So it all comes down to this, huh? Under the weight of bringing together two of DC's superhero heavyweights - to fight, no less! - Zack Snyder's "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" arrives with all the self-seriousness that has weighed down the DC side of the comic-book movie universe for so long.
So it all comes down to this, huh?
Under the weight of bringing together two of DC's superhero heavyweights - to fight, no less! - Zack Snyder's "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" arrives with all the self-seriousness that has weighed down the DC side of the comic-book movie universe for so long.
Preceding the preview screening was a special message from Snyder asking the early audience not to spoil the movie's surprises. I wish he'd sent that to the marketing department, as the appearance of Gal Godot's Wonder Woman would have been a fun surprise had trailers and marketing materials already not given that away ad nauseam.
Even though people clamoring for this showdown probably want things to be operatic, this movie is so heavy-handed and generally joyless, I found myself wanting it to be over.
Reintroducing Batman (Ben Affleck, who probably won't calm the hate over his casting) lets Snyder run through his backstory. Again. Yawn. Christopher Nolan's "Dark Knight" movies are an obvious influence, but it's poorly executed.
Much of the movie is spent setting up the titular showdown, but the rationale for the feud between Batman and Superman (Henry Cavill) is pretty thin. There's a "god vs. man" kick that's beat to death with the lack of subtlety that you'd expect from Snyder. And I'm even one of the few who liked his "Watchmen."
A bright note in a movie often in need of a pulse is Jesse Eisenberg's manic take on Lex Luthor, but even that is such a callback to Heath Ledger's Joker - albeit with some smart twists - that it only serves to remind you that this could be better.
Now that "Deadpool" has firmly poked the tropes of the superhero genre in the eye, the paint-by-numbers approach to these movies seems even more obvious. The set pieces may be thrilling by some standards, but we've been there. We've done that.
D.C. has been trailing Marvel for decades on the movie front, with Batman being its saving grace. Affleck's Batman is not the shot in the arm this franchise needed to kick off a Justice League thread.
Is this the death knell of superhero movies as we know them? Probably not.
Even fans of this stuff have to be a little anxious for something new, right? As someone who has to see most of the major releases, please tell me I'm right.
Spoiler alert: It's time to shake this genre up. Or maybe even make some other types of movies.