Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

What are YOU looking for?


Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

  • What are YOU looking for?

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

  • What are YOU looking for?


Rated

PG-13

Starring

Ben Affleck
Henry Cavill
Jesse Eisenberg
Amy Adams
Jeremy Irons

Written by

Chris Terrio
David S. Goyer

Directed by

Zack Snyder



What to Expect

I didn’t expect much from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in the first place.

The “hype” generated by the film felt incredibly synthetic, and for this movie to have revealed way too much in its trailers didn’t help.

However, taking a few steps backward, people were expecting a lot out of this film.

I predicted an average movie. I guess I was right.

What’s it About?

Linked to Man of Steel’s aftermath, we’re introduced to Bruce Wayne’s (Ben Affleck) paranoia for Superman, who has his battles of an image as an outsider. Neither of them knows, however, that Alexander Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) is the one writing the story of their upcoming battle.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Bat's not dead after all!

The Bat’s not dead after all!

It’s not every day that a mainstream movie manages to have so much discussion wrapped around it—much less a movie that’s earned itself a nasty critical upset. Except for this time, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice—a film about an impending war of strength between two of comic-book lore’s biggest heroes—has triggered many a cold war off-screen. A war of wits has erupted between the critics and the audience, between comic-book fans and comic-book geeks, and between appreciators of narrative and presentation.

Director Zack Snyder, of course, wins at presentation hands down. Snyder’s inimitable visual style may have become arguably redundant. What I do appreciate, however, is his near-perfect understanding of what exactly he wants in every frame, be it in tone or content. Replacing Amir Mokri in this film’s predecessor Man of Steel is Larry Fong, Snyder’s otherwise regular contributor. Fong isn’t entirely able to take Mokri’s vastness and dynamism in frame forward. The great thing about his return in collaboration with the director, though, is that the synergy is quite visible—particularly on an IMAX screen.

And increasing unrest when it comes to the film’s technical specifications would be its CGI, which “is clearly visible” according to a few of my acquaintances who made the first noise around my vicinity. A discussion with a friend who was as equally disdainful as I was of the film on its first viewing had us touching upon the CGI, which he claimed looked “incredibly fake”. My tryst with the movie on IMAX—aside from the fact that this was my second viewing—allowed me to look at these elements carefully, and from a thankfully explanatory view.

Day versus Knight

Day versus Knight

I could see why someone would find the visual effects of the film kitschy and unreal. But then again, I’ve (in this case) thankfully been able to watch ugly-looking 3D modeling and compositing in movies like Ultraviolet, The Last Legion and George Lucas’ reworked edition of 1977 film Star Wars, among others. But it isn’t a matter of relativity here. The kind of visual effects compositing the film has made an attempt to bring to the big screen has a very distinct vision to achieve, which it does. It does, of course, have Snyder’s trademark surreality all over it, which a good bunch may find redundant. When it comes to visuals, however, we all know that his trademarks almost always make every single frame look beautiful. It may not have realism but still looks gorgeous as hell.

But if one puts aside these elements—the visuals, the production design; even Zimmer and Junkie XL’s music—we reach the overall plot, screenplay and how Snyder helps translate the overall narrative on the big-screen. This is where the film betrays its plot-holes and overall script inconsistencies. Reacting to its terrible critical reaction in an interview with Yahoo, Zack Snyder said, “I’m a comic-book guy, and I made the movie 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.” While his reaction would have come from hurt, it doesn’t make an iota of sense, and here’s why.

Snyder’s Watchmen’s director’s cut is widely considered both his best work and an incredibly faithful adaptation of a comic-book in a decade, proving (of course) that he has the potential to execute a narrative with poise and focus. Man of Steel had quite a few narrative flaws, but it was a terrific cinematic experience, where a lot of concentration was prioritized towards world building, character establishment and the respective arcs of Superman’s family, Lois Lane or General Zod for that matter. At ten minutes shorter than its sequel, the film may have overstretched the climactic fight, but in retrospect, it doesn’t matter.

God among men

God among men

Whether it’s Nolan’s involvement that may have made the first one a better film or not, one may never really know. What’s apparent, however, is that the narrative in this movie is shamefully choppy. Hidden in the film are as many as four films: a solo Batman movie, a sequel to Man of Steel, the reason this film is titled Batman v Superman, and (weirdly) a Lex Luthor origins film. The film may follow the tone and flavor of comic-books, but that doesn’t matter. What is important is whether this is a movie that generates empathy within viewers when it comes to characters and their motives. Sadly, this movie lacks it. Emotion needs to be established, and there’s little to no establishment here.

