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The clash between a mortal man and an (almost) all-powerful god, the battle of the most two legendary heroes in comic book history, the fight that kept everyone waiting for so long, ended up to be quite a disappointment. Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice presents a story about two of DC Comic’s most iconic superheroes, Batman (Ben Affleck) and Superman (Henry Cavill), going head to head in a fight to the death. Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) blackmails the two heroes into a dispute, which develops into a city-shaking rumble. Once the two heroes realize they’ve been deceived, Lex Luthor goes to plan B and manages to summon a giant monster, called Doomsday, that could destroy the city. Now, being the superheroes they are, Batman and Superman have to go fight the monster and save the day, along with Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), who just decided to step in. Despite its engaging and well-choreographed fight scenes, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice turned out to be a disappointing superhero action film because of its lackluster storyline.
The cast choices are another consideration for rating any type of movie. For Superman, Snyder picked the obvious choice and chose Cavill, who had previously played in Man of Steel. The other cast choices seemed all but obvious. The actor for Batman in the previously well-rated film, The Dark Knight Rises, was the second obvious choice, but instead we were left with Ben Affleck. The choice for Lex Luthor was also not expected, and although Jesse Eisenberg performed quite well in the film, he didn’t match the general conception of the character Lex Luthor, who was supposed to be an older man, rather than the young boy that Eisenberg plays. Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was not a bad choice, as her performance in the film was strong, for the short screen time she had.
One critical aspect of all action films is the quality of the action itself. Snyder was able to create some over-the-top scenes in this movie, and it was convincing because most of the special effects seemed realistic, or at least what it would be like if it were real. Of course, the actual battle between Batman and Superman was the highlight of the movie, the climax that everyone was waiting for. This fight was very dramatic and well choreographed; the two lead characters went through walls of a building, smashed each other into various hard objects, and it definitely kept my eyes glued to the screen. At one point, Batman decided to bash Superman on the head with a sink, and it looked like it hurt a bit. Superman’s flying looked as good if not better than what it was Man of Steel, which is evident in many scenes, such as when he flew to space with Doomsday and got nuked. After the bomb hit, everyone in the film believed Superman was dead, but of course this was not the case. Superman’s head smoothly morphed from a skinless skeleton to Henry Cavill’s normal face within seconds. Batman also got some exciting fight scenes, such as the warehouse fight, where he tries to save Martha. At this point, Batman has already fought with Superman, so taking on thirty armed terrorists is light work. This scene is what you’d expect from classic Batman movies, where he hammers one enemy right after another, in a slick series of punches and kicks. This wasn’t as dramatic as some of Superman’s scenes, but it was definitely much more satisfying to watch Batman swat through the bad guys as if they were flies. Wonder Woman doesn’t make much of an impact after the beginning of the movie, but comes back later to team up with Superman and Batman against Doomsday. Her action scenes were up to par with the rest of the film; there was nothing too catchy about it.
Another crucial aspect of a superhero film is how well the plot fits in with the heroes’ stories and backgrounds. This movie is a sequel to Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, taking place in the same universe and same city. The movie attempts to fill you in with a brief flashback to what happened in Man of Steel, but it really won’t make much sense if you haven’t previously seen that movie. The two movies do tie in well, however, as Batman is given a strong reason to hate Superman because of the city he destroyed in the previous movie. This sets up the movie to have a pretty good conflict between Batman and Superman, but the only reason Superman is willing to fight Batman is because Lex Luthor blackmailed him by kidnapping his mom. The two main characters never really hated each other, but Luthor created artificial conflict between them. There is no winner between Batman and Superman, and they stop fighting only because both of them happened to have a mother named Martha. This loosely-tied resolution to the fight shows how the film’s storyline degrades as it progresses, starting out strong, then ending weak and overall unsatisfying. After Batman and Superman stop trying to kill each other, Lex Luthor already summoned Doomsday, the monster made to kill Superman. This is where Wonder Woman jumps back into the plot and helps them save the day. Her role in this film isn’t critical at all, and although Snyder may have wanted to include a female lead protagonist, her character could’ve been completely left out and it seemed like she was just stuck into the plot.
Batman v Superman was an overhyped movie, and it severely undercut many viewers’ expectations. The visual effects and choreography were incredible and done very well, but it lacked a strong storyline that all the fans and critics had expected. This really dragged the movie down and outweighed anything going in favor for it. The cast choice was a bit questionable, but it wasn’t a major issue with the film. Overall, Batman v Superman failed to measure up with other superhero action films of its kind.
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