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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice review—An exciting teaser of what’s to come

Thankfully, Batman v Superman isn’t all just explosions and angry frowns; it features some strong visual and existential messages—of power, whether it should be controlled, and how it corrupts; of God and man, heaven and hell. But the film spends so much time telling and so little time showing that any thematic motifs are overpowered by the onscreen mayhem. When the fight between the two heroes finally happens—more than halfway through the film—it’s so sadistic and vicious that it’s actually kind of difficult to watch. And the side characters just don’t have much to do; they’re merely plot devices.

To be fair there were some tender moments between Superman and Lois Lane, and finally seeing the Trinity was immensely satisfying. Snyder also cleverly hints at who will appear in Justice League Part One, giving fans a nice taste of what’s to come. Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), meanwhile, is also a highlight. She’s strong and virtuous and coolly one-ups Bruce Wayne during a chance encounter at Lex Luthor’s party (for I don’t know what). Unfortunately, her involvement is brief, designed to tease her solo outing in 2017.

Despite its faults—and there are many—I left the theater excited and anxious to see more, hopeful that DC can build its own coherent cinematic universe; hopeful that Snyder can catch his breath and find his stride when Justice League Part One comes out.

From a pure entertainment standpoint, Batman v Superman delivers in peaks and valleys; it’s the plot and the reasoning behind the plot that gets in the way. Although Affleck’s Batman has asinine motivations, I liked the more hulking and barbarous portrayal. Cavill’s Superman, meanwhile, goes through a powerful emotional arc, while Wonder Woman, who gives us a much-needed break from the movie’s hypermasculinity, steals every scene she’s in.

Batman v Superman is disorienting and loud and at times incoherent, but for what it’s worth, I’m going to see it again this weekend. I suggest you do the same.

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