Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Bam! Splat! Biff!
Village Jam Factory - Monday 28 March 2016, 5:00pm
Running time: 151m
Country: United States
Classification: M (Intense sequences of violence and mature themes)
Release date: 24/03/16
Rating: 6/10 (ME 3/5, DP 3/5)
Times are dark. Both Batman (Ben Affleck) in Gotham and Superman (Henry Cavill) in Metropolis (which is apparently just a short helicopter ride across the bay...who knew?) are having a major PR disaster and are considered the mortal enemies of the citizens. Things really aren't going well for either of them when Lex Luthor (Jessie Eisenberg), after trying to get the government's approval to import a large chunk of Kryptonite from a small island in the Indian Ocean through negotiations with Senator Finch (Holly Hunter), decides to take advantage of the situation and have them fight it out to the death because of 'Martha' (you'll see). This allows the rise of Doomsday who Lex has brought to life in the wreckage of General Zod's ship (yep). And then Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) appears...huh? All the while, Lois Lane (Amy Adams) hangs around in the danger zone looking suitably afraid and teary.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is the sequel to 2013's Superman reboot Man of Steel and the launching pad for DC to begin a new Justice League superhero crossover franchise. We begin with yet another retelling of Batman's origins (complete with pearls) and an alternate perspective on the final moments of the previous film. From there the action comes thick and fast with special effect eye candy aplenty. The plot is a little cheesy and the performances rely on cookie-cutter superhero cliches, but it all comes together well. It's a long film but apart from a few extended dream sequences there's little fat to be trimmed. Those of us who enjoyed the Doomsday comic book storyline and its sequels in the early 90s will find themselves in familiar territory (though those who take it too seriously will be filling blogs about the errors) and the brief inclusion of other members of the Justice League provides a not-so-subtle hint of the next direction of the franchise. The formula has worked well for Marvel so it's worth a shot.
Batman v Superman has been almost universally canned by critics, but we won't be part of that negative chorus. It's not movie greatness but it's an exciting film with a nice blend of action, drama and a smattering of humour that's right on the money and thoroughly enjoyable. (DP/ME)