BATMAN vs. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE — Review by Susan Granger

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One truth is self-evident: DC comic book movies make money! It doesn’t matter if they’re bad or good – scowling superheroes rule! Back when Christopher Nolan made his grim “Dark Knight” trilogy, he laid the groundwork for the somber, emotionally tortured vigilante hero. Now, director Zack Snyder (“Man of Steel”) seriously pushes the envelope even further. Read on…

Their story begins with a shadowy introduction to Bruce Wayne – a.k.a. Batman (Ben Affleck) – via a childhood dream sequence and the destruction of downtown Metropolis by Kryptonians, a disconcerting reference to the 9/11 attacks at Ground Zero.

So that’s why Batman has psychopathic issues with Superman – a.k.a. (Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) – who’s still busy saving spunky journalist Lois Lane (Amy Adams), captured by terrorists in the desert.

As tech prodigy Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) maniacally manipulates, their bickering commences over moral imperatives and ideological differences.

One thing quickly leads to another and soon two of the most iconic figures in comics are grotesquely battling in the streets of Metropolis and Gotham, which apparently are situated so close together than one can spy the Bat-signal from the rooftop of the ‘Daily Planet.’

The highlight is when Wonder Woman – a.k.a. Diana Prince (Israeli ex-soldier Gal Gadot) – finally appears. “Wonder Woman has the strength of a superhero,” Gadot said at Comic-Con, noting Wonder Woman will have her own origin movie, adding, “She’s sophisticated and loving – with emotional intelligence.”

Convolutedly scripted by David S. Goyer and Chris Terrio, it is thematically confusing yet visually dazzling with Jeremy Irons as Bruce Wayne’s butler Alfred, Holly Hunter as a skeptical Senator, Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as Martha & Jonathan Kent – plus cameos by Anderson Cooper and Charlie Rose.

FYI: No need to sit through the credits as there are no additional sequences.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice” is a flashy, forgettable 5. Quoting Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”: “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing….”

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.