Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
My Rating: [usr 1.5]
Fuck you Zack Snyder. This man is a fraud ladies and gentlemen. Snyder, the one trick pony, once again disappoints with the latest in the DC “Extended Universe”: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It’s all dread and zero adventure, a lot of madness that produces very little in the way of pleasure.
This film has absolutely zero joy at all in it. Now the DC fanboys love to defend that by saying “you don’t need joy in comic book movies, this is meant to be serious. What’s a matter can’t handle a serious movie?” No virgins, I can handle a “serious” movie. What I can’t handle is a comic book movie made without any sense of joy, amusement, bliss, charm, cheer, humor, liveliness, and jubilance. Schindler’s List had more of a sense of humor than Batman v Superman does. Love being reminded of 9/11 and the modern day atrocities of ISIS??? Bring the kids!!!! Recent movies like Iron Man, Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy (to some extent), and The Force Awakens have exemplified that it’s conceivable to have enormous stakes without turning the film into a ferocious bummer.
Aside from the fact that being awake during open heart surgery is more fun than this, the film is again, just like Snyder’s previous failure Man of Steel, a plotless bore. Very little happens in the way of plot or character development. The first 40 minutes or so of the film are spent catching us up with what Bruce Wayne/Batman was doing the whole time during Superman and Zod’s collateral damage festival in Man of Steel. It’s neither interesting nor particularly important.
Instead of giving us a fresh interpretation of Bruce Wayne’s inner guilt, we’re treated to the same old same old again. Thomas & Martha Wayne get killed once again by a lone assassin coming out of a theater (Snyder thinks it’s clever to have them see Excalibur because it’s 1981) and that’s that.
Countless decisions make Batman v Superman an unhappy trudge. Chief among them is the disappointing screenplay by Chris Terrio and the fucking awful David S. Goyer, is that there’s stodgy reasoning as the why Batman and Superman would be fighting to begin with. This requires both characters Bruce and Clark to act pretty irrationally — Clark/Superman doesn’t like Batman’s vigilantism and Bruce/Batman doesn’t like Superman’s collateral damage and alienness. Through the most convoluted plot device in the world, Superman and Batman are forced to fight each other. While well put together, this finally fucking happens 2 hours and 15 minutes into the movie. Until then we’re just kept snoring. We’re also not given enough of Batman’s world, Robin and Joker are only alluded to.
Now the performances. What’s funny about fanboys getting all riled up about Ben Affleck as Batman is that his performance has no bearing whatsoever as to why the film is bad. Affleck is fine as Bruce Wayne/Batman. The performance that really doesn’t work is Jesse Eisenberg’s corny interpretation of Lex Luthor, which is completely forgettable. Also wasted is Jeremy Irons as Alfred, bringing nothing new to the character or to the proceedings. The returning performers, Henry Cavill and Amy Adams are once again given absolutely nothing to do. Especially Adams who is merely the damsel in distress as is Diane Lane’s Ma Kent. Gal Gadot is appealing as Wonder Woman but by the time she comes on screen in full costume it’s too little too late. In the meantime sadly they give her very little to do.
One thing I don’t like in movies is dream sequences and Batman v Superman has plenty of them and relies on it WAY too much. One in dream within a dream in particular set in a desert is the closest thing Snyder comes to giving us something original and unique, but again it’s all a cop out. Speaking of cop outs, the film’s ending feels like a cheat and the movie passes up a chance to do something dynamic and iconoclastic, preferring instead for the expected climax.