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November 15, 2017

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) --- "Caped Crusader Gets Jealous Of The New Superhero, So He Builds A Bulky Suit."

Plot Summary
It's been nearly two years since Superman's (Henry Cavill) colossal battle with Zod (Michael Shannon) devastated the city of Metropolis. The loss of life and collateral damage left many feeling angry and helpless, including crime-fighting billionaire Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck). Convinced that Superman is now a threat to humanity, Batman embarks on a personal vendetta to end his reign on Earth, while the conniving Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) launches his own crusade against the Man of Steel. (1)

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     I did not see the film in the theaters and actually waited until it was available at Redbox before viewing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016). I read both the negative and positive reviews for this film and both sides naturally said the same thing, “This is the best (worst) Batman film to date.” So I figured how bad could it be?, with Zac Snyder as the director, Christopher Nolan (director of the previous Batman trilogy) as the Executive Producer, and Hans Zimmer as the Composure. I have to say that Dawn of Justice was not as awful as presumed by most but there was still some disappointment. First I will mention the positive aspects and then come back to the issues.

     I am a fan of the old Batman films and the new trilogy by Nolan as well as 2013’s Man of Steel, however, while Dawn of Justice what not awful it was still not my favorite Batman/Superman film. The cast was good, although I never cared much for Ben Affleck, though Henry Cavil returns as a fitting Superman, Jeremy Irons was great as Alfred, and Jessie Eisenberg was perfect as the somewhat (or mostly) crazy Lex Luthor. Now the best part of the film is the final battle scene. The final battle spans 40 minutes that are explosive, thrilling, visually stunning, and passionately performed, which can be said in regards to just about all the action scenes. The visuals are stunning throughout the film despite there being a few moments of jittery film editing. Without a doubt, Dawn of Justice is notably darker and more gritty looking than even the previous Batman trilogy and 2013’s Man of Steel but it was all appropriately done and carried throughout. Hans Zimmer with the help of Junkie XL (Deadpool) created a music score that was powerful and stunning; this is no doubt one of his best music scores so far.
     However, all of these great aspects came with some unfortunate weaknesses. The story’s main point doesn’t actually come to fruition until the final battle scene. Now I enjoy a good build up and there is one here but for a film of this length (3hrs and 3min), it felt like it was taking too long to get the highlighting moment. Also, the story feels overstuffed at times, like the writers could not decide on a main idea, resulting in many characters being short cheated and subplots being left underdeveloped. Even a 30min downgrade could have helped the film considerably. The pacing is all over the place, some parts are too slow for comfort and others go by too fast to really comprehend what’s happened. And while this may be a darker film it would have been good if there was some decent humor, aside from the short and few moments the Eisenberg tried to deliver. Even Suicide Squad was dark and yet still maintained some well needed moments of humor. The action sequences are good but, like the story, there were plot holes and dialogues that didn’t make much sense. Personally, I found the rivalry between Superman and Batman to be petty, I feel like part of it was Batman’s fault. Perhaps it’s because he is coming towards the end of his Bat-reign and is reacting to possibility that he is being replaced by someone ‘younger’ and stronger than him – Superman.

     Overall, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) was entertaining but despite having some bright moments, it failed to reach its full potential and the rivalry between Batman and Superman was a bit petty. Although I have heard that if you have not seen the Extended version then the theater’s Director’s cut may not make much sense. This review is based solely on the 3hr Director’s cut as I have yet to see the extended version and know that not many movie-goers will have the immediate opportunity to see the extended version. While this is not my favorite Batman/Superman film it is still worth to watch and I am excited to see Justice League Part 1 (2017) this November.

“Be their hero, Clark. Be their angel, be their monument, be anything they need you to be... or be none of it. You don't owe this world a thing. You never did.”
- Martha Kent

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  3.5 of 5 star
Worth Buying:  3.5 of 5 stars

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Movies Similar 
Aquaman (2018)
Batman (1966)
Batman Returns (1992)
Batman Forever (1995)
Batman & Robin (1997)
Batman Begins (2005)
Batman: The Dark Knight (2008)
Batman: The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The Flash (2018)
Green Lantern (2011)
Hancock (2008)
Justice League (2017)
Justice League Part 2 (N/A)
Man of Steel (2013)
Man of Steel 2 (N/A)
Suicide Squad (2016)
Suicide Squad 2 (N/A)
Wonder Woman (2017) 

Cast & Crew

Directed by Zack Snyder   
Writing Credits  
     (Written) Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer
      (Batman created by) Bob Kane and Bill Finger
      (Superman created by) Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
      (character: Mercy Graves) Paul Dini and Bruce Timm
Produced by 
     Trevor Christie             ---   associate producer
     Wesley Coller               ---   executive producer
     David S. Goyer             ---   executive producer
     Geoff Johns                  ---   executive producer
     Curt Kanemoto             ---   co-producer
     Benjamin Melniker      ---   executive producer
     Steven Mnuchin           ---   executive producer
     Bruce Moriarty             ---   associate producer
     Christopher Nolan       ---   executive producer
     Charles Roven              ---   producer
     Jim Rowe                      ---   co-producer
     Deborah Snyder           ---   producer
     Emma Thomas            ---   executive producer
     Michael E. Uslan          ---   executive producer
     Andrea Wertheim        ---   associate producer
     Gregor Wilson              ---   co-producer
Music by Junkie XL and Hans Zimmer   
Cinematography by Larry Fong
Film Editing by David Brenner    
Production Design by Patrick Tatopoulos         
Set Decoration by Carolyn 'Cal' Loucks 
Costume Design by Michael Wilkinson 
Ben Affleck                                ---         Bruce Wayne / Batman
Henry Cavill                              ---         Clark Kent / Superman
Amy Adams                               ---         Lois
Jesse Eisenberg                      ---         Lex Luthor
Diane Lane                                ---         Martha Kent
Laurence Fishburne               ---         Perry White
Jeremy Irons                            ---         Alfred
Holly Hunter                            ---         Senator Finch
Gal Gadot                                   ---         Diana Prince / Wonder Woman
Scoot McNairy                         ---         Wallace Keefe
Callan Mulvey                           ---         Anatoli Knyazev
Tao Okamoto                            ---         Mercy Graves
Brandon Spink                         ---         Young Bruce Wayne
Lauren Cohan                          ---         Martha Wayne
Hugh Maguire                          ---         Jack O' Dwyer
Michael Shannon                    ---         Zod
Sammi Rotibi                           ---         General Amajagh
Michael Cassidy                       ---         Jimmy Olsen
Wunmi Mosaku                       ---         Kahina Ziri
Dennis North                           ---         Senator Barrows
Sebastian Sozzi                        ---         Cesar Santos
Ralph Lister                              ---         Emmet Vale
Rebecca Buller                         ---         Jenny
Christina Wren                        ---         Major Farris
Graham Beal                             ---         James Harmon - Museum Director
Jena Malone                             ---         Jenet Klyburn
Patrick Leahy                           ---         Senator Purrington
Ezra Miller                                ---         The Flash
Joe Morton                               ---         Silas
Ray Fisher                                 ---         Cyborg
Coburn Goss                             ---         Father Leone
Joseph Cranford                     ---         Pete Ross
Emily Peterson                        ---         Lana
Kevin Costner                          ---         Jonathan Kent
Jason Momoa                           ---         Aquaman 

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