice League and be "controversial".
Aside from a very confusing editing style which often randomly goes off into ridiculous dream sequences, the film gives itself far too much to juggle - it's quite sad when a film lasts the same length as a Lord of the Rings movie and it barely feels like any characterisation has actually occurred. Aside from continuing the storyline of Man of Steel, BvS also introduces Batman, Lex Luthor, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash. (Although to be fair the last three are glorified cameos.) Batman is arguably the main star of the film, with Ben Affleck actually being surprisingly good in the role, giving a seriousness which is more serious than his predecessor Christian Bale, but which feels like it has more authority (especially as Batfleck uses a voice modulator and doesn't just put on a silly deep voice.) Gal Gadot is also great as Wonder Woman, although mysteriously they decided to leave all of her character development for next year's stand-alone movie, keeping her appearances down to several scenes sneaking around and then a final triumphant appearance in the final Boss Fight.
|It's not a bad performance, but his character does cause the|
movie a lot of its problems.
By far the worst symptom of this darkness, though, was the ending. Spoilers follow for this paragraph. Once Lex Luthor's plot has been defeated, we find his back-up plan - Doomsday. Via some alien jigory-pokery that isn't really explained very well, Lex Luthor creates the giant Kryptonian supermutant Doomsday, a fella who looks like Azog the Defiler and who can fire immense electromagnetic blasts from his face. Superman and Batman team up with new arrival Wonder Woman to fight him, with Superman using Batman's Kryptonite spear to stab him in the chest. In the resulting melee, Doomsday impales Superman on one of his claws, and Superman dies. The problem is that despite five grueling hours of Dark!Superman material, we still don't know him in as much depth as we do other versions of the character. I don't care enough about the character to be shocked by his death, and I also don't believe that DC is going to permenantly kill off their headline character in the second film of a franchise that already has five more films planned out. This plotline was used far too early, and it essentially destroys any tension in future films from the DCEU. It also continues the ridiculous, lazy messianic archetypes ruling over the Superman character - even to the point where in both the UK and US, the film premiered on Good Friday.
|Maybe if people stop obsessing over Gal Gadot's physical|
appearance, they might realise she's a fantastic Wonder Woman
and I'd love to see more of her.
P.S. Hopefully my review won't make Ben Affleck too sad. (Thanks to my friend Jen for asking me to include this. ^.^)
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