Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ★★★½

70/100

Insanity wrapped in echos of tragedy, trauma, and American gloom. Throughout Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, I was dumbfounded not only by its failures but by its triumphs. This is Zach Snyder making a DC team-up movie in the only way he knows how, and the results are fascinating, raising every character to maximal stature and evoking countless images of majestic, Mythical beauty. Its first hour is like a thrilling Bond film, adding vignette and vignette to the globetrotting mayhem so that the tapestry becomes extreme; folding into itself with horrific dream sequences, Justice League setup moments (ugh they're horrible) and bizarre subplots. This movie takes the strangest route possible to its endgame, but when it all explodes into a grand vision of comic-book glory, I was enthralled by Snyder's wide compositions and the crisp, simmering tropes brought to life. Larry Fong and Zach Snyder create wondrous images together, evoking the eerie sightings of a God or a menacing vigilante with grandiose, textured weight. You could watch Snyder's latest like a series of shorts, all connected through character but delivering a particular feel to the film's widening scope, aided by the Zimmer/Junkie XL score that fills every corner of the theatre with as much sonic destruction as humanly possible. It's pretty sublime.

Ben Affleck is also *easily* the best live-action Batman that we've seen. He's like a psychopath with a taste for the theatrical, and his "entrance" probably (most definitely) will give me nightmares. Every other actor in this....um....thing are just as great, with Eisenberg setting up camp with a strange, bewildering performance (cough Jolly Ranchers cough) and Gal Gadot coming in for the kill with an appearance that made my entire audience collectively scream with joy. It's a movie where the faults are catastrophic but the heroic, eccentric highs showcase the potential of Superhero Cinema if they weren't determined to make a 10 year investment. This is the most peculiar, tragic, poetic cape and spandex epic since The Dark Knight Rises, and that counts for something.

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