I sat through about two hours and forty minutes of this film so that you, in my opinion, won’t.
This is the year for two kinds of film genres: animated and superhero. And while Deadpool had it all locked down for the hero category, Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice scales heavily to one side. And, unlike Deadpool, it’s not weighing towards the ‘good’.
Ben Affleck steps into the bat-role for the first time, playing a (mostly) washed up Batman/Bruce Wayne. Henry Cavill dons the red cape once again in the Superman/Clark Kent role, and Amy Adams’s version of Lois Lane is right there with him. New faces include Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince.
If the title doesn’t give it away, what the movie eventually manages to wade through is the showdown between Batman and Superman. Bear in mind my choice of words: wade. As in, you’re swimming through boring scene after boring scene after – wait for it – boring scene to get there. If you can get through the first hour and change, then you deserve a medal. It was probably one of the slowest build-ups to the entire point of the movie. For some reason, director Zack Snyder had this need to reintroduce us to the characters – and then slowly introduce us to their rivalry. Could have probably done that in half the time it took – it did not need to take an hour. There were no solid action scenes for a while, so if you’re going in there hoping for some ka-pow, you’re in for a long, long, long, long wait. Hope you have enough popcorn.
What also didn’t work? The ‘Edward Nigma’ version of Lex Luthor. Eisenberg’s speedy, tumbling dialogue does not a Luthor make. It seemed experimental to me, and as trailers made their way onto YouTube, the snippets of Eisenberg’s portrayal piqued my interest. The biggest flub here? How much time he spent in the crazy category. It was so ad nauseum, and got tiring fast.
Also, what was the deal with the awkward dream sequences? They were so out of place! One involving Batman and a kryptonite bomb in a truck was a red herring. Another dream scene involving Batman at his parents’ graves: been there, done that.
I’m not all Doom(sday) and gloom here, though, and there are some silver linings: Gadot’s Wonder Woman is not so bad, and I’m looking forward to seeing how she fares in her own franchise. Fishburne was fun as Daily Planet editor-in-chief Perry White. While I didn’t like the Iron Man/Tony Stark visual stylings of Irons’s Pennyworth, I did enjoy his wit – even though he had very little screen time. The little nuggets of action you get in this film are appreciated, but in all honestly, it’s like finding a well in the desert, only to realize the water isn’t drinkable. That’s right. It does nothing to help this film that, by the three-quarter mark, has pretty much fallen quite far into a pit of despair.
With confused writing, poor portrayals of the most important characters, and too many “what the heck” moments for my liking, this film will be a comic book fan’s kryptonite. If you’re a movie goer who doesn’t follow Batman or Superman comics too closely, you might find this a bit more entertaining. Personally, I found it insulting as a comic book dork. We’ve seen comic book writing by Christopher Nolan taken apart, then properly utilized for a film, as was the case with quite a bit of The Dark Knight era. This was a little too Franken-comic for me. Do I think it’ll do well at the box office? With the recent drought (Zootopia has been doing well, but is starting to slow down in its third week out in theatres, and there really isn’t anything else out this weekend I’d say is as action-packed as this), it’s easy to see the heroes take the top spot.
My rating: half a washed up Batman plus half a carbon copy Superman = one comic book insult out of five. I’m suggesting you skip it. You’re not missing anything.