Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ★★★

Discussed on episode #191 of the Cinereelists podcast.

In theaters March 25th.

DC is trying their darndest to catch up with the box-office juggernaut that is Marvel films and they pull out all the stops for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice - throwing as much on the table as they possibly can as fast as they possibly can whilst praying they don't confuse the audience in the process. But was it enough to make me wonder, as the credits roll, what's next?

Unfortunately the answer to that question was resounding "No". If you were hoping BvS would be more Nolan Batman than Snyder Superman, feel free to lose all hope now. This is Snyder Superman all the way, with a transformed robotic Batman thrown into the mix (among other not-so-familiar faces). The film tries to twist the biggest criticisms of Man of Steel into a coherent motivation for Batman to be v'ing Superman this go around but instead the whole affair rang hollow, much like the films sparse dialogue. It's visually interesting, as are most Snyder flicks, and it almost saves itself with sheer brute-force action and eyeball-searing CG in the films final 30 minutes of an overlong 150 minute runtime - but the plot bounces between borderline depressing and just plain non-sensical in the most unforgiving of ways.

The only positive thing I can say about the film concerns the risk-taking up on the screen. DC is all in to create their own thing, with their own tone and style, for better or for worse. It maintains a strange pace and style from scene to scene, with each non-action setup playing more like a scene-let without a beginning or an end - only a middle. It's like a superhero pastiche, with too much story to tell in too long to tell it. It smacks of desperation, like a marathon runner in second place giving it all he's got no matter what the cost to his body. Unfortunately the cost here was dialogue and logic, two elements of a great film that cannot be sacrificed if you are aiming for excellence - a quality that simply doesn't fly here.