Thursday Night Movie Club
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
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Release Date: 25 March 2016

Director: Zack Snyder
Ben Affleck
Henry Cavill
Amy Adams
Jesse Eisenberg
Diane Lane
Laurence Fishburne
Jeremy Irons
Holly Hunter
Gal Gadot
Scoot McNairy
Callan Mulvey
Tao Okamoto
Brandon Spink
Lauren Cohan
Alan D. Purwin
Bruce Wayne/Batman
Clark Kent/Superman
Lex Luthor
Martha Kent
Perry White
Senator Finch
Diana Prince/Wonder Woman
Wallace Keefe
Anatoli Knyazev
Mercy Graves
Young Bruce Wayne
Martha Wayne
Wayne Industries Pilot #1
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice movie poster Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice movie poster Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice movie poster
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice"The Man of Steel" ended with the excessive destruction of Metropolis. Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice begins during that epic battle except this film is told from Bruce Wayne's (Ben Affleck) perspective. Wayne is frantically trying to get to Wayne Enterprises to insure that all of his employees vacate the building safely. He saves a young girl from the collapsing building. He looks on with anger. This so-called Superman is a menace who must be stopped.

One man's catastrophe is another man's business opportunity. Business mogul Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) also sees Superman as a threat. He secretly transports Kryptonite to Metropolis in order to build a bioweapon that will stop Superman.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeWayne is also tracking the shipment. The container is registered to a series of dummy companies and corporations that lead back to LexCorp. Wayne is worried by the secrecy.

In a wonderfully staged sequence, the story line becomes very complicated. LexCorp is hosting a fund raiser. This provides the perfect cover for Wayne to infiltrate LexCorp computers to discover what Luthor is planning.

Also attending the fund raiser is Daily Planet reporter Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) aka Superman. With his advanced hearing, Kent listens in on Wayne's conversations with his butler Alfred (Jeremy Irons). Kent is curious to learn what Wayne is planning.

Gal Gadot and Ben Affleck in Batman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeBefore Wayne can retrieve his thumb drive with the downloaded data, the drive is stolen by a mysterious antiquities dealer Diana Prince (Gal Gadot). Prince is after the data files for an entirely different reason than Wayne. The three adversaries all share one common element: Lex Luthor.

Luthor has two roadblocks hindering his grand scheme: Batman and Superman. He must get rid of both of them. But how? Simple, set up another epic battle between Batman and Superman. Luthor can then deal with the survivor.

First, Luthor needs to undermine Superman. Superman agrees to before a Senate committee to determine if he is a threat to all the citizens of planet Earth. Luthor detonates a bomb that kills everyone in the room except Superman. As the lone survivor, there is no one to corroborate Superman did not kill everyone. Now it is up to Batman. He is the only person who might find a way to destroy Superman.

Jesse Eisneberg as Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeLuthor is not finished. He kidnaps Clark Kent's adopted mother Martha (Diane Lane). Luthor will kill Martha unless Superman kills Batman. The battle lines are drawn. Someone must die!

Highlighting the cast is Jesse Eisenberg. Eisenberg brings many complex levels to Lex Luthor, usually at the same time. Luthor can be a practical business man while being subtly manipulative. Luthor is innocent and dangerous. He is an honest liar. He manipulates others to get them to do what he wants. Luthor is a master puppeteer pulling strings from the safety and anonymity of the shadows.

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeGal Gadot is wonderful as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman. Prince has a secret that Luthor has discovered. She needs to retrieve that information before anyone else discovers it. Prince tells Wayne that Luthor has a photo that is hers. Upon further investigation, Wayne learns that the photo is actually of Prince, in battle during World War II. How is that possible?

Gadot is both a sexy minx and a sly fox, not to mention drop-dead gorgeous. Gadot's facial expressions and gestures during the final battle are priceless. After getting slammed into a wall, she stands up with a look that says, "Is that the best you've got?" The next time, Gadot's look says, "We're having fun now!"

Ben Affleck as Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeSurprisingly, Ben Affleck is quite good as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Wayne is older, wiser, and more bitter. The appearance of Superman and his abilities have shaken Wayne to his core. He now faces an adversary who cannot be stopped. Batman's gadgets are useless against Superman.

Wayne's fixation and frustration with Superman have carried over into his Batman persona. Batman becomes even more ruthless and dangerous. Batman doesn't just go after bad guys, he terrorizes them. Defeating Superman becomes so crippling to Wayne that he ignores everything else. As Wayne Manor crumbles, so does Bruce Wayne himself.

Henry Cavill as Superman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeHenry Cavill is OK as Clark Kent/Superman. There really isn't much that Cavill can bring to a character who cannot be defeated. Superman has one weakness: Kryptonite. So, every Superman film has to have Kryptonite pop up somewhere just so the audience can feel some sympathy for him.

Actually, Superman has another more debilitating weakness, his compassion for humanity. Luthor has put Superman in a no-win situation. Kill Batman and save his adopted Earth-mother Martha (Diane Lane). With all his super powers, Superman cannot be in two places at the same time. When it comes to a head, Superman has no choice but to trust Batman.

In the fantastic turning point in the film, Batman is about to spear Superman with a rod made of Kryptonite. Superman pleads for Batman to save Martha. Martha who? What is Superman babbling about? As it happens, Martha is also the name of Bruce Wayne's mother! Batman is stunned. It never dawned on him that Superman has a mother too!

In one simple exchange between the two, everything becomes clear to both men. Superman asks Batman, "Can you save Martha?" Batman's response is direct and to the point. "It's what I do."

Batman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeKeep an open mind while watching Batman vs. Superman. Do not compare Ben Affleck with Christian Bale. This is a different Bruce Wayne and a different Batman. Like the Marvel Universe, Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice is the first, or maybe second, in a growing DC comic world. Do not prejudge this film. Enjoy the film for what it is.

Note: In my humble opinion, I hope they tie in the actors and characters from the TV shows "Arrow" and "The Flash" into the DC movie franchise. It would be a shame to ignore what they have achieved and reinvent the characters and story lines for the big screen.