James Marsh, Asian Editor
I saw Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice twice last week. Once in IMAX 3D, and then again in a much smaller 2D presentation a few days after filing my review. Having now endured over five hours of Zack Snyder’s meat-headed franchise building, my original published opinion stands. The film is a convoluted, incoherent mess, overstuffed with half-baked ideas that are never given the time or space to be developed or considered adequately.
The film’s biggest problem is also what is being championed by its supporters as its greatest strength “it was made for the fans”. I agree, BVS was totally made for the fans, but it shouldn’t have been. Not when WB spent $250 million on it. DC fans would have turned out in their droves to see any new film starring Batman, Superman et al. What BVS:DOJ needed to do, was open that universe up to everybody else if it was to be a successful foundation for an expanded cinematic universe. Too often the film was deliberately obscure, packed with so many flashbacks, flash forwards, premonitions, dreams and foreshadowing possible future events that the film completely lost its forward momentum and narrative through line.
Despite all this, I have hope for DC’s cinematic future. Suicide Squad looks incredibly promising, while Gal Gadot was fantastic as Wonder Woman and I cannot wait to see an entire movie devoted to her. If those films, Wonder Woman in particular, succeed financially, then we can all sit back, rest easy and admit that Snyder did his job right on BVS. If either of them fails, then the future of the Justice League on screen will be walking on very shaky ground indeed.