Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) – Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding….

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Yet another superhero film to come out this year. Many mixed feelings resulted from this two and a half hour film; critics hated it, whereas fans loved it. Fans were however dissatisfied with Ben Affleck’s performance as the new Batman, as many had become attached to Christian Bale from Christopher Nolan’s incredibly successful trilogy. This DC comic-based film, a sequel to the Superman film Man of Steel, is the story of Batman and Superman who face the challenge of choosing to save the world and resolve the conflict instigated by discord sower Lex Luthor.

Like the previous installment, this film features Henry Cavill as Clark Kent, a.k.a. Cal El a.k.a. Superman, as well as Amy Adams as girlfriend and reporter Lois Lane. Unlike the previous installment, Bruce Wayne a.k.a. Batman is featured in the story, played by Ben Affleck, who had a hard time living up to the high expectations of the fans. The famous backstory had been told, whereby Bruce’s parents were killed when he was just a boy, after which he inherited their wealth and lived in Wayne Manor together with butler Alfred (played by Jeremy Irons). As always, the Bat-mobile and the Batcave also made an appearance. Superman’s backstory had been previously introduced in Man of Steel, but for those who haven’t seen it; Superman is an alien who was sent to Earth by his parents as a baby before Krypton was destroyed. Here he was raised by the Kents, and as an alien used his super-strength to fight crime in the world, with only one weakness, this being an alien substance called Kryptonite. Additionally, Wonder Woman and Lex Luthor (who can only be described as millionaire/genius/villain) are also introduced and played by Gal Gadot and Jesse Eisenberg respectively. As Fox Entertainment also hopes to continue the franchise, the film hinted at AquaMan, the Flash and Cyborg.

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As mentioned before, the film was well received by critics, whereas fans were quite satisfied. Just like the critics, they did however express mild censure regarding certain aspects of the film, starting with the small and under-developed role of Wonder Woman in the film. This did not only lead to confusion amongst fans, but even amongst Batman and Superman in the film, when she suddenly joins the fight against Doomsday , as seen when Batman asks “Is she with you?”, to which Superman replies “I thought she was with you…”. This was probably done to devote more time to the character in a possible stand-alone film. Furthermore, the ending was not well received, but that was not the end of the world, as there were also positive things to focus on. The film was in 3D, and was highly praised for its scenes in the well and of the death of Bruce’s parents. Finally, there was enough action to satisfy the audience, although it is argued that there was too much, which caused the story to lack depth.

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Sure, the film was enjoyable and definitely recommendable; it just wasn’t excellent. It would be advised to watch Man of Steel before watching the sequel, and some prior knowledge of the superheroes and other secondary characters would also help to understand the film better. As the film ends with quite the cliffhanger, the beloved characters are bound to return for a third installment. Whether Batman will return however, remains to be seen…

– Femke

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