Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Batman v Superman review: Who am I kidding, you're going to see it anyway


[WARNING: Lots of rambling]

I did not like Man of Steel. I thought it lacked character development, suffered from rushed plotting and repetitive, overlong action sequences. 

Still, going into this movie, I tried to hope for the best. It's pointless to pre-hate a movie before you've seen it. 

Mundanely, it turned out to be what I was expecting: a bloated, overly serious music video promoting a whole series of sequels.

Like MoS, it has a good cast stranded with no characterisation to work with. I still don't understand or care about Cavill, and Affleck, though he looks the part and has some good scenes, comes across as a collection of promo clips for the upcoming sequels rather than a character. 

I wonder why Amy Adams even bothered to turn up -- she spends the whole movie playing a professional hostage. Dump and run, lady -- you're better than this!

The only one vaguely unscathed is Gal Gadot as Diana/Wonder Woman. She gives her part a little bit of spark, but once again she feels like a motion poster for her solo movie.

The plot jerks from one scene to another with no rhyme or reason, flirting from one inconsequential character to the next, with several bizarre ellipses only further muddying the waters.

Everything is art directed to death. The score seems to be played by an orchestra of thrash metal drummers. Snyder crafts every frame like a money shot -- seriously, they all look the same. 

And Snyder seems to confuse a dark tone with dark colour grading.

This movie is filled with silly, comic book stuff, yet plays it with such unblinking, one note seriousness it comes across as parody. Or an Evanescence video.

That's the problem  ultimately -- this movie is just hard, glistening surface with nothing real to draw you in. 

Though fanboys may cheer that whole scenes are lifted from Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, they amount to almost nothing -- which is par for the course. Every choice in this movie is all in service of a confusing, limp story with no stakes or human characters to get the viewer over its narrative weaknesses.

There were only two scenes that made a mild impression -- Bruce's infiltration of Luthor's mansion was fun, with Affleck pretending to be a drunken bore, and getting sidetracked when a beautiful woman walks past -- it felt like an old school heist movie, or a Bond flick. The other was Bruce meeting Diana (Gadot) at the museum, which was one of the rare moments where the movie quietened down (not really selling this I know, but it's really hard to think of things I liked). 

Other than those bits, this thing is a slog that left no real impression. 

While you might enjoy the spectacle, the running time is too long for me to recommend it as dumb fun.

BvS is DOA. Or BS. 




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