So last night the long wait was over and “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” opened in Cinemas. After hearing how much graphic novel fans have praised the film I couldn’t wait to see it as I am a graphic novel fan and a film fan. So there I was in the foyer waiting to be let into screen 8, when I noticed the audience of the previous screening leaving in a stunned silence. I found this worrying as after “Star Wars” I saw people beaming and laughing, this didn’t seem good. Two and a half hours later, my screening ended and we all left in the same stunned silence, and I couldn’t help but giggle thinking back at that. There was so much to digest I had to wait overnight to process the film I just watched.
The story is simple, Bruce Wayne/Batman (Ben Affleck) is convinced Superman (Henry Cavill) is dangerous after Wayne Tower in Metropolis was destroyed and thousands of people died after Superman’s battle with General Zod (Michael Shannon) in “Man of Steel”. So he has taken it upon himself to stop Superman before he goes rogue and decides to destroy everyone. Meanwhile we meet Lex Luther (Jesse Eisenberg) has found a substance that can destroy Superman, and is trying to get more into the USA so he can build a deterrent against the Man of Steel himself. Despite the mutual hated of Superman between Lex and Bruce they don’t see eye to eye throughout the film. With a bit of manipulation from Lex, Superman and Batman come to blows as the title suggests. Wonder Woman makes an appearance as well as other DC Universe Characters.
So where do I begin? Well DC’s and Warner Bros decision with this was to compete with Marvels “Avengers” movies, which have taken the superhero genre of films by storm. Despite major success with the “Dark Knight Trilogy” DC and Warner Bros are seriously lagging behind Marvel in terms of movies. So we have a film that felt rushed and overwhelming to the senses. First of all I want to praise the first class performance of Ben Affleck as Batman. He knew the character and played it to perfection to the point I felt I was watching Bruce Wayne and Batman and not Ben Affleck playing the part. He was so good, he should have had a standalone Batman film before this film, and there is the problem. This film was a sequel to “Man of Steel”, a batman film, a “Justice League” film as well as a “Batman V Superman” film, four films crammed into a 2 and a half hour mess. Yes we are getting a Batman film and a Wonder Woman film but these should have come first not after, as we lack any character build up to Wonder Woman’s reveal and Batman has stolen a lot of the limelight from Superman. So the audience are left not caring about what happens to certain characters. Also thanks to the trailers we know Doomsday makes an appearance. Whom we know from the graphic novel “Death of Superman” and in the animated film “Superman: Doomsday” kills the man of steel in those stories (temporally anyway). So it feels strange to introduce Doomsday so early into this new DC universe when trying to build up to the “Justice League”. I would have introduced him maybe into the third Superman film and build up a proper monster vs. Superman clash for that film, rather than a film built around Superman facing off against Batman. There is one big fight already so why do this when a Doomsday film would easily sell at the box office alone, it is a huge missed opportunity from DC. It is a shame as DC have proven time and time again they can do decent films. Their Animated films are some of the best adaptations of the source material ever done and the “Batman Arkham” games are some of the best Batman stories of all time. So why not hire those same writers to pen the new DC universe films?
Positives: Ben Affleck steals the show and Jeremy Irons was a great Alfred and the special effects were good.
Negatives: Too many films in one, too many endings, felt rushed, too much to process and it lacks structure.
My score: 6/10. Wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t great either.