In mid-April 2015, Warner Bros. held a special IMAX event for the first trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice, apart from seeing the trailer plus some bonus footage in IMAX, fans who attended were granted free passes to see the film early the following year. On March 21st, Warner Bros. fulfilled their promise and let every fan who attended see the film early, and luckily I was one of those fans. Before the film started we were shown a message asking us to please respect the secrets of the film so that others could enjoy it as well, I do intend on honoring that until next week after people have had the chance to see the film.
I ,like most fans/moviegoers, had massive expectations for this film. Not just because of the fact that it was the first real contender in the DC Extended Universe, but it was the first (and hopefully not the last!) time we not only got to see these iconic characters on the big screen, we got to see them fight! That should be large enough stakes for any film, but it also ups the ante by setting up the rest of the entire DCEU. Were people justified by being worried that it couldn't live up to the hype? Yes. Should they have been concerned that the cast wouldn't hold up? Yes. Should they have been worried about trailers showing too much? Yes. Should they worry any longer?......Absolutely not.
From the beginning of this film, I was captivated by it. The visuals, of course, are stunning, and not just in action sequences. There are some genuinely poetic moments in this film where words were not necessary, and yet conveyed exactly how these characters feel and what they intend to do. You can really tell that Zack Snyder cared about the handling of these characters and wanted to explore how they tick. As far as being poetic goes, the script was outstanding, one of the better scripts I've seen as of late. However, I do feel that its a bit deeper than most will catch on an initial viewing, this is not your average superhero movie script, there are elements and themes that some are not accustomed to, this is an extremely well crafted and meticulously executed story and some may miss elements of that along the way. It's not just another CGI spectacle brawl movie, this film was actually smart.
One of the biggest concerns for BvS was the controversial casting of Ben Affleck as Batman. I have stated before that I was indeed a doubter at first and slowly began to see how good he could be, and after viewing it, I was upset with myself for ever doubting him. Now I will not give anything away, but for me as a Batman fan, this was the best live-action incarnation of the character I have seen. Ben Affleck has out done himself and has truly succeeded in bringing us the Batman fans have wanted. He is brutal, unforgiving, and most of all....prepared.
Henry Cavill reprises his role as Superman, and to be honest, doesn't really tread too far from familiar ground, not that that's a bad thing. His performance in BvS is, i would say, equal to that of Man Of Steel. One of the biggest surprises for me in the film was Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. Without going into detail, I can say that his character will cause some serious dialogue amongst fans, but his performance was totally unexpected and was very exciting to watch. But the loudest applause of the evening wasn't for any of these characters, it was for Wonder Woman. Fans have waited decades for her to take her place on the big screen, and oh does she ever. She is absolutely ferocious and while we do not leave the film knowing all too much about her, you sure as hell wish you did and I'm imagining a pretty big line waiting to see her big movie next year.
While the film does serve as a Justice League beginnings film, it is very much a Batman vs Superman film. The entire story is built around their coming together, building to that moment when the finally come to blows and when it happens, may the best man win. The fight is, without question, jaw dropping. I went in to the movie expecting a good fight, but I didn't expect it to go the lengths that it did. While it will definitely stir up some intense conversation, I feel fans will be very satisfied with it. Of course, we knew from the trailers that we'd be seeing the Trinity come together, which some people would have preferred to be saved for the movie, but I can honestly say that even though you know its going to happen, you still get goosebumps when you see them stand together for the first time. Their fight with Doomsday is like it was ripped of the pages of a comic book, and it was truly a special experience to finally see it all start to come together.
No film is without its issues though, at times the pacing is a little slow or some times a little fast, and a very quick CGI moment was a bit questionable. But none of these, to me, effected the overall experience which was in my eyes, a damn near perfect superhero film. The acting was amazing, the story was compelling, the score was outstanding, and one thing this film does very well is raise questions. Questions that are very far from being answered I assume, but only add even more depth and excitement to the overall story.
In conclusion, Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice is everything I thought it would be and everything I hoped it would be. If you are solely a fan of the light-hearted and comedic tone of some Marvel films, then this probably is not for you. If you are a hardcore fan of the grounded and realistic tone of The Dark Knight Trilogy, then this may not be for you. If you are a fan of Batman, Superman, and other Justice League comics, especially those written by Frank Miller, then this movie is for you. I personally loved this film, and will undoubtedly be seeing it multiple times and I encourage others to do the same!
By this time next week I will post a Spoiler review, so if you wish to read that please check back next week!