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Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice "squanders its cast and makes little sense"?

According to Robbie Collin and his review,"Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is the most incoherent blockbuster in years" - review in the Telegraph online:

"Marvel can rest easy. Zack Snyder's superhero spectacle is a meatheaded, humourless mess that squanders its cast and makes little sense"

Hmm. Oddly, a few people are saying the same thing. But let's see what Mr Collin has to write and although I have corrected the various titles noted I have left the review with all of its...I'd love to say "typoes" but it's just bad writing and I'm surprised an editor let this go out:

"Around two and a quarter hours into Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, even Batman (Ben Affleck) has no idea what’s going on. A giant horned creature has hatched from an amniotic sac and is swinging from a Metropolis skyscraper. A kryptonite spear is lying at the bottom of a flooded stairwell. Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) is playing with a kitchen timer. Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) is flying to Gotham City, premium economy. Superman (Henry Cavill)…well, let’s say he's temporarily indisposed.

“What’s happening, Alfred?” our hero barks at his faithful butler (Jeremy Irons) via the intercom on his Batwing fighter jet. There’s a brief pause, then Alfred’s voice comes crackling back, reedy and sardonic. “How best to describe it?”

"Under the circumstances, it’s a reasonable question. The best I can do is apocalyptic sneezing fit: largely because whenever you think it’s dying down, its nostrils start fluttering again.

"No major blockbuster in years has been this incoherently structured, this seemingly uninterested in telling a story with clarity and purpose. It grumbles along for what feels like forever, jinking from subplot to subplot, until two shatteringly expensive-looking fights happen back to back, and the whole thing crunches to a halt."

To me that sounds like a DC comics but let's not be all piss and vinegar about this.  Continue Mr Collin:

"That Wagnerian final brawl is exactly what you want in a film called Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice – but it doesn’t come close to compensating for the blithering chaos that preceded it. The first hour in particular is so haphazardly assembled, I honestly wondered if a reel had gone missing from the projection booth.

"Perhaps the kindest thing you can say about Zack Snyder’s film – a sequel to his superb standalone Superman movie Man of Steel (2013), but also the lodestone of a new DC Comics Extended Universe, around which further DC films will cluster – is that its ambitions wildly exceed its reach.

"Rather than opting to mimic the colour, warmth and wit of the Marvel superhero franchise, Snyder wants to show us gods and monsters, battling against a backdrop of lightning and smoke. Every other scene is a murky allusion to classical mythology or baroque religious art.

 "But that’s categorically all they are: the film regularly defies common sense and logic in order to cue up the next cod-transfiguration or pietà. When Lois Lane (Amy Adams) hurls that kryptonite spear into the water, she does it for no apparent reason other than the fact it looks, like, totally cool – and accordingly, she and Superman are fishing it back out again five minutes later.

"The heavy religious symbolism of Man of Steel now looks relatively restrained: Superman himself has gone Full Christ Metaphor, and his life is an endless cycle of rescuing people (mainly Lois) and pulling expressions of pained benificence. Cavill has almost nothing to do apart from look chiseled, which makes a depressing kind of sense, given the film seems to view his character as a living statue.

"Batman V Superman launches into its myth-making immediately and humourlessly, setting the tone for everything that follows. Under the opening credits we get a refresher course in Bruce Wayne’s childhood trauma: yet again, we see the shooting of his parents (this time outside a cinema showing Excalibur and The Mark of Zorro) and his subsequent tumble down a bat-infested shaft.

 "It’s staged with sadistic elegance – there’s a skin-prickling shot of the mugger’s pistol hitching up Bruce’s mother’s string of pearls – although there are only so many slow-motion aerial shots of coffins and black umbrellas a man can come up with, and much of it smacks of similar passages in Snyder’s earlier films, Sucker Punch and Watchmen.

"It also turns out to be the only substantial insight we get into who Bruce Wayne actually is, or what drives him, in the film’s entire two-and-a-half-hour running time. Giving Affleck’s Batman the physique of a concrete pillar makes aesthetic sense, but did he need the personality of one too?

