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Review: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice [2016]

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The biggest gladiator match in the history of comic-book films feels like a stinking turd that jumps from one scene to another without even transitioning properly.  At the end of the day when you look at the film it frustrates you and makes you angry. It just feels like that random drunk guy who doesn’t know where he is coming from and where he needs to move next. And finally when he gets his senses he keeps throwing up on his way home. 

I have no issues with Zack Snyder. I was not pissed like the rest of the world when Man of Steel came out. In spite of the overblown, good for nothing showdown at the end, the film made sense to an extent. Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice however, is a product of grand scale, atrociously placed – randomness. There are more instances in the film that bring out unintentional laughs than one. While you sit in your seats trying to look for moments that will make you go ‘awe’, they never happen. Moreover, there are times in the film when you feel that no effort has been put behind it. The editing is messed up, the narrative is all over the place and the dream sequences don’t help either. Much like its two main characters, the film is at a war with itself. It aims at doing far too much and ends up doing nothing at all.

Wes for Publicity

Coming to the story, the film takes you back to Man Of Steel and the humongous destruction we just talked about above. Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) is not pleased with what Superman (Henry Cavill) has done to his city and the angst is quite evident and called for. The first half of the film works as a political thriller that brings out Superman up front. Is he a hero? Does he have a place on the earth? All the way taking us into the life of Bruce Wayne / Batman and his own agenda with the world and Superman. But then out of nowhere the Lois Lane (Amy Adams) and Superman subplot in the desert comes up making a linear and completely bonkers thread between Lux Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) and the two main protagonist. You are hit on the head by more than a dozen references to the desert brawl and then things start falling apart. 

The film is so lazy in presenting things that you just feel bad for whoever was involved with this atrocity. Take a certain action scene for instance: Where Batman shoots a tracker onto a truck that’s carrying the left over part of Cryptonite. What follows up is a completely senseless fight where everything, including much of the truck is blasted into bites. But wait, the part where Batman had shot the tracker is still intact. And to top it all, there’s a lame excuses for a show-down when Batman takes a right turn on his Batmobile only to find Superman waiting for him in the middle of the road. Was he drunk? Or did Batman send him a signal too, like Lois Lane does? To top this off, there’s an even lamer, shoe-horned cameo where Wonder-Women receives a mail from Batman presenting the various meta-humans in the universe. To save some time, and trust me, time is the most essential thing here, Synder could have had Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) click on any one of the icons. But no, she clicks on all the Justice League character arcs just to showcase that even a dumber and bigger film awaits you. 

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The saddest thing is people complaining that the critics hate the film for it’s dark tone. What dark tone? The film doesn’t have a single coherent tone to begin with. The script seems to be saying one thing, the director wishes to do a second thing and the overly loud Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL score wishes to do a third thing. To top that off, the action is bland and completely joy-less. Half of the time you see shadows of people fighting. The screen goes black and the absence of shaky-camera just ensures that the action is camouflaged under a redundant CGI-fest. 

I wish I had good things to say about the film, but there aren’t any. Yes, Ben Affleck is pretty good and everyone else doesn’t hurt you either. But they are jarred in by a series of self-muddled, incoherent, cringe-worthy and laughable plot points and characterizations. The character motivations are absent and half of the time the real reason for the World’s Finest to stand against each other feels completely out of context. I remember a character saying that “The World doesn’t make sense until you force it to.” I wanted to say the same about the film but I don’t think the forced elements in the film provide any sense to this film either. 

★½

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