So, I saw Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice at 7pm last night at Midtown Art Cinema. There were maybe 20 people in the smallest theater they had. This is my review. If you care about “spoilers”, go ahead and dip out. If you don’t, I’m just gonna rip the Band-Aid off for you right now. Let’s get started, shall we?
If you haven’t figured it out by now, Zack Snyder makes movies for bros, and Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice is The Dark Knight for bros. What could have been a powerful statement on mankind’s propensity to blindly follow leaders and their subsequent mob desire to destroy all those who question or dissent, collapses under the weight of Zack Snyder’s complete ineptitude and slo-mo fetish. Plot points teeter on the edge of San Andreas fault and fall into the abyss as soon as they appear. Flat, one-note characters exist only to prop up a story structure that’s been condemned and scheduled to be torn down. It’s long. It’s about 40 minutes too long. It has four opening scenes. It’s boring. It’s depressing. Nothing about it feels remotely cohesive. It’s a movie where a lot of things happen, but nothing actually happens. Everybody is sad. And before you start, I don’t like comic book movies that are “fun”, so miss me with The Avengers comparison. There’s fun, then there’s just straight up nihilistic. Even the “jokes” were on SSRIs.
Just so you have a frame of reference, here’s the basic plot: Superman has caught some shit for destroying Metropolis and Batman wants to kill him, but Lex Luthor already has a plan for that. Why does he have that plan? Who the fuck knows. Now that’s been settled, let’s break this shit down.
Batman v Superman
The title lied to all of us. It wasn’t a fight. It was a perfunctory, bored handjob Zack Snyder gave to the millions of people (myself included) who have waited to see these two characters battle it out on the big screen. I’d even be ok if the title referred to a battle of wills, but that didn’t happen either. I can’t even give props to the great special effects, because with a budget of $250M that’s the least Snyder could do.
Ben Affleck Really Tried, You Guys
Bruce Wayne is now older than his father was when he died. His hair is graying, he no longer has time for the bullshit. And whatever idealism he once thought Batman represented, has now been replaced by a psychotic murderer who has seen the worst of humanity one too many times. Batman isn’t going to make you question your life choices while you sit and wait on the curb for the cops to show up. Batman will fucking kill you and make his and the cops’ jobs easier. He’s pissed, he does Crossfit while waiting for files to download, he hates everyone. Ben Affleck fucking nailed this despite the comically horrific dialogue that he was forced to deliver straight in a repurposed Mr. Freeze suit. He rose above it even when Snyder was trying to chop him down at the knees the whole time with stupid dream sequences and fight choreography that looked like he was still practicing the run through. Whatever issues I have with this movie, Ben Affleck isn’t one of them. Read that last sentence again. That’s how bad this movie is, guys.
Superman Wasn’t Superman
If Superman wasn’t immune to Lexapro, he would have been on it like maybe six months prior to the start of this thing. Dude is just fucking annoyingly morose and when Batman is about to stab him with a kryptonite spear (yes, a kryptonite spear), he cries for his mommy. Every line and closeup is Henry Cavill showing you what his $50/hr acting coach told him pain looked like. There comes a point where the pain of him trying to emote things makes him almost pull it off. Now, I understand comparing visions is dumb, but you only had to look at Christopher Reeve for a second and you’d believe the world was safe. Not here. You can’t give Cavill all the blame, but Superman basically just whined and got his ass kicked the whole movie. Superman. He wasn’t a superhero, he was some dumbass socio-political and religious metaphor that you couldn’t miss since Zack Snyder spent about 20 minutes beating you unconscious with, “SUPERMAN IS A MESSIAH TYPE FIGURE FYI HOPE YOU’RE PICKING UP ON THIS SEE RIGHT HERE HE LOOKS LIKE JESUS” shots. We get it. He can destroy the entire world, but he can’t destroy his feelings. Without sounding too sexist here, Superman was a bitch.
