As Marvel dominated the hearts of fanboys, investors, and the casual moviegoing crowd with each critical darling and box office smash, all DC had going for its cinematic universe was Man of Steel. It may have been a box office success, but Zack Snyder and David S. Goyer’s Superman origin story divided many with its colorless action and heavy-handed metaphorical dialogue upon its release in 2013.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is no different. It’s as serious as its predecessor, as visually depressing as its predecessor, and, miraculously, as unpleasant as its predecessor.
Rewatching Man of Steel in preparation for Dawn of Justice felt like I had to read the bible for Sunday School. Not because of Snyder’s overabundance of often humorous Jesus imagery, but because every line of dialogue carried a life-changing emotional beat or a powerful metaphor. It was tiring after twenty minutes but downright painful after two and a half hours to hear these characters force every absurd line off the script and into my poor ears. Does anybody talk normally?
There are a few instances in Batman v Superman where that doesn’t happen. A conversation between Clark and Bruce at a fundraiser actually felt like two characters talking to each other. The dialogue was quick and simple, not overbearing and unnatural.
What a shame that so few scenes were given that treatment. If you see Jeremy Irons or Diane Lane in a scene, get ready for some of that good ol’ elderly wisdom. If Jesse Eisenberg is there, find the nearest exit unless you want to hear speech after speech from a character going out of his way to make sure you understand nothing he says.
It’s not the actors at fault here, if anything they should get points for at least showing up. I still can’t tell if Henry Cavill is a good Superman because he is once again given such a lousy, boring, plain, dull, uninteresting, and emotionless hero to work with. The slice of white bread you got in Man of Steel returns here in full force.
Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot are welcome additions, except their characters are as equally devoid of personality. Is Ben Affleck a good Batman? Is Gal Gadot a good Wonder Woman? I honestly have no idea. You can get the best actors in the world, and you wouldn’t be able to tell if they’re right for the role. Then there’s Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. Why Lex Luthor is a high-pitched long-haired little snot is beyond me (and why he’s given more character than Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman combined is an even greater mystery), but Eisenberg plays the role convincingly and never lets the voice or his mannerisms get too annoying. A true feat considering the role that was given.
Aggravating and nonsensical dialogue that confuses the plot and muddles any emotion that would get you to care about any of the monotonous characters is the first two acts in a nutshell, just like that classic Man of Steel. There’s very little action, just a lot of serious mumbo jumbo. The final act, in the same vein of Man of Steel, is where you’ll find the punches. Is it finally time to have some fun?
Remember that Mayweather/Pacquiao fight from a year ago that was literally billed “The Fight of the Century” and it ended up being two guys hugging it out for a few minutes with a couple of punches thrown in?
The titular fight between Supes and Bats, the event you paid to see, goes on for about five minutes and was almost entirely seen in the trailer. And boy was it not even a good five minutes. What should have been a battle of the ages became a battle to keep me from taking off those bulky IMAX glasses so I can actually enjoy my time in this theater.
You don’t realize how pathetic that fight is until, not even ten minutes later, Batman is tasked with taking out a group of bad guys by himself, and it was about 50x more enjoyable than the main event. The action was frenetic, and every hit was felt by both the audience and the guy in the film who just had all of his teeth knocked out. That fight lasts under a minute, because why should I be happy watching this movie?
Oh, and the final fight that has half of the Justice League fighting against Doomsday? I think I enjoyed it. I barely remember anything from that CGI-smothered finale, just as I’m barely going to remember anything from this worthless superhero film. Mistakes were made in 2013, and, aside from a few brief glimpses of hope, literally nothing was learned in the past few years. It’s a sequel to Man of Steel, and it’s just as bad as it sounds. Thankfully, only nine sequels have been announced so far.
Bryan had entirely different thoughts about this film, find his review right here.