Note that this article contains spoilers.
To be honest, I’ve been humming and hawing about whether to add my two cents to the already muddled debate surrounding Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The problem is, like most things, it’s funny to kick something when it’s down. No one, myself included, expected much from it. The casting of Ben Affleck as Batman was always going to be a controversial move, one which may have had critics and fans frothing at the mouth to tear Zack Snyder’s effort to shreds before it even made it into cinemas. Is it a great movie, no absolutely not. Yet, that doesn’t mean it’s a terrible movie.
I had little to no expectations going into Batman v Superman, in fact I wasn’t all that bothered. But a rainy day decided otherwise and my wife and I mosied on down. There was a rather amusing notice on the screen door informing audiences that there is no after credits scene, which is probably the most polite way to tell paying customers to “eff off” without actually saying it.
It was a rather nice twist to kick things off with the events of Man of Steel, making the scene feel more human. Personally, I loved Man of Steel, but many were quick to point out the sheer scale of destruction carried out by Superman (Henry Cavill) in his battle against Zod (Michael Shannon). But the keyword there is ‘battle’. You have two aliens with unimaginable strength. Of course this isn’t going to be an after school punch up by the bike shed, it had to damn near destroy an entire city to properly portray their strength. But in BvS, the scene becomes eerily similar to the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre. The fear, the unknowing, Wayne running into the cloud of dust as buildings topple around him. The scene made you want Bruce Wayne to snap. To go darker than ever previously portrayed. Christian Bale was a fantastic Batman, but he was a bloody whinge at times. With Affleck, you sensed Wayne’s unhinged fury and that is the strongest feature of the movie.
Without a doubt, Affleck carries BvS. Without him, the movie really would be awful. Henry Cavill doesn’t have a whole lot to play with here. The problem with a character like Superman is once you tell his backstory, you can’t relate to the character. He becomes a dullard. Chasing Lois Lane (Amy Adams) about like a puppy and not adding a whole lot else, and I say that as a fan of Cavill’s Superman. But the blame for the movies flaws lies with Jesse Eisenberg and Doomsday. Many are quick to compare Eisenberg’s portrayal of Lex Luthor to his performance as Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network. But I don’t see it. Instead, all I see is a poor man’s version of Jim Carrey’s Riddler. If the future of the franchise is to fall at the first hurdle, it will be entirely down to Jesse Eisenberg’s twitchy, irritating, babbling Luthor. The inclusion of Doomsday is another sticking point. Obviously, they needed an incredibly powerful character to finish, but he adds nothing to the movie. He just seems out of place, like an unused Orc from Lord of the Rings that they decided to include. As for the other members of the soon to form Justice League, it was somewhat rushed with DC doing in two and a half hours what Marvel did over the course of 10 years.
So, a good movie that could do better. If you’re thinking about a gander down to the cinema to see it, do so with low expectations. It isn’t nearly as bad as people have made it out to be, yet it is terribly flawed in places. This is very much a more comic book look at The Dark Knight, but don’t mistake that as it being kiddy. I honestly believe that the R-Rated blu-ray release could be the saving grace of the movie. As I stated already, a darker route would help distinguish it from Christoper Nolan’s trilogy. However, if you have been soured by BvS, there’s always a different Batman you can watch in 2017…