Too much hype will directly cause high expectations and will no doubt kill your experience watching a film. On the other hand, going in to watch a film with your mind already made up as to how you feel about it will also no doubt kill your experience watching it. These two factors I am quite positive is the reason for such mixed responses to Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice. However, whether or not people are DC comic book fans, or something else entirely, there's no disputing the hype was there. I cannot tell you how many YouTube videos I have sat through watching people react to the trailers for this film, and I can tell you with 100% certainty that they were all pretty much insanely excited for the movie! But as soon as the movie was released and 90% of the critics out there shred the movie to pieces, then audiences saw it, many of those same people who were so excited to see the movie began to pick apart the movie. This irks me to no end. To suddenly turn on a movie the moment it's released - Or heck, to even go in knowing you're gonna hate it before you see it, completely unfair. As comedian Nick Swardson said in one of his stand up acts, "When it comes to movies we live in a culture of spoiled, jaded people." No doubt. It is indeed difficult to please movie audiences these days. And I have this strong feeling that won't be going away anytime soon; in fact, it may just get worse. Now let's just be clear, I'm not insulting anyone's intelligence here. In fact I believe in these days, with the amount of inside information of what is happening during filming a movie, not to mention the sheer number of teaser trailers, TV spots, and full length trailers that is being pumped out and shoved in people's faces, it's not that hard for people to become spoiled and jaded. Actually it's downright easy! The magic and mystery in cinema vanish with the release of every piece of inside movie information and every trailer.
I myself have never been a comic book kid growing up. I was a movie kid - Exclusively. While other kids or teens escaped through comic books, My escape were through movies (and music and writing of course). I may not know a single thing about the authentic and true origins of superheros or their storylines and their associations with other superheros, and so on and so forth, but I have such a love and appreciation for them. Whether they come from DC or Marvel. As a movie geek, a cinephile, a film lover (however you want to call it), seeing their evolution on screen for many years, seeing what they stand for, what they've gone through in order to become the superheros they've become, it astounds me and inspires me at the same time. And I know that there is so much more to them than their abilities or the adventures they've had, or the villains they've faced. I've witnessed their heartache, their pain, their madness, their inner and outer conflicts (moral or otherwise), their tragedies, affirmations, and self revelations. This I feel is how people, especially kids and teenagers, are able to relate to them.
In this film, it delves into some very deep terrain as far as what heroism means. A lot of moral conflicts are explored as Superman learns that even his heroism has consequences, which leads to a feud with Batman. With Batman, because of his past and the tragedy he's had to endure, it hits a nerve with him as he witnesses the death of people he knows and innocent people in Metropolis during the big destructive battle between Superman and General Zod. With that his rage takes over and is hell bent on destroying Superman, feeling he is a genuine threat to humanity. What puts us in the middle is that we can understand both sides of it. We understand Superman's need to protect and do the right thing, but also fear that human beings are turning on him. We understand Batman/Bruce Wayne's fear and anger seeing Metropolis' destruction. His need for retaliation and fear of Superman's great power being used to wipe out the human race. But what I also find fascinating about Batman/Bruce Wayne is his fear of himself, fear of losing himself, fear of becoming a monster. There's so much psychology to him, but I won't get into that. The truth is I happen to think most people miss a lot of these thought provoking topics as a lot of them just want to see these two iconic characters "duke it out" and fight. What people are missing is that both of these characters' backs are up against the wall. There will be people that say there is no story here. False. There is a story here. The story lies in the journey these characters take, the moral dilemma they're caught up in, and how they go about trying to solve their dilemmas. This film also explores Right and Wrong, and that it isn't so Black and White - Even for Superheroes.
