After witnessing the destruction in Metropolis at the hands of Kryptonians. Bruce Wayne sets out to destroy Superman, to stop such destruction from ever happening again.
Batman v Superman screened for critics earlier this week and so far has received majorly negative reviews, standing in the 30% range on Rotten Tomatoes. But is it really that bad?
The film begins with an introduction to Bruce Wayne in a rather well done opening credits sequence starting from a dream he had when he was a young boy to him as a man witnessing the destruction of Metropolis at the hands of Kryptonians. This is the scene that establishes Bruce Wayne's issues with Superman, he's afraid and more importantly...he's angry.
First things first, Ben Affleck is a perfect Bruce Wayne/Batman. He plays the billionaire playboy role excellently but absolutely steals the show as the most brutal and merciless Batman we've ever seen. He has two absolutely incredible action scenes where he takes on dozens of enemies single-handedly. There is one crucial flaw in his character though - this Batman kills criminals. A huge part of Batman's character is that he does not kill, he beats criminals senselessly but refrains from killing because then he's no different from them. But this Batman does kill many of the criminals he faces and therefore a huge element of his character is gone. I still think that Affleck's Batman is the best on screen version of the character we've ever had. From the look, to the voice to the action scenes, he's amazing.
Henry Cavill returns as Superman and is great in the role. He's dealing with Earth's warranted backlash to the events that went down in Metropolis and is being judged by many as a hero, but by a threat by the rest of the population. Gal Gadot is fine as Wonder Woman, she has some good action and I had no major issue with her other than some of her lines felt rather wooden, hopefully she's better in her 2017 standalone film. The biggest question mark when it came to casting was Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Superman's greatest adversary. This is a very strange take on the character, he's young, eccentric and absolutely batshit crazy. I believe Eisenberg performed to perfection the role that was given to him and the version of Luthor that Zack Snyder was going for but it's the motivations behind the character that let me down and this stands for many of the film's characters.
Batman rightfully wants to take down Superman because he sees him as a threat, but the two only have one verbal exchange before heading into a fight with one another, therefore a conflict was never really established between the two. Superman doesn't actually want to fight Batman, he wants him to stop being a vigilante but the crux for Superman to head to Gotham and actually go into battle with the caped crusader was quite stupid. But Lex Luthor is the one who's motivations I just could really not get behind. He wants Batman to destroy Superman because he sees him as a threat, he wants Superman to destroy Batman because he stole from him, but he also creates Doomsday, an unstoppable monster, as a backup in case neither can get the job done. Luthor sees Superman as a threat...but he creates Doomsday from the corpse of General Zod, therefore actually creating a much larger threat than the one he intends to destroy.
All of this stems from a rather weak script and poor story structure in the edit. The film contains about 4 stories; a Man Of Steel sequel dealing with the fallout from Metropolis and Superman finding his place in the world, a solo Batman film, a Lex Luthor story and then the obligatory set up for 2017's Justice League. This movie is bloated and incredibly incoherent. None of it meshes together as it should and this comes from Snyder being a director who favors style over substance. The visuals in this film are great and the action is epic but he makes a complete mess of this highly anticipated film when he attempts to cram too much into it.
Lets talk about the actual fight between Batman and Superman, it's been all over the trailers and the posters but in reality, it lasts for about 10-15 minutes within this 150 minute film. The fight is impressive but I couldn't get behind it because the reason they're fighting is pretty stupid when you stop and think about it. But what's worse than the reason they start fighting is the reason that they stop fighting, I actually laughed when the moment that the two put aside their differences happened. I sort of understand what Snyder was going for, but he did not pull it off.
The characters are unlikable, the story is inconsistent and it's sloppily edited together. Batman v Superman is unfortunately the first big screw up of 2016 so far. Snyder prioritizes setting up future DC films instead of focusing on the potentially interesting story in this film. I recommend seeing the film purely because it's the first time Batman and Superman are in the same feature film but don't expect anything great. I don't think this is a terrible film, Batman definitely saves this from being a total trainwreck. I'm giving it a 5.5/10.
What did you think of the movie? Comment below and follow me on Twitter @JamesPorter97