Batman vs Superman

I think I’ve established my disdain for comic book movies on here. My charge book is: fans take them too seriously; as soon as you take them seriously then you have to take them seriously – and then it’s silly men dressing up in outfits being white vigilantes; they represent the worst examples of flat, boring, CGI battles that are devoid of any tension, meaning or peril; they dominate cinema; I am not 12 years old.

With this baggage I came to Batman vs Superman aware that the comic book fans had hated it, so therefore I was willing to be contrarian and heap praise on it. And for the first half hour I was preparing a review along those lines – the reason the usual comic book audience didn’t like it was because it placed Superman in a real, modern, context. We see him in a middle east, murky dark ops scenario. Is Superman part of American imperialism this asks? But, as every overblown minute dragged on, my triumphant, contrarian review morphed into yet another one despairing at the pompous, self-indulgent, poorly scripted mess of a film it is.

One of the most embarrassing aspects of Batman vs Superman is the cringing, naked spectacle of someone going beyond the intellectual capacity, without anyone telling them they’re regurgitating cliches. The whole religious, turgid, digging clay rhetoric of Snyder is like an over indulged 6th former telling you earnestly “yeah, but I think religion is the cause of all wars”. You can’t help but roll your eyes, and ruffle their hair.

There are some good points to the film – the aforementioned realistic situating of Superman (this works less well with Batman), an effective Lois Lane portrayal, Ben Affleck has some weight as an ageing Batman and there is an attempt at a monochromatic style with echoes of Blade Runner. But these are outweighed very heavily by the negatives: a completely contrived central conflict (it’s in the title so it must be good). When Batman says “if there’s 1% chance he’s our enemy we have to assume he is” seems entirely unconvincing; A Godawful Lex Luther portrayal from Eisenberg, all twitchy pyschopath by numbers; it’s just fucking boring, oh for an editor, a narrative arc you care about.

I turned it off after Lex Luther screams (while twitching psychopathically) “bring me the head of the bat!” because Pointless was starting on TV. Pointless just about sums it up.

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