Saturday, April 2, 2016

Quick Movie Review: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)





Oh, how convincing special effects can be. When done right, they can really drive a movie. But when overused, it all starts becoming about the studios flexing their wallets at us. Or the director having fun with the budget. Or, in rarer cases, not knowing how else to execute a given scene. Whatever the reason may be in Batman v Superman, it pushes us further away from an already shallow film.

But it gives it a go. It tries evoking tears and suspense and darkness. (There's this weird yellow tint cast over the whole thing). And surprisingly enough, this may be the deepest Superman film we've seen yet. Although that can only take us so far, as by nature he has no personality. He can't relate to us. Which begs the question of what his and Lois Lane's relationship is based on. He saves her all the time. They kiss. It's intense. They love each other. But why? We're still not sure.

In Batman v Superman, the two of them are developing negative feelings towards each other brought upon by the media and Lex Luthor. I think. We see them fighting, but the plot is so convoluted that, honestly, even I'm not sure of the details behind it.

Let's get to Batman, shall we? We've all seen the Christopher Nolan Batman films--some of us several dozen times--and we all know how Bruce Wayne's parents die. So why the need to show it happening over and over again in this movie? Because it's a new story? Maybe. But perhaps director Zack Snyder likes the way it looks. Because he doesn't just show the death. He overplays each detail of the death--the pearl necklace getting caught on the gun, the heads hitting the pavement. Don't think that it's for the sake of the story. There's a lot of extra in this movie that just adds to the length. If only half of the unnecessary slow-motion sequences were cut, it would probably be 30 minutes shorter.

Jesse Eisenberg does an okay job as Lex Luthor, but you can't help feel like he's a bit derivative of Heath Ledger's Joker from Dark Knight Rises--minus the depth. In fact, it's hard to find any part in this movie that feels original. It all gives us that sense like we've seen it before.

I know I'm not going to spoil anything here, since the trailer did that fine all on its own, but Wonder Woman makes a brief, but heady, introduction in this film. In fact, she's by far the most interesting piece of this movie. And I'm guessing they're saving the meaty stuff for the sequels. It's because of this that I can pretty much guarantee Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is going to end up being the worst of the series. Actually, I'm pretty curious where they're going with it all.

The story is interesting in its bare bones state. Not really being a reader of comic books, I wasn't aware of the backstory. I do remember, however, that DC Comics had much more of a campy cartoony feel to it. But that isn't the case in this movie. In fact, it takes itself way too seriously--with the exception of the 2 instances of levity somewhere towards the end. Overall, it lacks a certain character that the Marvel films so adamantly give us. And hey, maybe if it weren't 153 minutes long it wouldn't feel so self-important. Instead, we end up just asking ourselves, "Why is all of this happening? And why is it taking so long to happen?"

It does, however, answer one question: Batman does still talk in the Batman voice when he's by himself.



Twizard Rating: 64

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