"One more thing about Bruce: he loathes Superman, because of his city-razing antics at the end of Man of Steel, which toppled Wayne Tower with hundreds of employees inside it. Here, Snyder gives us a street-level recap, transparently invoking 9/11 in every shot. (Later, the film works the terrorism angle even harder: Superman's actions prove to be the catalyst for a suicide bomb attack on US soil.)
In short, Batman has grounds for vengeance. But it’s Lex Luthor who has the appetite. After hauling a clump of glowing green kryptonite from the Indian Ocean, the young technology mogul devises a ‘silver bullet’ that could bring Superman to heel. Eisenberg gives a catastrophic performance here, all itchy and spasmodic, and built on mumbled rants about Copernicus and Nietzsche."

Hang about....need to catch my breath and give everyone time to Google all the references "Copernicus and Nietzsche", "Excalibur" and "The Mark Of Zorro" movies....whooo.  Got your breath? Continue Mr Collin:

"But if Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer’s script hobbles Eisenberg, it judo-sweeps the feet out from under every woman in sight. Both Adams’ Lois Lane and Diane Lane’s Martha Kent are serial victims, Holly Hunter’s potentially sparky role as a senator prepared to stand up to Luthor never coheres, and until the big finish, Gadot isn't called on to do much but slink.

It’s a Men’s Rights loon’s dream of meathead orthodoxy, and leaves you wondering if Mad Max: Fury Road and Star Wars: The Force Awakens actually happened. Imagine Affleck, standing shirtless in a dungeon, repeatedly thumping a bus tyre with a sledgehammer. Got it? Good: that’s not just what the film feels like, it’s a real scene from it. And that’s all you need to know."

Maybe he ought to only go to freebie movie reviews if those movies are only 90 minutes long? Is the reviewer in any way versed in comics or comic reading?  Who know and, frankly, who cares because the review is put together in such as mess that criticising the movies script is the pot calling the kettle black (apologies if you fail to grasp the verbage but I come from the past).

You see, Avengers: Age of Ultron was called "over-long" and "a mess" but when I watched it I saw it for what it was and it was very comic book like. It was using The Avengers movie as the platform to spin out more background and fill the Marvel Movie Universe with more substance and establish characters that would be in later movies rather than just stretching out a movie to introduce, in say, the Black Panther movie, Klaw -we saw him in Age of Ultron. The Marvel movies are doing what comics did -comics that 90% of people going to the movies have never even read. When a character pops up you can say "Oh -he was that guy who-" so you KNOW.  I thought the movie was fun.

But not having seen Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice I can't really comment and I'd much more value the opinion of someone who is into comic books. You also have to remember that Zack Synder seems to want to be the Orson Welles of comic book movies with lots of references that make people think they are seeing something intellectual so they can say "its about the story and inter-personal reactions not men in costumes fighting!" I hate to tell you, Spanky, but it IS about people in silly costumes with super powers fighting. A 2-3 hour movie in which a group of people move slowly around discusses whether they should be accepted in society or not because they are different while someone says "You are too different!" is not going to rake in box office money.

Alan Moore with Watchmen was "purloining" ideas from many sources and when it came to the movie it was great fun but it was still about a bunch of costumed folk -and a fight. I still think that Moore's ending was far better than the movie ending but....

Superman has his movies.  Batman, I assume, will have his (Affleck) movies.  We know Wonder Woman has hers in production.  My understanding from Day 1 was that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was to be the first meeting of the core of characters that the DC Movie Universe would build on. But people, especially not knowledgeable on the comics-to-movies subject, expect a self contained, linear story.....might ask why they expected that from Snyder?

Anyway, don't be put off by critics because, honestly, even if they thought it was a great movie they would slate it off because that is what people expect.

Oh, and it seems some of them would not get 5 out of 10 for their own written compositions!

But having said that there seems to be universal hatred for the movie and Vox referes to the movie in this way: "Batman v Superman review: this movie is a crime against comic book fans"

And: "'Wooden' Henry Cavill and a 'giant turd' for a villain: what the critics thought of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice ""‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ Review: No Heroics"

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