It’s been nearly two years since Superman (Henry Cavill) and General Zod played ping-pong with each other’s bodies in Metropolis and the fallout is still in full swing. People hurt in the crossfire remain traumatised, Superman’s abilities and powers are now being discussed by government and Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) is still upset that his building was destroyed along with several employees who waited a little too long to evacuate. Meanwhile Clark Kent is determined to bring down the masked vigilante on the other side of the river for reasons unknown and a younger, less follicle-challenged Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) is investigating kryptonite when he’s not feeding Jolly Ranchers to government officials. If that sounds a bit muddled, it’s a good indication of the film as a whole, and that’s without mentioning a mysterious lady in the shape of Gal Gadot and the fact that every woman without powers either dies or gets saved a hundred times.
Every woman without powers either dies or gets saved a hundred times
Despite his protestations to the contrary, Zack Snyder is clearly been handed the DC universe and a year or two to do what took Marvel nearly a decade to achieve. Instead of Man of Steel 2 we’ve been giving over two hours of muddled sub-plots that don’t add up and dodgy characterisations of two of pop cultures most iconic heroes that makes you wonder whether anyone involved actually likes them.
Instead of Man of Steel 2 we’ve been giving over two hours of muddled sub-plots that don’t add up
You do not have to be light-hearted and colourful like Marvel in order to have a great superhero movie, but watching this relentlessly dour affair feels like a task. Worse still, the two titular heroes do nothing in the film worthy of the term.
On the bright side, Gadot’s completely pointless Wonder Woman shows promise even if Snyder felt the need to sneak in an up-skirt shot mid-battle. Then again Clark does make eggs with no top on for absolutely no reason so perhaps this is Snyder’s idea of equality. Other good touches are Jeremy Irons’ gruff Alfred and the new, built-in voice changer that gave Affleck the chance to avoid Christian Bale’s unintentionally hilarious growl.
Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice is a disappointing failure but it isn’t an unexpected one. It was always a bit of a gamble taking inspiration from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, but if we learn anything from this it’s that endless beautiful people in a state of undress, tightly choreographed fight sequences and more special effects than Andy Serkis could handle is not enough; a coherent plot, characters you care about and a clear vision of what you’re trying to do is pretty basic moviemaking stuff, and Snyder clearly forgot about that as he was too busy getting Batman to hit Superman with everything including, literally, the kitchen sink. It’s not disastrous, it’s just rubbish, and if this extended DC Universe is an inevitability they may want to give the script a few more glances to avoid another dreary, 9/11-infused blockbuster like this one.
Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice is released in UK cinemas on Friday 25th March.
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