REVIEW | Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
Two icons pitted against each other. Sounds exciting, even to a non-comic person like me. And ambitious. Can they pull it off? I'm not a fangirl. I just want to watch a great movie. I loved The Dark Knight Rises and was sorely disappointed by the traumatizing Man of Steel.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a mess. It lacks build-up, reason, and motivation. The series of events before the "fight night" is a snooze-fest, the relentless explosions and visual effects an eyesore, and the score just made everything exhausting. I wanted more than empty CGI. CGI, by the way, Mr. Zack Snyder, should be utilized to support a story, and not the reason to see a movie.
Ben Affleck's Batman, thankfully, is not as annoying as you expect, but he's got no personality. He's just a vision of muscles. The annoying character here is the supremely annoying Jesse Eisenberg as Luthor, a paper-thin caricature with nothing to offer except his irritating signature mannerisms. Who is endeared by Eisenberg, anyway? Always cast as a "genius" nerd. He sounds and looks the same in whatever movie he stars in, including this one-- except that they made him spew cringe-worthy dialogue here. He's not an impressive psychopath in this movie. He's just a rambling mediocrity. An unpleasant child begging for your attention.
Despite the messy storytelling, including the embarrassing, pretentious, and weak allusions to God and the Gospels, there's surprisingly a heart to this film. It's a biased movie, by the way, partial to Superman-- a Henry Cavill who's all face but no personality. But there is substance to his underdog story, his being an outcast, his alien mythology, his being a misunderstood and flawed hero. The fight between the two, plus the ending, somehow generate entertainment in an otherwise loopy plot.
BvS is an example of a very bad storytelling, but it managed to squeeze some significant emotions out of a non-fangirl like me. It's not a great movie, but it's certainly better than Man of Steel.
3 out of 5 stars
Opens March 26, 2016