Playground speculation becomes multi million dollar movie when Ben Affleck’s Caped Crusader faces Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel in Zack Snyder’s bombastic blockbuster Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice*.
Replete with 9/11 imagery, vague notions of terrorism, warlords and evil tech genius, the film mistakes volume for valour, whacking everything up to intolerable levels of destruction and violence but dialling down on script and emotion to forge a spectaculary dull, grim and depressing experience.
I was bored by the CGI mayhem after 5 minutes – and felt nauseous that there were still 147 minutes more of this to go.
Even Amy Adams’ Lois Lane, who was previously a bright light of wit and good sense, becomes a useless afterthought to the underscored havoc.
So, what of the face-off? Reader, there isn’t one. I still don’t know why Batman would V Superman. He doesn’t – ok they have a little argument about something, but then they join together, and get Wonder Woman along, to fight some stupid green monster thing programmed up by Lex Luthor’ s son – Jesse Eisenberg, doing Mark Zuckerberg again, but a bit more evil, and a lot more irritating, complete with Malkovichian hiss and slither.
The grimmest aspect is that, even in these times of Trump and terrorism, when aliens are again the enemy and the world needs saving from itself, this film, featuring two of the hugest icons in popular culture of the last half century, nobody has come up with anything to say about the culture.
Even Holly Hunter’s perturbed Senator can’t find a decent answer to her moral inquiry into “How do we determine what’s good?”…
We don’t, or rather we can’t in this Snyder universe. There’s no one to root for, no real evil to defeat, until a monster pops up. Luthor is clearly insane, but his tycoon is no less dangerous than miserable alcoholic Bruce Wayne, and, if anything, a bit more fun.
I’ve seen a lot of superhero movies and they’re mostly poor, but this one is nasty and brutish. It’s incoherent and vicious, pornographically obsessed with hardware, bullets, buildings crashing, music swelling. It has no moral or emotional anchor but plunges into a misanthropic rancour. It is dumb and dim and dangerous and I hope it is kryptonite to the franchise – but you just know it won’t be. The problem is with studio movies now, they don’t even have to be good, they just have to exist and pummel their audiences into admission…