With Metropolis in ruins, Bruce Wayne wonders if leaving Superman to his own devices will result in eventual chaos as the world worships their God-like hero. Forces in the American government led by Senator Finch decide Superman should be made to answer for the destruction he brought upon the Earth. Meanwhile, Wayne discovers an old photograph of a mysterious woman who has apparently not aged in over 100 years. A young Lex Luthor emerges as a new threat to the innocent when he commandeers General Zod’s wrecked ship and creates a horrific monster using his own DNA. Batman and Superman must set aside their differences as they join with new ally Wonder Woman to save humanity from certain doom.
2016, Color, Rated PG-13, 2 Hrs 31 mins
Extended Edition Rated R, 3 Hrs 2 mins
Dolby Atmos, TrueHD 7.1, 2.40:1 Aspect Ratio
Starring: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams
Directed by Zack Snyder
Sex: Brief sensuality
It may be time for fans of the super-hero genre to face the music. Hollywood’s comic book adventures are getting a little tired. Marvel has been cranking out summer blockbusters for so many years now it’s hard to remember when there wasn’t some new Avenger film playing in the cinema. DC Comics has been an also-ran for years though Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies are a shining star.
The franchise has enjoyed something of a renaissance with 2013’s Man of Steel and this latest installment is a logical sequel to that film. Unfortunately the story, which is quite thin, meanders for nearly two hours before we get to the final battle sequence. There is plenty of action leading up to that point but plot-wise, it falls short of being truly engaging. Fans of on-screen mayhem won’t be disappointed by any stretch. The CGI sequences are truly state-of-the-art.
I enjoyed Henry Cavill’s portrayal of Superman in the first film and he pulls off a respectable performance here as well. Ben Affleck on the other hand simply comes across as angry and bitter. Honestly he doesn’t do the character any favors and neither does the script which paints him in a very poor light. A lot of perfectly good buildings are destroyed before he comes to his senses. The bright spot here is Jesse Eisenberg who delivers an almost Heath Ledger-like performance as Lex Luthor. Oh, if only he had better material to work with, he might also earn an Oscar nomination. I am looking forward to his return in later films.
All in all it’s entertaining if a bit too long and the end is satisfying with an appropriate cliffhanger. As a home theater demo it’s full of great scenes that will show off both your display and your sound system. In fact I’d call this Blu-ray more of a theme park ride than anything else. It has its moments to be sure but Hollywood might be reaching critical mass with the superhero genre. We’ll see what the future holds.
I liked the gritty and organic look of Dawn of Justice but there were a few too many instances of crushed shadow detail to call the image reference quality. Color is rendered in the same cold muted tones we saw in Man of Steel which means you won’t see much that’s vivid or dynamic. Detail is sharp and there is plenty of contrast, especially in brighter scenes.
Audio is by far the best part of this release. The soundtrack is truly visceral and if you have a big sub, it will shake your house, guaranteed. I thought my room was free of loose objects but this film exposed a few rattles I hadn’t heard before. Bass is used liberally, not just as an effect but in the music and dialog as well. There was a quality to it I have rarely heard before.
Dolby Atmos is included here but those like me who still run a traditional 5.1 system will benefit. Effects take place all around the viewer and I heard sound coming from above as well behind. Early in the film, a young Bruce Wayne falls into a pit full of bats. Cue that up to demo your new surround system. It’s sensational!
Bonus features total over two hours and include behind-the-scenes documentaries, information about the future of the franchise, a short on the new Batmobile and a look at the new Wonder Woman character. My package also included an extended edition of the film that adds over 30 minutes of footage.