‘Batman v Superman’ does no justice

Isaac Owens, Broadcasting Manager

When director Zack Snyder spoke of the influences that Frank Miller’s famous graphic novel, The Dark Knight Returns, had on the creation of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, many fans of the comic book universe gained some hope for the movie’s success. What we were given instead is the brooding, overindulgent style that Snyder is becoming so notorious for, paired with a Man of Steel sequel and a new round of origin stories for half of the DC Universe.

Since his 2006 film, 300, Snyder has adapted four graphic novels to the silver screen. Borrowing from the narrative techniques he successfully used to create the complex (and in my opinion underrated) comic book film Watchmen, Snyder misfired with BvS and made an overly layered, overly complicated and entirely uncompelling movie.

“A movie for the child in all of us”, is a phrase we have all heard and most likely agreed with when it comes to superhero flicks, but the team behind the new phase of DC films doesn’t even seem to be toying with that notion. Without question, our caped crusaders are at their most violent. From stabbings and beatings, to virtually shooting everyone he sees, Ben Affleck’s Batman is a self-proclaimed “criminal”. That apparently being the only noticeable justification needed, the kill count on the Dark Knight’s and even Superman’s side is questionably high.

With Christopher Nolan’s gritty and realistic Dark Knight trilogy, he proved that not everything conceived by Marvel or DC needs to be family oriented, but where Nolan and Snyder differ is not in passion but execution. The problems do not necessarily lie within the movie’s excessively violent protagonists or adult themes but rather in the unintentionally silly ways they’re carried out.

The movie’s greatest burden comes from its contrived casting of Jesse Eisenberg as Superman’s nemesis, Lex Luthor. Essentially we are handed Eisenberg’s portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg mixed with the unforgettably intolerable Dolores Umbridge from the Harry Potter franchise. With aberrations like this littered throughout, BvS falls victim to the genre tropes and cliches of any bad Superhero movie.

Luckily, because of the movie’s failures, it is relentlessly entertaining. Despite having almost no action for a comic book movie and shockingly sloppy dialogue and storytelling, it may be Snyder’s funniest movie. For all the wrong reasons, BvS steadily kept my attention. Thanks to its B grade screenplay, many of the film’s most dire moments fall completely flat and result in unintentionally humorous scenes.

On a more serious note, the movie did bring one element of hope. Despite the controversy, Ben Affleck delivers an extremely convincing Batman/Bruce Wayne. While the forecast of Snyder’s DCU looks bleak and weary, a new string of Batman solo films, with the Hollywood icon wearing the mask, would be more than welcomed.

After months of heavy advertising and intense hype surrounding this new age of superhero movies, Batman v Superman was more of a dud than I personally ever could have expected. There are countless things that could be said about the movie, whether it be to pick through its few positives or to point out its seemingly endless stream of flaws, but frankly it doesn’t deserve the chatter. Many great jokes are sure to spawn from this flop, but in the end it will quietly slip out of existence for it is nowhere near good enough and not quite bad enough to be remembered.


4/10