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30.3.16

Was Batman v Superman given Justice?

There are many canons in comic books:

Good fights bad. 
Batman is a rich vigilante trying to be a superhero.
Superman is a super alien that tries to be human. 

Warning: Spoilers ahead. Proceed with caution.

The challenge in any movie story-telling is to do it clearly, but at the same time throughout the process keeping the audience glued and guessing. You have the characters, plot, location and probably the conclusion presented right at the beginning.

The major problem with this film starts with the title itself. Two of the greatest (and also oldest) comic book superheroes on-screen for the first time. FIRST TIME. Think about that for a while. Everybody knows their backstory: Batman, the multi-billionaire with sick gadgets and the world's greatest detective; Superman, the alien who just can do everything, super.

Man vs god-like Alien. Mano y mano.

'Who's going to win?!' isn't the right and sensible question. 

It should be 'How  and why is BATMAN going to fight? How long is he going to survive the beating?'


Even a 5 year old knows Clark Kent's weakness: arguably not Lois Lane, but a kryptonite. Therefore, it's only a matter of subplots and explosions away to see how Bruce Wayne desperately gets hold of the kryptonite for his advantage.

Let's have a quick look on director Zack Snyder's comic book filmography:  300, The Watchmen, and The Man of Steel. They are all visually-appealing, arguably quite faithful to the original sources. As a comic fan himself, he did give it some justice (pun not intended). 

There was a lot of hate for The Man of Steel, but it was an improvement from the Brandon Routh-starred Superflick. Although it was like a geeky Michael Bay-lite take on explosions and destructions of epic proportions, now it has been transitioned into BvS on why it was necessary. It gave compelling issues of morality and clash of ideologies for both Kent and Wayne.

That is the Superman curse, giving an iconic character's powers the proper treatment, but at the same time make it compelling for him to struggle in a fight.

'He could just literally squish Batman's head and that's it, end of.'

Exactly why we have this movie. Because Kent doesn't want to, and Bruce Wayne knows that's just his key to survive this death-match. Remember comic book stories can be allowed to go darker and grittier. This is not a Disney-owned Marvel flick where one-liners and campy blooper scenes make the audience look past its loopholes (remember Iron Man 3? and Age of Ultron?)


The Batffleck.


Remember all the hate when it was announced Mr.Ben Affleck, aka Mrs Matt Damon, aka the poorman's Daredevil, that will be manning the batcave?

For a very recent Bat-reboot, I'd say he did well. Not in the Adam West category of classic, but could be at par with Christian Bale's take on Batman trilogy or Michael Keaton's as well. This is a war-torn old rugged Bruce who just had a lot of mental and physical beating. There is a lot more to his backstory that can be explored on future solo Bat-films, such as the Robin suit written with 'The Joke's on you.' I'm not exactly sold on his detective skills trying to figure out Lex Luthor's plans, but then again 'age' could be given as excuse, but still not valid enough.

His 'never kill anyone' policy here is just thrown out of the batcave as he recklessly topples cars with his batmobile. HIs emotions got the better of him as it clouded his decisions and actions. He was a very vulnerable Bruce Wayne, and makes him more of an erring human than a hero. 

His mechanized suit will be his main armour and weapon at the same time. Luckily he wasn't crushed within it. And please don't think of any Iron Man reference around this one. Just don't.

The Batman's fight scene with Luthor's henchmen was quite a pleasure to watch. Pure bone-crushing mayhem. His fight scene with the Kryptonian, tactically he prepared well as he would have done. His physical fight could have been limited by the mech-suit in general, but Wayne showed he is more than ready to kill, or at least neutralise Kal-El.

Not a bird, not a plane.

Henry Cavill's Superman shown a lot of moral layers in the MoS. He was given the choice and the curse of using his powers. He showed pain and grief with his actions in destroying the city, killing thousands and even after killing Zod. He was the ultimate boy scout who wants to do good way too much. On this film, he began questioning humanity's torn perception of his god-like hero status. 

The only people that matters to him the most are his loved mother and Ms. Lane, and yet he chose to be the hero of the world.

***

The Antagonist/s.

Jesse Eisenberg's take on Lex Luthor here is still debatable. DC might have figured if the late Heath Ledger's take on the Joker was received well in the past and tried to apply the same formula, it didn't stick that way. Lex Luthor is cunning and manipulative  and he has vast resources of not just money and technology, but information. Jesse's 'psychotic' tendencies on this take is eccentric.

Did it work for the film in order for him to manipulate the Bat of Gotham to battle the Son of Krypton? Yes. Although I really had a hard time differentiating him from his Zuckerberg in the Social Network. The arch nemesis' character of the Man of Steel is still left warranting.

Doomsday?

He was more of a pseudo-Doomsday, because obviously he was not much of a factor as he was defeated by the DC Trinity in only a fraction of the screen-time. Of course, it was a eye-for-an-eye deal as it cost the Man of Steel's life. 

***

Looking back, looking ahead.

This film from the planning stage has been very ambitious, from the premise up to the execution. Currently rottentomatoes' critic rating is 28%. While the audience score is 78%. 

So should you see it? I could list all the plausible reasons and plotholes the film presented. The clouded sub-plots of the metahumans, Wonder Woman's presence, up to the convoluted 'dream sequences' of Bruce Wayne. [I honestly liked the 'Mad Max'-lite post-apocalyptic dream sequence with the super-soldiers. Whilst the other 'dream' apparently is the Flash from the future.] I think Christopher Nolan had a bit of Inception-alised advise there?

 It was a movie that tried hard to fit everything in 2.5 hours of screen time. It was a Titanic-like proportion for the DC movie universe, as they will try to launch the Justice League and tie-ins with several solo superhero films with this flick alone. A lot of pressure swinging big punches, whether hits or misses, against its rival Marvel Cinematic Universe.

If you want to see pure grit, and dark graphic comic book interpretation, do go see it. It can disappoint a hardcore fan, but as far as the box-office results keep coming, justice have been served for those who matter the most.

Fans from the Golden Age of comics never thought this was even close to possible hitting the theatres. You can be part of the critic and give it a 28%, or you can just sit back, and be entertained.

***

We have seen the BvS at the Genesis Cinema. 

It was our first time checking out the cinema, and it was absolutely amazing. It was frustrating that we only managed to see this East of London cinema until now, because we live in the area near Whitechapel! 

Not only that they offer Monday tickets for only £4.50, but they have amazing interiors, a coffee shop, and a bar for drinks. It's a one-stop shop for lounging and entertainment, now that's brilliant. We will be checking out Genesis Cinema more in the future!







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