Review Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice by Jonathan Evans

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Could this movie ever live up to its hype? Did it ever stand a chance against all the expectation that the fanboys have built up in their own minds and have fantasized about for years? No it did not. But it did stand a chance of still being good. Any movie has that chance.

At numerous times during this movie you will either be confused or have to hold yourself back from laughing at the imagery that I can only attest to Zack Snyder believing he has artistic ability (which he does not).

The big deal that everyone has been talking about in anticipation, and will no doubt be thinking about while watching and shall discuss after viewing is that this is the first live action, cinematic depiction of a movie with both Superman and Batman on-screen at the same time. Most of the movie is build up to this and when they do interact (if you can call it that) they are just seeing who can be more macho, so we have two immature insecure males placed together. Ben Affleck was a unique choice to say the least, he does bring a dark stoic nature and presence to the character. You see how the years of brutal crime fight have worn away sympathy and the raw anger that bubbles under the surface. This is also the first time we are shown the grey and black Batman suit. Something we’ve seen plenty of times in the comics and animated universe but a first for live action so it helps to distinguish itself.

It is a staple for superheroes not to kill. It’s expected because they are made for children. I expect optimism while watching or reading anything superhero related. They can still be mature and deal with tougher subject matter, but they should always maintain their wholesomeness. At least with the established, long lasting ones. In Man of Steel Superman broke his most sacred of vows and killed his enemy. Now in this movie Batman is directly responsible for killing many of his enemies. Flat-out murder, without any regret or having to deal with any conflict that makes him a mass murderer. Those wholesome, optimistic days really seem to be long gone.

All the characterization has faults; some are more competent than others. But the greatest failure goes to Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. Luthor is one of the most brilliant, controlling as well as enduring villains from superhero comics a character with a dark warped but also brilliant mind. This is a weirdo that only has people around him because he pays them and/or is important.

Ever since the MARVEL have been gaining all kinds of success with their line of movies DC has been trying desperately to replicate it. They want to have a series of movies that build-up to Avengers (i.e. Justice League). But they lack the patience and careful planning that made that work. MARVEL gave each member of the team their own movie to establish themselves and built to the story that would call for them to be united. This is a forced hodgepodge of references, characters and story elements that shouldn’t be in the same movie resulting in a deformed cluttered mess.

Included in the cast is the first big screen, live action representation of Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot). She has things to prove but I believe her as a competent warrior that knows how to navigate her way around a dance floor and a conversation with anyone. There is groundwork set-up and room for further development (within her own film)

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The action scenes lack all forms of investment, we haven’t grown to care about the characters that are bashing together like plastic toys so no outcome matters. There were clearly to moments Zack Snyder cared the most about, he obviously didn’t care about making them sympathetic or even believable. What we have is a juvenile boy that has been given hundreds of millions of dollars to enact his overblown playtime sessions that he would come up with while playing with his action figure on the carpet. With all the depth and nuance that comes with this i.e. none. They are loud, flashy and with no care for anything grounded or with emotion behind them. Just noise.

When the climactic scene comes and the two icons engage in battle you will have already abandoned any sense of caring. It isn’t even the last battle in the movie, when that finally rears its ugly head you might as well order take-out or message your friends. Hell, read what the person next or behind you is ordering for take-out, it will be more interesting than the barrage of lights and loud noises abusing your senses from the screen.

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The hype was impossible to live up to. But there was always a chance for this movie to be competent and be well executed. The acting is fine, from some, the scale is grand. And from there on I fail to think of anything else redeeming about the movie. It is simply a juvenile, waste of time and resources. These characters are capable and should be used for much better entertainment.

Rating: 1/2 star out of 4

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