The Programming Council hosted an early screening of Zack Snyder’s new film, Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, at Regal Cinema Fenway on the evening of March 24 for all BU students at a fee of only $5.
Excited terriers were seen swarming into the theater on Thursday evening dressed in superhero gear as some adorned elaborate and detailed cosplays, and others came in Superman themed pajamas or Batman slippers. Laughter and passionate speculation of the film echoed as terrier cards were swiped and the theatre filled up in mere minutes.
The buzz about the film seemed to center on the introduction of Wonder Woman (finally!). Everyone was on the edge of their seats anticipating the introduction of a strong female role in the male-dominated superhero genre.
When Gal Gadot finally swooped in wearing the famous Wonder Woman costume, the cheers and applause were deafening. Batman’s face was especially priceless as she saved his butt from immediate danger.
It was clear there could not have been a more perfect actress for the role. Gadot carried our beloved female superhero with grace, dignity, independence, strength and beauty.
“The background music when she comes out is brilliant. I love her!” said Hedy Yang (COM ’19).
Seeing this positive and progressive change in the superhero genre of cinema holds out hope to viewers everywhere as we now ask the question: when will Wonder Woman get an origin film of her own?
Despite the high anticipation, by the time the film ended, many felt it may not have lived up to the expectations the fast-paced trailer set.
“The movie stand-alone, without being credited for accuracy of comics, is great. It was good for an introduction to super-hero movies and bringing a new audience to exposure. But the single biggest plot hole I found was Doomsday’s origin story,” said Triston Waiss (Questrom ’19).
As Waiss mentioned, many comic book fans were disappointed by the portrayal of Doomsday. His origin is not supposed to be a resurrected body mutated with human DNA, but a being much older than Superman’s entire race, which once lived on the harsh environment of Krypton.
Alien scientist Bertron created Doomsday as a pet experiment from a fetus who would be killed over and over again. The remains of the fetus’ DNA from each fight would then be cloned making Doomsday immune to each type of death he suffered. This in turn made the creature more powerful and terrifying.
Alongside Doomsday’s poor portrayal, the film just seemed to try too hard to incorporate many different elements of the comic book universe. The trailer promised many additions to Batman and Superman’s story such as Wonder Woman, Doomsday and Lex Luthor. But this became almost too much as less time was reserved for each addition’s narrative arc.
It was clear the film attempted to cover too much in the time allotted, making the experience feel almost haphazardly thrown-together. Overall it seemed to be too fast-paced with poor editing decisions galore.
However, the casting choices and acting style was a definite shining point for the film, most noticeably Jesse Eisenberg’s performance. His completely new take on Lex Luthor seemed to pay homage to the insanity of the Joker, the most recognized comic villain in the world.
Comic book fans will recognize Luthor as being a large, wealthy, bold man with a powerful hatred of Superman, so most were surprised and keen to see Eisenberg’s unique portrayal of the villain.
Fans report that Eisenberg did not disappoint, and made the film far more powerful with Luthor’s witty humor and maniac persona.
“Personally as a comic book lover, I loved this new and refreshing take on Lex Luthor” said Waiss.
Another acting choice that did not go unnoticed was Ben Affleck’s depiction of Batman. Batman was portrayed to be far more violent than most fans were used to seeing on the screen.
In the comic universe, Batman is known for refraining from killing people—however, throughout Snyder’s movie, we see a far more merciless and vicious Batman.
Through dream sequences and action scenes he is seen using deadly force to deal with villains, which came as a shock to some viewers who know him to be a hero who draws the line at such force.
However, his fighting style did seem to be a lot more fluid than other films had depicted, making the sequences much more pleasant to the eye.
By the time the end of the movie rolled around, the BU audience was in fits of laughter. While the situation should have required tears and silence, the laughter in the room was contagious as students lost their minds at the dramatic close-ups of the fate of one of our heroes.
We can only hope Snyder meant to make his incredibly cheesy ending satirical because Amy Adams’s acting seemed far too comical to be taken seriously.
Although the film may not have been what most viewers anticipated, we have hope of seeing more origin stories from the Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg, all which seemed to be hinted at during the data collection from Lex Luthor’s files.