Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ★★★★

*Ultimate Edition

I still stand by my first review (letterboxd.com/tedcoolguy7/film/batman-v-superman-dawn-of-justice/) and though there's a fuller rounding out of the sequences here (the African CIA incident and Lex Luthor's scheme in particular) it's ultimately all a wash. The condensed form may aid the high contrast whiplash of movements that film perverts appreciate. But could you IMAGINE the reaction if those few seconds of Jesse Eisenberg communing with a space alien made the theatrical cut and the critical establishment and the fanboy zeitgeist had to process that on top of everything else?

That opening VO is wonderful. Everything we see is framed as apart from
"diamond absolutes" and the past and present conflation of "what falls has fallen". Bruce Wayne's jeep race through the falling skyscrapers of another movie's climactic alien battle and the focus on an innocent bystander's quiet prayer to God before getting obliterated cements the heavy contrast apology and doubling down.

Bruce Wayne sprints headlong toward the 9/11 debris and passes the riderless horse. I don't care how much more responsible the story telling of "Captain America: Cival War" is, brief moments like that one are what make this much more memorable.

Characterization is overwhelmed by power. Superman's capacity for power overwhelms everything. His proximity to a terroristic act he couldn't prevent makes people suspect he must have wanted it to happen. The ramifications of God on Earth. The news montage and the shifting paradigm one pundit argues for.

Perspective parallels: Batman's mom's pearls wrapped around the gun that shoots her and the science project planetary models that hang above Lois Lane when she lays in her dead boyfriend's childhood bedroom.

Batman beats up one hundred guys and the holes bodies make through plaster is part cartoon iconography and uniquely hyperbolic negative space.

The final battle lacks the beauty of "Man of Steel's" apocalyptic flattening and sunset vertigo but the newly birthed monster here has the spreading lightning lines of a b-movie science experiment overflowing outside its frame. One long-ish take of Batman ducking under heavy debris redeems some visual chaos.

Eisenberg's Luthor deserves a defense but compare his final moment with that of Steven Railsback's Manson in "Helter Skelter". Both are technically committed but the former can't escape the sense that he's only imitating "crazy" people he's seen in movies,

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