We’re introduced to Bruce Wayne in the first ten minutes of the film; wherein he’s in the middle of the action in Man of Steel’s climactic fight. He spots Superman battling Zod, and the debris and the injured around him, and the anger in him festers. In a time-jump, we see Superman saving Lois in what’s later revealed to be an elaborate trap to set him up. The focus here is obviously on Batman, who gets a lot of screen-time. What the makers seem to have forgotten here is that this is still a follow-up to Man of Steel, and Superman is not touted to be the supporting character he ends up being in the film. Even so, the setup of Batman’s festering anger is not given any substantial establishment. Neither does Wayne visit the surviving families of the disaster nor does he seek to help anyone, except—financially—for (and we’re shown this through a terrible exposition) a certain injured Wallace Keefe (Scoot McNairy). We can’t feel for Wayne’s rage toward Superman for this prime reason. Of course, since Superman is relegated to the back-burner, it’s almost difficult for people to relate even to him the way they did with the film’s predecessor. And let’s not even begin with the thin ice Luthor’s character is standing on. The makers justify his hell-bent pursuit on the ruin of Superman with the lamest reasoning ever.

The Red Capes are coming

The Red Capes are coming

Additionally, the film is littered with way too many coincidences. One of them (it arrives at a crucial point in the movie’s climactic portions) is so ridiculous; it reminds those familiar with mainstream Indian Hindi-language potboiler films (“Bollywood” anyone?) of the numerous illogical coincidence-stuffed plot devices they almost always have. If there’s anything that brings viewers out of their boredom, it’s the exceptionally designed and executed action. A specific chase between Batman and Lex Luthor’s henchmen is spellbinding until its rather abrupt—and ridiculous—end. Shot on IMAX cameras, the titular fight is brilliant. It, however, doesn’t transition as well into the climactic battle with Doomsday as it should have, in which Lois Lane is shown to make so many missteps it’s shameful. One almost wonders if she’s as smart or resourceful as an exceptional journalist would be.

I’d love to make a complete list of just how incoherently brought together the film is, but I find the above reason enough to state how I feel about the movie. That being said, what I will say is this: the entire film needed as much as an hour more to justify the many intersecting plot threads it’s littered with. A movie that’s justifiably three hours and thirty minutes long is a lot more involving than a shorter film that’s poorly established.

To Perform or Not to Perform

Who knows who better?

Who knows who better?

As inconsistent as the movie is, one, fortunately, cannot say the same of most of the film’s cast. On the top rung are Jesse Eisenberg playing Lex Luthor, and Ben Affleck’s Batman. While Eisenberg’s mental edge to Luthor is possibly his most gleeful act to date, Ben Affleck’s spin on Batman is incredibly useful. Amy Adams and Diane Lane take their roles forward from Man of Steel, and despite their complete irrelevance, they provide the necessary emotional push to the movie. Gal Gadot is fantastic as Wonder Woman, and I expect more from her in the coming years. Jeremy Irons is a solid Alfred. Holly Hunter has a brief role, but her confidence is astounding. If there’s probably anyone who doesn’t have much to do, it would be Laurence Fishburne, whose establishment in the previous film is now replaced by a superficial How-To-Be-A-Boss 101. Scoot McNairy is… well, he’s alright. Oh, there’s also the weird appearances of Ezra Miller and Jason Momoa too. For reasons.

Worth it?

If one were to judge the movie purely by technical filmmaking, this is an excellent movie-watching experience—and one needs to see this in IMAX to believe it. All of that effort, however, is wasted in a screenplay that has quite a few spectacular scenes (the confrontation between Holly Hunter and Jesse Eisenberg is a rather commendably written scene, executed and enacted in all its maniacal glory) but has no two scenes fitting each other. Shameful much? Shameful indeed.

If I’m being brutally honest, though, this film isn’t worth it for those only looking to watch a good film at all. Although for the different sections of viewers, there are different things to expect. Fans will find different things to love while geeks will find different things to hate. But with a full-and-filled narrative that goes everywhere, and without the requisite emotional build up, this doesn’t qualify as a successfully made movie in the first place—forget the faithful tone and the homages.

There’s a lot to say about the movie, but I’ll leave with this: hidden deep within the film were (at the risk of repeating myself) four excellent films. Of course, all of these were left to suffocate and die under the many despicable layers of coincidence, contrivance and confusion. Sure it’s not the worst movie ever seen, but it’s an incredibly frustrating watch nevertheless.

Consensus: 2.5 Stars
Comme ci, comme ça
About the Author

Ankit Ojha

Facebook

Ambivert. Intermittent cynic. Content creator. New media enthusiast. Binge-watcher. Budding filmmaker.