People may say what they will about director Zack Snyder. People only see his visual style. And yes he's got a very distinct one. But I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing. Because this movie is based on comic book Superheroes, his style lends perfectly to this movie in helping to tell this story visually. There were many shots in his film that felt and looked like they were ripped directly from a comic book! And that kind of things helps tremendously in becoming immersed in this film. For me anyway. Just as Christopher Reeve was in his time, Henry Cavill was born to play Superman/Clark Kent. There is this genuine integrity and goodness he brings to the character, and you just forget you're watching Henry Cavill play Superman. You're just watching Superman! There was so much flack, back lash, and hesitation from fans and movie audiences on whether Jesse Eisenberg could pull off playing Lex Luther. I won't even lie, it was such a bold and interesting piece of casting. But I felt he really brought some fresh and new to the character. Because I think so many people who were around to see the old Superman films, they were just so use to seeing the great Gene Hackman play Lex, that it may be a challenge to let go of that. I get that. And there were certainly times where Jesse presented Lex in a very animated, comedic, almost cartoon-ish way that I really couldn't help but chuckle or laugh at certain performances of his. I will even admit that there were times where certainly bits of his performances were genuinely dark, chilling and maddening. But I ultimately I felt like he brought something fresh to the whole thing. So kudos to Mr. Eisenberg! I always thought that Amy Adams would make a good Louis Lane - She just has this tenacity and strong sense of urgency to how she played Louis. Like she was determined to do whatever it took to get the truth she sought out. And yet she's got this way of bringing out a beauty in her vulnerability. Gal Gadot. What can I say?! She brought NEW life to Wonder Woman! She played her with such beauty, grace, strength and wit! Even if you knew nothing about her character or her origins, you saw it on her face and in her eyes during her moments on screen that she contained so many secrets, that you honestly wanted to know more! And seeing her in action, it was so epic. She brought this larger than life aspect to Wonder Woman that I had never seen before. And that is just exciting! I cannot wait to see more of her and that character in her solo film And in The Justice League film! It's really going to be something!
I know from the moment it was announced, A LOT of people were incredibly cautious in accepting Ben Affleck as the new Batman/Bruce Wayne. Even I couldn't help but be bewildered by their casting choice. After about Trailer #2 I began to accept him because there was just something about the way Ben was playing him that made him appealing. What I discovered, and ultimately realized, when seeing the film is that there was something I recognized in Ben Affleck from a few of his past roles. The man has the innate ability to tap into the rage and the darkness that Batman/Bruce Wayne needed! I started thinking back on those past movies he's been in, and there were certain pieces of performances or scenes or moments where he would bring out this look in his eyes, and you could see something dark and brooding bubbling to the surface. That is what I felt this Batman needed in this film. And that is exactly what Ben Affleck brought! He completely took the character, and just embodied it. He became the Batman we needed and wanted to see in this particular motion picture. I felt he nailed it, without a doubt!
Now, I am not even going to close this review without talking about the remarkable Hans Zimmer! The man has been scoring films for decades now. And to see how his music has evolved over the years and applied to the movies he's scored has been a real treat! Go ahead and look him up on IMDb and see his body of work. I promise you, you'll be impressed. What I absolutely adored about this score in particular that each character had their own theme. Which is something he used in the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy. As far as themes go though in this filmn he took such a different approach. He collaborated with musician of sorts, most commonly known the electronica circuit as Junkie XL (aka Tom Holkenborg). It hasn't been until recently that Junkie XL has been collaborating on scoring movies. Most notably adding some new sounds and beats to the score of last year's Mad Max: Fury Road. There this futuristic energy his music brings to a conventional orchestra score. But don't think that Hans Zimmer is all about conventional. He is constantly pushing the boundaries of sound and music. On Zack Snyder's Man Of Steel he brought a collection of percussionists to simultaneously make one beat, just to achieve this epic, bombastic sound to the score. And he would even go as far as to use an electric violin and synthesizers. He's not afraid to explore. And thus why he deserves such recognition, especially for his score on Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice!
Overall, I urge everyone to go out and see the movie. Because you will be taken on a ride. If nothing else, if you can't or won't take anything substantial or deeper away from this movie, at least give it a chance and take away that it's a fantastic popcorn movie. In my honest opinion, it is well worth the price of an admission ticket. Just have fun with it and don't take it so seriously. As Ben Affleck mentioned in an interview, they didn't make the movie for the critics. They made it for the audiences. They want you to have fun at the movies. So why not give them that much at least?
Batman V Superman Movie Review
by Phillip Wilcox "Our Movie Demon"