Batman and Superman, the two iconic Titans of pop culture have made it to the big screen together finally after all the years waiting. Comic book and movie fanatics have wanted this from the moment we saw Christopher Reeve dawned the red underwear and make us ‘believe a man can fly’. Numerous films later along with the entire death and rebirth of superhero films and here they are. Zack Synder brings us what we’ve wanted- two icons battling it out for truth, justice and to pummel audiences with the fact a Justice League movie is on the horizon.
Let’s set this straight, seeing these two on the big screen was incredible. Affleck, despite the fan-boy freakout backlash when announced (myself included within that mob mentality), was suburb- as one would assume, certainly overshadowing Henry Cavill’s Superman, though did a great job in turn. However the biggest problem lies with it parading around with the title “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” telling you straight up it’s the anthology of the film to come in 5 years time. It’s Batman v Superman, money is already being thrown at the screen and audiences would be willing to see more- had it stick to the story at hand, there would be no need to force it so heavily. The fact, sadly, is if kept to the Batman v Superman element, alone, and it’s ‘Dawn of justice’ segment hadn’t gone ‘Spiderman 3’ on us with the flooding of undeveloped characters and subplots or better yet, released as a sequel film. We’d be treasuring this as one of the superhero movie greats, as it has so much potential.
Many scenes and subplots are ripped straight from an array of classic comic books to get a fan excited. Shots are stunning to behold. The occasional even gothic in tone, adding to suspense of Batman’s introducing scenes- paired with brutal fight sequences. Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) in the final showdown proves to be a worthy member of the future team- shame that we couldn’t know her as a character; other than she looks nice in a backless dress and her film is out next year… That’s not enough to make her relevant in this movie. That’s not where the disappointments end. Other future Justice League members are painfully shoehorned into the film with ‘found footage’. Plot holes, along with obscure dream sequences, stand out more than the lightening used by Teenage Mutant Doomsday that really sucker punches this movie into a toxic territory. Taking what started as a gripping film and melting its narrative into a mess similar to what we’ve seen from the likes of Amazing Spiderman 2, Avengers: Age of Ultron and the unloved forgotten child that was the recent ‘Fan4stic’ movie.
Overall, Batman v Superman was an enjoyable battle (scrap), filled with stunning cinematography along with a brilliant introduction to this new bat-fleck era. I can’t deny it’s the first major blockbuster of the year, certainly smashing the box office, though now struggles to soar with reviews being so hit and miss. What plays as kryptonite is the messy method of weaving in and out of unneeded subplots in order to set the foundations of future projects in this new DC cinematic universe, leading to the concern that if the two major hitters of the Justice League have been a let down, what hope is there for the other members avoiding being tangled in the mess.