Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

the blessed combination of a thoroughgoing commitment to fascism with a still more thoroughgoing commitment to incompetence, zack snyder’s elegy for the decline of our freaking society under “late” capitalism, and his ode to the transformative power of accepting christ, the us government, and our troops into your life. and yet this is also a shockingly cogent and pointed critique of empire in decline, a whirlwind of post-9/11 furor and liberal democratic sloganeering forced to confront its own emptiness and moral repugnance by the hand of zack snyder’s half-baked moralisms. individualist, egoistic morality, finding its vessel in ben affleck, is revealed to be the perpetual, childish reinscription of trauma, while its ends and means (supposedly existing in opposition to the punitive systems of democratic, carceral and legalistic ‘justice’) unfold as a heightening of that system's violence (the clearest example being his “brands” burned into the skin). and the legalist promise of democratic accountability is cast aside quickly by the bare exercise of violent power, its actions either merely ineffective (and thus passively imperialist) at best or actively participating in the exercise of global imperial subjugation at worst (the fucking CIA are positioned as explicitly in alliance with capital’s interests and committing acts of reprehensible terror from the very first sequence). superman, never moreso than in his failings, is an american soldier through and through (made painfully obvious in death), emblazoned in its colors and symbols and yet conveniently serves as an outsider who can be disingenuously invested with its evil and serve, therefore, as its absolution. all the pontificating re: gods and men nearly obfuscates the covert potency of these critiques, but ultimately the ponderous, shambling dialogue comes to serve as a marker of inescapable, cyclical decay, realized in the core aesthetic sensibility of the film, which is constituted by a degraded bombast whose toyetic, fanboyish qualities, in the ugliness of their realization, are their own implicit, damning interlocutors. the ending is pure fascism but completely gutted by the preceding hours and the sequel-oriented demands of the franchise to such a degree that its sentimentalism rings hollow and temporary. what the fuck

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