Watch the trailer

We’re viral

Like UsFollow Us


Rated

PG-13

Starring

Ben Affleck
Henry Cavill
Jesse Eisenberg
Amy Adams
Jeremy Irons

Written by

Chris Terrio
David S. Goyer

Directed by

Zack Snyder



What to Expect

I didn’t expect much from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in the first place.

The “hype” generated by the film felt incredibly synthetic, and for this movie to have revealed way too much in its trailers didn’t help.

However, taking a few steps backward, people were expecting a lot out of this film.

I predicted an average movie. I guess I was right.

What’s it About?

Linked to Man of Steel’s aftermath, we’re introduced to Bruce Wayne’s (Ben Affleck) paranoia for Superman, who has his battles of an image as an outsider. Neither of them knows, however, that Alexander Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) is the one writing the story of their upcoming battle.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Bat's not dead after all!

The Bat’s not dead after all!

It’s not every day that a mainstream movie manages to have so much discussion wrapped around it—much less a movie that’s earned itself a nasty critical upset. Except for this time, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice—a film about an impending war of strength between two of comic-book lore’s biggest heroes—has triggered many a cold war off-screen. A war of wits has erupted between the critics and the audience, between comic-book fans and comic-book geeks, and between appreciators of narrative and presentation.

Director Zack Snyder, of course, wins at presentation hands down. Snyder’s inimitable visual style may have become arguably redundant. What I do appreciate, however, is his near-perfect understanding of what exactly he wants in every frame, be it in tone or content. Replacing Amir Mokri in this film’s predecessor Man of Steel is Larry Fong, Snyder’s otherwise regular contributor. Fong isn’t entirely able to take Mokri’s vastness and dynamism in frame forward. The great thing about his return in collaboration with the director, though, is that the synergy is quite visible—particularly on an IMAX screen.

And increasing unrest when it comes to the film’s technical specifications would be its CGI, which “is clearly visible” according to a few of my acquaintances who made the first noise around my vicinity. A discussion with a friend who was as equally disdainful as I was of the film on its first viewing had us touching upon the CGI, which he claimed looked “incredibly fake”. My tryst with the movie on IMAX—aside from the fact that this was my second viewing—allowed me to look at these elements carefully, and from a thankfully explanatory view.

Day versus Knight

Day versus Knight

I could see why someone would find the visual effects of the film kitschy and unreal. But then again, I’ve (in this case) thankfully been able to watch ugly-looking 3D modeling and compositing in movies like Ultraviolet, The Last Legion and George Lucas’ reworked edition of 1977 film Star Wars, among others. But it isn’t a matter of relativity here. The kind of visual effects compositing the film has made an attempt to bring to the big screen has a very distinct vision to achieve, which it does. It does, of course, have Snyder’s trademark surreality all over it, which a good bunch may find redundant. When it comes to visuals, however, we all know that his trademarks almost always make every single frame look beautiful. It may not have realism but still looks gorgeous as hell.

But if one puts aside these elements—the visuals, the production design; even Zimmer and Junkie XL’s music—we reach the overall plot, screenplay and how Snyder helps translate the overall narrative on the big-screen. This is where the film betrays its plot-holes and overall script inconsistencies. Reacting to its terrible critical reaction in an interview with Yahoo, Zack Snyder said, “I’m a comic-book guy, and I made the movie 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.” While his reaction would have come from hurt, it doesn’t make an iota of sense, and here’s why.

Snyder’s Watchmen’s director’s cut is widely considered both his best work and an incredibly faithful adaptation of a comic-book in a decade, proving (of course) that he has the potential to execute a narrative with poise and focus. Man of Steel had quite a few narrative flaws, but it was a terrific cinematic experience, where a lot of concentration was prioritized towards world building, character establishment and the respective arcs of Superman’s family, Lois Lane or General Zod for that matter. At ten minutes shorter than its sequel, the film may have overstretched the climactic fight, but in retrospect, it doesn’t matter.

God among men

God among men

Whether it’s Nolan’s involvement that may have made the first one a better film or not, one may never really know. What’s apparent, however, is that the narrative in this movie is shamefully choppy. Hidden in the film are as many as four films: a solo Batman movie, a sequel to Man of Steel, the reason this film is titled Batman v Superman, and (weirdly) a Lex Luthor origins film. The film may follow the tone and flavor of comic-books, but that doesn’t matter. What is important is whether this is a movie that generates empathy within viewers when it comes to characters and their motives. Sadly, this movie lacks it. Emotion needs to be established, and there’s little to no establishment here.

