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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Mar 30, 2016

Batman V Superman Movie Review: Just A Bridge To Introduce Other DC Superheroes In The Coming "Justice League"

WE DON’T KNOW why they have to make superhero flicks unnecessarily long. At 2 hours and a half, “Batman V Superman” has many more “laylay” moments and “boringa” stretches. No doubt the action sequences are amusing, thanks to eye-popping special effects, but when it comes to narrative and character development, the movie falls flat a lot of times. You might even enjoy “Godzilla vs. Kingkong” or “Freddy vs. Jason” more.

Henry Cavill is perfect in the Superman suit, much more than the late Christopher Reeve or Brandon Routh. Too bad he doesn’t have much of a chemistry with Amy Adams as Lois Lane. Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman is less effective. With his crow’s feet and graying hair, he looks so old for the role. He’s the most glum and bitter Caped Crusader compared to past Batmen like Christian Bale or Val Kilmer or George Clooney or Michael Keaton. But come to think of it, in a way, that makes him perfect to be the Dark Knight.

It appears that the primary reason for this film is to be a bridge in introducing the other DC Comics characters who they will all gather together in a future “Justice League” movie. Nainggit yata sa The Avengers of Marvel Comics (a mega blockbuster), so they’re going to have their own interconnected super team of heroes who are introduced here, starting with Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) who does a supporting role here, plus brief appearances of Aquaman (Jason Momoa), The Flash (Ezra Miller) and Cyborg. Well, we hope they succeed in generating excitement among the fans of these DC heroes.

Jeremy Irons fails to make an impression as Batman’s assistant, Alfred, who frequently disapproves of him. Where’s Michael Caine? Jesse Eisenberg is the youngest actor to play Lex Luthor (after the likes of Gene Hackman and Kevin Spacey) and he chews the scenery with his interpretation is that of an unhinged, psychotic Mark Zuckerberg, who he portrayed perfectly in “The Social Network”. He doesn’t at all look menacing as a super villain. Giving better support in this movie are Oscar-winner Holly Hunter as a lisping senator, Laurence Fishburne as the editor who always comes up with catchy headlines, and Kevin Costner and Diane Ladd as the adoptive parents of Superman. But Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, we don’t know. She looks too fierce and Middle Eastern (she’s a former Miss Israel) for the role. We’d prefer someone looking more sunshiny and wholesome, like the original Linda Carter.

Viewers expect a fierce showdown between Batman and Superman here since it’s the movie’s title, but their fight sequence appears so contrived as their motivations are not so well founded. And we all know very well they’re both heroes so they won’t kill each other and they indeed quickly become allies to fight a mutual enemy, a monstrous, hideous-looking CGI creature created by Lex Luthor. This gives the movie a supernatural villain and it’s not very convincing. Even more unconvincing is when one superhero dies. You all know this cannot happen because they all have to be together in “Justice League”, right?

The movie is directed by Zack Snyder who also did “Man of Steel” which introduced Henry Cavill as the new Superman and will be remembered for the excessive demolition of so many buildings in its climax. What he lacks is a sense of humor that can inject some levity into his films, the way they do it in “Iron Man”, “Guardians of the Galaxy” or “Deadpool”. It’s good the material about two iconic superheroes in a face off is critic proof, so even if the movie can be a test of one’s patience, it still became number one at the box office when it opened on Easter weekend here and abroad.