Saturday, March 26, 2016

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - What the?

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) Starring: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter, Gal Gadot Directed by Zack Snyder. Screenplay by Chris Terrio David S. Goyer. Based on Characters published by DC Comics Produced by Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder. Color. USA. 151 minutes. Action, Fantasy.

Sometimes you go to movies because you want to keep up. In that case, you hope for the best as you settle into your theater seat with your overpriced bag of popcorn and your overpriced drink. But nothing can prepare you for the disappointment that is Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Overlong, it clocks in at just over two and a half hours; slow, you will find yourself looking at your watch fairly often and the biggest sin of all, disappointing on so many levels when it comes to story and character. Like bad porn, the film has no social redeeming qualities. While I don't want to go too much into the plot, I wasn't too far off when I speculated in my review of Superman/Batman: Apocalypse; in this case substitute Darkseid with a CGI Doomsday.

In the best of worlds, you should leave a superhero film, especially one trying to launch a franchise, in this case, the DC Extended Universe, feeling upbeat and wanting more. This is not the case with Batman v Superman, which leaves the viewer feeling that the time they've spent has been a colossal waste.

This is one of those films that stupid determination drives forward. Even though everything else in the film tells you it's the wrong thing to do. It is clear to everyone that Superman (Henry Cavill) is not the right target for his anger, but Batman (Ben Affleck,) does not and he proceeds with a dogged determination that is not admirable.

Batman (Ben Affleck) is wrong when he decides Superman
(Henry Cavill) is a villain, but he can't see it.

Worse yet, the villain of the piece, Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg), comes off as an annoying millennial who never gets the comeuppance he so badly deserves. Again he is an all-knowing psychopath like the Joker from Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight (2008). And like those trilogy of films and Man of Steel (2013), this film is also dark, overly so.

Lex Luthor is as annoying as he is evil, if not more so.

Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) almost feels like an add-on for the sake of launching her own film, which will also be directed by Patty Jenkins, coming in 2017. Her introduction is almost welcomed relief, but she comes in too late to save the film.

More Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) might have helped.

Batman v Superman is chock full of conveniences that it would otherwise fail without. Not only are Gotham City and Metropolis both in the film, but they are conveniently close together, only separated by a river. (Makes you wonder where Superman was when Gotham was being occupied in The Dark Knight Rises (2012)). Alfred (Jeremy Irons) is no longer merely a clever butler, but more of a sidekick skilled with whatever talent is necessary at the moment. The fact that this Batman does not gel well with Nolan's trilogy and seems more in line with the pigheaded sadistic version Frank Miller conceived should say bad things are afoot.

Convoluted and boring are not a good combination for any media and are certainly not here. If you're nothing more than a casual viewer of DC Superhero films, then go see this at a matinee if you insist on going; save your money for hopefully better films to come.

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