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Nerdlocker Movie Review: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice


Now, before we get into this, it must be said, I am not a huge fan of superhero movies. I didn’t grow up reading comics and I’m not crazy about Batman or Superman. Having said that, I go into every movie with an open mind and prior to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, I was starting to warm up to superhero flicks. Captain America: The Winter Soldier was surprisingly substantial, Guardians of the Galaxy was a lot of fun, and Ant-Man and Deadpool also found the right groove. Needless to say, those are all Marvel/Disney movies and BvS is not. It’s DC Comics/Warner Bros. Many of the things that Marvel gets right–the brisk pace, the likable characters, the enjoyable tone, the self-referential humor–are largely absent from Zack Snyder’s latest spectacle, an underwhelming stinker that takes itself way too seriously and comes up short in the entertainment department.

My expectations weren’t super high going in, but I did not expect BvS to be the abomination that it is. I mean, you’d think that placing Batman and Superman together in the same movie would at least result in some cool/exciting/memorable scenes, no? Well, it doesn’t. There were only two moments in 2 hours and 33 minutes that got any kind of reaction from the audience. Henry Cavill is boring as Superman, Ben Affleck is bland as Batman, and Jesse Eisenberg is odd and supremely miscast as Lex Luthor. The script is terrible. The tepid, lifeless characters are tough to get behind and I found it very difficult to care for any of them. In fact, by the end of the movie, I was rooting against them all–the good guys, the bad guys, the folks they’re supposed to be saving, Metropolis, all of it. If this is the seed of the franchise’s future, the prognosis is negative.

The movie is visually repugnant. I wasn’t a fan of the Nolan trilogy either, but it looks like high art compared to the bland trappings of BvS–clearly inspired by The Dark Knight Trilogy. An overabundance of muddled CGI, and a somber, cold, off-putting look make it arguably the ugliest Batman or Superman movie ever. (Yes, I prefer the look of the Schumacher debacles.) It’s only rival is 2013’s Man of Steel (also directed by Snyder) which took the bright color palette traditionally associated with Supes and dialed it back to near-Nolan levels for a more gritty, modern look, heavy with effects. Not a fan.

The lack of humor and the super-serious, ultra-grim tone are also turnoffs. The film is joyless, heartless. It does too much to try and set up spinoffs and future installments. Batman and Superman together at last wasn’t enough, they had to assemble the other aveng–err, the other heroes, including Wonder Woman. To be fair, while her character feels shoehorned in, the lovely Gal Gadot is one of the movie’s bright spots. Jeremy Irons playing Alfred is also a highlight. Nobody else escapes unscathed. Amy Adams reprises her role as Lois Lane and exhibits zero chemistry with Henry Cavill. I’m generally an Amy Adams fan, but when it comes to Lois Lane, I’m more of a Teri Hatcher guy. When Cavill and Affleck face-off on screen, it doesn’t have the necessary weight or dramatic heft that one would expect from The Caped Crusader and The Man of Steel. It should feel epic and it doesn’t. The frantic, videogame-like, yawn-inducing action sequences go on and on with no true sense of risk, and the bloated, jumbled story struggles to balance an overabundance of elements, like Spider-Man 3. Sometimes less is more; BvS is heavy on ingredients and short on flavor.

2 out of 5 Nerdskulls

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Salty Winters once said, "Everything I learned I learned from the movies." He was quoting Audrey Hepburn.