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Afflect dominates ‘Dawn of Justice’

By Alexander Tong

Batman and Superman face off in "Dawn of Justice." Photo courtesy of
Batman and Superman face off in “Dawn of Justice.”
Photo courtesy of

Announced back in June 2013, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” is without a doubt the most hyped and heated movie of 2016. Predicted to destroy the current box office record currently held by “Deadpool,” this long awaited sequel has had people buying their tickets weeks before its release.

This movie follows the destructive and growing conflict amongst the biggest names in the DC Universe, which include Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Alexander Joseph “Lex” Luthor Jr. and Doomsday.

Gotham City’s Batman (Ben Affleck) periodically clashes with Metropolis’s Superman (Henry Cavill). Fighting over the protection of the human race and safety of Earth, Batman arms himself to the teeth with his sharp detective skills, martial arts and enormous armory in fear of the potential threat that Superman poses. After witnessing the city wide havoc in Metropolis in the most recent Superman movie, Batman worries that it is plausible for the same events to happen in Gotham, and as Gotham’s main protector, Batman does everything he can to prevent the potential apocalypse.

While only using Batman as his alter ego, Bruce Wayne manages to maintain his billionaire- playboy- philanthropist image to the public. In contrast to Batman’s true identity, Superman’s alter ego is Clark Kent, a simple farm boy from Smallville and a journalist for Metropolis’ Daily Planet.

Opening with a flash back to the murder of Batman’s parents Martha (Lauren Cohan) and Thomas Wayne (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), the story then follows Batman and his presence in Gotham City as he takes down and brands the criminals of the underworld. In addition, the movie opens with Batman’s loyal and infamous handler, Alfred Pennyworth (Jeremy Irons).

After the crisis introduced in 2013’s “Man of Steel,” “Batman v. Superman” follows the resulting chaos that Superman and General Zod (Michael Shannon) created during their Metropolis brawl. Because of all the destruction and complete devastation left over, Batman fears for his species and shifts all of his focus to defeating Superman. Stealing an abundant supply of Kryptonite from his competitor, Lex Luthor, Batman forges an armory of Kryptonian weapons, like his Kryptonite-laced spear and Kryptonite gas bombs.

But Batman is not the only one who fears Superman. The government also takes steps to keep the Kryptonian in check. Senator Finch (Holly Hunter) is one of these acting members on this committee and plays a significant role in the downfall of the DC universe heroes. But after a bomb kills Senator Finch at the capital, the only one left to stop Superman is Batman.

The two titans duke it out on an abandoned hotel in Gotham. However, a plot twist causes Superman to pause, and Batman is left to do most of the super-hero work himself.

Not to be overlooked is the other villain in the film, Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg). Although not the original Lex Luthor most fans thought he was, this adaptation of the iconic villain is actually Lex Luthor Jr, the son. In hopes of making a more modern Luthor, the new Luthor wears jeans, sneakers and t-shirt to work, and gives off a Silicon Valley vibe.

Also forged by his father’s riches and achievements, Luthor instead uses money and connections for evil. One of his most prominent evils is the creation of Doomsday, the other main villain in the film.

In contrast to  Batman’s true identity, Superman’s alter ego is Clark Kent, a simple farm boy from Smallville and a journalist for Metropolis’ Daily Planet.

Bringing back major characters from the previous DC Comic’s movie, “Man of Steel,” this film also introduces brand new characters. Iconic heroes such as Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Cyborg (Ray Fisher), Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and the Flash (Ezra Miller) are all set to play major roles in this film as well as future ones to come like DC’s next big movie in 2017, “Justice League: Part One.”

Without a doubt one of the best parts of the film is Ben Affleck’s performance.  He delivers the Batman that DC fans craved from the beginning: a deeper, scarier and more ruthless Batman. Especially after Christian Bale’s portrayal of Batman in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Trilogy,” Affleck exceeds fans’ expectations and sets an even higher bar for future Batmans to come. He is by all means the best Batman of the century. Not only does he perfectly suit Batman’s dark and edgy image, but he also fits his alter ego, Bruce Wayne.

In the comics, movies, and TV shows, Bruce Wayne is seen as a charming and seductive playboy. With his manly physique and soothing, yet raspy, voice, Affleck fits the Wayne mold.

But unlike past DC films, this movie focuses on DC’s expanded universe, giving the audience the most authentic feeling. Bringing in elements from the viewer’s favorite  comics, such as “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns” and  “Justice League #2,” this movie prides itself on being as canon as possible. These works all connect to each other in one way or another and, as a result, allow DC directors and producers to make crossovers between films.

Director Zack Snyder has already set up this movie for future crossovers, implementing several easter eggs throughout the film. One of the most noteworthy hints is the Flash’s appearance in Wayne’s dream. As Wayne decrypts Luthor’s files, he has a vivid dream of apocalypse on Earth, where Superman uses his powers to rule over the humans. He becomes a god. In this dream, a giant Omega is engraved in the Earth. This is the mark of Darkseid, a major villain in the DC universe who is the arch nemesis of the Justice League.

With the next DC film, “Suicide Squad,” set to come out in August and featuring even more stars like Margot Robbie, Jared Leto and Will Smith, the DC universe is looking very bright.

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