The dawn has come – Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

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It’s the match-up every comic book fan has been waiting to see on the big screen for years. A timeless comic debate is finally addressed in cinema: Who would win in a one-on-one fight, Batman or Superman? The latest DC superhero film pits the Dark Knight against the Man of Steel in the form of a follow-up to 2013’s Man of Steel, in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. This film is intended to be the door-opener to a series of DC films that co-exist within in the same universe, much like Marvel’s cinematic universe. All of this will eventually lead up to a long-awaited Justice League film. So step aside, Marvel, DC’s in town.

Set two years after Man of Steel, the movie’s plot finds the world struggling with the question of what kind of hero it really needs. Superman (Henry Cavill) is perceived as both a hero and a threat. One of those people who see the Man of Tomorrow as a danger to all mankind is Bruce Wayne, a.k.a. the Batman, now played by Ben Affleck.

The film opens with the destruction of Metropolis that occurred during the battle between Superman and General Zod in the climax of Man of Steel. This time, however, the audience experiences it through Bruce Wayne’s perspective, who was in Metropolis when these events happened. In the chaos, one of Wayne’s properties, Wayne Financial, is destroyed, killing dozens of his own employees. The destruction ignites his hatred for Superman, who he blames for the casualties.

Two years later, Batman’s reign of terror on crime makes controversial headlines, which trouble reporter Clark Kent, the alter ego of Superman. Batman’s extreme and brutal vigilante methods prove problematic for Kent, who seeks to confront the Bat himself and expose him. Two heroes, who clearly misunderstand one another, will eventually clash in a battle of epic proportions. Also in this mix is Lex Luthor, played by Jesse Eisenberg, who has his own agenda against Supes, and the beautiful and mysterious Diana Prince, a.k.a. Wonder Woman, played by Gal Gadot.

First of all, I just want to say that I am thrilled that we finally have a film where Batman and Superman are together in the same universe. And to add a little icing on the cake, Wonder Woman has finally made her big screen debut! So in one film, we have the DC Comics Trinity together – a nerd’s dream come true! I don’t know about you, but I have been looking forward to this film for over a year. In fact, to be very honest with you, I was looking forward to Batman v Superman way more than Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In the beginning, when it was first announced at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con, I was upset, mainly because it was only a year after the Dark Knight Trilogy ended with The Dark Knight Rises and I personally felt that it was too soon to re-introduce Batman in film. Eventually I warmed up to the idea with hopes that Warner Bros. would bring back Christian Bale to don the cowl and cape once more to co-star with Henry Cavill, who I really enjoy as Superman much more better than the original Christopher Reeve version.

But alas, my hopes and dreams were shattered when it was announced that Ben Affleck would be the next actor to take up the mantle and become the new Caped Crusader. Like most everyone, I was furious. The last time Ben played a superhero in 2003’s Daredevil, it was pretty bad. That, combined with a few other bad films added to his resume, we had every reason to have our doubts about “Batfleck,” as he was dubbed. But in time, I too began to warm up to him ever since the first photos surfaced of him wearing the new Batsuit, which in my opinion, is best version out of all the Batman films. Now that I’ve already seen the film twice, the first time during premiere night, and the second on Easter Sunday, I can now say that Ben Affleck IS Batman! He was by the far the best thing about the film.

Truth be told, it was Ben Affleck’s Batman that was the main reason I was so stoked for the film since I am a huge Batman fan. The second reason why I was excited for it was that it is a DC film, and I’m a DC guy; no disrespect towards Marvel, they’re good too.

As stated before, Batman v Superman is the film that opens the door to the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), DC’s equivalent to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). We have Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. Now we need the rest in order to form the Justice League of America. Warner Bros. and DC Comics have confirmed a series of DCEU titles, including a Justice League film that will be split into two parts. Other heroes we are expecting to see in the near future are Aquaman, the Flash, and Cyborg. Wonder Woman is getting her own stand-alone film, and Suicide Squad, the next entry in the DCEU, opens this summer, which will showcase some well-known villains from the DC Universe such as Harley Quinn, who is making her big screen debut, and the Joker, who will be portrayed by Jared Leto.

Batman v Superman has some really good moments such as the action, the before-mentioned performance of Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill and Gal Gadot’s performances as Superman and Wonder Woman respectively, and the special effects. But is it a great film? Well, to be honest, it’s not. It’s good, but it has its flaws.

The main problems with the film were the narrative and pacing. I’ve had a couple of people tell me, including my parents who saw it with me on Easter, that they were sort of lost in the story. I can see that. It is a little confusing and at times, it’s hard to figure out what exactly is going on with scenes shifting from here to there, and occasional dream sequences randomly occurring out of nowhere. With that said, I could even blame the editing for that matter. The pacing was another thing that was not so good. The film starts off slow, but it does get better eventually. However, at the same time, everything seems so rushed. The film is about two and a half hours long with so much material crammed into it, which can also be blamed by the editing, as well as the direction. I understand DC and Warner Bros. want to set up everything for the Justice League, but I feel that they should have just let it come together organically instead of having to go into cinema rush hour. For that, this film would probably have to be in two parts.

So while the film has its negatives, it’s not horrible. I definitely recommend it, especially for those of you who are comic book fans. Personally, I give it 8.5 out of 10. Like I said, it’s Batman AND Superman together at last! So why wouldn’t you go see it? Just remember, it’s not a masterpiece by any means. But don’t let that discourage you. Go to the movies and enjoy it as a fun, enjoyable experience. Afterwards, you can be your own judge. For my closing statement, I just want to ask… Who do YOU side with… Batman or Superman?