Not the sequel to Man of Steel (2013) but according to director Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen), the outright launch of the DC Cinematic Universe (DCU) with the first appearance of Batman (Ben Affleck), Superman (Henry Cavill) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) together in the same movie. Key question is whether the movie itself can justify the slew of DCU films coming up in the pipeline, and in particular, Justice League (2017).
In the eyes of Zack Snyder, superhero drama is epic mythology, meant to be presented in bold & broad brush strokes. Thus, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is not unlike a Wagnerian opera – there is triumph and tragedy, all on a grand scale. In contrast to Marvel’s lighthearted touch, the DCU is dark, gritty and unforgiving where the heroes have to dig deep within themselves to overcome demons and ultimately hold out for the light. There is a cost to fighting for what is right and good. Powerful themes that ran through the duration of the film with emotional resonance.
What surprised me were the hints of the larger universe and the movies to come (without the need for post-credits scenes, thankfully), setting the stage perfectly for Wonder Woman and Justice League. The performances were all spot-on, everything looked amazing on IMAX 3D and even composer Hans Zimmer outdid his Dark Knight work with an enthralling score.
One of the finest superhero films ever. DC Films has thrown down the gauntlet, proving to Marvel Studios that they have what it takes and now it’s time for Captain America: Civil War to rise up to the challenge.
In the cinemas NOW!