Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

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I don’t think a huge blockbuster film of this calibre on top of being the first time in cinema to see two DC heroes square up to each other was meant to be this boring, but Holy Smokes it is. It’s just written poorly or not all it feels like as we jump from moment to moment, these pillars of good in their own rights are completely tarnished by effects, Zack Snyder and a laughable villain.

After the death of his parents and huge damage to Metropolis; killing his friend and toppling his building, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) becomes Batman in order to try and battle the God-like powers of Superman (Henry Cavill). Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) also wants to stop the alien in red and blue and with the assistance of some discovered Kryptonite, he may be able to set Supes versus Bat with ease, leaving him to…make more money and um live in a totally destroyed city.

That’s the thing, the story in this film is near non existent that Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer were probably just putting their feet up and thinking that having these two massive comic book characters fighting would be enough. Well hey, that’s been filling the trailers and selling tickets so however bad this film is, it’s making a heck of a lot of money so I doubt they’re caring that their screenplay is so devoid of intelligence, suspense or power.

For this yawn-inducing 151 minute movie, we hardly see any real action between the heavy weights. Instead we get lots of Affleck as Wayne, Lois Lane subjected to tedious journalism and an awful turn from Eisenberg as a mop-haired Luthor that seems to have aspirations to be a Batman baddie instead of Superman’s adversary. There’s a lot they’re trying to slot into this film but most of it is headaches from the amount of CGI that gets thrown into the mix. Instead of what could have been an interesting look at the idea of justice and man vs. God, that gets smoked over by more than Batman’s smoke grenade. I’ve never switched off in action movies and yet somehow in this film, I found my mind wandering as uninspiring sequences played out.

Zack Snyder directs this film like he’s trying to bring the Christopher Nolan touch to his movie. There’s a somewhat dark and broody level to this movie but it becomes too much and with that is Snyder’s typical directorial influence as we drift into ‘Watchmen’ visuals that feel so out of place and stretch this movie’s runtime ever further. I mean, that whole desert Batman scene, with winged creatures and then the vengeful laser shooting Superman was so stupid and added nothing. There’s no consistency with this film, like Snyder is trialling different ideas to keep us entertained but actually making everything unbalanced, which on top of the less than ordered screenplay equals a mess of a film.

The whole special effects over use is mind-boggling, for why they ever needed to include such a horrendous visual of a genetically enhanced character is beyond me. It looked hideous, filled the IMAX screen with too much CGI and enforced my opinion that this movie is over the top. I may as well be Brick Tamland shouting LOUD NOISES to try and rival the constant barrage of smashes and crashes this movie is overloaded with. If the effects weren’t drowning you with noise then you could be sure that Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL’s score would. I mean, together they had their moments in making some dramatic music but it swelled way too much and smothered the scenes. Oh and that operatic hilarity of the score for when Luthor goes to the ship felt so off kilter.

I said it from the outset that the DC Universe are behind and trying to keep up with the well mapped out plans from Marvel. The fact that we only had ‘Man of Steel’ and then they bring in Batman to try and keep appeal shows that they’re rushing to set up the Justice League and no longer be stragglers. Hey, who cares, straggle away, make another Superman movie, introduce Affleck in a standalone Batman film, have Wonder Woman first before shoe-horning them all in together with flashes of the Flash and cameos from Aquaman and Cyborg too. This film is way too bloated because they’ve shoved everything in instead of focusing on setting them all up properly and then uniting the Justice League. It’s sad that this film felt more like a tiring ordeal to sit through than an exciting event.

Ben Affleck, to his credit does good in his role which will now quell that dire turn as Daredevil. He brings a suited stiffness and arrogance as Wayne and a hard bulky combat ready look as Batman. Henry Cavill is still bland as Superman, providing little more than a muscled body and a vague stern look from time to time. Jesse Eisenberg was announced and gave me hope and intrigue to see what he’d bring but however good he is at playing the villain, I can’t shake how ridiculous he is. Eisenberg makes Lex Luthor sound and act like a pantomime villain dreaming to be like the Joker as he gallivants around like a neurotic and excitable puppy. Amy Adams tries her best in a dull role as Lois Lane, getting into possible strong moments only to become the damsel in distress. Gal Gadot for me was the only positive I could find, the music with her arrival as Wonder Woman helped make her seem like the character we all wanted. Gadot played Diana Prince with a seductive Selina Kyle grace and convinced me as the warrior with a lasso of truth.

Batman v. Superman just doesn’t work, being a festival of a lot going on but nothing to prevent the onset of boredom, unless you’re a die-hard fan that looks past obvious faults. It’s not as massively bad as I expected from the reviews and friend responses but…it is bad.

4.5/10

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