Thursday, March 31, 2016

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

        Director Zack Snyder goes bigger, louder and more bombastic in this overstuffed 2 1/2 hour infomercial for the new "Justice League" movie coming next year. Don't get me wrong, there are some bright spots but overall it's hard to get past the boredom and disconnection of the first half of the film.

        The movie opens with a tired retread of Batman's origin. How many times do we need to see that? However, the film redeems itself in the very next clever sequence where we see the end of "Man of Steel"from Batman's perspective.  This sets up Batman's anger towards Superman which is further fueled by villain Lex Luthor.  Lex's plan is to eventually pit the heroes against each other in a fight to the death. Why, is never really made clear. 

         I always thought in the DC universe, Metropolis and Gotham City were a great distance from each other but in this film, they are just across the river (who knew?). That makes it easy for Batman and Superman to find each other quickly to fight over who is the bigger vigilante and menace to society (oops, wrong film). The film is dark, both in mood and visuals. You can't even tell where the climatic fight takes place. Mr. Snyder throws everything he can into this film, including the proverbial kitchen sink (in an effort to be funny). Humor is sorely lacking in the film. Even when a joke is tried, it falls flat.

        Much was made over the casting choice of Ben Affleck as Batman. He actually is not that bad falling somewhere between Christian Bale and George Clooney in the role. Superman is once again played by Henry Cavill, just a step up from a cardboard cutout. He's much better in the Clark Kent scenes. Lex Luthor is played by Jesse Eisenberg, who seemed like an odd choice but he grows into the part and ends up truly evil.  Amy Adams reprises her role as"plucky" Lois Lane and Jeremy Irons joins the cast as Alfred the faithful Butler. Mr. Irons is just too majestic an actor to fill the Alfred role. Bring back Michael Caine. Laurence Fishburne is a generic Perry White and Holly Hunter is a senator with an agenda. The freshest face in the cast is Gal Godot, who plays Diana Prince aka Wonder Woman. She only has a few minutes of action screen time but she definitely makes an impression and that sets up her solo film coming next year.

               Even if you were sleeping through the first half of "Yawn of Justice", the second half of the film wakes you up faster than a speeding bullet. It's why you bought your ticket and it doesn't disappoint. There is plenty of action and even a surprising ending. 

               Unlike in a Marvel film, there is no need to sit through the credits waiting for an extra scene. The surprise cameos happen during the film and act to wet your appetite for "Justice League". The best I can really say about Batman V Superman is...bring on "Captain America: Civil War".

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