Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

Just when it seems like superhero movies can’t get any worse, the studios manage to shit out a fouler turd than ever before. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (you can’t believe how much I hate typing that long-winded, dumbass title) is definitely in the top 3 worst big-budget superhero movies I’ve ever seen. Fantastic Four and Green Lantern are the only ones that somehow managed to be worse, but only by a slim margin, because BVS is really fucking terrible.

The movie begins with yet another recap of Batman’s origins. Seriously, every goddamn person on the planet knows Batman’s origins, we don’t need to see it rehashed again, especially since we had an entire movie, Batman Begins, dedicated to his origins, and it isn’t even that old. Except this time, it’s overwrought, and inter-spliced with Bruce Wayne’s flashbacks/nightmares. For some reason, Bruce Wayne has zombie/desert nightmares which make no sense and add nothing of value to the movie. This comes along with Lois Lane’s incomprehensible-to-the-plot voyage into the Middle East to do a journalistic expose on . . . something. What the fuck was the point of these scenes?

BVS is punishingly dark. The movie is bathed in shadows so much that you’d think Mr. Burns from The Simpsons had successfully blotted out the sun. Are there any scenes that take place in the daytime? There probably were, but I can’t recall any. All I remember is every character brooding in the shadows, awash in a muddy, uninspired color palette. It’s like a bunch of emo kids got their shot at the big time, and turned in the most oppressively dark scenes they could vomit up, thinking that this would make the movie cool and edgy. The grounded, serious, GRRR DARK AND GRITTY GRRR aesthetic is completely played out at this point, and it devolves into unintentional self-parody in BVS.

The action scenes are just as bland as the cinematography. The audience is “treated” to visions of two CGI images bouncing off one another. CGI buildings are toppled amidst CGI explosions. Is there anything CGI can’t do? I’m so glad they decided to go all CGI for this one. I’m pretty sure everyone hated all the practical effects from the Christopher Nolan Batman era.

The whole point of this movie was to see Batman and Superman beating the crap out of each other. And it is certainly an idea I can get behind. But it takes way too long for the fight to happen. And the resolution literally made me laugh out loud. Batman has the upper hand, and is about to kill Superman, when Superman cries out his mother’s name. But guess what? Batman’s mother had the same first name! And it softened Batman’s cold heart enough to show his enemy mercy! Better still, they immediately become best friends! LOL, seriously, what fucking dumbass approved this boneheaded script?

As expected, Batman and Superman team up to defeat Lex Luthor and Doomsday. Jesse Eisenberg, the most annoying actor working in Hollywood today, plays the worst version of Lex Luthor ever seen. He’s trying to be campy, like a more villainous version of Mark Zuckerberg, but he just comes off as irritating. Every word he speaks in the film is like nails on a chalkboard. For unclear reasons, he wants to destroy Superman and unleash havoc on the world. For most superhero bad guys that would be OK, and I would expect that from dudes like Thanos or Apocalypse, but not a regular human who runs a Fortune 500 company.

The acting from everyone else is uniformly bad. Henry Cavill seems genuinely upset to be in this film. Maybe he’s the only one who read the script, and then realized he’d lose exorbitant amounts of money if he broke his contract by walking away from it? Amy Adams is completely checked out, and sleepwalks through what few scenes she is actually in. Ben Affleck, who is without a doubt the worst Batman of all time (88 year-old Adam West would have been more believable), grunts and groans his way through the dramatic scenes, and huffs and puffs his way through the action scenes. Maybe if he had stopped to take an acting class and do a couple of push-ups instead of hitting the bottle so hard, he could have turned in an acceptable performance. Wait, I’m not supposed to make fun of addiction issues? Oh, well.

The only bright spot in this insipid turd of a film is Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. Her presence is certainly unnecessary in an already bloated film, but she is the only one who seems to be having any fun. Her character shined with hope and strength (which is what Superman was supposed to do), and made a few minutes of the film bearable. She kicked ass, and when the movie was over, she was the only thing redeemable about the entire affair.

Perhaps worst of all, is that Batman goes around indiscriminately killing bad guys in BVS. The whole point of Batman is that he doesn’t kill. He is haunted by his parents’ murder, so he doesn’t murder bad guys. He may not save them if things get out of hand, but he doesn’t literally murder them. The hacks that wrote this movie didn’t even fundamentally understand the character enough to know this. Superman gets even shorter shrift with all the character development of a wet paper bag. He exists solely to fight Batman, and otherwise has no impact on the plot or other characters.

Of course, the movie ends with a hammy nod toward the inevitable sequel, with shit-eating, cackling Eisenberg teasing us with a huge supervillain being on his way. How does he know this? And being from Earth, wouldn’t he want to prevent this? It’s better not to think about it. Trying to string logic through this movie is a futile effort that will only cause a brain aneurysm.

With an over-reliance on dark cinematography, hammy acting, and a braindead script, you’d think this is the worst movie Zack Snyder has ever made. Surprisingly, it isn’t. His 2011 fetish film Sucker Punch is somehow worse. But he’s a total hack, on par with Michael Bay, and being in charge of a major franchise tentpole like this is akin to him being the captain of the Titanic. He sinks the endeavor with bad decisions from casting to directing to general atmosphere.

Fuck this piece of shit movie, and fuck DC’s cinematic universe, it’s awful.

Verdict: Shitty

5 Responses to “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice”

  1. September 27, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    I keep forgetting that I’ve seen this film, then someone brings it up again, and I relive the nightmare of it all. Thanks.

  2. September 29, 2017 at 3:01 am

    Honestly, I can’t *disagree* objectively with your thoughts on this, because you speak a lot of truth here. But I did enjoy the film (particularly the superior director’s cut thing) and the action sequences were actually quite decent (IMO). Like you, I cannot stand that awful Eisenberg as an actor (although I thought his work in The Double and American Ultra was pretty decent) and his turn as Lex Luthor will rightly be regarded in years to come as one of THE WORST alongside Jared Leto’s Joker in comic book movie history. And whatever the hell Holly Hunter thought she was doing here, she wasn’t paid enough to sully her career with it.

    I disagree that Snyder is a hack, because he’s shown over the journey he’s a master of visual form, mired with iniquitous scripts and a complete lack of narrative nuance. He can direct action well (much like Michael Bay, as you alluded to) but his dramatic and emotional cues are astonishingly bad for a mainstream director, or at least they have been since the animated owl movie. Watchmen is easily his best film overall, and I agree – SuckerPunch is a bowel movement in cinematic hideousness.

    Great review! Great laugh!

    • October 4, 2017 at 2:24 pm

      Hey Rodney, thanks for the nice comments. I wonder how long it will take before WB re-reboots their DC cinematic universe. The only thing so far that seems to have worked is Wonder Woman. If they can’t right the ship with Justice League, then I don’t hold out any hope for the rest that is to come. I suppose time will tell. I suppose I don’t hate Snyder as much as I let on in the review, but I haven’t really enjoyed any of his movies, although Watchmen certainly was his best to date.

  3. January 30, 2020 at 5:04 am

    Zack Snyder hasn’t directed a good film IMO since The Owls of Ga’Hoole. And even that can be debatable.

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September 2017


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