Director: Zack Snyder
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Just by the title, you know what you’re getting in for with this film. Not only is it the story of the two title characters’ titanic clash, it’s also the springboard for the countless upcoming DC films—primarily the Justice League, which is partially set up in this movie. And, that doesn’t even cover the half of it. A more apt title would be Batman v Superman feat. Wonder Woman and Lex Luthor: Dawn of Endless Sequels. There you go, a title as bloated as the film it describes.
Yes, at just a smidge over the two and a half hour mark, and stuffed with dozens of characters and dozens of subplots, this thing is bloated. It may sport the two heavy weights of comic book lore, but short of some spot-on casting, occasional flares of writing and action (the kind that should come easy given the source material), this latest entry from DC does not have a hell of a lot going for it. The majority of the film is stuffed to bursting in several keys ways. Visually the CGI is in-your-face and out of place, and will have many longing for the crisp realism and practicality of Nolan’s The Dark Knight. Even outside the spectacle, director Zack Synder drenches every frame in excessive filters, draining the life from most of the drama. The action at best is exhilarating (one of two Batman sequences spring to mind), though it is often bland and weightless, and at worst feels like being cinematically water-boarded. Even the score at times feels overwhelming and supremely over-dramatic despite the film itself having barely a scrape of drama to cling to.
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Don’t give me the old “it’s only a comic book movie,” because to be honest some of them rock, and just because this one has Batman AND Superman (and a budget that could economically stabilise at least three impoverished nations) this isn’t one of them.