Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Batman versus Superman

Caped confrontation. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Photograph: Clay Enos/AP

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” was an eagerly anticipated movie. The trailers did a good job to tease, seduce and lure us. Just so to witness two superheroes in a $250 million clash that is a smashing spectacle of potent power.

The Batman and Superman fight is as brutal and ruthless as it is boring. Boring because it ended with a whimper. The fisticuffs come to an abrupt stop when Batman finds out that his mom and Superman’s mom share the same first name! How corny is that?

The storyline is somewhat long-winded and a tad confusing. But if you can brush aside the froth and the fluff, the plot is simple enough to understand. A trite silly really. Bruce Wayne (aka Batman) wants to fight Superman because the latter caused devastation to Metropolis. Methinks Batman is plain jealous of Superman. Or if he is not – he isn’t smart enough to see past scheming Lex Luthor’s trickery. And that is a shame really because I am a fan of Batman.

The combat between the two cannot end the movie because Batman goes soft on Superman. So Luthor’s creature is unleashed when the mad scientist – with his signature unkempt hair and his nervous tics and his tendency to half-swallow his words – messes about with genetics and a giant amniotic sac inside a kryptonite ship. 

BTW, kryptonite isn’t as rare as it is thought to be since everybody is able to get their hands on it.

Anyway, another epic battle begins where Batman and Superman are joined by Wonder Woman and all three confront the monstrous behemoth called Doomsday before finally defeating it.

And the manner in which we are introduced to Wonder Woman is farcical. She appears at parties where Wayne is invited to. Her objective is perhaps, to annoy him, it would seems.

Until the two battles smash their way into our consciousness, the movie meanders along – most times clumsily – and for some reason I don’t quite understand, it is pregnant with dreams.

The movie starts with a dream. Wayne’s parents being gunned down in front of a movie theater. This is intercut with the young lad tumbling down a hole where he discovers a massive gathering of bats in a cave. These bats swarm around him, magically lifting him up and out of the hollow as he strikes a Christ-like pose.

Then Batman has a second dream, where Superman has become a fascist dictator with his own army of stormtroopers. Batman is a lone freedom fighter rebelling against Superman’s iron rule. At the end of the dream, Superman punches a cavity in Batman’s chest. Batman wakes up and sees The Flash inside a time vortex. Please don’t ask me how I know – I just knew! Flash is seen to explain some important plot points for another movie, then disappears. Again, don’t ask me.

Superman also dreams. It has him flying off to some desolate, snow-covered landscape. And Clark Kent (aka Superman) imagines seeing his father throwing bricks onto a pile of other bricks while telling a story about inadvertently ruining the lives of his neighbors during a flood.

I cannot, for the life of me, fathom its relevance to the movie but hey, I am not the scriptwriter. Maybe, Superman has visions of his dead dad in the middle of nowhere in order to tell us that Death is now stalking him. I am just speculating – whatever it is, I can’t make any sense out of it.

I also wonder why “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” is rated PG-13 (Parents strongly cautioned).

Anyway, I did go and watch the movie. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t that bad either. I guess I am a comic book fan, that’s why.

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