Film Reviews

BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE

By • Mar 24th, 2016 •

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Snyder favors Batman unfairly while Affleck plays Affleck and never the character. Cavill shows both sides. A superior all-powerful being bothered by a man in a metal suit? A ridiculous premise buries this angry bromance.

Director Zack Snyder introduces the film by pleading with everyone not to reveal any of the secrets or plot points to friends. Verboten is social media reveals.

So, Snyder would be delighted to read that I am going to review – not the film – but the clothes, dialogue and how many close-ups Ben Affleck was given.

X-Men, The Avengers (though not Iron Man), the Justice League, Spider-Man, and The Holy Trinity – all have superpowers. With social media making stars of all of us (at least to our friends and faux-friends), what is left but to acquire super powers? The worst thing you can be today is anonymous and ordinary.

Batman is Batman for only one reason – he’s rich! Superman is an extraterrestrial being with fantastic superpowers. He doesn’t need to attach a flying machine to his back like Tony Stark. He doesn’t need Batman’s flying armor suit. Superman makes an elegant descent from the sky – Batman’s flying tank-suit crashes on hitting the ground.

When Superman (Henry Cavill) fought General Zod in MAN OF STEEL, Gotham was reduced to rubble. Bruce Wayne’s (Ben Affleck) huge corporate building takes a hit and the upper floors are destroyed. Many of Wayne’s employees die.

But no one blames Superman for the destruction of Gotham but Bruce Wayne!

Batman is jealous of Superman’s powers and how it has entranced the population. Superman saves kittens in trees and babies falling from the top of buildings. He’s godlike and doesn’t care about money.

Instead of using Wayne Enterprises to wave around some money to meet the astonishing celebrity known as Superman, Bruce badmouths him around town. Bruce bitches about what could happen if more like Superman would come to Earth. He doesn’t believe Superman’s entire planet was destroyed. Maybe there are other General Zods out there GPSing to Earth?

Superman sees Batman for what he is – a man in a fancy, high-tech suit. The Batman cape is a nod, a sigil, a necessary accoutrement. Julius Caesar wore a red cape in battle. Dracula wore a black cape because he had a strong sense of fashion.

With Batman and Superman at intellectual odds over who should handle criminals, really rich “enfant terrible” Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) revels in his carefully constructed odd behavior and mad genius lifestyle. Lex doesn’t have a dog in the fight but he does have enough money to entice a cage match between the two overlords of their villages: Metropolis and its neighbor, Gotham. Lex has put money on both sides. He doesn’t care who wins though he does have a trunk of Kryptonite.

While Affleck’s take on Batman is just to scowl and look like he’s angry-depressed, Cavill does show a marked difference in how he plays Clark Kent and Superman. Of course, Superman is at Lois Lane’s (Amy Adams) beck-and-call. Adams is usually so good when she is the lone woman in a company of actors. Here, the attention Wonder Woman/Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) gets – by Snyder and Batman – seems to have intimidated her. There were many candidates for who was Wonder Woman as several women get the camera’s attention. But it is tall, supermodel thin Gal Gadot sashaying around Bruce.

Bruce is a ladies’ man. Superman is above reproach.

Amazingly, when Wonder Woman does appear in her superwoman identity, Gadot is bigger, heavier and stronger.

Affleck has absolutely no idea how he wants to play Batman. It certainly does not help that Snyder features him prominently. He has more screen time, close-ups and dialogue than his counterpart. It soon becomes watching Ben Affleck play Batman.

Senator Finch (Holly Hunter) bogs down BATMAN V SUPERMAN and Alfred (Jeremy Irons) is no friend to Bruce. As played by Irons, he is outwardly disgusted with Bruce. When veteran actors like Hunter and Irons take on these cameo roles, they know how to trick-out the acting mannerisms and chew up the scenery. It’s a “remember me? audition for them.

Eisenberg must put to sleep his fidgety delivery of dialogue. Yes, he’s devilishly happy to meet Superman and Batman, but he could have invited them to lunch on his yacht.

I loved the look of the film. It’s the defining mark of Snyder. Its dark and dangerous but the plot does not make any concrete sense. Why does Bruce instigate Superman? I say he’s in a homoerotic tunnel and all he can do is lash out at his objet du désir.

It is also shameful that Snyder and the six credited writers use BATMAN V. SUPERMAN as a trailer for future films in the comic book canon.

Member of Las Vegas Film Critics Society: www.lvfcs.org/.

Victoria Alexander lives in Las Vegas, Nevada and answers every email at masauu@aol.com.

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