Short reviews for clear and concise verdicts on a broad range of films…
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Zack Snyder/2016)
The tragedy in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is how you’re filled with optimism as it begins. It’s like looking at Superman himself, majestically set off in the sky, before smashing down in an explosive pulp on the Metropolis tarmac. Introducing Bruce Wayne, as he watches the chaotic conclusion of Man of Steel, is a promising start. Ben Affleck has the square-jawed seriousness the Bat needs. Henry Cavill charms with his boyish good-looks and stern glare. But rather than intelligent action, BvS is all about looks; Bruce Wayne looking at files, videos and photographs while, serving as an introduction, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman stares in shock at email attachments. That doesn’t even count the red-eyed laser-beam threat and teacher-stare that Superman uses to tell the villains they’ve been bad boys. And these bad boys are embarrassingly bad with Jesse Eisenberg dreadfully miscast as Lex Luthor and Doomsday surprising us as an uglier Hulk/Thing mash-up. Confusing dream sequences and sequel set-ups muddy the movie further and, on reflection, you wonder what the point is. The Dark Knight trilogy (and, to a lesser extent, Man of Steel) has socio-political issues buried within while the ever-dominating Marvel franchise prides itself on frivolous fun. BvS:DoJ is neither, struggling to stumble upon anything profound and ridiculously failing to be entertaining. Man of Steel was bold and ambitious, however inconsistent. Zack Snyder’s sequel fails on both counts amounting to a limp, dull offering with only an imaginary potential remaining as a wish to dream on.