I’m a few days late behind this one. Everyone and their dog has been shouting their piece about Batman V Superman, it almost feels unnecessary to jump in this late. But it’s the biggest film of the year so far so I better review it.
Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons and Gal Gadot and is directed by Zack Snyder. BvS follows Batman (Affleck) as he tries to put down Superman (Cavill) in order to keep the world safe.
Let’s try and start with the good. A lot of the cast do good work. Ben Affleck fights off all of the criticism that was levelled at him when he was announced (go back and look at those tweets, it’s appalling how people attacked him) and turns in a very good performance as Bruce Wayne. Yes Bruce Wayne, any buffed up guy with a strong jaw and a smoker’s voice can play Batman and sadly he’s hardly in the film. Henry Cavill stands around being wooden for most of the run time, which is only heightened by the complete lack of chemistry between him and on-screen girlfriend Amy Adams. Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman does nothing until the final five minutes and Jesse Eisenberg is completely off as a mincing, stuttering Lex Luthor. The only really good actor is Jeremy Irons as Alfred, and that’s mainly down to Irons being a superb in basically any film he does.
And…that’s about it. Let’s get to work on the bad. EVERYTHING ELSE.
The main problem with the film is it’s script. In short, it’s ridiculous. Batman versus Superman is not a film title, it’s a scene. We already saw the “God versus Rich Badass” scenario in the first Avengers film, it was Thor against Iron Man. Although here, we don’t even get that. For a good two-thirds of the film it’s Bruce Wayne versus Clark Kent instead. Some lines, especially the one that makes Batman and Superman join up against another bad guy who pops out of nowhere (mainly for the fans, because NO ONE else will have heard of him) is hysterically dumb and contrived, it feels more like a spoof of superhero films than one that’s meant to be taken seriously. When we finally get to the last half an hour Zack Snyder remembers he was meant to be making a superhero film and tries to fit in as much explosions and punching as he can, until it becomes desensitising.
Another problem is the film’s length. BvS is 151 minutes long, way too long for what the film comes down to. Apparently there is an extra thirty minutes that Snyder took out of the cinema release, I guess that’s where all the plot is because there is nothing but the thinnest of plots in those two and half hours. It makes the film feel stuck in a weird limbo; it’s both overlong and too edited.
It’s wide knowledge that the film has been gutted, bringing it down from an 18 to a 12a rating and especially in the fight scenes the editing is extensive. It reminds me of Quantum of Solace, there is no pain. People are being thrown through walls and bones are breaking, but there is no “feedback”, no visceral connection between audience and screen. Again, it becomes comical about how much violence gets dished out and how little we feel involved in the action.
And since DC and Warner Bros. are wanting to set up ANOTHER BLOODY SUPERHERO FRANCHISE, BvS houses several little Easter Eggs as to who will be in their next two to three films. It’s so tiresome nowadays, why not focus on making the film that’s actually out good rather than just cutting your losses and trying to make money back with your next couple of films?
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is plainly bad. It was insanely overhyped, it’s badly in need of an editor and manages to make a film about two of the best crimefighters going toe-to-toe with each other incredibly boring. I know we’re still in the beginning of 2016, but I bet this will be on my Worst-Of list at the end of the year.
Score: 2/10 A fan service film if ever I saw one.