We’re introduced to Bruce Wayne in the first ten minutes of the film; wherein he’s in the middle of the action in Man of Steel’s climactic fight. He spots Superman battling Zod, and the debris and the injured around him, and the anger in him festers. In a time-jump, we see Superman saving Lois in what’s later revealed to be an elaborate trap to set him up. The focus here is obviously on Batman, who gets a lot of screen-time. What the makers seem to have forgotten here is that this is still a follow-up to Man of Steel, and Superman is not touted to be the supporting character he ends up being in the film. Even so, the setup of Batman’s festering anger is not given any substantial establishment. Neither does Wayne visit the surviving families of the disaster nor does he seek to help anyone, except—financially—for (and we’re shown this through a terrible exposition) a certain injured Wallace Keefe (Scoot McNairy). We can’t feel for Wayne’s rage toward Superman for this prime reason. Of course, since Superman is relegated to the back-burner, it’s almost difficult for people to relate even to him the way they did with the film’s predecessor. And let’s not even begin with the thin ice Luthor’s character is standing on. The makers justify his hell-bent pursuit on the ruin of Superman with the lamest reasoning ever.

The Red Capes are coming

The Red Capes are coming

Additionally, the film is littered with way too many coincidences. One of them (it arrives at a crucial point in the movie’s climactic portions) is so ridiculous; it reminds those familiar with mainstream Indian Hindi-language potboiler films (“Bollywood” anyone?) of the numerous illogical coincidence-stuffed plot devices they almost always have. If there’s anything that brings viewers out of their boredom, it’s the exceptionally designed and executed action. A specific chase between Batman and Lex Luthor’s henchmen is spellbinding until its rather abrupt—and ridiculous—end. Shot on IMAX cameras, the titular fight is brilliant. It, however, doesn’t transition as well into the climactic battle with Doomsday as it should have, in which Lois Lane is shown to make so many missteps it’s shameful. One almost wonders if she’s as smart or resourceful as an exceptional journalist would be.

I’d love to make a complete list of just how incoherently brought together the film is, but I find the above reason enough to state how I feel about the movie. That being said, what I will say is this: the entire film needed as much as an hour more to justify the many intersecting plot threads it’s littered with. A movie that’s justifiably three hours and thirty minutes long is a lot more involving than a shorter film that’s poorly established.

To Perform or Not to Perform

Who knows who better?

Who knows who better?

As inconsistent as the movie is, one, fortunately, cannot say the same of most of the film’s cast. On the top rung are Jesse Eisenberg playing Lex Luthor, and Ben Affleck’s Batman. While Eisenberg’s mental edge to Luthor is possibly his most gleeful act to date, Ben Affleck’s spin on Batman is incredibly useful. Amy Adams and Diane Lane take their roles forward from Man of Steel, and despite their complete irrelevance, they provide the necessary emotional push to the movie. Gal Gadot is fantastic as Wonder Woman, and I expect more from her in the coming years. Jeremy Irons is a solid Alfred. Holly Hunter has a brief role, but her confidence is astounding. If there’s probably anyone who doesn’t have much to do, it would be Laurence Fishburne, whose establishment in the previous film is now replaced by a superficial How-To-Be-A-Boss 101. Scoot McNairy is… well, he’s alright. Oh, there’s also the weird appearances of Ezra Miller and Jason Momoa too. For reasons.

Worth it?

If one were to judge the movie purely by technical filmmaking, this is an excellent movie-watching experience—and one needs to see this in IMAX to believe it. All of that effort, however, is wasted in a screenplay that has quite a few spectacular scenes (the confrontation between Holly Hunter and Jesse Eisenberg is a rather commendably written scene, executed and enacted in all its maniacal glory) but has no two scenes fitting each other. Shameful much? Shameful indeed.

If I’m being brutally honest, though, this film isn’t worth it for those only looking to watch a good film at all. Although for the different sections of viewers, there are different things to expect. Fans will find different things to love while geeks will find different things to hate. But with a full-and-filled narrative that goes everywhere, and without the requisite emotional build up, this doesn’t qualify as a successfully made movie in the first place—forget the faithful tone and the homages.

There’s a lot to say about the movie, but I’ll leave with this: hidden deep within the film were (at the risk of repeating myself) four excellent films. Of course, all of these were left to suffocate and die under the many despicable layers of coincidence, contrivance and confusion. Sure it’s not the worst movie ever seen, but it’s an incredibly frustrating watch nevertheless.

