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Movie Review: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice

I grew up reading the Silver Age DC Comics of the late 1950’s and the 1960’s when they were still oriented toward having happy endings.  Sometime in the mid 1960’s, more adult themes started finding their way into comic books, and happy endings were suddenly a little harder to find in the twenty pages of a comic book; some stories fought hard to find resolution, and a true fan might have to follow a story for a year or more for the villain to be brought to justice– if that was at all possible.

Since the new movie Batman v. Superman came out recently, some critics have not been very kind to it because they think that it’s too dark a film for some viewers to enjoy; in some ways, this may be true.  Ben Affleck’s Batman-Bruce Wayne is very dark and brooding.  Affleck portrays a man scarred on many levels and at times just as deranged as many of the villains he has had to fight over the long years.  Many fans had voiced concerns about whether Ben Affleck could pull off this characterization, but after seeing the movie this past weekend I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. In fact, Mister Affleck is the absolute best Batman there has ever been! Not only did he pull off this role: HE KILLED IT!

This was Henry Cavill’s second outing as Superman – Clark Joseph Kent, and he is the Superman of the present comic book canon; an alien being trying to aid his adopted planet with his unnatural powers, given to him by our yellow sun.  Sadly the world in which he now exists has come to fear him and his incredible abilities.  Those whom he has rescued see him as a God-like being who aided them when things were the darkest, but the vast majority of humanity do not know the good he is capable of doing; instead they know the damages done when he has been forced to fight other super humans or “Meta-humans.”  Batman – Bruce Wayne witnesses firsthand the fight in which the City of Metropolis is nearly leveled, and he is forced to rescue the little people being crushed underfoot like ants.

Jesse Eisenberg plays Alexander “Lex” Luthor, a deranged billionaire industrialist who plots to turn the two heroes against each other; he is highly believable as a man-child who turns against the very same humanity he claims to be defending.  Beaten by his father as a child, he strikes out to punish his late father’s image.  He is completely credible in his role as a madman with far too many resources and not enough barriers to restrain his wrath.  Like Batman – Bruce Wayne, he too is driven purely by evil, and one might suspect his strings being pulled by another more powerful villain yet unseen.

Amy Adams is absolutely beautiful as Superman’s love interest Lois Lane, the highly professional correspondent for the Daily Planet, and a heroine in her own right. She is one of many female roles presented in this movie and portrayed by such stars as Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman – Diane Prince), Diane Lane (Marta Kent), and Holly Hunter (Senator Finch), to name a few of the ladies.  Jeremy Irons plays a very sarcastic and snarky Alfred Pennyworth who is equal to Laurence Fishburne as the Daily Planet’s cranky editor Perry White.

If you’re a fan of the comic books and graphic novels, then you will most likely love this movie, as it is an adaption of several graphic novels of note in the DC Universe.  The larger part of the story is taken from Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns” and to a lesser degree “Superman vs Doomsday” by Roger Stern, Louise Simonson, Joseph Loeb, Dan Jurgens, Jerry Ordway and Joe Casey.  If you are not a fan and you find yourself scratching your head after watching the story unfold on the screen, I highly recommend you find your nearest comic book store and look into these two graphic novels; they will certainly resolve any questions or doubts the movie may have left you with after the credits roll.

My final comment regarding this movie is it treats the subject matter in a very real and adult manner.  So I recommend that you not bring young children to see it, as they are very likely to be put off (or frightened) by many of the highly adult themes.


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