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Batman V. Superman Review

by William James, Visuals Staff


Unfortunately, Zack Snyder’s third outing in the superhero genre, the first two being the prolific “Watchmen” (2009) and the lukewarm prequel to this film, “Man of Steel” (2013), has nothing in common with Frank Miller’s ideologically challenging “The Dark Knight Returns” (1984) from which it takes its premise. However, there are some elements in “Batman Vs. Superman” that actually worked.
To many’s surprise, Ben Affleck had no faults as Batman and was a genuinely fantastic Bruce Wayne. Gal Gadot (“Fast and Furious”) as Wonder Woman was surprisingly refreshing and the character’s first appearance on the silver screen did not disappoint. Hans Zimmer and Tom Holkenborg, better known as Junkie XL, outdid their work on “Interstellar” (2014) and “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015), which both had mesmerizing and critically acclaimed scores.
However, aside from Gal Gadot’s shining seven minutes of screen time, most of the film was just unwatchable. If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve seen the movie. Henry Cavill gives the most wooden and unlikeable performance to date, which is surprising given his charming and witty role in 2015’s “Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” and it appeared as if every scene were lazily set up dominoes in order to get the audience to the promised title fight, which made up mere minutes of the movie’s two and a half hour runtime. Not to mention, Warner Brothers lazily shoehorned in cameos from countless DC universe characters, although they were unrecognizable because of unnecessary character redesigns. A personal favorite of mine was that the Flash was reminiscent of Red Ranger than of, you know, the Flash. Also, it is no wonder that director Zack Snyder has stated the original run-time was well over three hours, as this movie has disjointed and borderline unwatchable editing and pacing, leaving the audience wondering what on earth is going on.
“Captain America: Civil War” comes out in May, great Batman films already exist, and we are getting a Wonder Woman solo movie in late 2017. This movie is almost obsolete: skip it. Oh, and a major and defining plot element is literally a cup of Lex Luthor’s urine, featured in the most tonally confusing moment in movie history. And if that isn’t indicative of the way this movie plays out, I don’t know what is. Overall, this movie earns a D-, not quite laughably bad, just an underwhelming 3 hours I’d rather spend sleeping.