An amniotic sac hatched creature, a Kryptonite spear, Lex Luthor fondling a kitchen timer, Wonderwoman and Aquaman feature … sounds destined for greatness.
Following 2013’s Man of Steel, Zack Snyder directed the second installment of DC’s Extended Universe. Batman v Superman saw the first live-action cameos of Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and the Flash in the action-packed motion picture. The film depicts Lex Luthor’s criminal genius’ psychopathic urge to destroy Superman – because every superhero needs one – attempts to manipulate the climatic confrontation between Superman and Batman, culminating in a very gripping battle scene between everyone’s two favourite superheroes.
After spending my Saturday afternoon watching Warner Brothers’ biggest pre-summer film release with the superhero showdown movie of the moment I am, at best, malcontent. Last weekend saw the release of the much-anticipated superhero spectacle but the one hundred and the fifty-one-minute long feature seemed to lack ‘je nais sais quoi’. Consequently, it fell short of the expectations I had for the spectacular superhero showdown I hoped it would have been.
At the helm, Zack Snyder directed what could have been the best superhero movie seen to date. Despite the star-studded cast and the climatic battle between the eponymous superheroes, the plot radiated brooding aloofness exacerbated by the usual gloom associated with a Bruce Wayne appearance, which permeated into the audience’s response to the blockbuster. It is no wonder sad Ben Affleck has been trending.
The first hour (excluding the first fifteen minutes) can be summed up as a frivolous preamble: exuding pensive facial expressions, low grumbles from a distant and disengaged batman accompanied by blank expressions from a vacant yet handsome Clark Kent. The lack of emotional feeling or general movement in Batman and Superman’s demeanour was confounding. During intimate scenes with Amy Adams, Cavill appeared twisted and conflicted. I blame the whole ‘I love Lois but I have to save the world’ mantra/dilemma.
Disappointingly you have to sit through excruciating scenes of Lois and Clark trying to convey strained, withdrawn yet passionate affection for each other. While Lois Lane/Amy Adams does her best to remain relevant to the plot. Adams executed her role well, with that being said the role of Lois is ineffective and distracting, particularly when she throws the Kryptonite spear into the lake resulting in Superman diving for the spear thus weakening his powers. Thank you, Lois, for your completely pointless and unhelpful act in the exasperating drama. Vexingly Wonderwoman’s talents are subsided throughout until the final battle scene as she is reduced to the slinky woman in the night, only a minuscule step higher than that of a Bond girl.
Lacking in coherence the storytelling aspect of the film requires greater clarity. Naturally the narrative has to bounce between Batman’s subplot and Superman’s subplot but failed to culminate in a successful main plot, other than the fact that Lex Luthor is severely deranged.
Aesthetically pleasing in 3D – to watch this film in 2D is to do a great injustice to yourself – aurally orgasmic thanks to the contributions of Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL of Mad Max: Fury Road. The double act produced a brash, brazen and bold film score, with a cacophony of sounds indicative of unrelenting discord between Batman and Superman as they fight to the finish, signified through the binary and transition between moving string sections and the cacophonous clattering clashes.
It’s a shame you have to wait for the last ten to fifteen minutes before anything remotely resembling a good superhero movie ensues. The juxtaposition of good and evil; the battle between man and alien, the opposition between heaven and earth, God (celestial figure) and the devil all charged themes that rooted the film’s profoundness yet in execution it the action meanders.
Disjointed yet action packed: the lengthy film was hurried yet simultaneously painfully prolonged, revealed through the sporadic pace and random scene selection and sequences. Snyder’s efforts have produced two separate films and fused them together in a disjointed cluttered fashion. Scenes of intensity and fierce combat are overshadowed by copious displays of dullness. The bloody denouement is the film’s redeeming quality accented by the poignant and provocative ending.
I can imagine Snyder being a lot like Jesse Eisenberg in the trailer scene when Lex Luthor enters saying, ‘Bruce Wayne meets Clark Kent, I love it’ *claps emphatically* sadly very little came of this rendezvous.
Despite the film’s deficiencies, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was a relatively competent film if you disregard one hundred minutes of the one hundred and fifty-one-minute feature. It is safe to say Marvel’s Avengers can rest in peace from the threat of this Justice League movie.