Review: Batman Vs Superman (★½)

1.5 stars

With a 3-year add campaign, it feels incredibly odd finally seeing Batman vs Superman. This is DC’s attempt to finally bring their universe to the big screen and it’s something fans have been wanting since Marvel’s Avengers was first announced. If you’ve wanted to see Batman again since The Dark Knight Rises, you’ll be in for a treat as Ben Affleck is the best Batman we’ve had. But unfortunately, the only real battle in Batman vs Superman is a battle between your optimism and reality.

The plot is very convoluted and not very deep. After seeing the destruction of Metropolis in Man of Steel from the perspective of the people on the streets, Bruce Wayne doesn’t see Superman as a saviour, but as a threat. From here, the story follows 7 different stories that are all loosely linked together resulting in the title clash. Lex Luthor plays a hand in bringing these 2 gladiators together, yet the reasoning seems loose at best and something that could have been resolved without the destruction of the city once again. The ideas of Superman as a god on earth are brief, but nowhere near enough as they could have been to finally make Superman an interesting character.

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During the introduction, we see yet another cinematic adaptation of Batman’s origin. The whole parents dying and falling down the well shabang. Despite being only a few minutes long and looking particularly nice, this story has been done so many times that it feels tired and cliché. Zach Snyder does add his visual flair which makes the re-tread passable. The scene seeing the destruction of the city from the perspective of Bruce Wayne was probably one of the best scenes in the movie and it adds a much needed human side to the chaotic Man of Steel ending. Jeremy Irons brought another fantastic Alfred to the table, with sharp wit and old manly wisdom.

Ben Affleck is the best Batman we’ve had on the big screen. He’s older and less forgiving and it makes for an interesting and exciting take on the character. Henry Cavill plays the Superman we’ve all seen before, yet I feel that issues stemmed from the script more than his actual portrayal. Jesse Eisenberg was the wrong choice for Lex Luthor in the movie. He came across as a hybrid between Lex Luthor and the Joker and having found out that these 2 characters were originally supposed to be in this movie, it seems like the two have been purposefully merged. Lois Lane has hardly anything to do and it bogs the film down at moments when it really doesn’t need it.

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Wonder Woman is in the movie.

The story of this movie is an absolute mess. None of the 7 stories really flow together like they should and despite having good ideas, they were not at all executed well. For a comic book movie to try and cram two ‘classic’ stories into one movie felt rushed and didn’t really explore the themes that they display effectively. Many people have had an issue with the shameless Justice League tie-in of this movie but in all honesty, it’s the least of its problems. For one thing, it was incredibly fresh to see something that wasn’t in the trailer. Literally, 90% of the movie was in the trailer. It removed any excitement from any of the action set pieces and removed any surprises it could have offered.

Wonder Woman and Doomsday are in the movie and they would have been such cool surprises if they never showed you them in the trailer. It would have added the exciting twists and unexpected turns that would have, at least, elevated my attention for the 2 and a half hour run time. Not only that, the CGI for Doomsday is incredibly under par for today’s effects, looking like a CGI blobby cave troll.

The fight scenes are what people are looking forward to the most and even for a superhero movie; they are just way over the top for them to be at all believable. Add that to the awful Transformer style camera work used during the big Batman fight and ending set piece and you get a big mess of bodies, lasers and no real idea of what is going on.

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Like The Amazing Spider-man 2, this movie revealed all that was exciting about it before the movie came out. All the actors, bar Eisenberg, did their job perfectly well leading to obvious problems in the structure and plot as a whole. This comes across as the sort of movie that non superhero fans won’t like and due to the rushed ‘classic’ stories, probably will be muffled at by DC fans too. You look at it and two questions arise.

Who is this for?

How did you fuck that up?

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