Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: World’s Crudest, by Rudie Obias
During San Diego Comic-Con in 2013, Warner Bros. announced that the sequel to Man of Steel would pit Superman against a different type of enemy – Batman. While the studio went further away from making a direct sequel the 20013 Superman film, Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment expressed an interest to expand their superhero shared universe with a series of movies just like their comic book counterpart Marvel Studios. The end result is a bloated film that’s more concerned with introducing new storylines and characters instead of focusing on the two superheroes at the center of the film.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice starts with the finale from Man of Steel, but from Bruce Wayne’s (Ben Affleck) point-of-view. We see Superman (Henry Cavill) and General Zod (Michael Shannon) fight each other, destroying Metropolis and killing dozens and dozens of people along the way. From the get-go, the film launches the audience into an action sequence, while also reminding them why the finale of Man of Steel was so polarizing, as it takes glee in the destruction of a major city. Not the smartest way to separate yourself from a divisive movie, but OK, I’ll go with it. We see why Bruce Wayne is so hellbent on stopping Superman and considers him a threat to the world.
The film then goes back and forth between Wayne’s determination to stop Superman, while also showing how the latter is conflicted with what he is to the world as a whole: is he a savior, or is he a threat? Although the premise is simple enough, somehow director Zack Snyder and screenwriters Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer muddy the waters by introducing subplots that involve Diana Prince’s (Gal Gadot) search for a magical sword, the U.S. Government trying to restrain Superman, Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) trying to gain power in Metropolis and his experiments with the dead body of General Zod, as he comes up with a plan to kill Superman (for some reason), Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) coming to Bruce Wayne in a non-sensical dream sequence warning him of the future, and the shaky relationship between Lois Lane (Amy Adams) and Clark Kent. There’s a lot of story (plot points, really) packed into two-and-a-half hours.
The main problem is the movie introduces so much, but does nothing with it. The movie goes from scene to scene with such urgency, while also being a slog to get through because there’s nothing to hold on to as a viewer. Often a scene will end too early or stay around too long, while also not following into the next scene at all. Usually, scenes in movies flow naturally as one goes into the next, while the movie unfolds. But in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the movie stops and starts again every time a new scene begins. It’s almost random. I don’t even know how that is possible for a movie with so much money and so many talented people behind it. Zack Snyder certainly has a knack for strong slow motion music video-esque imagery and visuals, but a storyteller and filmmaker, he is not.
And let’s not forget the main event here – Batman fighting Superman. Oof. The reasons why they fight in the first place is flimsy at best, while the resolution is laughable and dumb, dumb, dumb. Is this the reason why we came to the theater? Is this the reason why we paid for admission? Is this why we were waiting 3 years for this movie?. It all boils down to a coincidence why Batman and Superman become friends at the end. What a waste of time!
Overall, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice didn’t need to be two-and-a-half hours long. It could’ve been a focused and tight hour and 45 minutes without being so bloated, but Zack Snyder just had to introduce the members of the Justice League in this movie, and in the most shoehorned and hackneyed way possible at that (Spoiler Alert: In a fucking email!!!). Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is not so much a movie, but rather a two-and-a-half hour long trailer for 6 or 7 other movies. However, I do look forward to when Batman and Superman’s fight scene ends up on YouTube a few months from now. I’ll get some amusement from that then, but for now, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is dark, gritty, boring, and incoherent. It’s a mess! Stay away from it like Superman to Kryptonite, which apparently he is immune to and can withstand in this movie. Ugh!