Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Gal Gadot, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Lawrence Fishburne, Holly Hunter, Scoot McNairy, Callan Mulvay, Tao Okamoto | Screenwriters: Chris Terrio & David S.Goyer | Director: Zack Snyder
After letting the obscenely long 151 minute superhero tirade settle in my brain, it reminded me of a time when I was a wee child and wanted to impress my parents by making them breakfast in bed. Even though I was barely taller than the stove, I tried my best to make eggs and toast for them. Sure, a bit of shell fell in with the yolk; I may have over seasoned it and the toast was more black than brown… but it was still edible. When I entered their bedroom with a sloppy heap of food on two plates, they feasted on my culinary creativity in appreciation of my efforts. Not to mention they were very thankful I somehow didn’t burn the house down to its foundation.
Basically what I’m trying to tell you is Batman v Superman is crunchy scrambled eggs, but you will eat up every morsel with a smile on your face.
When BvS hits the action, it really kicks. Unfortunately, reaching those good parts is a harrowing journey. You’ll have to endure a plodding, indecipherable, unbelievable storyline rife with some of the most disjointed editing seen in film. I hope you like your slow-motion flashbacks mashed up with dream sequences because you’ll be seeing them A LOT. I swear Zack Snyder streamed a half dozen of DC’s excellent animated films, picked what he thought was cool from them, took two scenes straight from The Dark Knight Returns, skimmed through Flashpoint, 52, Injustice and The Death of Superman then thought “This movie will film itself!”
HOW. I. WISH.
Although writers Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer did their best to weave clever themes about the influence of media and the love of family in BvS, it only slowed down an already lethargic movie to a murmur. Although there wasn’t much of a plot in the first place. Everyone is there to see Big Blue and the Dark Knight duke it out. Simple as that. Before we get to the good parts, you must watch an entire hour of supporting cast rambling about why Superman is great (without him doing much of anything) and still witness Snyder attempt to make Lois Lane relevant in this series.
Let’s not even mention Henry Cavill. If he didn’t look the part, he wouldn’t have been cast. There is nothing charismatic about Kal or Clark in the slightest. In fact, Kent begins to believe he is the only one who can save the world (after he nearly destroyed it) and he doesn’t have to answer to anyone. Wow. Who is this guy? No wonder everybody is looking for kryptonite.
While Superman was pretty much doing the same ol’ same ol’, the most intriguing scenes in BvS all featured the latest iteration of Batman. From what can be gathered in the film, this version of the Dark Knight has been creeping around the docks of Gotham for close to 15 years and has a prolific history with crime gangs, as well as the cops. The Bat is more vicious creature than man as he literally skulks in shadows and climbs walls to avoid gunfire. The victims he saves cower in fear while he tortures the criminals. The most damning aspect of Affleck’s Batman is his casual use of lethal force. If a perp shoots at him, he won’t hesitate to shoot back. Purists will likely lose their ever-loving minds seeing their hero calmly dispatch entire SUVS of bad guys. Crazy thing is, his questionable methods are more acceptable because Bats is actually getting things done. Unlike Superman, who hovers for half the movie.
Audiences can only hope this is all part of a bigger plan like it was for Kal during his final moments with Zod. Obviously the loss of Robin – whose graffitied suit has been seen since the first trailer – was the breaking point in Wayne’s crime fighting career. At no time during the film is he given a redemption arc; Bruce hasn’t given up on Gotham, but he isn’t exactly hopeful for the future. He is who he is, willing and more than able to save what little good is left in his city, by any means necessary.
Without question, the one character who will likely draw the most ire from fans will be Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Lex Luthor. A master manipulator renown for his genius, Luthor could hold the world in the palm of his hand and give the callow masses what they believe they need. Anyway, you know the story after 80 years: Lex is always this close to attaining power but “the alien” always gets in his way. That simple rivalry remains, yet Eisenberg’s decision to play Luthor as an emotionally frayed man-child on the edge of a meltdown could leave a bitter taste in your mouth. From his mannerisms to his body language and facial ticks, and the inflection in his voice, Lex doesn’t come off as a man of intellectual fortitude and cold calculation.
It’s Jesse Eisenberg reprising Mark Zuckerberg addicted to Adderall.
It wouldn’t be such a mind numbing hassle if Luthor wasn’t so essential to the prevailing storyline. While Synder is obviously forging his undeniably unique take on the pantheon of heroes and their greatest rogues, he skewed things so clumsily in his delivery, it’s difficult to know if BvS was viewed before its red carpet premiere. OK, so Lex hates Superman. Got it. Then Luthor attempts to set Kal up by using tech Superman wouldn’t use (because he has god-like powers) yet everyone believes it anyway? Oh, and Superman hates Batman because he’s actually kicking ass. Sure, makes sense.
Without going into further detail about the film, there are a handful of scenes that’ll make you absolutely giddy about the future of the DC cinematic universe. Gal Gadot’s introduction as Diana Prince was the shining jewel among the pile of ruins. Jeremy Irons was also a very splendid Alfred; sadly he was in far too few scenes involving the Wayne property. Also, if you’re one of the fans who enjoyed the destruction porn that was the final battle in Man of Steel, well guess what? They doubled down and destroy not one, but TWO more locations! You’re welcome!
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of justice
Batman v Superman could have been so much more, but it’s acceptable mainly because of Wonder Woman cinematic introduction (FINALLY!). Warner Bros/DC still have a lot of work to do in creating a film universe that’s thoroughly entertaining. Relying on ultra-stylized action and costume design is not going to cut it with these characters. At this point, the studio has to be more deliberate in the progression of the Justice League series or it will easily unravel into a failure of catastrophic proportions.