Two of the most iconic superheroes of all time come to blows in Batman V Superman. Manipulated by evil genius Lex Luther, the pair find themselves fighting each other and the monster known as Doomsday with Gotham and Metropolis caught in the crossfire. Directed by Zack Snyder, the film stars Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, Holly Hunter as Senator Finch and Gal Gadot as Diana Prince.
I really wanted to like this movie. Even after the first hour I was still hopeful. But by the time the credits rolled I felt that Batman V Superman is a watchable but overly convoluted superhero movie. The needlessly complex story involves flashbacks, dream sequences and subplots that have little to do with the main arc of the film. And..did we need to see Batman’s origin yet again?
Affleck plays Batman with a lot of believable anger and fury, which is organic to the character. It was a strong delivery I appreciated. Cavill’s Superman seemed uneven. He came across as either sullen or mad. There was no in-between. Gal Gadot appeared to be having a lot of fun with the part of Wonder Woman and I’m now even more excited about her upcoming movie.
The Wonder Woman costume was incredible. Gal looked the part perfectly. In some instances, Superman's costume looked like he was headed to a disco. The moment he walks into the Senate is almost comical. In a scene that is to have some serious context, his reflective suit pulled me out of the moment. But that’s okay, since the scene really didn’t matter to the story.
That's the problem I had with this movie. A lot of scenes didn't matter to the story. Subplots went nowhere or wrapped up without any importance. The movie is bogged down with storylines that don't seem to go anywhere. Holly Hunter’s character is unnecessary and is simply filler.
Jesse Eisenberg plays Lex Luther as a kooky conniver. Ok, but who is he? This is what I feel is part of the movie’s problem - it spends so much time on clutter instead of character development. Why does this Lex Luther hate Superman? What is his grand scheme? Does he simply want to kill him? What does he get out of it? Why choose Batman to do the job when there are other, more powerful meta-humans in his files?
When we finally get to the face off between Superman and Batman the fight is incredible.
The movie does a great job of getting us to believe that a mere human can take the Man of Steel. The knock-down-drag-out fight delivers on expectations. Unfortunately, for the 2 1/2 hour movie it's one of the few highlights of the film.
Aside from Wonder Woman, the rest of the Justice League are regulated to mere cameos. Strange that Aquaman, who is receiving a significant amount of marketing, has the same or less screen time than the other two members of the League, The Flash and Cyborg that briefly appear in the movie.
The final battle is a bit of a mess. Much of what happens is muddied by full frame explosions that leave you desperately trying to decipher what is taking place on screen. One explosion after another with buildings crumbling all around, if you’ve seen the end of Man of Steel, you’ll get the idea.
Which brings me to my final head scratching moment. Batman needs to use a Kryptonite object to kill Doomsday. Unfortunately, he’s currently on an unoccupied island and he left the object in Gotham when he was fighting Superman. Instead of zooming back to Gotham, retrieve it and bringing it back to the island to fight Doomsday - where no one would be hurt, his plan is to lure Doomsday back to Gotham.
Wasn’t it a major plot point that the destruction of Metropolis and lives lost during a superhuman battle started the rage within him against Superman? Now he's bringing another super battle to the heart of his own city? Pretty much doing the exact same thing and putting the people of Gotham in harms way against a Kryptonian supermonster? It makes little sense why he would do that.
While a few of the twists and turns were fun, they could not salvage the overall film. Batman v Superman is watchable, but as the spark intended to ignite the DC Cinematic Universe, aside from Wonder Woman, it gives me little to look forward to.
Batman v Superman opens March 25th, 2016