Review of 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice'

batman_v_superman.jpg Yeah, it got horrible reviews but is it all that bad? Well, no, not really though it is often confusing.

Eighteen months after the massive Metropolis battle in “Man of Steel” Batman (Ben Affleck) who witnessed the destruction of the city is growing increasingly disillusioned with Superman (Henry Cavill) as is a congressional committee headed by Senator June Finch (Holly Hunter) who are investigating an event where Superman appears to have killed many civilians. They are concerned that earth has no way to counter Superman should he decide to “go rogue”. The public seems to echo this sentiment as protests start springing up. For his part Superman is concerned with the increasing violence Batman is using to nab the bad guys. Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) sees the doubt cast on Superman as an opportunity to push forward his own agenda by seeking to acquire a large piece of “kryptonite” and the Kryptonian scout ship. Despite being thwarted by a mysterious woman, Diana Prince (aka “Wonder Woman”; Gal Gadot) Batman eventually manages to steel the Kryptonite from Luthor and in the process discovers that Luthor has files on other “metahumans”: The Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman. He fashions a suit of armour as well as a spear made from the Kryptonite and prepares to meet Superman in a battle royale though in the meantime Luthor has plans of his own as he uses the power of the scout ship to create a monster…

Yeah, as you might be able to tell it is all a bit convoluted and there is a lot of talking throughout. The battle between Superman and Batman, while moderately impressive, is over way too soon though a much bigger battle follows. The ending will no doubt come as a shock to those who have not seen the film (or the Justice League sequel).

The wonderful Gal Godot is woefully underutilised here relegated to being not much more than eye candy and a bit part in action sequences though, to be fair, this is “Batman v Superman” NOT “Batman v Superman with Wonder Woman” (makes the posters too wordy). Even so her acting puts Affleck and Cavill to shame as the two of them make their way with little facial expression throughout, delivering the lines largely in monotone. The focus here is very much on Batman as he turns on Superman since, let's face it, it is a difficult premise to follow. Having said that, this conversion is not altogether convincing and neither here is Batman's quite sadistic tendencies (Batman brands being used on victims? Really?). Their relationships with others are pretty much left in the sidelines with Lois Lane (Amy Adams) simply serving as a “maiden in distress” as is Superman's mother Martha Kent (Diane Lane). Alfred (Jeremy Irons), also criminally under-utilised, spends much of his screen time chastising Bruce Wayne/Batman…and little else. Surely he can be a bit more helpful? But, hey, he does press a few rather destructive buttons despite seemingly dead set against what his charge is doing…

At more than two and a half hours there is a lot of exposition and not so much action. Characterisation is OK but not great. All of which is a shame as it could have been so much more. Still, worth a watch if perhaps not going too far out of your way to see.

Rating: “A bit better than average”

Review Date: 2017-12-30

Directed by: Zack Snyder

Studio: Warner Brothers

Year: 2016

Length: 151 minutes

Genre: Action/Adventure

Other reviewed films by Zack Snyder: