Batman v Superman
Running Time: 153 minutes
Zack Snyder’s second venture into the DC universe was arguably the most anticipated release of 2016. The Batman versus Superman debate, the holy grail of comic-book lovers and one has raged for decades with fans of both caped heroes, would finally be brought through to some definitive and climatic conclusion over who reigns superior. Well, that was the idea and it may also have been Snyder’s at one point, but it’s difficult to tell.
It’s two years since Superman (Henry Cavill) and his battle with Zod devastated Metropolis and now convinced that Superman is a threat to humanity, Batman (Ben Affleck) sets out to end his supernatural reign on planet earth.
Lex Luthor (Jessie Eisenberg) is also out to get the Man of Steel once and for all. So far, so simple, save for the fact that what follows is a bizarre and confusing mish mash of plot-lines, focussed heavily on laying the foundation for future Justice League movies.
Someone who really shines, is Gal Gadot as a brilliant and cunning Wonder Woman.
First up, we are treated to yet another montage of the murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents in the streets of Gotham when he was a young boy. Although the murder of his mother Martha in particular proves integral to the Batman v Superman plot, is there anyone who doesn’t know that Bruce Wayne’s parents were shot?
After sitting through two hours and thirty-three minutes of the film, your mind will be flooded with questions like these. So many questions…
Onto Ben Affleck’s Batman. He has the physique, the chiselled jawline, the brooding dark looks and his role dominates in contrast to Cavill’s pretty uninspired Superman. BatBen isn’t bad at all and many critics have garnered him with praise for the role. He’s just not Christian Bale.
Then there’s the turn of the mind-numbingly boring Lois Lane as played by Amy Adams, constantly in need of saving by Superman, the helpless woman demeanour at odds with her seemingly successful journalistic endeavours. Yawn.
Someone who really shines however, is Gal Gadot as a brilliant and cunning Wonder Woman, stealing each scene she is in and laying the foundations for her own film, leaving you wondering whose side she is on. “Is she with you?” Superman asks Batman. “I thought she was with you!” comes the response.
The film is one that relies heavily on style, sometimes in the place of substance.
Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor is also wonderfully deranged, with more than a few moments of greatness throughout, although the motivations for his actions in the film seem a little vague. Jeremy Irons is also convincing as Alfred, a darker portrayal of the character than any before this.
The film is one that relies heavily on style, sometimes in the place of substance. The visuals are astounding, particularly as the movie nears its end, and that alone will keep many fans happy throughout. It’s beautifully shot by cinematographer Larry Fong, Superman’s light surroundings in constant contrast with Batman’s darkness.
However, car enthusiasts waiting for the arrival of the batmobile might not find themselves salivating at the appearance of the latest motor, which now sounds like a Toyota Prius and has very little in the form of exhaust flames or anything else to get you hot under the collar.
Overall, there’s quite simply a heck of a lot going on and keep up with and if you are a fan of the light tone of the Marvel movies, you probably won’t like this. It’s dark. Very dark. You get the impression that Snyder simply picked up far too many balls to juggle and lost quite a few of them on the way.
Either way, you will be left thinking about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice long after you watched it, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing…
Loaded’s entertainment editor Jennifer O’Brien is an award-winning journalist who has written extensively about popular culture as a national newspaper columnist and author. Follow her on Twitter at @Jen_OBrien1