BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE Review

batman v superman

Director: Zack Snyder

Genre: Superhero Blockbuster

Release: 2016

As a comic fan, walking into BATMAN V. SUPERMAN is like visiting a grandparent with dementia for the first time; you’ve heard about a loved one’s rancid diagnosis and their newly attributed peculiarities and troubles. You have come to terms with their new disability and are planning to make the very best of your new journey together. The reaction is part sorrow, part “How bad can it really be?  They were just fine last summer.” And then you see them— and there’s only the harrowing boredom of witnessing the slow demise of a childhood provider. An all-American garbage fire, Zack Snyder’s latest co-opts everything from 9/11 imagery to news reports of ISIS and Boko Haram massacres to mass shooting vigils. In the first 15 minutes, Bruce Wayne sprints down an abandoned city street into an incoming cloud of smoke and rubble, an opening statement pronouncing Snyder’s adamancy to making the ultimate post-9/11 blockbuster. Our truest heroes are the ones who run right into their foes, without question.

batman v. superman yeah ben good job

“Yeah, Ben, good job, but for this next take, give the line a little more ‘Dick Cheney,’ know what I mean?”

BVS is like a GOP candidate dodging questions about their autocratic stances, providing verbose, general posits on justice and theology that serve only to pull the wool over your eyes, be it about the inherent brokenness of the syntax or the evil of the ideas spouted. Proven by his filmography, Snyder is a juvenile nihilist, a hater of all human life who uses the bloated, multi-million dollar comic book movie adaptation as a means to convey his deep, 10th grade-level frustrations. There are no good guys, except for when there are bad guys. Then those dudes we considered bad are actually the good guys, because, oh, man, look at those bad guys. The good guys are only considered so because the other guys are worse. The bell has already been rung and there is no other solution than to destroy. Cue the Justice League, a superhuman army whose powers to destroy cover time, space, and air. That’ll be another 20 dollars, please.
batman v. superman super trump

Mad respect to Superman, he belongs to no one and really speaks his mind.

Besides its dubious nature, this just doesn’t click; it clunks along all herky-jerky with zero sense of grace, simply a destination in mind. That destination?  A foundation on which to set up the next product, with more major actors playing dress-up as their CGI counterparts float around populous urban centers punching other cartoons. Really, it is 2016 and our superhero movie climaxes are still just flying dudes wailing into each other? It is 2016 and one of the superheroes known for being a master of gadgetry is in your film and all you have him do is punch, stab, and toss every chance he gets? Every major event of the film is driven, initiated by, or concluded with brute force; tedious and disappointing, Snyder and co. have no interest in clever ruses or diplomatic solutions, just backstabbing, explosions, and fisticuffs. The finale of the film, overstuffed and unmotivated, is a soporific medley of pissy yellows, muddy browns, darkness of night, and layered polygons. The titular battle is a nonevent; one punches the other, they’re down for the count, then they slowly arise and wallop into the other, they fall over, rinse and repeat.

batman v. superman curb stomp

Your favorite heroes…curb-stomped

Major new characters are introduced as if we’ve seen them before, and sure, we all know who Batman is, but to have the audience assume his traits is not only lazy, it effectively tells us that you intend to do nothing new with the persona. Except that he is now a cold-blooded murderer. It goes unexplained, with nary an inference to pick up on, only chances for the audience to project their own crackpot theories and character motivations onto Affleck’s Batman. He’s fine, but still undoubtedly Ben Affleck in the Batman suit, though his performance is constantly undercut by how moronic and unidentified this iteration of Bruce Wayne is. Worse is that the film never addresses his sinister hypocrisy. If Batman truly is the only one to stop an alien creature that can destroy our planet, then wouldn’t that make Batman just as legitimate of a threat? BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE is the most egregious pro-drone strike film ever made; kill heaps of innocents and murder your foes, as long as the eyes in the sky make the city feel safe.

batman v. superman eisenberg

The Unsung Savior of Gotham AND Metropolis

Waxing in poetics about the nature of justice, its psychopathic “heroes” are ultimately justified through Snyder’s adoring camera and the millions of toys being sold with their image in stores across the globe. BVS is a film wherein the millennial whose sole goal is to protect the globe from and control the totalitarian powers that are comprised of greying, outdated men in suits is the stark-mad villain. The fictional paragons of heroism in the United States have been malformed into the faces of fascism. BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE is the big budget bile byproduct of Trump’s America…. choke on it.

Verdict: Do Not Recommend

Deserted in a video store as an infant, Kevin was raised on Fulci, Tarantino, Kubrick, and Whoppers. Now he's a junior film production major at Chapman University who acts as guest contributor for Crossfader on the side: what a success story.

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