Jeremy Irons

REVIEW: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

batman v supermanBatman (Ben Affleck) vows to take on Superman (Henry Cavil) when he fears that if the alien’s actions remain unchecked, it could mean even more pain and destruction for humanity. Meanwhile Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) is using Kryptonian technology to fuel his own ambitions and the world tries to decide what sort of hero they want and need.

This is Ben Affleck’s first outing as Bruce Wayne/Batman and he is brilliant in both roles. He is an older Bruce Wayne who has been the Batman for twenty years so he’s seen some stuff and is a bit world-weary and cynical. His relationship with Alfred (Jeremy Irons) is great and Alfred in general offers some great lines and the film shows how well Alfred and Bruce work together. All the Batman-related stuff is definitely a highlight of the film.

When Batman and Superman fight, it is brutal and it’s kind of great to watch. These are two of the biggest superheroes out there so to watch them duke it out is a sight to behold. Also when Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) finally makes her appearance it is an amazing “hero” moment and the soundtrack that starts when she appears is my new favourite piece of music.

The main problem with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is that there are a lot of characters with their own agendas so there are a lot of plot threads that don’t always seem vital or complete. Bruce Wayne has his own agenda, Lex Luthor has his own agenda and so does Wonder Woman, Clark Kent and even Lois Lane (Amy Adams). All these things are there and some of them are interesting but they just don’t really tie together that well. All these threads mean that the film feels really disjointed and the pacing isn’t that great a lot of the time, the first hour chunk especially is trying to set up so much stuff that it feels a bit bogged down and slow.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is the launching pad for the DC Cinematic Universe and while it does a good job setting up some characters like Batman and Wonder Woman, sometimes it feels like it’s too much of a set up and there’s a moment where the film seems to pause to show off some characters that we’re very likely to see in future films. Batman v Superman feels like it’s trying to be too many things. As well as being a starting point for a new franchise, it feels like a gritty action film and a political thriller with the courtroom drama stuff. It feels like there’s too many ideas gone into Batman v Superman and not all of them worked or fitted together cohesively.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is an alright film, there’s some great moments that really pull you in but on the whole there’s too much going on and the pacing of it isn’t so great. 3/5.

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REVIEW: Margin Call (2011)

_1315510535Analyst Peter Sullivan (Zachary Quinto) discovers discrepancies in his company’s financial projections and realises that things are going to turn very bad, very quickly. Peter, with the help of his friend and colleague Seth Bregman (Penn Badgley) informs Will Emerson (Paul Bettany), an experienced market trader, and together they slowly move up the hierarchy of the bank during one night, trying to explain to the bosses what’s going to happen and if there’s actually any way to stop it.

For such a stuffy and possibly boring subject, Margin Call is gripping and that is down to a great script and brilliant acting. Jeremy Irons is the CEO who just wants his company to survive no matter the consequences while Kevin Spacey is the head trader who wants to be honest but is stuck in the business. Considering Margin Call is less than two hours long and the fact it’s set across one night, you get to grips with the characters pretty well by the end of the film.

Margin Call also manages to offer some humanity to those who caused or were a part of the financial crisis of 2008. In the media they are just “the Banks” and you forget that honest people who were just doing their jobs were a part of the businesses that made a mess for everyone. It really is a credit to the script and the cast that each actor is allowed their moment to shine.

Considering Margin Call is about the financial crisis, a topic that could be dense and boring, Margin Call is gripping, interesting and has some great performances. 5/5.