Wednesday, March 30, 2016
'Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice' The Devil Is in Lack of Attention to Detail
The only surprise regarding the expected loathing of the Warner Brothers schlockbuster "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice" is discovering scad o reasons for doing so beyond the combination of the film being such a dud to warrant opening on Good Friday and the pans of other reviewers.
The arguably best validation of the expressed views of those who have already shared their thoughts on the film is that resolve to keep my cell phone off during the movie dissolved at roughly the fourth literal "WTF" moment in the empty theater. This showed that the film was at the hour mark that others identity as the point at which "Batman" fully falls apart.
In further thinking about the film last night, it became very apparent that "Deadpool" does everything right that "Batman" gets wrong. Unintentional humor regarding this is having the former refer to the disaster that is the Warner Brothers "Green Lantern" film. "Batman" additionally blatantly borrowing from the worst elements of the "Hulk" film further compounds the errors regarding this attempt at a superhero epic.
At the heart of this, Team Snyder deserves a D for effort and should be given a semester of detention with an assignment to take the project seriously this time. This relates to the current state of affairs regarding Warner Brothers and other large studios almost universally (pun intended) putting commerce over art. True auteurs very vocally express this sentiment, and Unreal TV heartily agrees with it.
The aforementioned carelessness comes within seconds of the opening scene. Seeing that this was a "Cruel and Unusual" production prompted an out loud laugh. The current Warner execs demonstrate that they literally do not know Jack in not preventing this.
The sloppiness regarding the film itself begins roughly a minute later when Bruce Wayne uses his cell phone to call his office in the midst of the Superman/Zod battle that is the climax of the much better "Man of Steel." Even assuming that the nearby cell towers were not buried in rubble at that point, it seems that the network would be much too overloaded to allow Wayne to get through.
The absurdity continues with Wayne making that call to give the order to evacuate Wayne Tower. This apparently is in response to employee concern about having to burn a personal day for leaving work early.
An even larger related point is that Superman making Wayne Tower collateral damage in the aforementioned battle to protect earth from Zod provokes Wayne to place Superman on his bat list. This COMPLETELY disregards both that Superman does not negligently crash into the building while joyflying and that Wayne the earthling and business executive is better off (even considering the tragic human toll) with losing a skyscraper than facing the consequences of a Zod victory.
Said outrage further COMPLETELY ignores the comparable devastation that Batman creates during his own epic battles. Similarly, Wayne taking offense at the vigilante tactics of his brother from another planet is a case of the bat calling the bird black.
Similarly, the absurd premise for the allegedly climatic battle involves trying to figuratively harness a juiced-up bull to squash an ant. The feasibility of much safer and easier methods to attempt the same objective makes the fight beyond absurd.
This same hypocrisy is true regarding the event that ends the titular fight in the movie. The revelation that essentially causes the heart of the Grinch to triple in size is thoroughly contrary to not considering that aspect of the aforementioned vigilante activity.
Please remember that the above are just the headlines regarding the amateurish writing in the film.
Moving to another disaster area, both the casting and characterizations are purely dreadful. Henry Cavill is an almost silent Superman and completely unlikable Clark Kent. Predecessors such as Christopher Reeve and Dean Cain portray Kent as an ordinary bloke with whom you want to share a beer or other beverage. The mostly humorless Wolverine in personality and body Kent that Cavill plays does not seem capable even of smiling.
Similarly, Amy Adams lacks the guts and bluster of Lois Lane. A subject of grilling by Lane remarking that she is feisty prompted the spontaneous utterance (again, in an otherwise empty theater) "No she isn't!"
The poor Superman side casting continues with having current "Blackish" sitcom star Laurence Fishburne play veteran editor Perry White. Though Fishburne is capable of playing fierce, he is merely dull here. He is neither the tyrant nor the Yoda of the newsroom. An even worse flaw is having this alleged news legend spout out rambling passive (rather than active) voice headlines. Nothing that he dictates comes close to "Dewey Defeats Truman" or the longer "Headless Body Found in Topless Bar."
Enough has already been written about Jesse Eisenberg playing Lex Luthor, Jr in the same manner as Adam Driver portrays Darth Emo to skip this topic.
On the Batman side, Jeremy Irons is a great actor who simply does not pull off the dry wit or latent love of Alfred the butler/father figure. Like the audience, Irons simply is bored in his scenes. John Cleese would have been an awesome traditional choice and John Lithgow a good non-traditional option.
The more than 30-year career of Ben Affleck and his current personal problems make him a decent choice for the "I'm too old for this shit" Batman of this movie. At the same time, he does not display enough personality or verve to make him at all likable or relatable. It is difficult to image even the most hardcore fanboy caring about the fate of either Wayne or Kent.
This extends to feeling absolutely NOTHING during the roughly last 15 minutes of the film. This is despite strong emotions in response to similar plot developments regarding the then-central character over roughly 30 years. The lack of soul-stirring music during these scenes or any other time during the film is a factor.
Returning to the high school metaphor at the beginning of this review, the blatant symbolism in this film evokes thoughts of Snyder being a youthful athletic supporter high school English teacher who dumbs down the material to allow the football jocks to pass. This begins with the title "Dawn of Justice," which obviously refers to the upcoming "Justice League" movies. Even "Another $50M for Zack" would have been better,
Other lowlights include the avenging angel in a stained glass window in the Wayne family crypt wearing blue and having a red cape, Luthor referring to demons coming from below rather than above, and Kent taking off his glasses during the one lust scene.
In the interest of not provoking Snyder and the other cool kids to the point of cornering me by the bleachers, I will refrain from sharing my additional criticisms of "Batman." Suffice it to say that offering everyone a refund truly would be the dawn of justice.