I thoroughly enjoy watching films, but watching can be a double edged sword. Every now and then a great movie comes along that reminds me why I repeatedly spend two hours of my life on entertainment. Unfortunately, every so often a film comes along that makes me wonder if they serve any purpose. Sadly, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is the latter. I’m here to report that Batman v Superman literally might be one of the worst superhero films of all time. It is an unenjoyable, mess of a film. I think I hated something in almost every single scene. The film was littered with flaws and deal-breaking issues. I wasted two years of my life waiting for Batman v Superman, this sucks so much.
Zack Snyder, from a visual standpoint is a terrific director, but in perhaps every other facet required for direction, he’s a failure. The same problems that plagued 2013’s Man of Steel plague Batman v Superman, and frankly there’s no excuse for it. There were numerous pacing issues in Batman v Superman, the first half of the film was all over the place. The pacing issues were mainly due to the Snyder/Goyer combo. David Goyer was the main writer for Man of Steel, and he co-wrote Batman v Superman with Chris Terrio (Argo). However I can’t help but feel like Terrio’s influence on the final script was limited, a lot of the dialogue was very Goyerish. Here’s an example, Holly Hunter (Senator Finch) in one scene states, “Take a bucket of warm piss and call it Granny’s Peach Tea”. What a stupid piece of dialogue, that’s all Goyer. Also, just like in Man of Steel, a lot of the lines in that seemed cool in the trailers were completely out of place in the final version of Batman v Superman. I also think the issues in Batman v Superman are also the result of Warner Bro’s pressure. Clearly WB wanted to setup the Justice League, but there were far too many moving pieces in this film. Darkseid references? Sorry not necessary in this film. I think WB wants to unleash their own superhero universe, without spending all the time and work that Disney (owns Marvel) did.
Okay, so despite my hot take which might be hotter than Superman’s laser eyes, there were a couple things I loved about the film. The cast for the most part was excellent. Henry Cavill was great as Superman, but there’s one huge problem. In a film that has his name in the title, there really wasn’t a lot of Superman in the film. There were just too many characters in Batman v Superman, and screen time is limited even with Superman. Once again, Superman is a lifeless drag but I’ll get into that later. Despite controversy, Ben Affleck is excellent as Batman and Bruce Wayne. He gave us an entirely believable Batman. Let me also say this, Gal Gadot was beyond excellent as Wonder Woman. Although she was not given a lot to work with, I think she did great with what she had. She was my favorite part of Batman v Superman. It’s refreshing to finally get a truly badass female superhero character on the big screen (no Black Widow is not a superhero in my opinion). I cannot wait for the Wonder Woman solo movie that’s due out on June 23rd, 2017. Jeremy Irons was also great, and similarly to Gadot, he wasn’t given much to work with. Oddly, Irons iteration of Alfred actually provided the comic relief of the film. Mr. Jesse Adam Eisenberg did a fine job as Lex Luthor, but his version of Luthor just did not fit this film. The BVS Luthor was a fidgety, spazzy, riddler-like character who defiled everything that Lex Luthor should’ve been. A Bryan Cranston version of Luther would fit in this universe, a frantic Luthor does not.
Now onto my least favorite aspect of Batman v Superman, it is a film devoid of any happiness, joy, or fun. Everything in this film is dark, superheroes are supposed to make the world a better place, what’s the point if the world seems bleaker with them? Snyder says he loves Superman, well I don’t believe him, anyone who loves Superman knows he is the antithesis of Batman. Snyder did not take advantage of the dark v light component between the two heroes, because he continues to portray Superman as a mysterious alien and a potential threat. Supes is rarely a symbol of hope in Snyder’s DC universe, and that’s a crime which breeds a punishment of twenty years in the phantom zone (wow I’m a nerd). In my opinion, Man of Steel is a FAR superior film to Batman v Superman, and that’s saying something, because I didn’t love Man of Steel that much. If you thought Man of Steel was dark, you need to find a new definition of dark, because Batman v Superman simply put was the darkest superhero film I’ve ever seen. Batman was a couple kills away from committing genocide. Snyder’s version of Batman is a homicidal maniac, R.I.P nameless thugs. When did Batman rely on guns to get the job done? Batman’s use of guns strips the essence of the character. Snyder’s Batman is a shade above a lifeless murderer, Snyder makes him out to be anything but a superhero. I’m going to toot my own horn, I honestly called the darkness in an earlier post: https://4starmovies.wordpress.com/2016/02/25/why-its-bad-that-zack-snyders-batman-v-superman-directors-cut-is-rated-r/
So what is the fate of the DC movie universe now? Well I think that no matter what Batman v Superman makes in the box office, you just have to kick Zack Snyder and his loving wife Deborah away from Justice League. He can make 300 sequels for the rest of eternity, just stay the hell away from anything that actually matters. Warner Bros also has to can Goyer from any future DC film projects, he clearly needs a director on Christopher Nolan’s level to succeed. Why not find a writer that has success with multiple directors? As I already said, part of the blame falls squarely on Warner Brothers. The heads of the company have to give this DC universe time to grow, clearly they rushed Batman v Superman in an attempt to rake in as much money as possible. They want to release Justice League, but if they dismiss quality in place of quantity like they did with Batman v Superman, will anyone care to watch it?
Sadly, I give Batman v Superman a 1.5 out of 4.
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