Thursday, March 31, 2016

Batman v. Superman


starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenburg, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter, Diane Lane, Gal Gadot.

In the wake of the mass destruction witnessed in Man of Steel, Bruce Wayne aka Batman, decides that Superman is too dangerous to be left unchecked on this Earth. So Batman decides to do something about it.

Spoilers abound in this review so feel free to bail out now.

Like moths drawn to our own seering death by flame, my brother and I just had to see this film. Having done so, we both agree that we have no idea what anything on that screen meant.

Is Zack Snyder trying to outdo Michael Bay as the world's worst director? Were the writers trying to appease as many comic book fans as they could by sewing Dark Knight Returns, Death and Return of Superman, Legends, and even Superman: At Earth's End into one Frankensteinian monstrosity? The resulting mess meanders so much that it makes no sense. Still, I will try my best to address it point by point.

-Lex Luthor. Were the writers originally thinking the Joker as the antagonist and then told it had to be Luthor...but were too lazy to change the script? Because that's the characterization we got. Utterly abysmal.

-Doomsday is a big storyline. The death of Superman is a big storyline. You can't just cram it into twenty minutes.

-What the hell was with that convoluted plan to get Superman and Batman to fight? It made no sense. Couldn't the two characters simply square off as they are naturally at cross purposes? In the beginning, they certainly didn't trust each other. That should be enough. Ditto for the Africa sequence. Did that need to happen? 

-So what is it that ends this gotterdamerung between Titans? "Wait...your mother's name is Martha? So's mine. We can't fight!"

-Does everything these days have to be run through a postmodern filter to become Edgy McEdgerson? Is that the intransigent thinking of Zack Snyder? Well go ahead and slop everything in rainy wet, metallic gray. It won't make it artful. This film is utterly obsessed with grimness. Get this: we are soooo edgy, we killed Jimmy Olson. Take that.

-There is just so little of interest going on here. It's a non-stop video game car chase that is loud, shallow, vacuous, and kinetic. Pivotal characters such as Perry White and Lois Lane are utterly devoid of interest. In a biblical scene reminiscent of Christ being taken from the cross and placed with his mother in the pieta, so Superman was with Lois. 
And I felt nothing.

-Could they have packed in any more dream sequences? 

-Batman at times acts out of character. Those are, I assume, lethal missiles and rotary guns on his vehicles. The grunt, bad guy cannon fodder all fall before them. Batman does not kill. The fault with this contradiction lies with the writers and the director.

-What the hell? Was that supposed to be the Flash? Why the hell does Aquaman have tattoos? Oh yeah. That's right. Edgy McEdgerson. 

-Bagpipes at Clark Kent's funeral in Kansas? I thought they might shoot his body to the Genesis planet.

Is there anything positive? As a matter of fact, yes.

-I really liked Ben Affleck as Batman. I believe he has a true understanding of the character and he turns in a performance on par with Christian Bale and Michael Keaton. He is a true bright spot in this otherwise miserable experience and I'd watch him as Batman any day. That's this Batman fan's opinion anyway.

-Jeremy Irons is great as Alfred.

-Gal Gadot is great as Wonder Woman.

-The Batmobile looked cool.

-I'm glad they kept the Hans Zimmer score from Man of Steel. A stirring piece of music.

But that's just not enough. Please. Somebody stop Zack Snyder before he films again. 

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