March 27 2016

Batman v Superman Review – The enemy is the audience

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice wasn’t as bad as I was expecting it to be.

It was far, far worse.

Since I am not a professional movie reviewer, I plan on going into spoiler filled details of why I had issues with BvS. For those wishing to avoid those, just know that I do not have very good things to say about this movie and wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

Now would be the time for the spoilerphobes to leave.

Let’s get the elephant out of the room: Ben Affleck is a good Batman. I had my doubts when he was cast, but I could easily see myself watching him in a solo Batman movie with no issues.

Gal Gadot makes a great Wonder Woman and I look forward to her solo movie.

Jesse Eisenberg as Alexander Luthor Jr. – which they go to great pains to stress – was… horrible. I honestly don’t blame him, this is what Zack Snyder was looking for, and he got it, but it was a horrible direction to take the character. Half the time you just thought he had ADHD.

Henry Cavill is not a good actor. I’m sorry, he’s just not, and as Superman he leaves me cold. I don’t buy him in the role and that’s been true since Man of Steel.

So, what were the plot and filmmaking specific issues? Where do you even begin.

And then we come to the most egregious thing of the entire movie: Batman has zero issues with killing people. Batman has always had a very simple code that he does not kill. Take the Joker for instance, this madman has killed a Robin and crippled Batgirl, and he still wouldn’t kill him. In this movie he runs henchmen over, shoots them and blows them up. Nope, no problem with that. Producer Charles Roven spoke with Cinema Blend and explained the reasoning:

I think that it just came about that this particular Batman, he’s been jaded by the process. There’s a really amazing line in the movie, ‘20 years in Gotham, how many good guys are left? How many stayed that way?’ And let’s face it, he’s a very damaged guy… We see Robin is not around. The character has evolved, and he’s definitely a more brutal guy, and we wanted him to be right on that edge, right on that razor. And he has to be on the razor’s edge, or why would he get Superman’s attention?

Okay, fine, you have established a reason. So excuse me if I expect Batman to walk up to the Joker and shoot him in the skull immediately upon seeing him next. I mean, you’ve established he has no problem with killing, so why wouldn’t he do this? Because you can’t, and you know you can’t. It makes for more awesome fights if the thugs get killed in different ways, but you will never do this with a main villain, so your logic falls apart immediately.

With the exception of Affleck and Gadot’s performances, this movie was 2 & 1/2 hours of pain. I gave serious consideration to walking out at one point about an hour in, but I knew I had to stick it out if I was to ever talk about it. Snyder over pads his films with useless subplots because he can’t think of simplified ways of getting from point A to point B. It’s like everything he does needs two extra layer of complexity for no good reason.

Few movies have ever made me literally angry in the sense I would punch it if it was a person, but Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is one of those films.

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