Who still holds a candle aloft for Zack Snyder? Who still looks back with fond memories of “300” in theaters? Who is willing to admit they like “Sucker Punch”? Who out there knows, without a shadow of a doubt, that “Watchmen” is good? Far too few there are, and fewer yet, as growing disillusionment for Snyder continues in the wake of his latest endeavor towards grandeur, the difficult to say “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” and, in many ways, just as unwieldy to watch, though the clunkiness should not overshadow its merits (as few and far between as they may be).
What need is there to recap the story? BvS has been utterly transparent in its marketing, either unaware or uncaring of how much they revealed. There are ultimately few surprises to be found, and those that are present will be among the most polarizing for viewers. Fever dreams and nightmares of the main characters will perhaps be perplexing, but ultimately shouldn’t be. Even a tertiary moment of reflection will grant some clarity. Take a moment and think .
But still BvS is a mess of a film. Take an individual scene and show it, you got a pitch and a lot of potential. That goes for almost any scene. Yet once they are strung together, there is next to no logical progression; it often feels like reels are out of place or missing altogether. It’s common knowledge that a significant amount of content was cut, but will their addition assist the film in being the masterpiece it wanted so desperately to be? Only time will tell.
A question and criticism making the rounds is whether or not Zack Snyder understands the characters he is working with. This is absurd. Of course he does. Just because his Superman is not like your Superman does not mean he fundamentally misunderstands him. Snyder has a clear vision for these characters, so rather than arguing what he does not know, try and see if we can understand what he wants to portray. Did he successfully convey the Superman and Batman that he wanted to?
Sadly, he did not. Here is a Superman that wants to be seen as struggling with what it means to be a hero, but instead comes off as silent and brooding; a Superman that wants to be seen on screen as a living conflict of interest, but is instead shockingly one dimensional. It is perfectly fine to have a new vision of an old character – updating them to match the times is what keeps them timeless – so long as your work of art succeeds. Superman here feels static, not emotive; he is unresponsive, rather than removed; and ultimately he seems thin, rather troubled. It would have been so nice to have a Superman movie of Superman just being that – showing us his abilities, exploring his motives, and seeing the world change adapt to him before we are simply told it into the camera by Batman instead.
Little details help to fill in the edges here and there. Gal Godot does her best with what little she is given, just wetting our appetites for her own movie. It’s still a great shame that Wonder Woman’s on screen debut was in a film titled by two men, but hopefully that doesn’t stop her from being a juggernaut elsewhere. Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luther is easily the best version of the character in a film to date, something you have to agree with even if you hated Eisenberg in the role.
All and all, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice has obvious problems that are obvious . But those willing to read between the lines, to ignore the clunky CGI and unwieldy fight sequences, will find some genuine artistic intent, if not the full merit.