REVIEW: ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ (2016)

Batman v Superman - Dawn of JusticeTitle: ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’
2016, USA
Director: Zack Snyder
Cast: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Jesse Eisenberg

Hype is a damn sharp double-edged sword. I guess no one involved in the production of this movie will be filing for bankruptcy any time soon; still, ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ has been bashed by critics and fans alike like few other blockbusters in recent memory. After reading tons of negative reviews and hearing countless comments of disappointment, my expectations were rather low as I finally drove to the nearest theater to witness the epic battle between legends. And having low expectations is probably what saved the movie for me.

‘Batman v Superman’ suffers from unjustifiable problems that make it a far from perfect product. Which is exactly what many people were hoping for: the ultimate superhero movie. The dialogues are stiff and pompous, and the general tone is permeated with such an overbearing gravitas that I can see why it couldn’t appeal to a bigger audience. Zack Snyder crafted a film whose ambitions come off as annoyingly pretentious as a 10-year-old quoting Nietzsche. The movie wants you to believe there is substance here, even if there’s actually very little of it around.

Casting Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor was also a huge, huge mistake. Lacking the necessary physique du role, I suspect Eisenberg was left with no other choice but to play the “cray cray” card in a desperate attempt to pull it off. But it doesn’t work. It just doesn’t work, and the result is actually pretty embarassing.

On a more positive note, ‘Batman v Superman’ displays some impressive visual effects, overall decent performances from the main and supporting cast, and a couple of entertaining action sequences (unfortunately relegated to the last 40 minutes). The good is more than enough to make it an enjoyable superhero flick. But the bad is what keeps it from being the legendary film people couldn’t wait to see.

★★★☆☆

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