In the recent past we have been witness to the sudden rise of superhero films which tell the story of god like characters battling the forces of evil. These films that time and again are made on massive budgets boast of high octane action sequences, immense CGI and of course even bigger budgets are met with overall positive response at the box office. In fact within the Indian market such films have managed to capture the audiences interest, and eventually making it big at the box office. Now after the unconventional anti-superhero film DEADPOOL that released earlier this year, we see the release of a superhero film BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, that promises to tell the story of an epic battle between a caped crusader Batman and a god like alien being Superman with the inclusion of an Amazon warrior princess Wonder Woman. But will the film that features the biggest names in the superhero kingdom live up to expectations or will it buckle under the pressure of a heavy weight title is the question of the hour. This review might contain spoilers.
The film starts off with a profile of Batman and his origins talking about the killing of Bruce Wayne's parents Martha and Thomas Wayne and the young lad's eventual metamorphosis into the caped crusader. From there the viewer is then taken through the events unfolding in the city of Metropolis and its eventual destruction when the Man of Steel battles General Zod. Up till now (read in the previous Superman film MAN OF STEEL) the view was that of an outsider witnessing the battle. However in the film we see the battle like one of the many citizens in the city affected by it which paints a rather gruesome scene considering the fact that this was actually the introduction of Superman to the world. While the aftermath of the battle left the city in shambles, Superman emerged as a god like figure, however like any such figure there are always those who look at the darker side, at the death and destruction that usually follows an event where Superman has intervened. Much the same Bruce Wayne shares a similar view with an understanding that if left unchecked, Superman will eventually live long enough to be the bad guy. With this in mind Bruce sets out to destroy the Man of Steel as his alter ego Batman. From here on what follows is a battle of the ages with both heroes going toe to toe in combat.
While the film does boast of high octane action sequences, mega explosions and high tech gadgetry, it is also filled with too many verbal sequences. As a direct result of this, BVS tends to drag with characters engaging in dialogues that stretch. However, just as the viewer begins to lose interest with the ongoing banter, the film's director Zack Snyder throws in a plot twist that sends everything haywire. The action sequences that feature the Bat are well choreographed and detailed, while on the other hand, the ones with Superman seem a bit too easy though both are equally well executed. Another highlight of the film that viewers have been eagerly awaiting was the introduction of Gal Gadot as the Amazon warrior princess Wonder Woman/ Diana Price. Here unlike the rumours Gadot does enjoy ample amount of screen time considering that this was supposed to be just an introduction. In fact the viewer sees her on screen as Diana Price much before her arrival on screen as Wonder Woman. Though well detailed her part looks like it has been pushed into the script to ensure visibility for a sequel that has been planned later. Coming to the villain, Lex Luthor unlike the comic character is featured as a bratty adolescent with daddy issues. Jesse Eisenberg as Lex seems creepily jittery but does manage to do a good job of playing the evil multimillionaire genius.
In terms of direction, Snyder delves head on into a dark, gory, brutal depiction of the unfolding story with a reference to Batman's origins, the night Bruce Wayne's parents died. While most of the acting he elicits from the lead pair (Cavill & Affleck) depends on their strong jaws, Snyder does manage to weave light moments into an otherwise dark plot. When it comes to story and writing, one sore point that fails to be mentioned is, 'How is it that Batman AKA Bruce Wayne, whose base is Gotham city, suddenly shifts to the neighbouring city of Metropolis?' Though the rest of the film plays out as expected, there are times when the film drags. However, Snyder again manages to twist the plot with an intense action sequence that jolts the viewer.
Overall, Snyder's second Superman movie outing brings in Batman, introduces Wonder Woman, gives us a quick peek at Aquaman, Flash, and Cyborg working hard to set up DC's own multi-hero franchise, the Justice League of America. However, despite the film's high points, it is riddled with loopholes and simply put rather clichéd climactic scenes that leave the viewer dejected.
All in all despite the immense hype and publicity, BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE is strictly worth just a onetime watch for the true die hard fans. While Batman and Superman fans might find a few scenes likeable, there is an overpowering sense of wanting more.