The Ninjabot

BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE Review; The Most Zack Snyder Movie Ever

Posted on March 23, 2016 at 2:02 pm by David "Snackbar" Edmundson

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In Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Director Zack Snyder takes his second shot at the DC universe. And if you thought he got Superman all wrong, wait until you see his Batman.

Batman V Superman begins where all Batman movies must, the death of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Once again we see the murder of the two, but this time in Snyder-vision. We’re then wisked to the end of Man of Steel, this time seen from the point of view of Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck). He rushes in to save the day, what he’s planning to accomplish is anyone’s guess, but there he is driving through Metropolis. He witnesses first hand the destructive power of Superman (Henry Cavill) and decides that Superman is bad. No other way to look at it, Superman is obviously a menace. It’s this thread that really puts the film on its heels. Throughout this entire film Bruce/Batman is unable to think for himself. The world’s greatest detective is made to dance like a puppet for Lex Luthor (Jesse Eienberg) and unwilling to see that maybe Superman isn’t the monster he thinks he is. Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) is doing god knows what, but we’ll get to her in a bit.

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We’ll start with Batman/Bruce Wayne, Affleck is doing his best, and at times is able to pull something out of the abysmal script. His portrayal is solid, but the material is not there for him. For his part Superman has gone full Jesus on us. If you thought the religious tone of Man of Steel was heavy handed, you’re in for a whole new level of Christ imagery. Lex Luthor is as annoying as he is in the trailers, and his motives are never really vetted. Unless he’s just crazy, in which case, mission accomplished. This time around he is a whiny child whose dad didn’t hug him enough. Finally, there’s Wonder Woman. I honestly have no idea what she was doing in the beginning of the film. She’s sort of a burglar, sort of a femme fatale, sort of eye candy. Luckily for us, when she comes out as Wonder Woman, it is one of the bright spots in the movie, and will have you hankering for her stand alone film.

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The titular fight that we are all waiting for happens deep into the film. There is so much nonsensical imagery before it, that the battle is a welcome respite. That’s not to say it isn’t good. It’s pretty great! For ten glorious minutes we get to see the Caped Crusader stand toe-to-toe with the Man of Steel. While the fight is amazing, it lacks any emotional depth, and it feels like we didn’t earn this great showcase. Had the preceding 90 minutes been better, the payoff would have been more rewarding. Also if Batman would take a breath and think for himself this would have all worked out fine. But remember, Snyder’s Batman is incapable of thinking for himself. He has to react poorly to things and be easily manipulated by others.

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The film seems to fight criticism before it can happen. We are constantly reminded that the island that they are fighting on is uninhabited, and when a building is leveled during a battle the reporters tell us “thank god the shift just ended and the building is almost empty.” Everywhere you look Snyder is apologizing to Man of Steel haters while piling on a whole new level a complainers (see the previous 600 words). All his usual tricks are in fell force here; slow motion, incessant use of hand held so you often have no idea what is going on, and of course style over substance.

Witnessing Snyder mishandle the two biggest entities in all of comics does not instill me with a lot of confidence that he will be able to handle an ensemble the size of the Justice League. Anyone hoping to get a sweet Justice League set up is in for disappointment. It also seems that Snyder is against heroes, which is a bold stance to take in a superhero film. The only heroic one in the bunch is Wonder Woman. When she hits the screen, you almost feel like everything will be alright.

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I really didn’t want to pile on the film this much. I was hoping that it would be good, and even tried to justify certain aspects to myself. The bottom line though is that this film is a total mess on all levels. Of course what I think doesn’t matter, the film will make a billion dollars and everyone will tell me I am wrong.

batman-v-superman-dawn-of-justice-ben-affleckSnackbar’s Grade: C-

Pros – Wonder Woman is great when she finally shows up
Cons – Abysmal writing, Poor direction, Lex Luthor, The mishandling of Batman, Nobody’s motives are clear

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