Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (PG-13)
05/04/16 20:47 Filed in: 2016
Directed by: Zack Snyder
Starring: Ben Affleck
The below comments (in Black) were originally tweeted in Real-time from the back row of a movie theater and appear @BackRoweReviews. Though efforts were made to tease rather than ruin this movie’s memorable lines and moments, some spoilers may exist in the following evaluation (in Red). For concerns over objectionable content, please first refer to one of the many parental movie guide websites. All ratings are based on a four star system. Happy reading!
The slow mo descent of pearls is a nice visual.
There’s a reason why it’s called #CrimeAlley folks.
The tripod that hovers over #Metropolis is reminiscent of the alien vessels in #WarOfTheWorlds.
#BruceWayne runs into a wall of smoke and ash. Shades of #9-11.
The #BatBrand. Similar to #Zorro‘s swashbuckling Z left on his victims.
The #MetaHumanThesis. Sounds like bracing reading.
False God. #Superman
#JesseEisenberg is uber-annoying as #LuxLuthor. This isn’t a character, it’s a caricature.
“The red capes are coming.” It used to be #Russians. Oh well, they’re red too.
“Bruce Wayne can’t break into Lex Luthor’s house.” Why not? He’s an expert detective.
#LexLuthor introduces #BruceWayne to #ClarkKent even though they’ve already met. #Narcissist
About an hour into the movie and there hasn’t been a single action scene. I’m...getting...sleee
How many times does #BruceWayne wake up from a nightmare in this movie?
That rocket launcher is bigger than the guy holding it.
“Do you bleed?” What’s with the heavy effects on #Batman‘s voice? Gimmicky.
#Superman enters the courtroom. I’m having bad flashbacks to #TheQuestForPeace.
“Criminals are like weeds.” And #Batman and #Superman are like #Roundup.
#LexLuthor throws #Polaroids at #Superman. #JesseEisenberg‘s characterization is better suited for #Joker.
“The world only makes sense if you force it to.” Hmm.
The new #Batplane is awesome.
“I’m a friend of your son’s.” Even though I tried killing him less than an hour ago. #Batman #Superman
#Doomsday looks like the #CaveTroll in #TheLordOfTheRings. #Superman
“I thought she was with you.” Ha! #WonderWoman #Superman #Batman
“This is my world.” Actually, you’re from #Krypton, #KalEl. #Superman
Cool lasso action #WonderWoman.
Final analysis: an overstuffed, overlong movie w/ some good moments, but fails to live up to all the hype.
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 4. Affleck is surprisingly good in a film that underwhelms by trying to overachieve.
I had every intention of boycotting Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice until a friend invited me to a screening and, out of respect for him and against my better judgment, I sat through the entire two and a half hours of this uneven, uninspired crossover superhero schlock-fest. Why did I want to boycott the movie? 1. Ben Affleck as Batman? When I first heard the announcement, my brain rejected the very notion as if it were mental ipecac. However, now that I’ve seen the film, Affleck is actually halfway decent as the Caped Crusader (certainly better than Kilmer and Clooney) and isn’t remotely the main problem with the film, which leads me to… 2. I had no interest in watching two heroes go at it mano a mano. Perhaps I’m experiencing mental fatigue over the Trump/Cruz and Clinton/Sanders Super PAC character assassinations, but my stance is that we should be fighting a common enemy (i.e., ISIS) rather than each other: the upcoming Marvel movie, Captain America: Civil War, further underscores the significant ideological divide that exists in our nation. Despite the fact that the movie is based on a successful comic book series of the same name, my contention is that the underlying premise here doesn’t befit an action packed blockbuster. Turning up the heat on my argument is the fact that Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer’s script has a chronic case of ADD when trying to decide which hero to focus on—and the addition of Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) only exacerbates this issue. The motivation for why Batman and Superman (Henry Cavill) are at odds with each other in the first place is extremely weak, even opaque. Worse still, the heroes are back to being friends the moment the villain (Doomsday) shows up, which is egregiously contrived (the scene where Batman tells Superman’s mom that he and Superman are good friends, right after they just pounded the living daylights out of each other, is utterly laughable). Aside from my initial misgivings about this superhero slap down, other snafus arose while watching the film, most noticeably the lack of action. An hour into the movie I leaned over and asked my friend if we were ever going to see an action scene. The first half of the film, in particular, is painfully slow as the writers do double duty in establishing the characters and milieus of both franchises while also teeing up the events that lead to the inevitable clash between the titular heroes. The crosscutting between storylines becomes exhausting after a while and simply isn’t conducive to an action flick. My least favorite aspect of the film is the irresponsible and irreverent manner in which Batman is rendered. Despite the fact that this version of Batman—who actually kills people and brands his victims with a hot poker—hews fairly close to the comic book, it’s just not the way I prefer my Dark Knight. There’s a scene where a group of frightened women refuse to leave a jail cell because some evil is still lurking about the compound. The threatening presence turns out to be Batman. It’s okay, even preferred, for Batman to instill fear in his enemies, but it’s not okay for him to terrorize innocents. Likewise, and this is completely subjective, I have no issue with Zack Snyder tweaking Superman’s persona to his whim, but I take great umbrage with how the director turned Batman into an animalistic antagonist. Another askew characterization is Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor…his acting choices are, in a word, abysmal. Eisenberg’s rapid-fire speech may have worked like a charm in his portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network (2010), but his freewheeling prattle in this movie is downright annoying. Eisenberg’s quirky speech and spasmodic movements are actually a better fit for the Joker, but after the late Heath Ledger’s spellbinding performance in The Dark Knight (2010), my guess is that the Clown Prince of Crime will be kept on the sidelines for the foreseeable future in Batman movies. Not all is lost since the occasional character moment or pulse pounding action scene makes for a diverting viewing experience, but Snyder’s efforts here are far from fantastic. Bottom line: the kitchen sink plot, shifting POV narrative, Bad Batman, Boring Superman and Laughable Lex story elements have all conspired to relegate this comic book mash-up to the ranks of mediocre superhero films. It’s uncertain whether or not this movie will spawn a franchise of its own, but what is certain is that I will boycott any sequel that features Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. And this time I mean it.