This review originally appeared in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad
Just over a hundred years ago the movie serial was born. The stories were divided up into small chapters and kids would return each week to the movie theater to see how the cliffhanger endings were resolved. And then they’d watch the feature presentation. Cut to: March, 2016. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is now open in theaters. There’s no serial preceding it but it is one. While Warner Bros, the studio that owns the DC heroes, has several superhero shows on television and stresses that they’re unrelated to the movies, the lines are ever blurrier betwen the two mediums. In fact, Batman and Superman actually both had movie serials in the 1940s. The most popular movies seventy years later are all what you’d call “franchises”. That’s code name for a very expensive serial which doesn’t air weekly but annually. And you have to see them in movie theaters.
With serials/franchises/TV shows you’re perpetually aware that there will be another episode. So the heroes are never really in danger; contractually they’ll be back next episode/season. But let’s not leap tall buildings in a single bound into the future. Is Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice a worthy movie or satisfying episode on its own?
Spoiler alert: It’s not. Many reasons why come after the jump...