Saturday, 9 April 2016

Review: Batman v Superman - Dawn of Justice (second-pass)

World of Blackout Film Review

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2D / second-pass)
Cert: 12A / 151 mins / Dir. Zack Snyder / Trailer

The third time may be the charm but before that, the second is confirmation. A confirmation that I enjoyed Dawn of Justice. A confirmation that it's got some great characters, great performances and great moments. And a confirmation that the film is still an undisciplined, almighty mess. A mess which held my attention for its two and a half gruelling hours, but only as my brain picked holes from scene to scene (far to many to list here, unfortunately)*1.

Much has been said and written about Batman v Superman by now of course, and even I have to concede the validity of most of the sniping (although not the petition-raising by entitled fanboys who don't seem to be able to differentiate between a director and a writer). But today, I found that the key to enjoying Dawn of Justice is trying one's damnedest to ignore Jesse Eisenberg and his part in it. A repeat viewing only reinforces how much he's clearly not Lex Luthor, to anyone with even the most civilian knowledge of Superman's nemesis.

But what we really get here is the combined fragments of a great Batman film, a mediocre Superman one, and a dreadful Justice League setup. The former shows great promise (although I still hold deep reservations about Jeremy Irons), and as much as I'd like to see Affleck direct Batman's next outing, I'd love to see Kevin Smith helm it more. Superman's a little trickier as he has far less story-time here (which considering the film is about him seems odd), and the scenes we do get are hampered by the Daily Planet drudgery that should really be sidelined into a weekly TV show. And the less said about the DC extended-universe being pimped by having characters watch clips of superheroes on a laptop, the better.

White Dawn of Justice is by no means one of Snyder's best films, I can't hold him responsible for the film which came out of the editing suite. The jumbled storytelling smacks of mid-production and last-minute re-writes, studio hesitation and focus-grouping.

And as fascinating as I find the final product, a movie that cost a hundred million dollars for each hour of screen-time should do more than leave me interested

Oh, and it's also a hell of a lot easier to watch in 2D.

So, watch this if you enjoyed?
Oh, 'DC things'…

Should you watch this in a cinema, though?
By this point, I imagine you either already have or definitely won't.

Does the film achieve what it sets out to do?
Not likely.

Is this the best work of the cast or director?
Not nearly.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?

Yes, but is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
There is indeed.

Yes, but what's the Star Wars connection?
Level 2: Ben Affleck was in 2003's Daredevil (lest we forget) alongside Jon 'Pre Vizsla' Favreau.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

*1 Although two things:
1) That 'mark of the bat' thing being a death-sentence in prisons is fucking bullshit for a start. Those institutions run on reputation; a brand that says "I'm such a badass I could only be taken down by the Batman" is going attract attention, but hardly mark someone out as an easy target. Those two blokes that the news report says were killed were doing time as p*edos. I suspect that would have been the real cause?.
2) How long have Gotham and Metropolis been that close together? When the bat-signal goes up and Lois Lane's on top of that building in Metropolis, it's like less than two miles away. I know they're on the edge of town, but are you really telling me that the combined size of these two would be smaller than London? Really? Or are they more like Newcastle and Gateshead? That could explain the initial animosity between the heroes, actually. It's not until Doomsday shows up (from Sunderland, I imagine) that they can put aside their differences…

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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