I don’t like super hero movies and this movie seems to hate super heroes. In the recent Captain America: Civil War trailer, William Hurt’s character remarks on how their public image is waining because people see them as vigilantes and not protectors. Batman V Superman is a very literal translation of that statement because you indeed do not like these costumed men of destruction. The film is cavalier with the demolition of Metropolis and the countless civilian lives lost. The film seems to be agreeing that these are villains.
I should mention I didn’t see Man of Steel which may lead to why I found the first 30 minutes of this movie slightly confusing. I had to except moments I didn’t understand were due to my ignorance of the first film but also screw Snyder for spending so much time on the death of the Waynes. I’d be happy to go the rest of my life without every having to see Batman’s parents gunned down in front of him. It no longer carries any emotional weight. That being said this movie is so hard to follow as so many scenes are disjointed. There’s an outrageous amount of fade to blacks where scenes abruptly end and we’ll pick up somewhere else. It hinders it from having any kind of fluidity and can’t decide when to wrap it up. Plus this movie falls into this trap of trying to cram too much exposition and world building into one film. We get introduced to all this information that’s not going to be relevant till Justice League.
The closest to a saving grace for this movie is the cinematography by Larry Fong and score by Mad Max’s Junkie XL (paired with Howard Shore) bringing to life the dark and moody atmosphere villains would inhabit. Scenes look gorgeous even if they’re as laughable as Batman’s (Ben Affleck) brooding workout regimen. XL has the achievement of being able to make the entrance of Wonder Women (played by the continuously bland Gal Gadot) exciting. The only response my theater made to prove the audience was still awake was the cheering her appearance in the finale roused out of them. I can’t blame them, those tribal drums can make anything sound awesome. Otherwise, the most interesting person on screen is Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luther. I would perk up every time his weird hair cut peered into frame. I’m pleased he’s playing the role so big in contrast to the overly self serious personas of all the other characters.
This film resonates closer with the despair and jaded world of Watchmen and similarly is visually spectacular but isn’t the greatest adaptation of the source material. It doesn’t seem to know what the rules of this world are (Superman (Henry Cavill) can sense the second Louis (Amy Adams) is in danger but is oblivious to the kidnap/torture of his mother) and has pointless dream sequences just for something will happen. No reason for a 2 1/2 hour film to have such padding. It’s not the worst film ever, I laughed a lot because moments become inherently silly when they’re supposed to be “important” and “intense” like Batman not killing Superman because their mom’s are both named Martha. It’s a good laugh but maybe not worth it for that run time. Wait till they have to edit that down for TV.