Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ★½

It may be a little premature, but we already have the first President Trump era comic book movie. I'm not even talking about the story, in which two emasculated rich white men blame an immigrant for what's wrong with the world.

Just like Trump's campaign for the nomination, it's stupid, hateful, and by the time you've just deciphered one utterly insensible thing it's said or done, it'll have done five more. And depressingly, despite all of this, people are probably going to support it anyway.

Compounding all of the problems with Man Of Steel's final hour, this is a morass of a film, comprised of a bunch of self-serious iconography, held together by AS level philosophy and world building based on the deconstructive foundations of comics from the 80s and 90s. Superman is an arsehole, Batman is an idiot, nothing that the overall villain does makes any sense and it looks like it may have actually exploded in the editing suite.

It's not Zack Snyder's absolute worst film to date, (oh hai Sucker Punch) but it's his least coherent by miles. If MoS made it look like he didn't understand Superman, this one looks like he doesn't care to- not when he can have a go at Batman, who he doesn't understand either. The abiding messages of this film are "no one stays good in this world" (which seems like a misunderstanding of a similar tract in The Dark Knight) and "men are still good." (#NotAllBatmen)

On the good side, remember how I said that Kevin Costner was the best actor in Man Of Steel, despite being the worst character? Well, Ben Affleck is no Kevin Costner, but the same holds here. Even as a Batman who does crossfit before a fight with a god and takes his code from Dick Cheney, Affleck probably gives the best performance in the film, bar Jeremy Irons' Alfred. See also: Gal Gadot, whose Wonder Woman will probably be astonishing in her own film, when she actually has something to do.

I could go on and on about the bad stuff, (those fucking dream sequences...) but to try and grasp this is actually just to spread it around. Or, as the film has it about one character near the end, hitting it only makes it stronger. This clusterfuck of a movie has all the substance and thematic weight of an angry internet comment justifying the ending of the previous movie, and the result is inevitably much, much worse.

Mark liked these reviews