Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (12A)

Tom Shrimplin delves into the new DC Comics films, will it be mind-blowing or soul-crushing?

25th April 2016

Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice offers tremendous visuals, a ton of action and the two most famous superheroes sharing the screen. It’s a shame that the flawed story connecting these beautiful shots (almost seemingly ripped off comic book pages) ignores what these characters are actually about.

In terms of performances, Ben Affleck is the biggest surprise and outstanding in his role as a more world-weary, vicious and quite frankly frightening Batman. Jeremy Irons provides desperately-needed sarcastic wit as butler and almost partner-in-crime, Alfred, in an exciting dynamic that easily deserved more screen time. Gal Gadot is also fine in her role as the enigmatic Diana Price. Jesse Eisenberg however is disappointing, playing up the melodrama rather than the menacing Lex Luthor we were asking for. The returnees are also mixed in terms of their acting, with Amy Adams offering heart to this film as Lois Lane, while the wooden Henry Cavill gives a one-note performance as Superman. Although the writing does not help, with characterisation and dialogue often traded for monologues, plot exposition and a dedication to keeping the film dark and humourless, making it difficult to get to know these characters.

"Amy Adams offers heart to this film as Lois Lane, while the wooden Henry Cavill gives a one-note performance as Superman"

In truth, BvS is not a bad film. It is too competently made on a technical level with stunning cinematography, a beautiful soundtrack and with Adams, Irons and Affleck in particular delivering fantastic performances. However, it is flawed in terms of its confusing story, plot holes and writing. It’s a good movie to just switch your brain off to in order to enjoy the awesomely shot action.

The biggest problem however is the pacing, trying to cram what should have been two movies into one, setting up for the Justice League movies plus a rushed, tiresome, CGI-filled third act, not doing justice (no pun intended) in adapting one of the most successful comic book storylines. Ultimately, perhaps a better name for this film would have been Justice League: The Prelude.

More like this: The Dark Knight Returns Parts 1 and 2 (2012/3)

Rating: 6/10

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