Bruce Wayne is having trouble trying to be Batman. Superman is having trouble trying to be Clark Kent. However, the guy who's having real trouble trying to be someone else is Zack Snyder. He tries so hard to be Christopher Nolan, it can get embarrassing to watch.
Keeping with Nolan's propensity to make films with brooding protagonists, Snyder gives us two brooding protagonists. They brood, fret, and locate themselves in high altitudes from where they can gaze at the world and ponder why the colours are so low on saturation. Snyder does all he can to give us that dark grimy world which people got tired of in The Dark Knight Rises
itself. Meanwhile, in an alternate universe, tiny inconsequential superheroes like Antman
are entertaining large audiences while having so much fun themselves. Snyder appears like he would rather watch Fantastic Four
four times before he places one light-hearted sequence in a film of his.
It is an unlikely plot. Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck is good - usual reliable good) hates Superman, and Clark Kent (Henry Cavill is wood - fine, sculpted wood) won't have anything of an extralegal vigilante who isn't apparently following rules. As these two sulk and nurture good amounts of loathing for each other, Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg is the only actor who convinces us on his rather ill-developed character), a young maverick billionaire with less than noble intentions, seizes the opportunity to start off a ram fight between these grown-up brats.
You realise how strange this is when Wayne criticises Superman because he is an alien destroying public property (in that extra-terrestrial war at the end of Man Of Steel
). One has to acknowledge that Batman himself has no state license for destruction of public property without prior intimation and yet rams his Batmobile into buildings at will. Consequently, you fail to see why Batman has anything against Superman except that there'd be no story otherwise. And let's not even talk about Kent's issues with Batman being a vigilante beyond the grasp of the government in the same movie where the government has an entire panel to discuss whether Superman means any good.
With these gaping holes in the script, poorly developed characters, and a morbid obsession with darkness for darkness' sake, it is no wonder that the film would get panned. In other news, comic book fans have their own issues with the film. People have waited around fifty years to see Batman and Superman in a movie together, and no one is happy with the final turnout. No back-stories are provided - we don't know what Batman was upto the last few years, nor do we know why Lex Luthor breeds such hatred for Superman, and we have nothing on Wonder Woman (who incidentally draws the most whistles in the hall). The movie just stays in the air with nothing to ground it.
But we have to remember why the studios sign up Snyder. For all his faux depth, the guy is magical with his frames. Right from 300
, he has been pushing the boundaries of movie visuals in terms of special effects, cinematography and action choreography. Dawn Of Justice has no scarcity when it comes to breathtaking visuals. Right from the first scene where Bruce's mother's pearls scatter on the screen to the climactic clash where colossal fury is unleashed by the villain, you'll have to keep watching with awe.
The non-critical, non-fan audiences will find this visceral experience enough to justify the ticket cost. As an isolated spectacle film with no context, Dawn Of Justice pulls in the same league as movies like Jurassic World
. Nothing to engage, fun to watch, and worth a visit to the theatre (best watched in 3D). However, if you start taking into consideration the context of A-List stars, A-List superheroes, and the shadow of the Dark Knight
trilogy, you'll see that the film does no justice to its promise. Ironic that it is called Dawn Of Justice.