“Film Causes Schism Among Fans”
Writer: Adrian Murphy aka Prophet Alpha
Warner Brothers and DC comics released a movie that ironically caused a “Civil War” among movie critics, moviegoers, movie nerds and comic-book nerds all over the Internet. That Movie is Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
The hype around this movie has been buzzing since the announcement by Zack Snyder at San Diego Comic-Con 2014. It was the first time the two iconic Superheroes have ever been in a live action movie together and with Snyder behind the helm again, after his DC cinematic universe debut in Man of Steel.
Because of the destruction of Metropolis and Zod’s death in MOS, BvS deals directly with those consequences that Superman now faces. The film tackles the concern of how Superman is perceived by the public and the people who fear him do so to the point that they want him eliminated.
As it turns out, Bruce Wayne, who is now spectacularly played by Ben Affleck, was an eyewitness to the first introduction of Superman to the world via the invasion of Zod’s forces from beyond. We also see the destruction from the ground perspective: the loss and injury to some of his employees at the Wayne Financial building.
This event made Bruce feel threatened like never before because he spent his life fighting crime as The Batman and dealing with human misery on a street level. He, along with the rest of Metropolis, discovered a species with the power to destroy the planet.
Ben Affleck’s version of Batman is the most accurate interpretation of Bruce Wayne/Batman ever put on film. Affleck matches the actual physical profile of Bruce Wayne, considering the height and weight that is described in the comic books.
With Ben Affleck’s acting, the audience understands Bruce’s distrust in Superman. This is most prominent when the audience watches Bruce Wayne’s eyewitness account of Superman’s powers.
The Alfred played by Jeremy Irons is the best one yet. He joins Batman as his tech-expert partner on their war on crime.
Through prophetic, strange dreams of a future, Batman convinces himself that Superman is evil and has set himself up as some type of despotic leader on Earth. Barry Allen visits Batman, warning Batman that his instincts about Superman are correct. Flash informs Bruce that Lois Lane is the key to preventing this possible grim Future. These scenes are key points that lay the groundwork for the continuing story of BvS, as well as the bigger plot of formation of The Justice League.
Henry Cavil’s Superman is also the best we’ve seen on film. Cavil captures the innocence of a boy raised on a farm. Clark Kent becomes a reluctant hero who feels obligated to help those in need because of his amazing gifts and the morals instilled in him by his earth-adopted parents. However, his trepidation is more evident in BvS because the human populace loves and hates Superman as a Godlike being with the power to save and kill anyone he chooses. These points are direct results of the events of MOS and international incidents where he acted unilaterally to save his love, Lois, from danger.
Jesse’s performance as Luther is different than any other version, but also the most captivating. He has the ability to outwit both Batman and Superman in this film. Luthar devises a plan to eliminate them both, pitting them against each other.
We were also introduced to Wonder Woman who was played Diana Prince. Her role was a string of mysterious cameos with her investigation of Lex Luther’s motivations for finding meta-humans. We really don’t get much background because we don’t need it yet, considering there will be a solo Wonder Woman movie due sometime next year. However, we do get to see her in action in a big way. Her power is a direct representation of the comics. She showcases almost Superman-like powers and holds her own against the movies main adversary, Doomsday.
Doomsday was the genetically altered body of Zod mixed with Luther’s blood. He lived up to the mythos of the comic character with being almost unstoppable even with the combined strength of the trinity heroes. The battle is devastating and the end results are drastic. In the end the heroes prevail but with the loss of their greatest asset.
Regardless of negative feedback from critics, everyone, especially nerds, must watch Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. I’ve seen it three times and will see it every weekend in April because there are no other films for BvS to contend with until Civil War. I consider this film a compliment to Man of Steel for continuing the story and dealing with the criticism from fans. BvS is a pure comic book on screen featuring great visuals and high impact action. Don’t expect it to win any Oscars because of the mixed emotions from many who have seen it.