Consensus: 2.5 Stars
Comme ci, comme ça
About the Author

Ankit Ojha

Facebook

Ambivert. Intermittent cynic. Content creator. New media enthusiast. Binge-watcher. Budding filmmaker.

Watch the trailer

We’re viral

Like UsFollow Us

Cast Ben Affleck
Henry Cavill
Jesse Eisenberg
Director Zack Snyder
Consensus: 2.5 Stars
Comme ci, comme ça

What to Expect

"You're not brave. Men are brave."

“You’re not brave. Men are brave.”

I didn’t expect much from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in the first place.

The “hype” generated by the film felt incredibly synthetic, and for this movie to have revealed way too much in its trailers didn’t help.

However, taking a few steps backward, people were expecting a lot out of this film.

I predicted an average movie. I guess I was right.

What’s it About?

Linked to Man of Steel’s aftermath, we’re introduced to Bruce Wayne’s (Ben Affleck) paranoia for Superman, who has his battles of an image as an outsider. Neither of them knows, however, that Alexander Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) is the one writing the story of their upcoming battle.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Bat's not dead after all!

The Bat’s not dead after all!

It’s not every day that a mainstream movie manages to have so much discussion wrapped around it—much less a movie that’s earned itself a nasty critical upset. Except for this time, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice—a film about an impending war of strength between two of comic-book lore’s biggest heroes—has triggered many a cold war off-screen. A war of wits has erupted between the critics and the audience, between comic-book fans and comic-book geeks, and between appreciators of narrative and presentation.

Director Zack Snyder, of course, wins at presentation hands down. Snyder’s inimitable visual style may have become arguably redundant. What I do appreciate, however, is his near-perfect understanding of what exactly he wants in every frame, be it in tone or content. Replacing Amir Mokri in this film’s predecessor Man of Steel is Larry Fong, Snyder’s otherwise regular contributor. Fong isn’t entirely able to take Mokri’s vastness and dynamism in frame forward. The great thing about his return in collaboration with the director, though, is that the synergy is quite visible—particularly on an IMAX screen.

And increasing unrest when it comes to the film’s technical specifications would be its CGI, which “is clearly visible” according to a few of my acquaintances who made the first noise around my vicinity. A discussion with a friend who was as equally disdainful as I was of the film on its first viewing had us touching upon the CGI, which he claimed looked “incredibly fake”. My tryst with the movie on IMAX—aside from the fact that this was my second viewing—allowed me to look at these elements carefully, and from a thankfully explanatory view.

Day versus Knight

Day versus Knight

I could see why someone would find the visual effects of the film kitschy and unreal. But then again, I’ve (in this case) thankfully been able to watch ugly-looking 3D modeling and compositing in movies like Ultraviolet, The Last Legion and George Lucas’ reworked edition of 1977 film Star Wars, among others. But it isn’t a matter of relativity here. The kind of visual effects compositing the film has made an attempt to bring to the big screen has a very distinct vision to achieve, which it does. It does, of course, have Snyder’s trademark surreality all over it, which a good bunch may find redundant. When it comes to visuals, however, we all know that his trademarks almost always make every single frame look beautiful. It may not have realism but still looks gorgeous as hell.

But if one puts aside these elements—the visuals, the production design; even Zimmer and Junkie XL’s music—we reach the overall plot, screenplay and how Snyder helps translate the overall narrative on the big-screen. This is where the film betrays its plot-holes and overall script inconsistencies. Reacting to its terrible critical reaction in an interview with Yahoo, Zack Snyder said, “I’m a comic-book guy, and I made the movie 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.” While his reaction would have come from hurt, it doesn’t make an iota of sense, and here’s why.

Snyder’s Watchmen’s director’s cut is widely considered both his best work and an incredibly faithful adaptation of a comic-book in a decade, proving (of course) that he has the potential to execute a narrative with poise and focus. Man of Steel had quite a few narrative flaws, but it was a terrific cinematic experience, where a lot of concentration was prioritized towards world building, character establishment and the respective arcs of Superman’s family, Lois Lane or General Zod for that matter. At ten minutes shorter than its sequel, the film may have overstretched the climactic fight, but in retrospect, it doesn’t matter.

God among men

God among men

Whether it’s Nolan’s involvement that may have made the first one a better film or not, one may never really know. What’s apparent, however, is that the narrative in this movie is shamefully choppy. Hidden in the film are as many as four films: a solo Batman movie, a sequel to Man of Steel, the reason this film is titled Batman v Superman, and (weirdly) a Lex Luthor origins film. The film may follow the tone and flavor of comic-books, but that doesn’t matter. What is important is whether this is a movie that generates empathy within viewers when it comes to characters and their motives. Sadly, this movie lacks it. Emotion needs to be established, and there’s little to no establishment here.

