Movie Reviews & Interviews from Washington

‘Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice’ Review: Starring Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck & Gal Gadot

**Spoiler-free review as always from your friendly DC film girl!**

Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel remains one of the most divided superhero films in recent years. Audiences either loved it or hated it. I loved it and have watched is several times since. I love the origin story of Superman told not in a chronological order and that we get to see Superman throughout several stages of his life. Also, Henry Cavill is the best Superman ever. The gorgeous English actor perfectly embodies every quality Superman should have and he brings a new life to the Superman franchise.

When it was announced that Snyder would be making a sequel Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, several questions arose. Will Batman and Superman actually fight each other? Will there be a winner? Aren’t they just going to team up anyway? Who the heck is going to be Batman? And when it was announced that Ben Affleck was going to play Batman there were even more mixed emotions. I love Affleck as an actor and a director and think he is a great choice for the character. And after watching the movie in IMAX 2D, Batman vs. Superman is the nerdy full throttle superhero sequel all fans will enjoy.

Picking up right where Man of Steel ended, we revisit the bitter showdown between Superman/Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) and General Zod (Michael Shannon) in Metropolis, only this time it’s being shown through Bruce Wayne/Batman’s (Ben Affleck) eyes. As the buildings collapse and thousands of people die, Bruce decides he must do something about Superman. Two years later after Bruce has intensely trained and got some new gadgets he slips into his Batman suit and brings the war to Superman.

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The supporting actors here do a fine job, but this film’s main focus is Batman and Superman so the supporting characters’ stories take a back seat. Amy Adams reprises her role as Lois Lane and though her personal story isn’t as intriguing as in the first, she’s still a pleasure to watch on screen. Jesse Eisenberg is a great actor, but the way his Lex Luthor is written is way too maniacal and similar to pretty much every other comic book villain. I wish he were a little more rich genius versus mad crazy scientist. Jeremy Irons doesn’t get to play around with Alfred as much in this film, but his voice alone commands so much presence. The true standout-supporting actor here is Gal Gadot who is an incredible Wonder Woman. We get a little tease of her in the first half of the film, but she comes out in full force stealing every scene she’s in in the second half. She’s incredible and I can’t wait for her movie.

Henry Cavill is a phenomenal Clark Kent and Superman. He fits the part physically and emotionally and it’s always a joy to watch him on screen. The character arc he has in this film is so much greater than in Man of Steel, though I liked Man of Steel slightly better as an overall film. Ben Affleck is an interesting Bruce Wayne and Batman. As Batman, he’s great and it’s actually refreshing that he doesn’t play down the fact that he is an older Batman in the film. I wish there was a little more scenes of Affleck as Bruce Wayne and not always in full Batman more, but I did love the opening sequence with him. His action scenes are intense and extremely brutal and there is even a little too much going on at times.

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Hans Zimmer’s beautiful score is paired with Junkie XL (Mad Max: Fury Road) this time around and the music is stunning. It grasps the superhero theme and gives a little edge to the sequel. Zack Snyder’s sequel certainly isn’t a perfect film, but it is a fun popcorn blockbuster that features incredible talent and amazing IMAX scenes. Can Suicide Squad and Justice League come out now, please?

What I Liked: Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman!!! She slays in this movie and steals every scene she’s in. Her outfits are on point too; Henry Cavill is the perfect human being…. I mean Superman, and continues to do an amazing job here; Ben Affleck as Batman, though I would’ve liked to have seen a little more of him as Bruce Wayne too; also loved the complexity of the ending.

What I Didn’t Like: The editing, the film jumped around quite a lot and there is so much going on, you could tell things had been edited out; Jesse Eisenberg’s maniacal Lex Luthor, it’s not necessarily Eisenberg here, it’s the way this villain was written, like he resembles all the other comic book villains.

How Many Times I Checked the Time: 0

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