We know you're tired of it. You heard about it all last week. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. "The fight of the century." "The ultimate comic book movie."
It had bad critic reviews, but it was a huge hit with fans, though not the "real" fans; not the supposed nerds that know.
The movie itself was, in a word, bad. But we're not going to spend too much time telling you by how much this movie runs too long, or how tiring Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, or director Zack Snyder's slow mo are.
We're not going to dump on it more than we need to, we're going to talk about the real loser in all of this: 4DX technology.
Now, we've reported on 4DX a couple of times.
The first, when we got super excited because it sounded dope. The second, when we were still a little excited, but we'd started thinking there was some kind of conspiracy brewing when tickets for the feature had not yet materialized on the Regal Cinema's site.
What is it? Basically, it takes 3D to the next level by immersing you in both the filmmaking experience (seats angling the way the cameras shift) and the action of the story itself (punches and gunshots rattling your chair) for $28.10.
spoiled_nyc we done did it. finally. 😍🙌😜 batman v superman. in 4DX. 📽🎞🎥 catch the full story on our snapchat this monday night. 👊🗽👊 #gottickets #finally #movingseats #rainsdownonyou #evencreatessmells #30bucksaticket #wtf #betterbeworthit #staytuned #snapchat #snapchatstories #spoilednyc #batmanvsuperman #spoiledadventures 🏙🌆🌃🌉🌇 (@nyc.online)
Before we go on with how terrible it was, let's get a couple things out of the way: 1) Hollywood needs to stop doing gimmicky sh*t until they figure out a practical payoff with VR, 2) somebody needs to take the keys away from Zack Snyder because he's either drunk, asleep, or tripping balls at the wheel.
We thought 4DX had the opportunity to do something special, but unfortunately it just sucked. Worse, is that the movie itself offered little to address the disparity in quality between DC and Marvel movies, so the annoyance of motion sickness and disorienting flashes of light simply compounded that.
Let's break it down by each 4DX feature.
The story opens, of course, with Bruce Wayne walking through the graveyard after his parents have died. The camera craned, the seats moved. Leaves rustled among the tombstones, a gross breeze pushed from the sides of the auditorium.
When Bruce's parents get shot (not a spoiler unless you haven't seen any of the dozen other Batman movies), the seats rattle with the kickback of the gun-- in slow mo, of course.
Fast forward 2-3 minutes to where Batfleck is an adult kicking it in Metropolis-- though, we're not sure why considering in Man of Steel General Zod had announced his presence a day or two earlier, so why wouldn't Batman be trying to stop an alien invasion? Surely he got the news, right?
If you don't remember what happens in Man of Steel, Snyder lets you relive the horrors of the pulsating alien ship that sends out blinding light and shockwaves. This all goes hand-in-hand with a similarly disorienting, though not nearly as effective, set of lights flashing on both sides of the auditorium.
batmanvsuperman Happy birthday to director Zack Snyder. #BatmanvSuperman
Miss out on the fantastic 9/11 imagery of buildings crashing to the ground and huge waves of debris, dust, and smoke pouring through the streets in Man of Steel? It's all good. Snyder does it again.
And in sensory-staggering 4DX, this imagery comes complete with shaking seats, smoke rising at the front of the auditorium, and a foul smelling (actually, smells a lot like the Blu e-cigs...) vapor that fills your nostrils and leaves you coughing.
That's all in the first 10 minutes. And there's 140 more.
Gunshots? A small eyeball air vent behind your head spurts a small gasp of compressed air past your ears as though you too have dodged a bullet (which you actually could have had you not paid money to see this movie, but, no; you're here!).
Raining outside? Small splash of water as though someone's whisper-spitting very loudly in your ear.
Superman or Batman getting knocked on their ass? Seats will shake you as though you're getting knocked on your ass while also sending small jabs into your back like the worst $1 massage in the saddest mall imaginable.
Remember though, this is Batman v Superman. This is a fight. It's supposed to be explosive. Hell, even Wonder Woman joins in on the action with her very own decidedly gypsy theme music (it definitely had more of an Esmeralda vibe than an Amazonian one).
batmanvsuperman #Superman towers over the #BatmanvSuperman press junket.
There's a highly disorienting dream sequence, Amy Adams getting saved at the last minute almost a handful of times (pro-tip: if Nolan can kill off Maggie Gyllenhaal, Snyder can definitely kill off Adams, right? #FreeAmy!), and Jeremy Irons basically doing the least unique rendition of Alfred Pennyworth ever.
Unfortunately, there aren't any special effects for Jesse Eisenberg's miserable hairpiece. What was he doing in this movie? He must be stopped. Remember that time he almost won an Oscar?
But $30 later, that's pretty much it.
The chairs move with the camera at times, the wind blows, there's a really bad smell whenever there's smoke, and you get really abrasive, half-assed massages from time to time.
There's also the water-- which you can turn off, apparently --and the bright lights that flash whenever there's a gunshot or blinding light on screen.
Snyder's signature slow-mo seems to tack on at least 15 unnecessary minutes throughout the movie, by the way. We didn't have a pithy way of incorporating it into the review of the 4DX experience (neither did they, apparently), so we'll just say we're tired of slow-mo.
For a battle between two iconic superheroes, they managed to make it a really boring cinematic exercise wherein the director figuratively bashes you in the face for nearly three hours with a terrible, convoluted story (and an absolutely abhorrent interpretation of Lex Luthor-- like, was Jesse Eisenberg thinking he was the Joker? Did nobody tell him he was Lex?) while the theater does everything it can to literally bash you in the face.
batmanvsuperman #TBT to #SDCC2015. #WhoWillWin #BatmanvSuperman
How does this somehow still get worse? YOU'RE STILL WATCHING THIS MOVIE IN 3D. For the most part, 3D hasn't quite paid off. It's more expensive than it needs to be, and unless the movie's shot in 3D, it doesn't offer much of anything.
But you're not just paying for 3D. We should be very clear on the price here: an adult 4DX ticket ran us nearly $30.
How do you fix this? Well, you never do it for a movie that's more than 100 minutes. Two hours is too long for this kind of sensory abuse, and when you add another 30 minutes to a movie that knows neither how to start nor end? Well, it's a veritable sh*t show.
If you want the thrilling disappointment of watching a bad, slow-mo comic book movie in 3D at what feels like the world's most depressing Sharper Image store that's had the roof torn off, well, go check out Batman v Superman: Yawn of Justice at the Regal Cinemas Union Square Stadium 14 in 4DX.[Feature Image Courtesy LazyGamer.net]