It baffles me that Zack Snyder keeps getting paid to direct these potentially successful movies because he has proved to us time and time again that he simply doesn’t know how to direct a movie. He has no concept of pacing, can’t handle combining tones in any way, and seems to think that you can solve an issue by adding in an over extravagant action sequence or a different villain to the plotline. The only somewhat decent movie he has made is “Watchmen,” which in retrospect was only vaguely interesting due to the brilliance of the source material. “300,” “Sucker Punch,” and “Man of Steel” are all wastes of time for anybody that wants to be entertained by a movie, and “Batman V Superman” is no different. All the things that are wrong with Zack Snyder’s directorial tendencies are present in full force for this overlong, boring, and completely irrelevant superhero spectacle.
The premise of this film revolves around the fallout of two superheroes after the events that transpired in “Man of Steel.” The movie actually does a decent job of posing some strong argumentative questions in regards to Superman in a modern context. Who does he answer to? Is he too powerful to be trusted? What are we to do if he turns against us? All of these questions match the security driven paranoia of modern America that has arisen from the increased threat of terrorism. But the movie only asks these questions; it never bothers to attempt to answer them in anyway throughout the film. A gigantic opportunity missed with that one there. The story even has some interesting elements to it, but it never finishes half of the plotlines it creates and decides in the end to drop all reason for the sake of an action filled finale. Just as in “Man of Steel,” mass destruction in the final half an hour is considered to be a key point of entertainment, but all it does is make the first two hours of this film feel completely pointless. Nothing of any real significance happens for the first two hours and then the last half an hour tries to erase the boredom with excess action that turns out to be more frustrating than invigorating.
No character gets any justice in regards to development, especially Lex Luther. Luther is a character that was played rather well in my opinion by Jessie Eisenberg, but was one that was always there rather than one that was able to develop. Another big opportunity missed. The mood is completely wrong as well. A movie that contains Superman and Batman should be one that is at least somewhat fun and happy, just like Whedon did with “The Avengers.” I want to have fun when I go see a movie containing two of the biggest superheroes of all time, not depressed by the gravity of sullen cloud cast over every shot. Because Snyder is completely incompetent at combining seriousness with light-hearted moments of comic relief, we are given a two and a half hour long film that is filled with nothing but bleak moments that depress and bore the audience to the point where all interest is lost. It’s as if it tried to have the deep, complex emotions that Nolan was able to produce in his Dark Knight trilogy but tried to replicate it to such an extreme that it failed miserably.
There are some decent moments in the film, I will admit. The way they introduced the new characters for the upcoming Justice League film was well done. Again, Eisenberg was entertaining as Lex Luther, I didn’t entirely hate the older and grittier Batman that Affleck was portraying, and I thought this version of Alfred did a strong job of following the great performance from Michael Caine in the Dark Knight trilogy. Still these are trivial up sides for a film that clocks in at two and half hours in length and has so many things wrong with it. Maybe if Snyder learns how to mix various moods and figures out that the answer to solving an issue with the plot isn’t by adding another villain or twist situation, then this movie could have been somewhat enjoyable. The superhero movie genre is on the decline and this utter failure was a massive setback for an industry that is struggling to remain original.
Batman V Superman (2016): 1/4 stars