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Batman v Superman - Dawn of Justice: movie review

Updated on March 25, 2016
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Collin's been a movie critic since 2009. In real life he works in marketing and is also a novelist ("Good Riddance" published in Oct 2015).

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice | Source

Toward the end of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the Caped Crusader plonks the Man of Steel over the head with porcelain sink. It’s one of the movie’s more subtle moments.

Interminably long, mind-bogglingly dull, and incredibly silly, BvS lands with an deafening thud and, along the way, reminds everyone how far ahead Marvel is in the Great Comic Book Movie Wars.

Overlapping with the end of 2013’s Man of Steel, BvS opens (after yet another movie incarnation of young Bruce Wayne’s parents getting killed) with Superman (Henry Cavill) battling General Zod in the skies over Metropolis. The battle even extends as far as nearby Gotham (apparently they’re neighboring cities-- who knew?), where grown-up Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) watches from the ground as buildings collapse and people die, including many in his own skyscraper. So what does Batman do? What kind of revenge does he take?

Who knows? The action fast-forwards 18 months.

Why? We’re not sure.

Eventually Batman and Superman do come face-to-face, after no shortage of prompting from the nefarious Lex Luthor (played by Jesse Eisenberg, who has never more annoying-- and that's saying something). And there’s also something about a desert attack, a weird bullet, and a guy who lost his legs during the Zod battle. Do any of these things matter, though?

Not as far as we can tell. And heck-- we’re only here to see Batman and Superman fight each other, anyway, right?

Hopefully not, since it takes two hours to get there and lasts for five minutes. (It takes even longer for Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman to arrive, but at least her glorified cameo is actually worth it.)

Director Zack Snyder (apparently trying to one-up Michael Bay with every trope-y, stylized moment) seems to think it’s a good idea to film everything in slo-mo and use so much lens flare that even JJ Abrams would flinch. There’s not a single frame of BvS that shows any amount of talent other than Snyder’s wise decision to surround himself with highly capable visual effects people.

As for the script, chief screenwriter David Goyer (Man of Steel) went out of his way to make the story as convoluted and pretentious (yet still insanely bloated and boring) as possible. I don’t envy the brilliant Chris Terrio (Argo) for the clean-up job he was called in to do, and it’s mind-boggling to imagine the awful script he was handed, if what we got is his re-write.

Conclusion

Unfortunately we’re in for even more from the Zack Snyder School of Bombastic Superhero Movies, as not one but two (and possibly three) sequels are on the way. Someone call the Avengers, stat! Now that’s a battle I’d pay money to see.

Rating

1/5 stars

Worth the 3D glasses?

Batman v Superman isn't even worth it for 2D, but if you've got a lot of money to burn on a ticket for this nonsense, you may as well go all-out and upgrade.

'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' trailer

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