Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Batman wants to kill Superman. Who wouldn’t want to pay good money to see this ridiculous adventure?
It is clear that super heroes have entered a new era in 2016. They hate each other. With the soon to be released new Avengers film, Captain America and Iron Man are duking it out before restoring brotherly love, and now Batman and Superman do the same thing.
Yet before discussing the shortcomings of Director Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, let’s identify its strengths. First of all, you are not likely to see a film this year where all women wear such fantastic shoes. Ranging from a U.S. Senator (Holly Hunter), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) continually wearing sexy outfits at lavish parties to Superman’s squeeze Lois Lane (Amy Adams), you see a series of 5-inch heels that would make Manolo Blahnik weep.
Secondly, forget the hokey script and see this film at an IMAX theater. It is largely one gigantic battle from beginning to end, and the special effects will make you feel that someone sprinkled cocaine on your popcorn.
On the other hand, you do have to accept Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman, and that leaves you feeling as if you are rooting for Ted Cruz to beat Donald Trump. While Christian Bale brought resonance and grace to his Batman performances in Christopher Nolan’s films, Mr. Affleck’s maudlin performance makes you wish that Michael Bay would release a new hokey Transformer film quickly.
Thankfully, you get a bit overwhelmed by the battle scenes, and it helps distract your attention from an amateurish plot. Henry Cavill’s emotionless Superman faces charges of tyranny because he kills terrorists to save Lois’ life while Batman uses kryptonite discovered by Lex Luthor (a psychotic Jesse Eisenberg) to eliminate Superman.
Other than Wonder Woman, the only authentic character in the film is Jeremy Irons as Alfred, Batman’s loyal and sarcastic aide de camp. However, the real shortcoming of this film was to ignore Wonder Woman until the closing sequence. At that point, Ms. Gadot brings the only interest and intrigue to this lackluster film, turning your head at every scene as she stays at a distance from men acting like young boys in a school yard. A sequel will be tolerable if it spends more time focusing on her smirk while in combat.
While I have referred to Eisenberg’s performance as Lex Luthor, I should also say that he may prove to be one of the most annoying characters to appear in a super-hero film. Cavill’s Superman is constantly dazed and confused, while Lawrence Fishburne’s Perry White can’t understand why he is ignored as the Daily Planet’s editor. And poor Amy Adams mourns her lover’s possible demise while ignoring her mindless contribution when she tried to interview African terrorists on their home turf.
If Ben Affleck will continue to appear in the future as Batman, I suggest that he also play the caped crusader in a sequel of Gone Girl (2014). He’d be perfect as the devoted husband of a psychotic wife who doesn’t care if he lives or dies. Now that would be a movie worth seeing.