Cinema Cindy Reviews ‘Batman v. Superman’
By CYNTHIA BIDDLECOMB
“Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” may have the best special effects and horrific violence the movie industry can create on screen, but I found myself yawning through it.
But most of the D.C. Comics details thrown into the film are not explained for the non-indoctrinated. More could have been done in the writing or the editing process to allow us plebes to better follow the storyline.
This dark, chaotic and violent film (my husband’s words) features two of our historically favorite D.C. Comics superheroes, Batman and Superman. Part way through the film, Wonder Woman is introduced. (A movie all about her comes out in 2017.)
There is a minute of the film showing Aquaman, the Flash, Cyborg and other D.C. heroes emerging, but that’s part of the chaos that doesn’t help the storyline. The central villain is Lex Luthor’s son Alexander, certifiably insane throughout the film.
Given a bad script and an incongruous storyline, several top-tier actors did their best. Batman is embodied by a super buff Ben Affleck, and Jeremy Irons does a good job as his assistant, Alfred. Superman is inhabited by the chiseled good looks of Henry Cavill, who is given little story to work with here. Amy Adams’ Lois Lane courageously sniffs out the news story, but has to be rescued by her beau three or more times. In another “damsel-in-distress” role, Diane Lane plays Clark’s mother, Martha Kent. The only female who doesn’t need saving here is Wonder Woman, played by Israeli model and former commando officer Gal Gadot. Jesse Eisenberg throws himself into his part as the unstable Alexander Luthor, heir to the nefarious LexCorp. Holly Hunter expertly plays a distrustful Senator. And Laurence Fishbourne’s talents are wasted as Editor Perry White of the Daily Planet. In an attempt to add context and gravitas, Charlie Rose, Nancy Grace, Anderson Cooper, Soledad O’Brien, Neil DeGrasse Tyson all play themselves.
Thematically, “Batman v. Superman” wants to say something profound about the human spirit preferring to excel on its own terms in these dark times without the help of an alien “god”, as they refer to Superman. We know he’s from another planet and not attempting to play God, but the film pretends to a theological superiority that is truly irritating. Note one over-played visual with two crosses, a cave/tomb and a pieta tableau that are intended to deeply move us; the image is taken directly from a D.C. comic, but it is still an inappropriate use of a profound global symbol.
OK, so I didn’t consider getting up and walking out; the terrific score by Hans Zimmer and the visual details kept me in my seat. But this film cobbles together way too many pieces of the legacy franchises of each of these superheroes, and we are not the better for the mess they make of it all.
The film is rated PG-13 “for intense sequences of violence and action throughout, and some sensuality.” Oh, and don’t bother waiting through the end credits, there is no surprise reveal tucked in there as there is with Marvel movies.