Sunday, April 3, 2016

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

     I just got back from the theater and I knew I had to immediately review this movie! OMG!!! It was...WONDERFUL! Visually stunning, well written, with astounding performances from an international cast! While there was an explosion every five minutes and no small shortage of car crashes, the emotional and moral centerpoint of the story did not get lost at all. BvS explored the mental mindset of human beings; "Are we good?" This is put in deep religious undertones, brought on by Lex Luthor, himself. While the story primarily focuses on the rivalry between Batman and Superman, if does not gloss over the real reason these men (and eventually an extraordinary woman) fight and sacrifice. For the preservation of good, the protection of humanity, and the beautiful hope of a better world.

Bruce Wayne//Batman, Clark Kent//Superman, Diana Prince//Wonder Woman
     Bruce Wayne//Batman: The story begins with the genesis of Bruce Wayne becoming the Batman. After witnessing his parent's brutal murder as a little boy, Bruce swore that he would protect his city of Gotham and the people within from the onslaught of of crime. Then we are thrust into the present day and picking up where Man of Steel left off, only it's told from Bruce's POV. After the destruction of Metropolis, he strongly believes that Superman is a menace with his own diabolical agenda for coming to earth. 

     For the next year, Bruce meticulously plans to take down the Superman, but other issues get in the way. Namely Lex Luthor of LexCorp, who is just as ambitious as Bruce is when it comes to destroying the Man of Steel. Eventually, Bruce and Superman come to their final showdown with one another, but an unexpected twist of fate regarding their loved ones turns Bruce around. Realizing that Superman has only ever wanted to do good, Bruce kills his former prejudices and becomes Superman's most formidable and honorable of allies. 

     While I grew up watching Christian Bale as Batman, Ben Affleck slid into the role with an effortless ease and complete control. His Bruce Wayne had the same grit and darkness, but there was also deep compassion that is eventually seen as his true force and not his revenge.

     Clark Kent//Superman: A good man, a brave man, and a man who is trying to live two separate lives. Clark's life has been successful since his fight with Zod 18 months earlier. He is primary reporter at the Daily Planet and the love of Lois Lane's life. However, his alter-ego, Superman, is beginning to feel the strain of a world that hates and fears him. Despite his best intentions to to the right thing, Clark's Superman becomes the target of extreme aggression and anger by many who blame him for what happened in Metropolis. 

     While trying to deal with Superman, Clark begins to look up the mysterious vigilante batman from Gotham City. He finds this anti-hero to be erratic, unmerciful and inhumane. Soon, Clark begins to believe that the Batman must be stopped without risking the the threat of having blood on his hands. Clark's deepest test of honor and courage are put at risk, hen his mother is kidnapped by Lex Luthor, who threatens to kill her if Superman doesn't kill the Batman first. Now Clark must gather all his courage to save the one he loves and eventually save the world that does not deserve his sacrifice at all. 

     I was so happy to see Clark Kent//Superman again! Henry Cavill plays him with such a genuine charm that it is so hard not to fall in love with this Kryptonian alien! I'm a fully fledged Superman girl (Thanks to Smallville) and Henry Cavill's portrayal as Clark Kent//Superman is nothing short of absolute perfection.

     Diana Prince//Wonder Woman: A beautiful, but illusive woman who seems to be one step ahead of Bruce Wayne and forever thwarting his plans. While most of her story is kept in the shadows, Diana is seen as deep seeded mystery, but she certainly does not lack personality. It's not until the last 15-20 min. of the film that we see Diana's alter-ego of Wonder Woman explode onto the screen. A much needed asset to the newly minted Batman//Superman duo, Diana can fight and defend just as well as either man. At the end, it's stated that this is only the beginning if Diana's story and in time, we'll see the origins of who Wonder Woman is.

      I loved her! A great heroine that didn't distract from the storyline and gave just enough to make you curious for more of who she is. 

Allies and Adversaries 
Alfred, Lois Lane, Lex Luthor
     Alfred: Bruce Wayne's butler, guardian, counselor and everything in between. Alfred is utterly loyal to Bruce, but also advises him when he needs it. Although, this take on Alfred was very different, I liked that they didn't just repeat Michael Cane's characterization. In BvS, Alfred is younger, more active and seems well instructed in weapon design and management. However, he is still Bruce's moral compass and will not hide the truth from him no matter what.

     Lois Lane: The star reporter of the Daily Planet, Lois Lane still manages to find herself in trouble when it comes to going where angels fear to tread. While madly in love with Clark Kent, Lois is heartbroken at the world's rejection of Superman and she will stop at nothing to try and clear his name. Spunky and determined are probably the best adjectives to describe Amy Adam's Lois Lane. Lois is brainy without being too reckless and she has a fiery will for the truth and for the world to know about it.

     Lex Luthor: Wealthy and eccentric, Lex Luthor knows no bounds when it comes to getting what he wants. And what he wants is power, control and absolute greatness. Although incredibly intelligent, Lex's arrogance and manipulation gets the better of him, when he realizes that goodness and power can reside side by side with one another. A scarily psychotic Lex Luthor, who gets very aggravating in a short amount of time, but gets a taste of real power in the form of absolute justice. 

      This movie is a wild ride and while it may seem confusing in the beginning, it all comes together and begins to make sense. What I enjoyed the most about this story (besides Henry Cavill), was that Zack Snyder continued to incorporate Christian elements that shaped not only the story, but the characters as well. I saw this greatly in Man of Steel and appreciated it very much. Like with most superhero movies, Batman v Superman is a story of ultimate good battling ultimate evil. Yet, sometimes prejudice and anger can blind us from seeing true goodness and Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman (soon to be followed by other superheros), bring this trouble world symbols of goodness, courage and ultimate hope. 

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