Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Okay, let's unpack...

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a long, heavy footed, set up for a longer, heavier, two part Justice League movie.

You've read all the reviews about pace, length, tone. They have all called this movie out for its myriad flaws and, for the most part, they're right, but they kinda missed the point.

Batman v Superman's only flaws are in it's inconsistency and trepidation to go all the way. The first cut of this movie was over 3 hours long and I would love to have seen that. Zack Snyder represents one of the few people in Hollywood who is really trying to tell stories visually, using the totality of cinema. Young Bruce lands on the floor of a well, and as he falls,so too do the pearls of his dead mother's necklace. The bats fly around him, he's scared, but then, he starts to fly, lifted off the floor. The bats, the mourning, the fear, the solitude, they lift him up, empower him.

Moments like these happen throughout the movie and some are genuinely inspired, however, right after the young Bruce Wayne is lifted out of the well, we hear Affleck:

In the dream they lifted me into the light

And the effect is broken. Snyder seems scared to just let us sit with what we see even though that's what he does best. Whether you're a fan of CGI or not you cannot fault the technical prowess of it's use in this movie.
Batman stands on top of Superman, ready for the kill, and he says:

They're gonna kill Martha

And suddenly, Bruce is standing over Clark...

Why did you day that name?
It's his mothers name!

Batman has been telling Superman he's not a man, but he's been telling it to himself. Clark Kent has a mother, and her name is also Martha. These are the moments you find in Homeric Epics but in the next scene we have to hear a stumbled line about how his mother won't be the one to die tonight. It's insecure, the moment was powerful, don't tell us why.

This movie could have been Mad Max: Fury Road, a powerful epic drama in a world with slightly different rules then our own and told with true cinematic storytelling. Instead, it was worried people wouldn't get it, and just missed the ball. However, when you watch this movie as cinematic Opera, a non-realistic, stylized visual epic, suddenly it becomes a lot more admirable... even inspired.

A lot of people don't like Opera, they would much rather watch a play, but it would be stupid if someone tried to write Arthur Miller into Madame Butterfly, that's what I feel happened here.

I loved this movie, I will see it again.

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