“Batman V Superman” not only fell short of expectations in the box office, the criticism also left a bad hair on the blockbuster, which can now be streamed on Prime Video. However, editor Pascal has a completely different opinion…
The numbers speak for themselves: At RottenTomatoes, “Batman V Superman” has an average critic* of just 29 (!) percent, in the official FILMSTARTS review there were a miserable 2 of possible for the crashing clash of superhero giants 5 stars. And beyond that, Zack Snyder’s second DC blockbuster is primarily considered a failure. I see it completely differently, because for me “Batman V Superman” is an elemental comic berserker that rolls over me like a steamroller every time.
However, there is a big but at this point: “Batman V Superman” does not unfold its entire class in the (also very good)*, but in the longer and harder Ultimate Edition, which is now also available with an Amazon Prime Video subscription:
That’s why I love “Batman V Superman”
No question: Batman V Superman has its obvious problems. Narratively, he often comes to nothing, which is due to the fact that director Zack Snyder (“Army Of The Dead”) and his writing duo around Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer open too many barrels that they don’t open in the course of the story know how to fill befittingly. Consequentially, there are often hair-raising explanations when it comes to the psychological motivation of the superheroes and villains. But I can overlook that very well because Batman v Superman works for me primarily as a physical experience.
Zack Snyder has cast a blockbuster here, that of a staged ruthlessness penetrated, which actually seemed unthinkable in these budget regions (cost point: 250 million US dollars). It begins with the phenomenal opening, when Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) wanders through a Metropolis that is being declared a warscape due to the confrontation between Superman (Henry Cavill) and General Zod (Michael Shannon). Buildings collapse, children cry for their parents, clouds of smoke darken the sky. Pure horror.
This all-encompassing darkness, which “Batman V Superman” unleashes in the first ten minutes, continues – depending on which version you are watching – for the next 150 to 180 minutes. Zack Snyder has created an exhausting and brute comic colossus that – and this is quite extraordinary for superhero films these days – actually has an artistic vision. One notices that “Batman V Superman” consistently bears the signature of its director. And so pronounced that the film seems to me like the simmering antithesis to the Marvel forge that has been brought into line.
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What is paralyzing about “Batman V Superman” is not just its audiovisual impact, which ultimately erupts in a bombast of effects that is tantamount to a twilight of the gods. In terms of content, Zack Snyder also manages to gain depth from the characters when he lets Bruce Wayne as the child of violence and Clark Kent (Superman’s real name) as the child of love compete against each other. Not only completely coherent worldviews collide here, “Batman V Superman also challenges the very notion of superhuman heroism – both in the form of society and of superheroes in and of themselves.
For me, “Batman V Superman” is therefore also an oppressive study of fear at its core. It’s about the fear of one’s own destiny, the fear of the unknown and ultimately also the fear of oneself. So if you’re still at odds with “Batman V Superman”, I think you should definitely try again – preferably in the Ultimate Edition, of course. For my part, I am completely overwhelmed by this chunk of film every time.
That’s what Batman V Superman is about
Two beings from the devastated planet of Krypton brought destruction to Earth in the finale of Man Of Steel: Superman (Henry Cavill) and General Zod (Michael Shannon). The evil Zod was defeated and henceforth the man of steel was either denied as a god or – because of his power – condemned as a threat to all of humanity. Bruce Wayne aka Batman (Ben Affleck) has sided with those who want Superman finally tamed. The dark knight – supported by butler Alfred (Jeremy Irons) – ensures order in Gotham City and is personally affected by the deadly effects of the giant battle.
He rebels against the all-powerful Superman, first verbally and then physically. But while Batman and Superman are focused on each other, a new threat emerges that could bind them both together and for which young entrepreneurial genius Lex Luther (Jesse Eisenberg) is far from innocent. Time for the Justice League heroes to form up…
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This is a re-release of an article previously published on FILMSTARTS.
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