Movie Review: Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice

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Two superheroes are about to clash in Zack Snyder’s Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice

Sadly, the red capes have come to the silver screen.

With years of anticipation, we finally get a movie featuring two of DC’s most iconic superheroes—Batman and Superman—going at it. It does sound like a fun time, right? Not exactly.

Ever since Ben Affleck was announced, he didn’t seem to be the right actor to play the caped crusader. Zack Snyder returns to the director’s chair after giving his own darker take on Superman in Man of Steel (although flawed there is still some mild enjoyment to be found), and Henry Cavill gives a fine portrayal as the title character. I figured Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice might make up for the problems Man of Steel had; making Superman a controversial figure after destroying mankind as opposed to saving it. With a promising beginning, the movie quickly falls apart.

Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) is now working at the Daily Planet. The controversy surrounding Superman gets everybody’s attention including Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck), whose parents got fatally shot when he was a child. Now, he lives with his butler Alfred Pennyworth (Jeremy Irons). As Batman, he fights crime in Gotham City (with a darker side of his own). As his rivalry with Clark begins, they encounter the LexCorp CEO Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg), whose diabolical plan known as Doomsday (who looks like a decomposed version of the Hulk) will bring chaos to Metropolis. Along with Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), they team up to save the world.

With his unique visual style, Snyder cannot direct a compelling story. It’s a shame given that I have been a huge fan of Batman and Superman for a long time. There is so much potential being put in the two-and-a-half hour running time. As a result, the movie goes all over the place!

When I saw the movie late Saturday night with a decent-sized crowd, I had a lot—I mean, A LOT—of thoughts going on. It keeps raising questions without any answers. There are scenes that are there for the sake of keeping the movie going (e.g. Superman saving the day in Mexico during a Day of the Dead parade). Even though Affleck (who gives a surprisingly emotional portrayal of Batman/Bruce Wayne) and Gadot exceeded my expectations, they, along with everyone else, are written as thin as a piece of paper. Hell, Batman murders people without any given reason whatsoever. Amy Adams’ Lois Lane is a bore, and Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor is laughably psychotic—how could he ruin such a great comic book villain? Even though how deadly serious the movie’s tone is, he provides moments of unintentional hilarity especially when he comes face-to-face with the judge (Holly Hunter) prior to Superman’s court appearance.

The faulty exposition leads up to yet another boring CGI-fueled, PG-13 fight sequence consisting of the two heroes throwing fists and crashing through walls. The audiences cares less on who will win. Snyder has created yet another convoluted mess, and it reminds me that I’m glad Affleck is going to direct and star in his upcoming Batman trilogy.

1/4

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Movie Review: Zootopia

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Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) is on the case in Disney’s latest animated classic “Zootopia”

For the past six years of being a movie buff, I have seen a lot of movies that surprised the hell out of me. Zootopia, the latest animated film from Disney, is no exception. With a plot that might sound like a corporate sellout, it actually dodges that aspects to give everything for kids and adults alike.

Since she was a kid, Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) has the dream of becoming the first rabbit to join the Zootopia Police Department, led by Chief Bogo–a bull (Idris Elba). She proves that she can do anything, not just live and work on her parents’ (Bonnie Hunt and Don Lake) farm. She graduates from police academy and enters Zootopia, a metropolis where animals–both big and small–live and flourish. There are also owned-businesses, advertising, vehicles, a lion mayor (J.K. Simmons) and laws.

Judy is having a rough time fitting into this new lifestyle. She learns about a case involving civilians unexpectedly disappearing. Along with a fox con artist Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), she jumps on the case while encountering some furry situations along the way including a stop at a DMV run by sloths (one of the funniest scenes in the movie).

We live in a modern, industrialized society where prejudice has occurred since the Civil War. No matter what color our skin is or what ethnicity we belong to, we are meant to be created equal. That’s the brilliance of Zootopia. Despite being predator and prey, Nick and Judy begin to overcome their prejudices towards one another to work together.

While tackling the serious issue of stereotypes, Zootopia has a perfect blend of humor, mystery, suspense, and pure emotion. It pokes fun at pop culture. I walked out of the theater with a huge smile on my face. Kudos to the movie adding a nod to The Godfather.

4/4