Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ★★★★

Might be a half star too high, but I have this movie to thank for getting me back into comic books after a two/three year break, so it's staying at "great" status aka 4 stars.

May write a full/long/tidy review after seeing it a second time. On first watch I loved it as a visually lush, grandiose melodrama with massive images and no room for subtlety. It is bold and loud and often very, very messy, but (as I've said a million times) sometimes clean, tidy "perfection" can be overrated.

(Slight spoilers? Depends on what you consider a spoiler)

- Ben Affleck is not only the best Batman we've had in a live action movie, but he's also the best Bruce Wayne as well.
- Henry Cavill continues to handle the character well, and I love the way this film further fleshes him out, establishing Supes as a more multi-dimensional character than incarnations past.
- This is basically a Greek tragedy in size, scale, and scope. I ate it up.
- Finally, a Batman who not only frightens criminals, but occasionally frightens us in the audience. Affleck's Batman is traumatized, psychotic, nearly psychopathic, and full of fear - fear and a lack of empathy motivate his cruelty towards Superman. He continually labels him an alien, establishing him as "other" in order to justify his actions.
- Does it get more grandiose than a rooftop fight in the pouring rain, thunder crashing all around, Hans Zimmer + Junkie XL music roaring? (No.)
- That image of Superman surrounded by Day of the Dead participants all laying hands on him is one of the best of Snyder's career.

That's not everything I love. And there are many "flaws" and messy aspects that I won't discuss because I'm sure 3,000 critics have already got that covered.

Perhaps what I appreciate most about the movie, aside from just the splendor and majesty of it all, is how unapologetically serious it is. Many (and many critics) don't like this sort of thing, but I found it very refreshing in a comic book climate where the joke-a-minute element often kills much of the weight and gravitas. (Disclaimer: I absolutely love many of the MCU movies, I'm just stating that I found this unique and refreshing). If its self-seriousness was a problem for you, I can completely understand. It's a matter of taste, I think, this element.

Here the absurdity is played completely straight, and as a fan of these characters since I was old enough to watch television and read comic books, I loved it. This movie is absolutely ridiculous, but within its own four walls it treats every action seriously. Could say more, but I'm rambling on. I loved it.

P.S. Bottom line: Don't like Zack Snyder? You'll hate this. This is Snyder unleashed. Purely his movie (which I love that DC gives their directors more creative control, at least so far). I'd argue this movie is simultaneously messier and better, but if you didn't like Man of Steel, you'll likely hate this.

Lukas liked these reviews