We’re introduced to Bruce Wayne in the first ten minutes of the film; wherein he’s in the middle of the action in Man of Steel’s climactic fight. He spots Superman battling Zod, and the debris and the injured around him, and the anger in him festers. In a time-jump, we see Superman saving Lois in what’s later revealed to be an elaborate trap to set him up. The focus here is obviously on Batman, who gets a lot of screen-time. What the makers seem to have forgotten here is that this is still a follow-up to Man of Steel, and Superman is not touted to be the supporting character he ends up being in the film. Even so, the setup of Batman’s festering anger is not given any substantial establishment. Neither does Wayne visit the surviving families of the disaster nor does he seek to help anyone, except—financially—for (and we’re shown this through a terrible exposition) a certain injured Wallace Keefe (Scoot McNairy). We can’t feel for Wayne’s rage toward Superman for this prime reason. Of course, since Superman is relegated to the back-burner, it’s almost difficult for people to relate even to him the way they did with the film’s predecessor. And let’s not even begin with the thin ice Luthor’s character is standing on. The makers justify his hell-bent pursuit on the ruin of Superman with the lamest reasoning ever.

The Red Capes are coming

The Red Capes are coming

Additionally, the film is littered with way too many coincidences. One of them (it arrives at a crucial point in the movie’s climactic portions) is so ridiculous; it reminds those familiar with mainstream Indian Hindi-language potboiler films (“Bollywood” anyone?) of the numerous illogical coincidence-stuffed plot devices they almost always have. If there’s anything that brings viewers out of their boredom, it’s the exceptionally designed and executed action. A specific chase between Batman and Lex Luthor’s henchmen is spellbinding until its rather abrupt—and ridiculous—end. Shot on IMAX cameras, the titular fight is brilliant. It, however, doesn’t transition as well into the climactic battle with Doomsday as it should have, in which Lois Lane is shown to make so many missteps it’s shameful. One almost wonders if she’s as smart or resourceful as an exceptional journalist would be.

I’d love to make a complete list of just how incoherently brought together the film is, but I find the above reason enough to state how I feel about the movie. That being said, what I will say is this: the entire film needed as much as an hour more to justify the many intersecting plot threads it’s littered with. A movie that’s justifiably three hours and thirty minutes long is a lot more involving than a shorter film that’s poorly established.

To Perform or Not to Perform

Who knows who better?

Who knows who better?

As inconsistent as the movie is, one, fortunately, cannot say the same of most of the film’s cast. On the top rung are Jesse Eisenberg playing Lex Luthor, and Ben Affleck’s Batman. While Eisenberg’s mental edge to Luthor is possibly his most gleeful act to date, Ben Affleck’s spin on Batman is incredibly useful. Amy Adams and Diane Lane take their roles forward from Man of Steel, and despite their complete irrelevance, they provide the necessary emotional push to the movie. Gal Gadot is fantastic as Wonder Woman, and I expect more from her in the coming years. Jeremy Irons is a solid Alfred. Holly Hunter has a brief role, but her confidence is astounding. If there’s probably anyone who doesn’t have much to do, it would be Laurence Fishburne, whose establishment in the previous film is now replaced by a superficial How-To-Be-A-Boss 101. Scoot McNairy is… well, he’s alright. Oh, there’s also the weird appearances of Ezra Miller and Jason Momoa too. For reasons.

Worth it?

If one were to judge the movie purely by technical filmmaking, this is an excellent movie-watching experience—and one needs to see this in IMAX to believe it. All of that effort, however, is wasted in a screenplay that has quite a few spectacular scenes (the confrontation between Holly Hunter and Jesse Eisenberg is a rather commendably written scene, executed and enacted in all its maniacal glory) but has no two scenes fitting each other. Shameful much? Shameful indeed.

If I’m being brutally honest, though, this film isn’t worth it for those only looking to watch a good film at all. Although for the different sections of viewers, there are different things to expect. Fans will find different things to love while geeks will find different things to hate. But with a full-and-filled narrative that goes everywhere, and without the requisite emotional build up, this doesn’t qualify as a successfully made movie in the first place—forget the faithful tone and the homages.

There’s a lot to say about the movie, but I’ll leave with this: hidden deep within the film were (at the risk of repeating myself) four excellent films. Of course, all of these were left to suffocate and die under the many despicable layers of coincidence, contrivance and confusion. Sure it’s not the worst movie ever seen, but it’s an incredibly frustrating watch nevertheless.

