The hero of Metropolis vs the hero of Gotham. Are they really heroes or are they vigilantes who see themselves above any rule of law? In an epic showdown between two of the greatest superheroes, will there be any winners? Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is reviewed after the jump.
The film kicks off with a brief recap of Batman’s origin story and then jumps forward to the events near the end of Man of Steel, where Superman (Henry Cavill) is fighting to save the world from the World Engine and Zod. We revisit the destruction and see Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) scrambling to help the innocent. The film then jumps forward another 18 months, where the respective superheroes are both trying to make their cities safer places. Enter Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg), an eccentric rich person whose origins we aren’t really given a lot of information about. He is wealthy, but he isn’t powerful, and power is what he craves above all else. He has a plan though – one that involves Kryptonian rocks, pitting Batman and Superman against each other, and where Lex is the only winner.
Batman v. Superman is a profoundly silly film. It cares only about setting up the epic battle of the two superheroes and setting up the DC universe for further films. The screenplay is a mess, concerned not with coherency, dialogue, or pacing – its aim is to give Batman and Superman a reason to fight each other, and it doesn’t even do that very well. By the time the showdown comes around, I was yet to be convinced that the heroes (who are supposed to care about keeping the peace/saving people above all else) had any real reason to face off. For all its set up, it’s rather disappointing that the filmmakers couldn’t come up with a better reason for the rivalry – it’s exceedingly thin. The screenplay is also very serious, with the only laugh coming from a piece of dialogue so bad, it was funny. Blame for all of this lies as much with the writers as it does with Snyder’s plodding direction.
I have to give it to Eisenberg, the character he’s playing is rather two-dimensional, but he does give it his all – it’s a very energetic performance. Comparisons will be made to Ledger’s Joker, but Eisenberg has a long way to go until he is as captivating as Ledger was. I find it almost impossible to judge Affleck’s Batman as we didn’t really get enough time with him –I don’t really feel that he got a chance to flex his acting muscles. It’s an interesting look – this broodier batman, with the thicker suit, and glowing eyes. I’d think I’d like to see him again, but with a different director calling the shots. Lois Lane (Amy Adams) was a ridiculous character here, whose only purpose was the advance the film’s plot.
Unlike Man of Steel, this film isn’t boring – with so many characters to cover, there’s a lot going on, although it’s of little substance most of the time. The film also introduces Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, and boy, what an introduction. When we finally see her in all her costumed glory, it is magnificent. Hans Zimmer’s score hits its high point here, with a jaunty and energetic number accompanying her appearance on-screen. This was by far and away the best moment in the film. I am very much looking forward to Wonder Woman’s stand-alone film in 2017.
I cannot recommend seeing this in 3D, as the 3D was very poor, at least in the cinema that I saw this in. There were times when characters appeared to be followed by shadows of themselves, and when large sections of the background were out of focus. It’s also a dark film, and this is only amplified by wearing 3D glasses.
If you’re a fan of the comic books I believe you’ll get more out of this film than the average cinema goer/person who is only familiar with the films, as there are things introduced in this film that comic book fans will no doubt enjoy seeing on-screen, however Batman v Superman is impossible for me to recommend. I enjoyed it ever so slightly more than Man of Steel, but for the most part I found it to be a confounding mess.
By Sam McCosh
Director: The Facts
Director: Zack Snyder
Writer(s): Chris Terrio, David S. Goyer
Starring: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Gal Gadot
Runtime: 150 minutes
Release date(s): Australia: March 24, 2016