BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE

★★

THEATRICAL REVIEW
By Jess Fenton
23rd March 2016

From the get-go, something about 'Batman v Superman' doesn't quite feel right. An immortal alien versus a man, the wrong side of 40, in a rubber suit. Sure, that sounds like a fair fight. Pfft! And let’s face it, between the internet and nerds, there aren't a lot of secrets in the superhero world; we know these guys are going to become BFFs - it’s even in the damn trailer.

The film opens with an abridged rehashing of the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Again!? We know how they frickin' die! We've seen it over and over again! Then we go to Metropolis where a mere 18 months after the event of ‘Man of Steel’, the city has been rebuilt and there are memorials and Superman monuments erected in favour of their new god and saviour. 18 months? Really? It took a decade for the 9/11 Memorial to open and 13 years for a new tower to be completed. But sure, maybe Superman helped them and got the work done in a fraction of the time, while praising his actions that left thousands dead.

'BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE' FINAL TRAILER

Okay, suspension of disbelief is now enabled. ‘Batman v Superman’ does a good job of balancing the story between the four characters: Batman, Superman, Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent. And still carves out time for bad guy Lex Luthor, Lois Lane, Perry White, Martha Kent, Alfred and the new characters that move the story along. But is it too cluttered? How on Earth will they handle ‘Justice League’ if this is too much for them?

I can’t put my finger on my this didn't work; why it lands with a thud instead of exploding with a bang. Now that I think about it, did anyone actually ask for this movie? Why would anyone want to see two heroes, good guys, fight each other? Surely we want to see them team up and beat the snot out of a monster. Okay, we get that too, with Wonder Woman thrown into the mix because... well, it’ll make sense in a few years. In fact, the entire film feels like it’s just a prologue, setting up the future DC slate. It’s a two and a half hour teaser for ‘Justice League’ and ‘Wonder Woman’.

Why would anyone want to see two heroes, good guys, fight each other?

The highlight of the movie is unfortunately not the fight sequences. If it’s a Batman fight, then it’s nothing but punches. As for Batman versus Superman, there's too many Batman gadgets and then they just throw each other through walls. Boring! It’s Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor that is this film’s success. Eisenberg fills the shoes of a psychotic megalomaniac all too well, ticks and all. He is the shining light of the film and the only cause for a smile or giggle in the film that unequivocally needs it otherwise.

They say that the things we hate on others are really what we hate about ourselves. It’s this idea and this idea alone that director Zach Snyder has stretched to make a storyline. Fine, we’ll buy that to get to the action, the CGI-fest that’s basically less fighting and more destruction of property. That real question is, will this satisfy the genre and fans long awaited appetite? ...Possibly. If you’re looking for the Hero v Hero smackdown to end all smackdowns then you’re going to get it - not well, but you’ll get it. If you’re looking for a really long ‘Justice League’ teaser trailer, then boy oh boy is this the movie for you.

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