At the movies: ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’
Special to Lake Tahoe Action
ATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE - 3D
Directed By Zack Snyder
Starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Holly Hunter, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Gal Gadot
Warner Bros, Rated PG-13, Fantasy, 151 minutes
“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” is produced by Christopher Nolan and directed by Zack Snyder (“300,” “Watchmen,” “Sucker Punch,” “Man of Steel”). The movie is like watching a stranger’s out of body experience — it may hold meaning for them, but leaves an outsider confused and struggling to connect the dots.
Here those dots consist of a sanctimonious media (its pundits played by Neil deGrasse Tyson, Charlie Rose, Nancy Grace and Anderson Cooper — all tarnishing their reputations), a dictatorial senator (Holly Hunter), a pair of estranged superheroes, and a public that either worships or despises the actions of the heroic crusaders.
Recent events prompt politically correct Senator Finch (Holly Hunter) to call for hearings into Superman’s (Henry Cavill) loyalties. In the guise of Clark Kent, the caped crusader lives in Metropolis where he works for the Daily Planet and shares an apartment with world weary Lois Lane (Amy Adams). He’s an adoring boyfriend, trying to placate frustrated boss Perry White (Laurence Fishburne), while as Superman Kent takes time out from reporting to rescue as many innocents as possible.
Back in Gotham, billionaire Batman/Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck), borders on morose, primarily because he blames Superman for the untimely death of Wayne’s father.
Also itching to control that flying red cape, is Lexor Corp’s boyish CEO Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg). A spoiled brat using his tech genius to push everyone around, Luthor isn’t someone you’d let babysit your cat, much less do as he pleases with top secret materials. Yet, a seasoned federal government official grants Luthor unsupervised access to an extraterrestrial spaceship, an alien’s corpse and a large piece of kryptonite.
The final film adaptation is two-and-a-half-hours of tangled plot threads, Eisenberg’s constant overacting, myriad explosions, and nonstop destruction intended to substitute for underwritten characters. Affleck does all he can to bring gravitas to Wayne’s search for truth, but as a genius in his own right, Batman spends far too much of this film being its patsy.
Gal Gadot appears as the immortal Wonder Woman turned master thief, finally showing her fighting prowess in a messy, climactic battle against a Godzillalike monster.
Did I mention that Batman, armed with kryptonite spray, gets to beat the holy heck out of Superman? In case you’ve been living for this moment, Affleck earned the right to show off after putting in some serious workout time. In addition to battering the strongest man on earth, he’s featured in a shirtless scene doing chin-ups to show off his six-pack and an Arnie-worthy set of guns.
Let’s get real. Despite Affleck’s growing prowess as an actor, there’s a reason fanboys and girls groaned when he was cast as Batman. This time, Affleck’s odd presence has company since Cavill fairly drowns in a Superman character asked to pretend he doesn’t care about his image, while in fact he does.
The entire film feels like we’re gawking a train wreck while having no idea why it occurred or if it will happen again. Something tells me it will …
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