Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice Review (no spoilers)

Batman played Ben Affleck Superman played Henry Cavill  Wonder Woman played Gal Gadot

Batman played Ben Affleck
Superman played Henry Cavill
Wonder Woman played Gal Gadot

Good Movie but Could be Greater

The last Superman movie, Man of Steel, divided many fans and critics. People were instantly excited when Warner Bros and Zack Synder announced at 2013 Comic Con that Batman would be in the next Superman movie. Batman V. Superman has a 31% on Rotten Tomatoes from the critics. However, fans have said screwed the critics and either really enjoyed or liked the movie. The fans have one more joining their opinion on Batman V. Superman. Batman v. Superman is a good movie but could be better movie.

Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) is a witness to Superman’s (Henry Cavil) and General Zod’s epic battle that destroys most of Metropolis. The battle and destruction of Wayne Tower leaves Bruce scarred and full of vengeful rage towards Superman. 18 months later, the question still remains “Is Superman a trustworthy force of good” in the world.  The Senate debates the question while Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) is secretly manipulating behind the scenes of politics and using other methods to destroy Superman. His actions eventually lead to a giant conflict between Superman and Batman. However, there is an enemy lurking in the wings and an ally waiting to revealed for Batman and Superman have yet to discover.

Lets start with the bad first. No, it’s not Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne or Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. The worst part of the film is poorly edited first hour of the movie which tries to add subplots in the movie. The scenes are choppy and jump to quickly to another scene involving a different subplot. One scene particular is Bruce Wayne and  Alfred (Jeremy Irons) discussing attending Lex Luthor’s party to obtain Luthor’s knowledge about how to deal with Superman. The scene has maybe 5 lines of dialogue between them, and doesn’t give the audience a chance to emotional connection to the pair like in previous Batman movies.  The scene shown in the trailers when Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent banter with each other about the role of Batman and Superman is interrupted to soon.  After the dialogue, there is no tension because Lex Luthor immediately steps in and breaks up what could be an epic stair down. My final complaint about the movie is how Lois Lane (Amy Adams) is the problem solver in every mystery in the movie. Even though she is a journalist, Lois is overused and not allowing the other characters to solve problems themselves. However, the good outweighs the bad.

Bruce Wayne (Aflleck) confronting Diana Prince (Gadot)

Bruce Wayne (Aflleck) confronting Diana Prince (Gadot)

Batman V. Superman has many positives. For one, the portrayal of Lex Luthor by Jesse Eisenberg is perfect. Luthor is a devious sociopath that is obsessed with one thing, to destroy Superman at any cost. Eisenberg brings a lot of cockiness and intelligence to Luthor and probably is the best version of Lex Luthor in film history. Secondly,  Ben Affleck is a great Batman. He has the rage and vengefulness that drives Batman. He is brutal but doesn’t cross a line. Affleck’s Bruce Wayne is decent but not the best ever.  The acting overall is tremendous. Third, the plot is not that bad. Even though the first hour is very choppy, the plot of the movie is enjoyable. The character movitations are clear maybe besides Superman wanting to take down Batman.  Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) teaming up with the pair is a great scene in the movie and advances the plot too. That’s not fully explained but the plot has quite a few twists. The twists allowed the cameos leaving the audience wanting Justice League sooner. Although, those cameos could have been handled better.  Finally, the action in the movie is completely enjoyable. The action scenes make this movie really enjoyable than Man of Steel. The action wasn’t over the top which allowed the audience really keep focus on the plot.  The strong acting made the action allowed the audience to become emotionally invested.

Overall, the weak first hour of the movie of shortchanging scenes and the overuse of Lois Lane as plot point drags Batman V. Superman down. However, Eisenberg made a strong villian, and Affleck was a exceptional Batman.  The action was great and the plot was still good eventhough it was shortchanged.  Batman v. Superman gets a 3.5 out 5.

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Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (Review)

mission-impossible-rogue-nation plane

The Best Mission Impossible Yet!

Most film franchises crash into a brick wall by their fifth film such as Star Wars (Attack of the Clones), Rocky (Rocky V), Planet of the Apes (Battle of the Planet of the Apes), and etc.  Mission Impossible has taken a different route. Every Mission Impossible film is better than the previous.  Rogue Nation is the best Mission Impossible film yet. It’s success goes the director (Christopher McQuarrie), writer (Drew Pearce), and the cast that includes: Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Jeremy Renner, Alec Baldwin, and Sean Harris.

Ethan Hunt (Cruise), Benji Dunn (Pegg), Luther Strickell (Rhames), and William Brandt (Renner) are trying to prevent terrorists from stealing biochemical weapons that could wipe out an entire city. Hunt boards the terrorist’s getaway plane while its taking off and successfully steals the weapons. Brandt is attending a close door Senate hearing about previous incidents IMF’s (Impossible Missions Force) has caused over the last decade . CIA Director, Alan Hunley (Baldwin), wants to shut down the IMF and allow the CIA to control its operations. Meanwhile, Ethan is in London getting his next assignment when he is ambushed by the leader of the Syndicate, Solomon Lane (Harris).  Lane wants to torture Hunt to the point where he will work for the Syndicate. Ethan escapes with the help of Ilsa Faust (Ferguson) and calls Brandt to inform that the Syndicate is real. Brandt informs Ethan that the entire IMF has been discontinued, and Ethan should turn himself in.  Ethan goes on the run and searches for the Syndicate and their leader while avoiding the IMF.

The only negative about Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is nothing. Honestly nothing comes to mind about Rogue Nation that detracted from the film. The pacing was great. McQuarrie knew that he needed help while writing the film. He has a good eye to direct action scenes and is a good story teller. He asked Paramount to bring in Drew Pearce to help mold the story, the character arcs, and sure up his original screenplay to make the best movie possible. Their collaboration was a success because every character had their spotlight of delivering a punchline or doing something humorous. There wasn’t a lot exposition that had to be explain through dialogue. Rogue Nation was a fast paced film and film starts out with a bang.

The action sequences are fantastic. There are about five major action sequences in the film. Ethan boarding the plane is the opening action sequence. The best action sequence might be the car chase through Casablanca in Morocco. Personality, I don’t think that I have seen a better car chase on screen since I have started watching movies as a young kid. Tom Cruise does all of his own stunts as does the rest of the cast. He is holding onto the side of the plane while it takes off, underwater and has to hold his breath for  two plus minutes, or performing that car chase with Simon Pegg in the passenger seat. He does all of the hand to hand combat too. The man loves his fans and will do anything to entertain them. The overall cast really shine in this movie but Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, and Sean Harris stand out.

Rebecca Ferguson nails the female lead

Rebecca Ferguson nails the female lead

Rebecca Ferguson and Simon Pegg might have stole the show. Ferguson plays a powerhouse as an assassin. She has sex appeal, charm, but like a black widow spider is deadly when she attacks. She did her own stunt and had several impressive hand to hand combat scenes.  Simon Pegg kills it and the person who goes to see the movies with me said “Simon Pegg stole the show.”  He adds so much humor his role of Benji. Benji is really the heart of the movie. Pegg is very pivotal to the plot.  The rest of the cast kills their parts. Sean Harris really plays a good villain. He is a multidimensional character.  The audience learns his motivations and is very deadly. The rest of the cast really nail their parts and even Alec Baldwin, who can be a melodramatic, killed that ignorant boss who eventually sees your point of view. Cruise does a have Point of View shot in the film and it was completely different from the other four movies.

Overall, Rogue Nation is one of the year’s best films. It is the best blockbuster of the summer. Rogue Nation gets a 4.8 out of 5.