Powerful, poignant and thought provoking, Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman is one of the most impactful comic book films ever made.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is as much of a political film as it is a comic book film. Building off of his profound Superman origin film in Man of Steel, Zack Snyder pushes above and beyond the limits of what a comic book film can be.
Visually, Batman v Superman is simply unmatched. Zack Snyder’s vision as a director is often the highlight of his work. When combining that with the very talented Larry Fong, you see a combination that truly sets Batman v Superman apart. The color and vibrancy of the film shifts dramatically throughout the film. Whether the viewer is seeing a frightened cop’s view of Batman hanging on a ceiling, Superman standing in the middle of a Dio de Los Muertos scene, or the Trinity standing together against Doomsday, the visual spectacle of BvS stands out uniquely among other comic book films.
In terms of story, this film is very much a character study of two sides of a coin. While the title suggests an action heavy brawl between the two most iconic heroes of all time, what we end up getting is a deep dive into what makes Clark and Bruce what they are. The job of introducing a brand new Batman, continuing the growth and development of Superman & establishing Wonder Woman for her first cinematic appearance is no small task, thankfully Zack Snyder does not disappoint as all 3 fronts.
In creating an aged, veteran and broken Batman, cynical about the world and the job he has done over the last 20 years, Snyder gives Batman the right mindset that would lead him to go against Superman. After 20 years of crime fighting, losing a Robin, witnessing an alien invasion destroy half of Metropolis, Batman is put into a dark and psychological place. This redemption from darkness ends up providing Batman with his main character arc.
The flip side of this, is of course, Superman. After Man of Steel, mankind has been introduced to Superman. Zack Snyder continues to develop Superman by using him as a character study. How would the world react to a man like this? What is the moral, political, sociological impact of Superman. From Clark’s point of view, this weighs heavily on him. His arc through the film is to establish a connection with mankind. The connection that Jor-El prophesied in Man of Steel, and the one he is destinied to be.
The immigrant angle of Zack’s Superman epic between MoS & BvS deserved it’s own article of discussion and it can be found on this site.
With Superman on a path of self identity while forging a connection with humanity, and Batman on a path to redemption after years of crime fighting, the two are in a state of vulnerability that Lex Luthor perfectly exploits.
Batman v Superman does not pull any punches, each move made by Zack Snyder is one of conviction, each path the titular heroes take is one very purposely designed with the greater picture in mind. Dawn of Justice accomplishes what is set out to do. It further developed and in many ways solved two twin character developments. The development of Superman and the introduction of Batman.
Beneath the heavy political backdrop of Batman v Superman is great action, spectacle and enough DC lore to keep even the most learned fans satisfied. Further fleshing out the DCEU, introducing future heroes, teasing future villains and providing a dream fight of the Trinity standing together were all accomplished while keeping the primary plot streamlined.
Batman v Superman is one of the most powerful comic book films ever made, and I truly believe it will not only stand the test of time, it will only be respected more as time goes on.