Wonder Woman Was Added After The Fact
I honestly want to believe that the script for Batman V Superman was fully written then a Warner Bros. exec peeked his head in and said, “Yeah, so we’re gonna need Wonder Woman in this. Make it happen.” Because here’s how we’re introduced to Wonder Woman: she’s trying to rob Lex Luthor of a thing that Batman is already robbing because Lex Luthor has one of her selfies in it. She steals it, doesn’t know how to crack the decryption, shows up at a party so we can see Gal Gadot in another dress, then we finally get to see Wonder Woman do Wonder Woman some things to Doomsday. Yes. Finally. Wonder Woman. Wait, no. Her two big solo fight sequences were basically the same thing with a different smile at the end. For this iconic character to wait 60+ years to get her first taste of cinematic action, Snyder and Goyer failed her miserably.
Lois Lane Is Only Here To Move Superman Around
To their credit, they did briefly mention that she’s an investigative journalist. Glad they remembered to throw that in. Because the rest of the time, Lois Lane was a device to move Superman from point A to point B. That’s it. That was her whole deal. Need a scene where you frame Superman for murder? Make somebody take her hostage. Need to make Superman get to you quicker? Throw her off a building. Need to take Superman away from a fight because you need to give Wonder Woman more screen time? Make Lois Lane drown. Need her just to serve as a throwaway love interest and paper thin character? Make her melt during an argument because Clark Kent hands her a single rose. I almost felt sorry for Amy Adams, but people sign the contracts they wanna sign.
Let’s Talk About Jesse Eisenberg
You know that movie where Jesse Eisenberg plays the jittery, neurotic asshole? You know the one I’m talking about. Guess what? He plays that guy here. Except in Batman V Superman, it’s so over the top that I was torn whether or not to believe he unintentionally took meth or if he was doing some type of meta performance art and playing the most Jesse Eisenbergiest Jesse Eisenberg he could play. It wasn’t just bad, it was bad Nic Cage. People in the audience legit cringed at like 80% of his line delivery. And I almost wouldn’t have even noticed if his actual reasons for wanting Batman to kill Superman weren’t just penciled in with some vague existential references to books they wanted you to know he’s read (because he’s real smart, you see!). This will go down as one of the worst casting decisions of any film, regardless of genre, for a long time (and I say that without hyperbole).
Hey, There’s Aquaman
Aquaman was shown in a video monitor. Annddd….end scene.
It Might Have The Worst Singular Plot Device In Movie History
The movie opens with the shit we’ve seen a million times. Bruce Wayne’s parents death. Why was this in the movie? A plot device that felt like it was pulled out of a hat. As Thomas Wayne lay dying, he looks over at his dead wife and says, “Martha…”. THAT’S IMPORTANT BECAUSE SUPERMAN’S MOM’S NAME IS ALSO “MARTHA”! As in Martha Kent. The woman, who at this point, Lex Luthor is holding hostage and threatening to kill unless Superman brings him the head of Batman. So when Superman is staring up at the kryptonite spear, he pleads with Batman to “save Martha”. Not “save my mother”, but “save Martha” (because I guess when you’re about to die you cal your mom by her first name). Long story short, Batman hears “Martha” and is like, “Oh, our moms have the same name. We’re homies now.” That’s literally how the fight ended. It ended because their mothers share a first name. I wish I was joking.
“Who Care What The Critics Say?”
Most of the cast and Snyder has said this, and a lot of your friends on Facebook have said this. All that really means is, “We made this movie for people who won’t pay attention to the giant turd we shit in their popcorn as long as they get to see Batman and Superman together.” Warner Bros. and Zack Snyder played you like a side chick and you’re falling for it. You’re allowed to love these characters and hate the movie that did this to them. It’s ok. This movie wasn’t great. You don’t have to lie to yourself anymore. Nobody will take away your DC card.
In conclusion, Snyder and everyone involved here should go away for a while and take time to consider if this is really what they want to do with their lives. I fully expected this movie to be bad, but I went in legitimately hoping it wouldn’t be. Turns out it was much worse.
I’ll let Ben Affleck show us out: