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Image courtesy IMDB, Warner Bros. Pictures, Zack Snyder, Mom, Dad, Jesus, Mohammad, Mohammed, Jehovah, Moses, Iron Man & the radio voice of the New York Mets, Howie Rose. Thank you. 

A PlopCorn Film Review by Curtis M. Parvin

This past Sunday, March 27th, I went to a 7:45 screening of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and was greatly entertained….

….for about half of the movie.

It wasn’t all bad, though, and I do believe that most reviewers weighing in on the movie are misguided in their criticisms.

Here’s two things I would change right off the bat:

  • The film is a half-hour too long. All of the exposition could have been left on the cutting room floor. Do we really need to see Bruce Wayne’s backstory again?
  • Enough with the clichéd grave-visiting scenes and the tired jump scares. Batman has been around since the 1930s. He is one of the most tortured souls in all of fantasy writing/comic book mythology. We know what’s up.

Even when bigger action sequences did occur in the first half of the film, they felt tacked-on just to have an action beat. At one point Batman, played by Ben Affleck, has a dream/vision that he is in a desert wasteland on a mission.  This bit confused me: the style found within the scene could have been from a completely different film. Car chases are then peppered in to keep the action moving, but don’t really do anything particularly innovative with respect to craftsmanship.

The acting during the first half holds a loose plot together for the most part and didn’t bug me as much as I had anticipated going in. I was particularly interested in Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Lex Luthor. When he was first cast, I had my reservations: when I watched the trailer for this film, his portrayal of Lex left a bad taste in my mouth.

However, I liked the energy and quirkiness that he used to fuel his version, a mad genius wunderkind – sort of like a fusing of his Mark Zuckerberg character from The Social Network with the kinetic vibes of 1960’s Frank Gorshin. His approach felt fresh and won me over after a few scenes.

In addition, I was intrigued enough by Gal Gadot to add her stand-alone Wonder Woman film to my watch list in 2017. And Henry Cavill gave a solid performance, just like in Man of Steel, no better and no worse.

Batman V Superman felt very similar to Man of Steel with one exception – the absence of Christopher Nolan’s guiding hand. Zack Snyder is on his own here, left to the words of Terrio and Goyer, whose script has many pacing issues and really takes a good hour of slogging through before it kicks in to gear.

When you get there though, whooo-ya!

Comic book fan boys/girls finally got to see these two superhero titans go at each other – and that fight did not disappoint.

I was nodding my head in approval and giving thumbs up to the screen multiple times, geeking out from that point all the way up until the humongous battle with Doomsday. That confrontation was great, but it would have been better received had the monster been kept out of the trailer.

I really feel that an over marketing of a product can harm the impact it has on audience enjoyment. Because Doomsday was revealed in a preview, many others like myself were waiting for the Kryptonian creature instead of being surprised by a strong finish. The foreknowledge of the monster was distracting. I kept asking myself midway through the tired first act, “How much longer until Doomsday shows up?” Hey, studios: Stop revealing all the best bits in the trailers!

Audiences, see Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice with an open mind.

If you are a Batman fan, you can rest easy knowing “Supes” gets his buns of steel handed to him.

If you are more of a Kal-El person, be ready to see Superman pushed to his limits.

If you are neither, the movie also has some serious girl power moments in the form of Wonder Woman.

In many ways, BVS is just filler until we get a fresh Wonder Woman film in 2017. In the meantime, there have been worse comic book travesties on the big screen.

Stop the hate, Rotten Tomatoes. Stop the hate.

3.5 plops out of 5

 

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