Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice
Direction: Zack Snyder
Actors: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill
It was expected to be a classic clash of the titans. Instead, the first big-screen team-up of the Man of Steel with The Dark Knight plumbs the lower depths of the DC comic-books barrel. Overlong and unfocused, director Zack Snyder’s follow-up to his 2013 Superman reboot initially pits the Kryptonian and the caped crusader against each other.
Considered a danger to society after the devastation he unleashed at the end of his previous outing, Superman (Cavill, reprising the role) must contend with the wrath of Batman (Affleck), who’s determined to clip the wings of his titular fellow combatant.
BvS: Dawn of Justice reportedly cost nearly half a billion dollars to make. A large portion of that budget was obviously expended on the overblown CGI effects. Even the long-awaited showdown between the iconic duo plays like a standard-issue smack-bang interlude.
The plot is a load of stuff and nonsense. From the get-go, noisy tedium sets in as the viewer is smothered by an array of one-note characters.
The narrative becomes marginally less confusing with the introduction of a conniving young industrialist (Jesse Eisenberg, in a left-field bit of casting) with a psychotic urge to annihilate mankind.
Eventually setting aside their personal differences, Bats and Supes join forces with Wonder Woman, the comics’ long ignored super-heroine (Israeli fashion model-turned-Hollywood star Gal Gadot) to end the villain’s reign of terror.
Frenetic camera movements and chaotic editing patterns contribute to the ridiculous excesses of the action sequences. A car chase involving the armoured Batmobile is reduced to a blur.
Moreover, there is a perfunctory dream visit to Superman’s father, whose sole purpose seems to be to showcase a cameo from a legendary old-timer (no, we are not disclosing his name). In the mistaken belief that it would make a difference to the viewing experience, director Snyder appears at the outset to appeal to the audience not to reveal any spoilers.
The surprisingly unmemorable ensemble includes Jeremy Irons as Batman’s trusted butler (a role Michael Caine owned for almost a decade) and Amy Adams as Superman’s love interest. We also wonder what prompted Holly Hunter to accept the inconsequential role of a befuddled senator.
As the film’s subtitle indicates, there is the depressing possibility of the DC movieverse expanding to encompass other Justice League do-gooders. One only hopes that Zack Snyder will no longer be at the helm, as he has already made a mess of this superhero mash-up.