Sunday, August 7, 2016

Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

With the stuff coming out of the San Diego Comic-Con indicating that the apparent cluster gang bang that the recent DC superhero flicks were turning into might be averted, I thought it was about time I look at the recent Batman vs. Superman flick. I opted to not see this one in theaters (toxic reviews and the genuine desire to not potentially whizz twelve bucks down my leg played a large part in my thought process) but thankfully Amazon Video is there for me. Shining like a beacon of hope. Or at the very least, letting me spend four bucks on a potentially life wasting experience rather than twelve.

The experience of watching this movie is not unlike being told a story by an un-medicated lunatic in the middle of a full psychotic breakdown. And I don't mean that in a good way. For an insanely long two and a half hours, BvS lurches from one drab and joyless scene to another with only the occasional funny line from Jeremy Irons as Alfred to liven the mood. The titular showdown is exciting and well staged but the two main characters are so unlike how they should be  that it might as well be an alien and some random guy in a gimp suit duking it out (yeah, both are being tricked by Lex Luthor but it just doesn't work).

The Good:
  • Ben Affleck makes for a strong Bruce Wayne and Batman. While the character is poorly written (Batman generally isn't this much of an extreme moron but the film at least tries to give him a reason), Affleck does what he can with the material and manages to squeeze a modicum of charm out of his part. I also kind of like him using an actual gadget to enhance his voice, as opposed to Christian Bale roaring incoherently like an ass while Christopher Nolan look on n0odding in approval. It also helps that the man actually enunciates his lines.
  • Special attention must be given to Jeremy Irons who provides most of the intentional humor of the film. Given how the actor felt about the film, not real sure some of his lines were just Alfred snarking at Bruce.
  • Gal Gadot is fun as Wonder Woman, mainly because she doesn't have to play much of a role in the overall plot where most of the stupidity lies. All she has to do is interact with the other good thing about the movie a few times and show up for the finale. Gotta say I'm looking forward to the solo movie next year way more than I am the Justice League film (even with the entertaining preview  released a few weeks ago).
  • As dumb as the setup is (and I'm understating things quite a bit here), the actual Batman/Superman fight is pretty damn good.
  • Amy Adams and Laurence Fishburne are fine as Lois Lane and Perry White.
The Bad:
  • Oh man, where to begin! I don't want to turn this into an epic review so I'll be as brief as I can. Muddled script that tries to shove in too much? Check!
  • The twist where the only thing keeping Batman from killing Supes is that they have a mother with the same first name is one of the more moronic things in a Superman movie. And given that Superman III and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace are quite easily accessible... Damn!
  • Outlandish dream sequences that come off like the fever dream of the deranged lunatic I noted in the first sentence? Check!
  • The oddest version of Lex Luthor ever conceived? Check, though Jesse Eisenberg does his best to make things interesting.
  • A Superman who comes off like he's heavily sedated and low on energy? Check, and Henry Cavill isn't helped much by the script either.
  • The dour tone of the film that makes The Dark Knight look like an episode of Batman '66? Check! I've said it before but even Batman Returns, a pretty damn gloomy movie in its own right, had fun with the concept! This film doesn't need an extended cut, it needs Prozac!
At the end of the day, BvS is a loud, sort of dull, fascinatingly awful movie that sort of works in the end thanks to some good action but for the most part, it's not essential.

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About Me

I've been a huge fan of action, horror and comedy for as long as I can remember.