Tag Archives: Jesse Eisenberg

Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice

Batman_v_Superman_poster

Since Zack Snyder’s latest foray into the DC universe was released the real battle has been the critics vs the audience, with critics slamming the movie but audiences rushing in their droves to see DC’s biggest heroes clash. With record breaking box office numbers in its first week Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice has been a hit so far but will it be a misfire for me?

Two years after Superman (Henry Cavill) saved the world from Zod and the world is still trying to decide how to view Superman. Is he like a benevolent hero like his girfriend Lois Lane (Amy Adams) believes or someone who could destroy us all in an instance if he so pleases? Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) believes it’s the latter leading to an almighty smackdown between the two. But who will end up victorious?

I hate to be jumping on to the negative bandwagon but for the majority of the movie I was completely bored. It doesn’t help that the movie is so long at 151 minutes and takes forever to get to the part audiences really want to see which is the fight between Batman and Superman. Before this we’re exposed to numerous sub plots and characters that dragged the story down.

One of my main complaints about this movie is that its so dour and serious. Granted Man of Steel was hardly a laugh a minute but up until the last third I was really engaged in that movie and the plot. In reverse Dawn of Justice only really starts to soar in its last third when our heroes finally battle it out. The film is so concerned with being grounded and gritty it forgets to also inject some warmth and humor. Ok it doesn’t need to be a comedy but the movie feels so joyless at times it becomes an effort to watch. The film’s muted colours also fails to make the film visually engaging.

Despite his casting causing much controversy I didn’t have a problem with Ben Affleck’s Batman although he is perhaps more convincing as the Playboy Bruce Wayne than Batsman himself. The writing for Batman also makes him come across as a jerk rather than someone with a genuine concern for the safety of the world. Cavill is still great as Superman although it’s strange that the character seems so reluctant to publicly defend himself against the  naysayers. Dawn of Justice also marks the big screen début of Wonder Woman and Gal Gadot makes an impressive introduction in her small role. The scene of the three heroes fighting together against their for is a highlight and maybe holds some hope for Justice League movie, as does the small glimpses of future DC superheroes.

Unfortunately Jesse Elsenberg’s Led Luthor is a misfire. I could see what the filmmakers were trying to do updating Luthor into a Mark Zuckerberg type figure. However Elsenberg’s manic, melodramatic performance sticks out amongst everything else and not in a good way. He just becomes an irritating villain and the reveal that his hatred against Superman stems from his daddy issues is a disappointing motive for such an iconic baddie.

A disappointing entry into DC’s Extended Universe but there is some hope that they can turn it around in time for the Justice League movie.

Rating 2.5/5 – for a while it’s longand boring  but with a ray of hope in the climatic final stretch

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Now You See Me

I was hugely anticipating this film. Magicians using their skills to pull of crimes. It’s a great idea. But does it live up to my expectations?

Now You See Me is a crime caper following a group of magicians called The Four Horsemen who use their stage show to rob a bank. They come to the attention of FBI and Interpol who start investigating them and asking how four street performers could suddenly have the money and knowledge to commit these crimes. Is there a fifth Horseman pulling the stings?

The best part of this film is  The Four Horsemen themselves, street magician J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), escape artist and Atlas’ former assistant Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher), new magician Jack Wilder (Dave Franco), and mentalist Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson). The film starts off great as we are introduced to these characters, seeing their respective skills and them being brought  together to eventually perform in Vegas.

However overall Now You See Me is a mixed bag of tricks. Director Louis Leterrier has collected a great cast but fails to really use them effectively. The Four Horsemen are an intriguing bunch, unfortunately they get sidetracked in the film so we can follow Mark Ruffalo’s grumpy FBI agent Dylan Rhodes and Interpol detective Alma Dray (Melanie Laurent).  In supporting roles Michael Caine (as the Horsemen’s Vegas investor Arthur Tressler), and Morgan Freeman (as Thaddeus Bradley an ex magician who now reveals the secrets behind the magic) are reliably good as always but they don’t seem to have much to sink their teeth into.

The film starts off strong and The Horsemen’s tricks are involving but they do seem to get bigger and ridiculous as the film goes along, which goes for the film in general. Also a lot of their magic acts are spoiled in the trailers.

The film’s main problem is with the ending.  When you watch a magic trick you want to be blown away  by the performance wondering how the hell they did that and then be amazed by how simple and clever the revelation is about how it was all done. Here the film’s revelations just seem a bit ridiculous and relying a lot on blind luck.

It would have been a much more interesting film if we had been following The Four Horsemen as they perform their tricks while they wonder who they are actually working for. Considering the trailers seem to show the Four Horsemen as the main protagonists it’s a shame they are missing for great chunks of the film. Harrelson, Fisher, Franco and Eisenberg work well together bouncing off each other and light up the screen when they are performing their acts. There are hints at back stories for some of them but not enough for my liking. There is also a great fight scene involving Franco’s Jack, whose uses weapons such as card tricks and sleight of hand to evade capture of two FBI officers.

Perhaps it will be improved on repeated viewings and things might make more sense when you can go through and see how everything was done. However it’s not as good as films such as Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige (which  also starring Michael Caine).

Ratting  3/5

There was potentially a great film about these Four Horsemen but unfortunately this is only an  entertaining but average  one.

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