Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Screen 16 articles

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

2016

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Poster
  • Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent are mama’s boys. That’s one of the two insights that went into the making of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, the other being that Jesse Eisenberg’s turn as Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network could be repurposed as Lex Luthor. The film’s only other notable ingredients, sadly, are the most rumbling soundtrack since Earthquake, a lot of jaw grinding by Ben Affleck, [and] some narrative confusion remarkable even by director Zack Snyder’s standards.

  • When it was over, I, too, was overcome with the urge to brood, mope and cultivate stubble I could ponderously stroke while asking, “What’s the most ridiculous thing about this movie?” Maybe it’s that a fight between Batman and Superman is fundamentally illogical. (Uh, he’s super, man.) Maybe it’s that the fights are treated with onerous seriousness by real scientists, journalists, cable-news bigmouths and sitting senators.

  • Zack Snyder throws the contents of the superhero kitchen sink at Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice: this film has so many alter-egos and twisted back-stories, it writhes in existential ‘who-am-I and why-am-I-here?’ agony... Gorging on bombast and self-importance, swamped by its own mythology, Batman v Superman is loud, sprawling, and distracted. The action jumps around almost as fast as a man can fly, but nowhere near as smoothly.

  • Worse even than the useless story elements is the terrible action. Snyder’s never been one to make ugly films, but here he’s inexplicably ditched his patented speed-ramping tableaux for chaotic handheld and constant edits, which makes even less sense given that vast chunks of this film are almost entirely virtual. Why make choices when you can be an indecipherable CGI smear? It’s enough to make one long for the relative stylistic coherence of a Michael Bay Transformers.

  • The drab, monotonous fight-and-destruction spectacle of Man of Steel carries over here, and Batman’s tooled-up, homicidal vengeance-mania goes even beyond the off-model, murderous Superman to make these heroes as unredeemable as the Punisher. This is a superhero film which opens and closes with funerals and requires the world’s finest detective and an avatar of truth and justice to batter each other (and everyone else) senseless for two-and-a-half hours.

  • Rather than focusing on a cataclysmic showdown between pop culture's most famous men in tights, Zack Snyder's flashy, cacophonous follow-up to 2013's "Man of Steel" is basically one long teaser for the next installment. Next fall's "Justice League: Part One" has plenty of plot details set in motion by this dreary spectacle, but doesn't fare as well in the department of good ideas. As its title implies, "Batman v Superman" plays like a mashup of things we've seen before.

  • "Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice" is state of the art epic superhero filmmaking. That's a compliment if you prefer these movies to be ponderous, disorganized and glum, but a warning if you prefer tonal variation from film to film and scene to scene, and have a soft spot for storytelling that actually tells, you know, a story, as opposed to doing an occasionally inspired but mostly just competent job of setting up the next chapter in a Marvel-styled franchise.

  • For all of Batman v Superman’s chatter, not once does it give us a line half as evocative and memorable as The Dark Knight’s “Some men just want to watch the world burn.” The movie's not bad, but it doubles down on its least interesting and potent elements at the expense of those that actually work. In the end, the film is as forgettable as the dime-store philosophy that fuels it.

  • Why, oh why, can’t we just get what we came for? That is, a good, meat-and-potatoes showdown between a brooding vigilante in a pointy-eared mask and a simpler, sunnier protector of humankind (Henry Cavill’s Superman, who, when he’s not in tights, struts around in criminally sexy horn-rimmed glasses as reporter Clark Kent). Batman v Superman lunges for greatness instead of building toward it: It’s so topheavy with false portent that it buckles under its own weight.

  • For about an hour, Dawn of Justice moves with irresistible confidence through its byzantine and ultimately pointless narrative, painting a detailed portrait of a world where indistinct strains of liberal-humanist optimism and nativistic cynicism gird for battle... But by the time its main bout arrives, Dawn of Justice has become a fait accompli—a fearsomely expansive primer for a coming decade of Justice League-related origin stories and crossover adventures.

  • Batman V Superman is at least a marked improvement on 2013’s atrocious Man of Steel, the hackneyed Biblical cut-n-paste job in which the similarities between Supes and Christ were rammed into our face like so many expired communion wafers. Where that film didn’t even operate as a satisfying trailer, this one at least gets the levels right and dutifully escorts us from A to B For Snyder, it’s among his better films, even though it doesn’t offer a single memorable image or idea.

  • Every time I review a superhero movie these days, the teenage Marvel obsessive that I once was always nudges me to protest that honestly, on some level, I really, really want to enjoy one of these things, but it rarely happens (I didn’t mind Ant-Man, though). Yet I’ve never felt so bored, so brutalized, or just given so little to work with as in this cacophonous, joyless slurry, which out-bombasts even the most meaninglessly bombastic genre entries we’ve seen to date.

  • Where the grand scenographic universe of “Man of Steel” conjures a turbulent swirl of passions, “Batman v Superman” suggests a restraint on passion overall and endorses, as a prime virtue, the masked blandness of heroes who don’t put on much of a show, and the modesty that such blandness implies. The fact that Snyder makes that point with a spectacle of uninhibited bombast is a self-critique as strong as any reproach that a critic can levy.

  • One can feel Snyder aiming for an obsessive masterpiece while attempting to please investors with the expository generality that's required of global blockbusters. The film wants to be a treatise on How We Live, dabbling in incredible religious iconography and glancing infrastructural signifiers, yet it can't commit to any specific view for fear of alienating consumers.

  • Snyder flunks the world-building assignments aced by lesser stylists under contract to Marvel. BvS comes at us in big, unwieldy chunks of exposition laced with grandiose juvenilia, the latter personified by Lex Luthor, whose plans are so simultaneously vague and convoluted that the arrival of some blurry monster or other to enact destruction comes almost as a relief . . . that is until his rampage eats up what feels like an hour of screen time on top of the protracted, eponymous bout.

  • Zack Snyder is on fire here, which is to say that he's always been bombastic but Man of Steel was inert, pompous bombast whereas here he's back to being manic and excessive, genre-hopping like inSucker Punch (Bruce Wayne gets a suave James Bond interlude, then there's a martial-arts fight pointedly shot in a single take, as if Ben Affleck were Jackie Chan).

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