Batman v Superman Will Leave You Breathless

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You may have noticed that one of my fellow writers, here at Critical Blast, has posted a review of BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE. Caution: there are spoilers, but you can read it here if you'd like; you may agree with his viewpoint. That being said, I would like to offer my own thoughts on this epic presentation of two of the world's finest heroes.

This review will NOT include spoilers. I try to take an open-minded and objective approach when offering my opinion on whether or not a movie should be seen. Ultimately it's up to you to decide whether your hard-earned dollars are worth the price of admission.

Not everyone is looking for the same thing when they go to the movies. Some people want to laugh, some want to cry. Some just want to be entertained while others seek a deep emotional connection. Not everyone likes the same flavor of ice cream, but that doesn't make the flavor someone else enjoys, bad.

I will look at each piece of the movie's puzzle and offer it 0-1 stars based on how I feel each piece fits. At the end I will tally the score and provide an overall rating for the movie. I realize that I've already been on the 'wordy' side so if you want to skip to my summary at the bottom, feel free. Everything between this and the summary is an explanation of my scorecard.

So without any additional filler, let's get stared, shall we?

Story/Plot

You think that's a throwaway scene? You're sadly mistaken. The story is so intracately woven that everything matters. Pay attention closely. It all comes together at the end and is masterfully orchestrated. So much so, many people are confused and left wondering what's happening. If you enjoy the movie, you'll find yourself looking forward to a second viewing so you can follow along, with a greater understanding of the inner workings of how the strings are being pulled, and by who.
Score - 1

Editing

This is done in such a way that it has some people criticizing the story/plot. The movie is a little hard to follow and there is a lot of jumping around, but by the end of the movie you'll see how everything begins to fall into place. I can't offer an opinion how to do it better, but I feel that it neither hurt or helped the plot.
Score - 0.5

Special FX

A true highlight of the film. The special effects were second to none. Every power, ability, explosion (and other destructive forces) were on full display, as beings with unmatched powers fought on a scale that makes Godzilla vs King Kong feel like an undercard.
Score - 1

Imagery

The movie felt like the source material, even when it wasn't. There were scenes and sequences that looked as though they were ripped from the pages of comic books. Zack Snyder knows how to produce eye candy and there's so much in this movie that I may now suffer from orbital diabetes.
Score - 1

Sound

Jimmy Fallon said this movie was the loudest movie he'd ever seen. And he was right. I saw Batman v Superman in IMAX and I have to say the sound quality was superb. During a conversation between Clark and Bruce, Lex is talking in the background and I was able to understand what he was saying, yet it didn't drown out the dialogue being focused on. Every crack of lightning, every gunshot, every piece of breaking glass came through crystal clear and immersed you in the world you were viewing.
Score - 1

Music

The themes throghout the film were very appropriate and while I haven't listened to the soundtrack on its own, it feels as though it would be good even without context. The score had familiarity as it harkened back to Man of Steel on occasion. At no time did the music distract from what was happening on-screen. It actually enhanced the feeling with powerful beats and was orchestrated in such a way that felt as though Junkie XL and Hans Zimmer were pied pipers on the other side of the 4th wall.
Score - 1

Characters

Clark Kent/Superman bears the burden of being the most powerful man in the world. How can you earn the trust of those around you when it's impossible to save everyone. It wears heavy on him that he is forced to make choices that no one else has to make. The weight of his decisions impacts mankind. He wants to believe there is good in the world and he must balance that faith with the understanding that evil still exists.

Bruce Wayne/Batman doesn't believe there is good in the world. Even within himself and his butler Alfred. His journey is of great import as the movie progresses and I've never EVER respected a Batman more than I respect THIS Batman. His journey from beginning to end is so well done that I can't hate him for anything he does, only empathize.

Diana Prince/Wonder Woman is a mysterious figure in this film. She moves about like a queen, as all the other pieces struggle for power in a game of chess. Her warrior nature shines in the third act and her passion for a good fight does not go unnoticed. It almost makes you wonder if she's enjoying it TOO much. Regardless, without time to really flesh out her character, she still holds a commanding presence and will get you excited for her solo film due out next year.

Lois Lane is more prominent than I originally thought she would be. She continues her role as a tenacious reporter but I feel she is developed the least throughout the movie. Her love for Superman is strong, though she hurts from the burden that it puts on the man of steel.

Lex Luthor is a 'mad scientist'. He's creepy, unnerving and you don't feel comfortable any time he's on screen. Also, he's a genius puppet master who is pulling strings as though this were his magnum opus.

Minor and Cameo characters all had a part to play with some surprise appearances along the way. Some would argue that in a game of chess, how you use your pawns is integral to success. Zack Snyder found a way to manuever them around so strategically that their importance could not be overlooked. By definition they were 'supporting cast' but so many of them were far more important than that and it showed during their limited screentime.
Score - 1

Action

While the movie spends plenty of time building towards the climax, there is enough suspense to keep you from getting bored. Once the action kicks in, though, its adrenaline pumping, heart thumping action that'll have you clenching your fists and rooting for the good guys. There's no sequence that's in the movie that was action for the sake of action. It starts up, revs it's engine a bit and takes off with a roar. Powers were on full display and the fight choreography was a real treat as it can't all be about heat vision and super punches.
Score - 1

Humor

This isn't a comedy. It's not a light-hearted parody of itself or the source material. There are a few moments of levity, but in no way is this movie meant to be a two and a half hour comedy skit. Some say this is a bad thing and because of other movies of this genre, some say it's necessary for the movie to be fun. I disagree. My father always told me there is a time and place for comedy and it's important to know when it's okay. In a movie, such as this where the themes are adult in nature, this isn't the time or place for a cheap laugh.
Score - 0.5

Drama

This movie is meant to have gravitas. Its intent is to make you feel something. Without an emotional investment you can't understand the weight of the situations being presented. If you can't take the movie seriously, there is no real connection to the characters and it becomes difficult to immerse yourself in the theatrics. If you take out the costumes and remove the fantastical nature of the genre, this movie would be lauded for it's powerful messages and how it affects the viewer on a deep, philosophical level.
Score - 1

Don't hate it for what it's not, love it for what it is.

Overall rating:
9/10

Summary

This movie is, in my opinion, the BEST Superhero movie to date. Not because I don't enjoy a good laugh or because it's the most recent movie I've seen. It's because it pulls together so many elements of all the things I enjoy about a movie. This is classic literature mixed with theatrical drama scored by masterful composers. It's a movie that made me FEEL something and had a profound affect on how I view the characters. Your jaw will drop, your eyes will swell, your heart will sink and you will experience a love for fictional characters that you have not felt since your childhood.

If you'd like my 'spoiler filled' reaction of the film, leave me a comment below. If I get enough requests, I'll be happy to oblige.