About the Author

Ankit Ojha

Facebook

Ambivert. Intermittent cynic. Content creator. New media enthusiast. Binge-watcher. Budding filmmaker.

We’re viral

Like usFollow us
Cast Ben Affleck
Henry Cavill
Jesse Eisenberg
Director Zack Snyder
Consensus: 2.5 Stars
Comme ci, comme ça

What to Expect

I didn’t expect much from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in the first place.

The “hype” generated by the film felt incredibly synthetic, and for this movie to have revealed way too much in its trailers didn’t help.

However, taking a few steps backward, people were expecting a lot out of this film.

I predicted an average movie. I guess I was right.

What’s it About?

Linked to Man of Steel’s aftermath, we’re introduced to Bruce Wayne’s (Ben Affleck) paranoia for Superman, who has his battles of an image as an outsider. Neither of them knows, however, that Alexander Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) is the one writing the story of their upcoming battle.

The Bat's not dead after all!

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

It’s not every day that a mainstream movie manages to have so much discussion wrapped around it—much less a movie that’s earned itself a nasty critical upset. Except for this time, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice—a film about an impending war of strength between two of comic-book lore’s biggest heroes—has triggered many a cold war off-screen. A war of wits has erupted between the critics and the audience, between comic-book fans and comic-book geeks, and between appreciators of narrative and presentation.

Director Zack Snyder, of course, wins at presentation hands down. Snyder’s inimitable visual style may have become arguably redundant. What I do appreciate, however, is his near-perfect understanding of what exactly he wants in every frame, be it in tone or content. Replacing Amir Mokri in this film’s predecessor Man of Steel is Larry Fong, Snyder’s otherwise regular contributor. Fong isn’t entirely able to take Mokri’s vastness and dynamism in frame forward. The great thing about his return in collaboration with the director, though, is that the synergy is quite visible—particularly on an IMAX screen.

And increasing unrest when it comes to the film’s technical specifications would be its CGI, which “is clearly visible” according to a few of my acquaintances who made the first noise around my vicinity. A discussion with a friend who was as equally disdainful as I was of the film on its first viewing had us touching upon the CGI, which he claimed looked “incredibly fake”. My tryst with the movie on IMAX—aside from the fact that this was my second viewing—allowed me to look at these elements carefully, and from a thankfully explanatory view.

Day versus Knight

I could see why someone would find the visual effects of the film kitschy and unreal. But then again, I’ve (in this case) thankfully been able to watch ugly-looking 3D modeling and compositing in movies like Ultraviolet, The Last Legion and George Lucas’ reworked edition of 1977 film Star Wars, among others. But it isn’t a matter of relativity here. The kind of visual effects compositing the film has made an attempt to bring to the big screen has a very distinct vision to achieve, which it does. It does, of course, have Snyder’s trademark surreality all over it, which a good bunch may find redundant. When it comes to visuals, however, we all know that his trademarks almost always make every single frame look beautiful. It may not have realism but still looks gorgeous as hell.

But if one puts aside these elements—the visuals, the production design; even Zimmer and Junkie XL’s music—we reach the overall plot, screenplay and how Snyder helps translate the overall narrative on the big-screen. This is where the film betrays its plot-holes and overall script inconsistencies. Reacting to its terrible critical reaction in an interview with Yahoo, Zack Snyder said, “I’m a comic-book guy, and I made the movie 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.” While his reaction would have come from hurt, it doesn’t make an iota of sense, and here’s why.

Snyder’s Watchmen’s director’s cut is widely considered both his best work and an incredibly faithful adaptation of a comic-book in a decade, proving (of course) that he has the potential to execute a narrative with poise and focus. Man of Steel had quite a few narrative flaws, but it was a terrific cinematic experience, where a lot of concentration was prioritized towards world building, character establishment and the respective arcs of Superman’s family, Lois Lane or General Zod for that matter. At ten minutes shorter than its sequel, the film may have overstretched the climactic fight, but in retrospect, it doesn’t matter.

God among men

Whether it’s Nolan’s involvement that may have made the first one a better film or not, one may never really know. What’s apparent, however, is that the narrative in this movie is shamefully choppy. Hidden in the film are as many as four films: a solo Batman movie, a sequel to Man of Steel, the reason this film is titled Batman v Superman, and (weirdly) a Lex Luthor origins film. The film may follow the tone and flavor of comic-books, but that doesn’t matter. What is important is whether this is a movie that generates empathy within viewers when it comes to characters and their motives. Sadly, this movie lacks it. Emotion needs to be established, and there’s little to no establishment here.

