SPOILER FREE MOVIE REVIEW
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
+ Awesome fight sequences
+ Doesn't spoon feed viewers; allows them to fill in the gaps
+ Surprisingly moving (at times) plot
+ That very moment Wonder Woman stepped into the fight
- Viewers who know nothing about, the prequel - Man of Steel, the trinity (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman), or the Justice League might need some help at the beginning.
- Clarke+Lois's awkward dialogue
"A crime against comic book fans" - Vox
"Yawn of justice" - Chicago Tribune
"No blockbuster in years has been this incoherent" - Independent
It seems that these days, critics simply love bashing any action/superhero movie that isn't produced by Marvel. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It's just that almost everyone seems to have come to expect all action/superhero movies to be like those produced by Marvel; more light-hearted, sprinkled with humorous dialogue, have easy-to-follow storylines, and conspicuous links and references to other movies and characters within the same universe. Oh, and not to forget post-credit scenes too.
However, DC's first film that establishes the DC Cinematic Universe is anything but. BvS is dark, with hardly any humour, and as the first chapter of an over-arching storyline, can hardly make any references to anything within the universe. Most importantly, I like how the film treats its audience intelligently, allowing viewers to fill in the gaps on their own, and even interpret the movie in their own way.
As I've said above, BvS is dark. Warner Bros has to distinguish itself from Marvel's movies. And the contrast of styles is very noticeable from the start. BvS has a slight feel of noir, with a touch of avante-garde. Drama plays a huge role too - especially obvious in Lex Luthor's scenes in which he makes references to various ancient mythology, or in those where *special goods* are being delivered to him.
So, in every sense, BvS is actually a breath of fresh air.
It is of utmost importance also to note that BvS is just one and the first entry of the soon-to-be ever expanding cinematic universe of DC. So in order to establish the setting, sadly, character development is kind of sparse throughout the film. But to make up for it are the exciting easter eggs and teasers splattered throughout, e.g. other members of the League, potential villains, and more.
Despite the screentime Bruce Wayne gets, BvS is very much a story about Superman at its core. It is nice that the producers acknowledge the fact that there are many links between BvS and Man of Steel.
If you are a fan of the Arkham video game series, you'd notice that Zack Snyder seems to pay homage to it. The way Batman fights, his gadgets, the design and handling of the Batmobile, they almost make you reminisce on the hours you spent on the Arkham quadrilogy.
I thought Jesse Eisenberg did an awesome job portraying Luthor. Luthor, in the past couple of decades, has always been shown as a ice cool and calculative anti-hero. Granted, BvS's Luthor is Lex Jr. and not the Lex we've all grown familiar with, portraying Luthor (senior or junior) as a psychopathic maniac who can't seem to comprehend even his own mind is rather revitalising.
And at the end of the day, if you are still not convinced by the plot of BvS, I'm pretty sure the action in it will satisfy you. Battle sequences are creative, exciting, and most importantly, free-flowing. My favourite moment in the movie is when Wonder Woman burst onto the final fight. Together with Hans Zimmer's music, the hairs on my back stood up in excitement when DC's trinity were captured, if I'm not wrong, for the very first time in movie history within the same frame and in their costumes.
I am already full of anticipation for upcoming DC films, with Suicide Squad the next to be out, in August this year.
I'd rate this movie a solid 8/10. It's great, but not perfect. The storyline has some overly-convenient parts that set up something more dramatic. But Zack Snyder has offered DC fanboys, like myself, a huge fan service via this movie. Not considering the Dark Knight trilogy, DC has finally shaken off the shadow of its hugely disappointing and cheesy failures of the past. Green Lantern is the first to come to mind.
Should you watch it?
1 = I can come up with a hundred different activities for you to better spend your time
2 = If you can spare the time
3 = Yes you should
4 = Yes you should, even if it means having to go hungry for a day
5 = Yes you should because you don't want your friends, family and future grandchildren to know that you were one of the few losers who didn't catch it
I'd give it a solid 4!
Remember, if you want more than what watching the movie can offer, do not hesitate to look at the collectibles Marvelous Toys' has to offer!