Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - A Fan's Perspective
Last night, I enjoyed the greatest cinematic experience that I have ever had. Last night, I watched gods love, hate, fight, rise and fall. A savior. A lost soul, found. An enemy that would himself be the savior. The sacrifice.
This movie was not a comic-book film; this movie was a drama driven by characters with real hearts, real pain, real fears, and real desires, who just happen to be exceptional, or, if you like, superheroes. There were not too many light moments, as is wont to happen when the tales of gods take center stage. The film was powerful and prodigious - just like the characters, the legends, that were brought to life in front of our very eyes on the screen.
But I did't come there for levity. I came there to feel, to be moved. I went to see this film to be inspired by Superman's nobility, to walk with Bruce Wayne through his pain, and Batman's rage, to watch Wonder Woman's goodness, power and courage become the tie the binds this immaculate trinity of the DCU. I have long thought of Superman as the most beautiful idea in comics - a godlike alien, who is, through his love for his fellow man, the most human of us all. Superman is a hero that shows us the way, but does not demand that we take it, nor does he judge us when we stray. Batman is the wrathful enforcer who has turned his fear and feelings of powerlessness into a brutal anger that feeds his relentless war against the darkest parts of humanity. Wonder Woman is the noble warrior who fights for virtue and honor, a princess who will guard mankind while remaining forever isolated from man's corrupted world. And then there is Lex Luthor, who, like the satan of the Christian faith, is consumed by jealousy; he cannot abide the existence of one who is greater than he, and if he cannot have the power of Superman, and the other exceptional people beginning to arise, then he must either control them, or orchestrate their demise. Thus, in the end, should he triumph, he proves his greatness and slakes the thirst of his narcissistic ego.
All of these bigger-than-life characters united on the screen for the most explosive, dazzling passion play that one could ever imagine. And I was left stupefied. Henry Cavill finally becomes the Superman we all wanted to see, the Superman we needed. Ben Affleck, in a singular performance, strikes the perfect tones for both Batman and Bruce Wayne: menacing, brooding as the Batman, and suave and dapper to the nth degree as Bruce Wayne - he was truly remarkable. And Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman was simply captivating; I feel ashamed that I even ever doubted her ability to carry the role. When the credits began to crawl, it was then that I became aware of my body once more. I had been transported to another realm, I had walked with the gods of contemporary mythology. I had felt their pain, their fear, their anger and tasted of their power. My heart, then beating in time with the thunderous score of Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL, began to normalize, and I slowly, reluctantly, drifted back down to Earth to walk among my mortal brethren once more...Yet there remains an ache, a nagging sense of loss. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is an emotional roller coaster ride, and a visual phenomena that left me drained, but happy, and nearly begging for the end to never arrive. I was lifted into the heavens, and brought crashing down to Earth. This was the shortest 2hrs and 33 mins of my entire life - I felt like a kid again.
I have read some of the terrible reviews of this movie, and all I can say is, "to each his own." I feel like life is all about expectations, and this movie is a perfect example of that. If you went to see this movie expecting levity, flash, and witty quips as superheroes unite to take on some bad guy, then I am sure that you left disappointed. But if you went in knowing who these characters were, what they stand for, and DC's penchant for gravitas, you only expected two things: a momentous, emotional and cerebral experience...And an enormous clash of titans unlike any ever seen before on movie screens.
Superman v. Batman: Dawn of Justice more than delivers handily on both expectations, all the while dropping us heart-stopping easter eggs, setting us up for the coming of the most exciting, most thrilling universe to ever grace the silver screen: the coming of the DC Filmverse.
And I...I just cannot wait to be a part of it all.
I am not a movie critic, not a comic book critic. I am just a guy who loves comics. But in my opinion, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is the greatest comic book film ever made. And I'm going to see it again.
Thanks for reading.