Sunday, March 27, 2016

Batman v Superman Review: "God V. Man"

I would put Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice slightly ahead of its predecessor "Man Of Steel" in terms of  its plot--but in the end that's not saying much...

18 months after the events of MOS finds the world divided over Superman (Henry Cavill) following his battle over the skies of Metropolis with General Zod (Michael Shannon). Some see him as a hero and the salvation of mankind--while others think he is a threat that must be neutralized. The Batman  (Ben Affleck) of Gotham City has been its protector for some 20 years or so and is quite convinced that Superman is no hero. What both titans do not know is that brilliant businessman and scientist Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) has been been manipulating events in order to carry out his own evil agenda...

I know I am stating the obvious here when I say that BvS has so much potential with the talent assembled that you would think that the film would impervious to criticism. I am not gonna complain about the film's serious tone since the script by Chris Terrio, who won an Oscar for writing Affleck's “Argo,” and David S. Goyer injects a few lines of levity this time out as opposed to MOS. Heck, even the fact that the movie basically exists to set up DC Entertainment's long term Extended Universe plans--did not bother me--I thought they did a good job introducing those elements. Indeed I am looking forward to seeing the further exploits of Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman. Jason Momoa as AquamanRay Fisher playing the role of Cyborg and  as The Flash in solo films and The Justice League Part One down the road.

Affleck did solid work playing Bats here with the script infusing this version with the vibe from Frank Miller’s 1980s ground-breaking mini-series The Dark Knight Returns.  Cavill and Amy Adams as Lois Lane share some nice scenes playing a couple living together. Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane provide good support here as Perry White and Martha Kent.

By now I know some of you are asking 'Tom this review sounds mighty positive--what gives?'

Believe me my issues with BvS are BIG-- bringing down the entire film for me...You bring together two of the genre/s best characters promising one epic cinema brawl--after lots of build-up...and what do we get? A sequence that lasts maybe 12 minutes in total screen time so that the filmmakers could shoehorn a genetically created hybrid Doomsday from the famed Death of Superman comics storyline in the movie. His intro and execution are handled so poorly that it left me with a few douche-y chills.

My biggest issue with BvS is Eisenberg's Luthor--Without a doubt the WORST incarnation of the villain in any medium. This once described "greatest criminal mind of our time" comes across as some high-pitched Millennial Spazz spouting lines of incoherent nonsense every minute he is on screen. It got so bad that I found myself wishing that Supes would just put Lex out of his misery...and ours...To think that there was at one time reports that suggested that former "Breaking Bad" star and Oscar nominee Bryan Cranston was playing Lex in the movie. What could have been?  This Lex casting makes the decision to put Richard Pryor in Superman III seem brilliant by comparison...If the bad guy doesn't work your heroes are not left with much....Hoping that Lex stays in jail for a long time.  

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