Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ★★★★★

You flew too close to the sun. Now look at you. 

My brother in the final minutes: It's all about the visuals, man. 

I've seen Dawn of Justice five times now - five. Five watches of Snydery glory. Of despair, fear, and hope. 

It's still this year but seriously guys this is one of my favorite movies ever.

Primarily, Dawn of Justice is about man's fear and inability to reconcile others having greater power. Fear leads to mistrust, mistrust that inevitably leads to bloodshed. 

Batman, Superman, and Lex are all wrestling with the demons left behind by their deceased parents and how to cope with the holes in their life.  

Lex is one of the saddest characters of the year. He's essentially still a scared and angry child confused by his own father's treatment of him. 

The Batman/Superman dynamic is one of the best onscreen conflicts in the past decade. As Lex says, it's literally god versus man, day versus night. Two sides of the same coin, the same damaged, scarred coin. 

Snyder plays with these characters, not in the Civil War airport way, but in the comic book way. Having them on the same screen is enough for him. He places them perfectly, allowing them to interact elegantly and beautifully. 

Snyder sets up so much that unexpectedly pays off. And here's the deal: Martha is one of the most unprecedented and creative narrative shifts of the last decade. Conveyed vaguely but confidently, Snyder changes Batman's entire viewpoint on Kal-El with the utterance of a single word that reduces Bruce's mindset to that of a terrified, overwhelmed child. The same child that literally ran away from grief, into the darkness. The darkness, the beautiful lie. 

Snyder utilizes the ultimate coincidence to completely flip these characters on their heads. All the work Batman goes through to kill Superman, only to realize he's become a murderer. 

After Bruce realizes Superman has a mother, and that mother shares a name with his own late mother, whom he witnessed being murdered in cold blood, he just stands. He shifts. He doesn't even know what to do. He has the ultimate identity crisis, right then and there. 

Bruce misunderstands Clark at a fundamental level. He only sees him bringing fire and war to his family, raining death upon thousands. He sees the dead and the wounded. Bruce only ever sees a distorted image of an enigma, a symbol that was open to his interpretation. Bruce only got one thing out of Superman's existence: a vehicle for his pent-up despair. 

The most impressive thing about Batman v Superman is the rewatch value - I keep noticing things that destroy my emotional state - but I keep finding more and more layers to this. There's just so damn much of this film - 182 minutes - and so much in those minutes that it's an absolute joy to watch and dissect. 

God bless Zack Snyder for doing this in a blockbuster. Approaching it from a completely ass-backwards viewpoint and delivering a film that probably seven people wanted, Snyder did something too ambitious for his own good. This movie was never going to be a billion dollar film. No Zack Snyder film is commercial enough to do that. 

Snyder is the Nicolas Winding Refn of comic-book movies. He constantly dishes out divisive films that people remember and are significant in their aesthetic value and symbolism. 

Batman v Superman is wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. It's all about the tone. It's all about the feeling. About the fear. 

Breathe it in. That's fear. You're not brave. Men are brave. 

A hundred years ago I walked away from mankind. From a century of horrors. Men made a world where standing together is impossible. 
Men are still good. We fight. We kill. We betray one another. But we can rebuild. We can do better. We will. We have to. 


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