BATMAN V SUPERMAN : DAWN OF JUSTICE (2016) 3D – INITIAL THOUGHTS

Batman-v-Superman-poster-Batman-perspective

I have been waiting for this film for three years now and I wanted it to be swashbuckling. When the negative reviews started pouring in post its release I was in a constant state of denial. Now, finally having seen it, I can’t help but say that I had a very bitter-sweet experience with this film. The trailer of this film has actually given away every plot point sans one which I will not ruin for you here. Never before in the history of Hollywood summer action bonanzas has a trailer ruined a film as much as in this case and that’s just the beginning.

Let me start off with the positives. The film is visually  stunning. There isn’t a frame in the whole film which will not appeal to you visually. Every scene is filled with good looking people and batman-vs-superman-ew-pics-2best of all these people can act. Ben Affleck as Batman just nails it. He is the most kick-ass Batman that we have seen onscreen since the inception of the character and he easily overtakes Christian Bale’s act. What works great for him is his physicality. He essays a very Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns version of Batman who is buff to the extent of blowing up. He is aged enough to call Superman son in a scene or two. Every punch he lands is thunderous and in his brooding self as the disgruntled Bruce Wayne, he is equally engaging.

maxresdefaultThe action sequences of this film are some of the best we have seen in years. The nightmare sequence of Batman is haunting. His fight with Superman is electrifying even though it’s shorter than what I was expecting. The final fight flattens two cities and yet is very coherent letting you follow what’s actually going on.  Not to mention they are beautifully done. Yes! The action sequences are great to look at. There is a chase sequences too which will give the best of the best a run for their money. Zack Snyder knows how to make a pretty picture and he does so effortlessly here. The film has almost the exact same tone and feel like Man of Steel and that was not actually a bad thing though it does get a bit repetitive. Henry Cavill does a good job as Superman. Jeremy Irons plays Alfred and he is great too. His and Batman’s dialogs are very well done and they do extract emotions.

Having said that all, let’s get to the cons. I am shocked at the lazy and lackluster writing that this has. The writers credited for are Chris Terrio (Argo) and David S. Goyer, one of my favorite writers of batman-v-superman-5recent times. The title itself is not apt. This isn’t a Batman v Superman but more like a Lex Luthor v Superheroes. It’s not “dawn of justice” but instead works as an introduction to the “Justice League”. From what I could figure out, this film was a mishmash of atleast two comic books namely Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and The Death of Superman series. But shockingly enough the film emerges completely devoid of any valid reason for the two to lock horn. Batman has his reasons ironed in but Superman has absolutely no reason to engage him. In the comics he was ordered by the President to take down Batman who had nearly turned renegade and the plot was beautifully seasoned to make the arc believable. Nothing of that sort happens here.

batsignalLex Luthor is a villain for the sake of being one. It is never for once explained what drives his actions, why does he want to kill Batman and why does he want Superman to fight him. But he does. He literally forces Superman to fight Batman when he kidnaps Superman’s mother and blackmails him to the duel. Jesse Eisenberg plays a version of Luthor that seem to have Daddy issues and his un-nerving act is absolutely not likeable. He twitches and twirls for no reason and there were moments when I felt that the heroes could just snap his neck and nothing would happen. He is irritating at best.

The creation of Doomsday was another blah! blah! moment. The ease with which Luthor overrides the alien ship’s control and brings Doomsday to life was just vatrocious. Batman and Superman fight with vigor and when Batman is all set to kill him off, they suddenly become best friends. The sudden transformation is just too much to fathom. After that they team up with Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) who is sprinkled all over the film like bread crumbs for a climatic duel with Doomsday who is almost un-killable. Gadot’s character remains under cooked and the fact that she receives an email from Bruce signaling the start of the Justice League was a LOL! Moment. Come on man! These writers are paid millions and that’s the best they could figure out?

maxresdefaultMoving along the film takes a real gutsy move in the climax and for once, I was having some respect for Snyder and felt that… man! You really had some courage to do that but guess what! He doesn’t stick with the move and in the most cliché manner lets it slip. The biggest problem with this film is its incoherent and sometimes terrible writing, some very bad characters like Luthor and Lois Lane who prove to be nothing more than sticklers and devoid of any true inspiration and some extremely conducive coincidences that would even put a South Indian film to shame. For the much talked about cameos of the Justice League characters, they are nothing more than blink and miss moments.  The film may have visual wizardry on its side but it fails terribly in the writing department which upto a great extent dilutes the effect of the terrific visuals. It also packs in a lot of material and tries to do too many things which ultimately results in it failing in all of it.

These are my initial thoughts for this movie. I am not ready to give up on it as yet. I will watch it a couple of times more and come up with an updated review soon where in I will discuss it in details with the complete plot. I just want to be sure that I didn’t miss anything that might have elevated this film for me. However, at first watch, I have to say that the Cons easily outweigh the Pros for this film. I am almost distraught that this film turned out so lame to start with.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. arnab chakraborty says:

    I almost agree to your review in most aspect. But I deny that you are judgmental about the title. Bro if you be a true comics lover you will enjoy the plot and storyline rather than criticising about smaller aspects. Hats of to the directors and actors for pulling up this role of super hero. It’s worth the penny I watched as even cost of dc comics at that time were similar to the ticket cost. Hope you understand how creative they were in selecting the name of ‘martha’ in both the cases although before being a comic lover we overlooked that. It’s easy to find faults rather giving them better ideas for the nxt plot. Nd don’t mind even if ur idea is selected there will b a critic waiting for u. Don’t criticise for the flow.No grudges if that’s ur liking. But there are people who go with the flow.From arnab chakraborty

  2. thanks for reading the review brother…and I respect your feelings about teh film…but as far I am concerned…i am disappointing….i have closely followed the various story arcs and even the animated DC movies but this was very superfluous… once the grandiosity of the action, visuals and Affleck’s superb act settles down…. one and all will be able to see how shallow this tale is….

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