Batman and Superman are two of the best known names in the superhero genre. From comic books, radio serials, television shows and movies you probably are aware of these two DC Comic legends even if you have no idea who is President of the United States.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is the long-awaited kick-off to a story arc of the Justice League – DC’s answer to the Marvel Avengers. We bought tickets before the ink on the first reviews was dry and saw one of the first showings in IMAX at Marbles in Downtown Raleigh. With Rotten Tomatoes holding a critic review of 29% we went in expecting the worst. Fortunately I was more than pleasantly surprised and while I won’t post any spoilers this early in the game I will say the movie did a good job creating a foundation for what I hope is many movies to come.

Without giving anything away – Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) made the movie. You want to like him and hate him at the same time. This is the ruthless Lex Luthor that wants to see the world burn and maybe just for fun. His motivation isn’t clear but he creates maybe the best version of the character I’ve seen. Gene Hackman (the previous Lex Luthor standard) doesn’t come close. With any luck he will be a recurring problem for our heroes across all the future movies.

Ben Affleck in the role of Bruce Wayne is very believable and the shift in personality from good guy with a code to good guy without boundaries reflects the journey we’ve seen in the previous Batman movies (Batman Begins/The Dark Knight/The Dark Knight Rises). As a replacement for Christian Bale’s Batman Affleck was not a distraction but the when the man is behind the mask he rarely is.

Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) was a pleasant surprise but unfortunately didn’t quite make me miss Linda Carter. I like the character but didn’t care for the accent. She was a good element to the movie and maybe will improve as her role expands.

Superman is Superman. A character that has little character development and is completely invulnerable has to be hard to write and even harder to act. I think this version of him might be the most realistic and shows a very human side without spinning the world around backwards.

Overall? Definitely worth seeing despite the overly critical reviews. I thought this was not only a good launching point for the Justice League but a solid standalone story. Yes it is dark and yes it shows superheroes reflecting real human emotions. They aren’t perfect and the story would be less if they were.

Spoiler alert – CaraDMc’s favorite part of the movie was a cameo by Neil deGrasse Tyson. In a movie dedicated to fake superheroes it is kinda cool to have a real one show up.

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