‘Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice’ review

Batman vs. Superman is a long film. It’s a long film because it’s a comic book series that forgot it was a film.

What I mean by that is that it’s paced as if it was a series of comic books.

“I’m a comic book guy and I made the movie based as much as I could on that aesthetic. And so I don’t know how else to do it 100%, so it is what it is,” director Zack Snyder said in a Yahoo! UK article.

 

A film doesn’t stop to pose like a full panel in a comic book, then continue the action (that happens several times during in the movie.) The filmmakers seem to have forgotten that the majority of people who go to these film know who these characters are. Even if they don’t know, they can be introduced far faster and easier than BvS does it.

That’s the downer side.

The upside is that Ben Affleck does a damn fine older world-weary Bruce Wayne with a snarky butler, Alfred (Jeremy Irons) who is also the mastermind of building Batman’s technology. Wayne Manor is a burned out shell, never rebuilt. Wayne has a glass-walled home that looks over a river (under which is the entrance to the Bat cave. My first thought is that the builders really must have thought he was nuts.) Also, Wayne is wonderfully well-dressed in Gucci.

Superman is actually more a flawed casting. Cavell is great when he’s Clark Kent and aa a vulnerable Superman, but as the M*A*N O*F S*T*E*E*L he’s as emotive as a statue.

Come to think of it, the movie tries to do too much. It jerks along, poses, introduces the DC’s superheroes pantheon (hopefully to rival Marvel.)

Some of the best casting is in Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor (chewing scenery with the best of comics villains), Amy Adams as Lois Lane (who is living with Clark – finally!), and Diane Lane as Martha Kent (who gets the best line of all about Batman’s designer duds. A touch of humor much-needed by then.)

Best of all, Wonder Woman (Gia Gadot) is superb. Even draws the interested of a jaded Bruce Wayne who has a woman bedmate in one scene so he’s no celibate. (Unlike Tony Stark though, he doesn’t have Pepper Potts to usher out the woman in the morning. Maybe Alfred does it along with the shopping and vacuuming.)

(As far as I can see, Wayne has NO household help. This is not Downton Abbey.)

Two more pluses: A really powerful soundtrack by Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL. often it is as powerful as the visual; sometimes it’s overwhelming and pretentious. Great for jogging too.

Secondly, the visuals are a match to any unbelievable panels found in comic books. In Batman vs. Superman, that movie’s most wildly exotic villain is the equal of the drawn page of a comic. That is RARE.

So, be prepared for an hour of fumbling around before #BatmanvsSuperman gets its pacing for the last hour and a half.

(This comes later than most because I promised my friends on Facebook I wouldn’t spoil the film which I saw Thursday night. TW)

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