Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

The 424th film I have seen in theaters…

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The critics are wrong.

<spoiler alert>

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During “Man of Steel”, Superman and General Zod fought in the heart of Metropolis, destroying many of the skyscrapers in town. One of them belonged to Wayne Enterprises. Bruce Wayne races through the city, to get to his building as the battle happens in the sky. His building comes down. His people die. Batman begins his plan to take out Superman due to the incredible threat he poses.

18 months later, public opinion is divided over Superman. Is he too powerful? Can we trust him? It turns out that much of the discussion is caused by Lex Luthor, who is drumming up anti-Superman bias, and is setting a giant trap. Once a large chunk of Kryptonite is discovered, Luthor arranges it to be brought to Metropolis. True to form, and to Luthor’s plotting, ┬áBatman steals it, weaponizes it, and decides that it is time to take Superman out. Luthor creates a no-win scenario where Superman must fight, and kill, Batman or a loved one will be murdered.

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First things first. The star of this movie is Batman. Superman is a lead, but Affleck steals the show. His Bruce Wayne is a weary one. He’s been Batman for 20 years at this point, and he is haunted. This Batman has seen some sh*t, including the death of a Robin. Affleck makes a strong case for being the best Batman on screen.

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Henry Cavill continues his great work as Superman. My reviews for Man of Steel, here and here, explain why I love this version of the character. They made Superman a real person. The humanity comes through here, and he does some fine work.

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Amy Adams returns as Lois Lane. Her work here is fine. Her bathtub scene was a bit out of left field, but was welcome. The “flashes” of the future show that her character will be very important to how things play out in Justice League.

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One of the more divisive elements in Lex Luthor. There have been many iterations of Luthor. This is no less valid. Jesse Eisenberg plays him as the modern day corporate genius- a Zuckerberg style of character. What I find most interesting is his final scene. I wonder if Luthor is actually being psychically influenced to help Darkseid.

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Diane Lane returns as Martha Kent, who plays a larger part in the fight that I expected. She does some good work here with a small role. She also has the funniest line in the film.

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Lawrence Fishburne returns as Perry White. His few scenes were well done. I’d like to see more of his dynamic with Lois and Clark, but there is only so much screen time to devote to it.

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Jeremy Irons gives us a wonderful performance as Alfred Pennyworth. He’s been helping Bruce do this for decades, and the characterization shows it. The sarcasm is there as he tries to be a voice of reason to Bruce, to keep him from going too far.

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Holly Hunter plays Senator Finch, who is leading a subcommittee to see if Superman is a threat. She is fair, but not 100% against Superman. She wants the truth. Luthor takes advantage of this.

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Finally, Gal Gadot plays Diana Prince, Princess Diana of Themyscira, Wonder Woman. The audience gave several loud applause during the screening. The biggest was when she showed up on screen in full costume to join the fight.Make no mistake, she is a minor character in this, but she was amazing. I am now eagerly anticipating her solo movie.

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Also: Doomsday. His altered origin had me concerned when the Kryptonian genesis matrix mixed Luthor’s DNA with the corpse of Zod. However, the Robot warned Lex of “The Abomination” that results from mixing Kryptonian dna with others in science experiments. The Doomsday of the comics was an experiment to create the ultimate soldier using Kryptonian DNA. While different, the spirit of the origin was there.

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The critics are destroying this. I don’t know who gave the order that this movie must be attacked, but they are wrong. They seem to think that “Comic” movies need to be comical. They do not. When you read a comic, they are not funny- most of the time. They are serious, the characters might crack wise every now and then, but its usually high stakes drama. This movie, as did Man of Steel, captured that perfectly. I am hearing the same bullshit that they spouted a few years ago “Dark, Brooding, joyless”. Come on. Not everything needs to be a bundle of joy. Batman vs Superman is not a joyful thing. Doomsday is not a joyful thing.

At the start of the movie, someone yelled out BATMAN! Another yelled SUPERMAN! Then the entire room erupted into a screaming match over who would win, Batman or Superman. The stopped their yelling and a lone voice screamed WONDER WOMAN! and the room burst into laughs. The movie is not perfect, it needed some action in the first 40 minutes or so to break up the exposition, but it worked for me. The casting was very good, and their performances were top notch. Affleck and Gadot in particular.

This is an amazing adaptation of the “post Crisis” DCU, from 1986- the mid 90’s. This Batman is unquestionable Frank Miller’s Batman.

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As for Superman, they went somewhere I did not expect them to go. There is one moment, in the midst of the fight against Doomsday, where Lois holds Clark and begs him not to go back to the fight, and he says he must stop him, tells Lois how much he loves her and flies off. It was this moment from 1992.

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I literally gasped when it happened. It hit me like a ton of bricks. They were not just using Doomsday as a nod to the fans. They were gonna f*ckin kill Superman. That is exactly what they did.

Nostalgia is a tough thing. In an instant, seeing them kiss, and watch Superman fly off to fight Doomsday, It was as if I was transported back to the Fall of 1992, and 13 year old Superponte’s emotions at the death of his favorite superhero flooded back. I teared up, they got me. Snyder got me. The did the horse drawn funeral, they even worked in the damn plaque from the comics!

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It ends with the dirt on Superman’s coffin starting to levitate. The audience bursts into MASSIVE applause as the movie ends. This is not a 31% movie. This was high 80- 90%. The crowd loved it. I loved it. I put this up as one of the best Superhero movies ever made. To hell with those that think differently. This was as close to “MY” DC comics that film has ever gotten. See this movie.

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