We’re introduced to Bruce Wayne in the first ten minutes of the film; wherein he’s in the middle of the action in Man of Steel’s climactic fight. He spots Superman battling Zod, and the debris and the injured around him, and the anger in him festers. In a time-jump, we see Superman saving Lois in what’s later revealed to be an elaborate trap to set him up. The focus here is obviously on Batman, who gets a lot of screen-time. What the makers seem to have forgotten here is that this is still a follow-up to Man of Steel, and Superman is not touted to be the supporting character he ends up being in the film. Even so, the setup of Batman’s festering anger is not given any substantial establishment. Neither does Wayne visit the surviving families of the disaster nor does he seek to help anyone, except—financially—for (and we’re shown this through a terrible exposition) a certain injured Wallace Keefe (Scoot McNairy). We can’t feel for Wayne’s rage toward Superman for this prime reason. Of course, since Superman is relegated to the back-burner, it’s almost difficult for people to relate even to him the way they did with the film’s predecessor. And let’s not even begin with the thin ice Luthor’s character is standing on. The makers justify his hell-bent pursuit on the ruin of Superman with the lamest reasoning ever.

The Red Capes are coming

Additionally, the film is littered with way too many coincidences. One of them (it arrives at a crucial point in the movie’s climactic portions) is so ridiculous; it reminds those familiar with mainstream Indian Hindi-language potboiler films (“Bollywood” anyone?) of the numerous illogical coincidence-stuffed plot devices they almost always have. If there’s anything that brings viewers out of their boredom, it’s the exceptionally designed and executed action. A specific chase between Batman and Lex Luthor’s henchmen is spellbinding until its rather abrupt—and ridiculous—end. Shot on IMAX cameras, the titular fight is brilliant. It, however, doesn’t transition as well into the climactic battle with Doomsday as it should have, in which Lois Lane is shown to make so many missteps it’s shameful. One almost wonders if she’s as smart or resourceful as an exceptional journalist would be.

I’d love to make a complete list of just how incoherently brought together the film is, but I find the above reason enough to state how I feel about the movie. That being said, what I will say is this: the entire film needed as much as an hour more to justify the many intersecting plot threads it’s littered with. A movie that’s justifiably three hours and thirty minutes long is a lot more involving than a shorter film that’s poorly established.

Who knows who better?

To Perform or Not to Perform

As inconsistent as the movie is, one, fortunately, cannot say the same of most of the film’s cast. On the top rung are Jesse Eisenberg playing Lex Luthor, and Ben Affleck’s Batman. While Eisenberg’s mental edge to Luthor is possibly his most gleeful act to date, Ben Affleck’s spin on Batman is incredibly useful. Amy Adams and Diane Lane take their roles forward from Man of Steel, and despite their complete irrelevance, they provide the necessary emotional push to the movie. Gal Gadot is fantastic as Wonder Woman, and I expect more from her in the coming years. Jeremy Irons is a solid Alfred. Holly Hunter has a brief role, but her confidence is astounding. If there’s probably anyone who doesn’t have much to do, it would be Laurence Fishburne, whose establishment in the previous film is now replaced by a superficial How-To-Be-A-Boss 101. Scoot McNairy is… well, he’s alright. Oh, there’s also the weird appearances of Ezra Miller and Jason Momoa too. For reasons.

Worth it?

If one were to judge the movie purely by technical filmmaking, this is an excellent movie-watching experience—and one needs to see this in IMAX to believe it. All of that effort, however, is wasted in a screenplay that has quite a few spectacular scenes (the confrontation between Holly Hunter and Jesse Eisenberg is a rather commendably written scene, executed and enacted in all its maniacal glory) but has no two scenes fitting each other. Shameful much? Shameful indeed.

If I’m being brutally honest, though, this film isn’t worth it for those only looking to watch a good film at all. Although for the different sections of viewers, there are different things to expect. Fans will find different things to love while geeks will find different things to hate. But with a full-and-filled narrative that goes everywhere, and without the requisite emotional build up, this doesn’t qualify as a successfully made movie in the first place—forget the faithful tone and the homages.

There’s a lot to say about the movie, but I’ll leave with this: hidden deep within the film were (at the risk of repeating myself) four excellent films. Of course, all of these were left to suffocate and die under the many despicable layers of coincidence, contrivance and confusion. Sure it’s not the worst movie ever seen, but it’s an incredibly frustrating watch nevertheless.

About the Author

Ankit Ojha

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Ambivert. Intermittent cynic. Content creator. New media enthusiast. Binge-watcher. Budding filmmaker.

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