At last, the most disappointing movie event of the year. This stellar cast is ultimately letdown by a weak narrative and lack of direction. Sorry DC fans, but if the future of filmmaking begins looking like a visually incoherent wet dream, god help us all ...
DC tries to prevail by bringing two of the most iconic superheroes in comic book history to the big screen for a superhero slugfest and they most definitely disappoint. No, this is not a guy who is bias towards anything DC and cheers for only Marvel movies. Be advised, this is an honest review from a disappointed fan of both Batman and Superman. While, I did enjoy Man of Steel and thought that the movie had great potential for future Superman films, BvS takes everything MoS built on and crumbles it. The first half of Man of Steel was great, showing us Superman's origin in a more modern and gritty way.
However, the last half of the movie was a mixed bag for me because director Zack Snyder (Watchmen and 300) completely tossed the script out the window and decided to obliterate Metropolis. Man of Steel didn’t soar to perfection, nevertheless, Mr. Snyder got the job done. This is the Superman that fans have been waiting for. Wishing that Mr. Snyder would have gone with director Christopher Nolan’s (Dark Knight Trilogy) pitch of keeping Superman in his own universe; the studio (Warner Bros.) got anxious and decided to take the Marvel route and extended their universe as well. Instead, of giving our heroes their own movie leading up to a big reunion, Warner Bros. grabbed the two most iconic characters and threw them into one film to set up the Justice League Part 1 and 2 (2017 and 2019) respectively.
So after the events of Man of Steel where General Zod (Michael Shannon) almost decimates Metropolis (resembling a 9/11 terrorist attack), Superman (Henry Cavill) is there to save the day and has no other choice but to kill Zod. The world is now in chaos and wonder from this new god-like figure. In BvS, we begin with that same fateful day in Metropolis, but are introduced to Bruce Wayne (The gripping Ben Affleck) fleeing throughout the city trying to save people who are inside his building (Wayne Towers). Bruce doesn’t make it in time and his building crumbles from Superman and Zod colliding through it, killing whoever is in there.
Wayne is stunned and left in disarray, leaving him with rage towards this new god-like presence. Affleck excels as the Cape Crusader, giving the audience one of the best portrayals of the man in black. He’s gripping, like a time bomb waiting to explode. He’s been at the job for 20 years in Gotham and is now halted at a burning fuse full of anger and rage. On the flipside, we get Clark Kent A.K.A. Superman, who is trying to adjust to his new life on our planet. However, people are scared and the court system wants Superman to pay for his crimes so justice can be served. But how do you convict an alien? Superman is also struggling with the fact that Batman is taking the law in his own hands. Mr. Snyder decides to infuse his film with politics and concern, leaving the viewers in a super-politico frenzy.
What frustrated me with Batman V Superman was Mr. Snyder's incoherent direction and David S. Goyer's (Man of Steel) lack of structure in a script. When the narrative is as flimsy as the title itself, you know you’re in trouble. There was very little dialogue in the film and way too many long visually draining shots of actors staring into the camera. It didn't work for me and dragged its ass on for way too long. I get that this was Snyder’s way of showing tribute to the comics, but some aspects like this don’t work or look good on film. This stellar cast is letdown by the very people working behind the camera. This self indulgent bore of a movie has no room for fun nor class. Gloom and doom is DC’s new approach at making a superhero film. Nevertheless, Gal Gadot stole the show when she crash in as Wonder Woman. It’s too bad that she only had 16 lines in the film itself. I am very hopeful for her solo film in 2017, fingers crossed that she can revive this downhearted franchise.
Then there’s also the ultra villain known as Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg), who is thrown into the film. He’s a cross between psycho and Mark Zuckerberg, but by the end he’s just more of a nuisance. And when the audience finally gets the the big battle of Cape Crusader v Man of Steel, do we even care? It doesn’t live up to what's promised and is cut off to short to fight another threat lurking around named Doomsday. Which, brings us back to Mr. Snyder’s expertise at blowing shit up again with bloated CGI. It’s been four years since Mr. Nolan wrapped up his critically acclaimed Dark Knight trilogy and sadly when DC needs him most, he’s moved on to bigger and better opportunities. Nolan knew how to craft a film with characters that we actually care about and stories worth telling with actual depth in narrative. There was coherence, structure and entertainment, which is something BvS didn’t have.
From the long gloomy shots to the pointless dream sequences with bat-figure people; BvS came to 2016 trying to conquer the demons but ends up wrestling with its own demons. BvS was a bumpy ride from start to finish. When it dazzled it dazzled, when it dragged it dragged. To me there were some mostly exciting scenes in the movie, but nothing satisfactory in the end. For better or for worse this is what Mr. Snyder has given us and for right now we have to deal with it. Fingers crossed that Suicide Squad will be good! Batman V Superman is a film that forgets about its own heroes and smothers them in a whirlwind of effects-driven action. Damn you DC.
BvS is rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned). For intense sequences of violence and action throughout, and some sensuality.
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