Created during the 1930’s Great Depression, comic book characters Batman and Superman have endured. Changing tastes have not dimmed their allure with various TV series and movies increasing their popularity. Fans have either enjoyed one or both heroes with an on-screen teaming eagerly waited. ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ should easily sate that thirst. Although a cynical excuse for Hollywood to combine franchises to make more dollars, it works as escapist fare with its megaton of CGI dazzling the eyes.
After the near destruction of his adopted home city Metropolis, Superman (Henry Cavill) seeks to make amends. Wanting to help re-build, his efforts are de-railed by masked vigilante Batman (Ben Affleck). Determined to battle Superman for a past wrong, Batman’s lethal zeal knows no bounds. Soon a battle is commenced with other players including Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) setting their sights on destroying those standing in their way.
As a vehicle in establishing further franchises ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ almost works. Unlike Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’ films, it introduces characters fleetingly without giving them much to do. Of course the main focus is Batman and Superman who are better developed with stronger story arcs. Whilst Cavill’s Superman is better realised than in ‘Man of Steel’, it is Affleck’s Batman which most impresses. Quickly stamping his own persona on the role, Affleck successfully embodies his character’s tortured soul and determination.
The solid characterisations enable full investment in the many action scenes. Predictably they are all amazingly realised with genuine tension felt. Even at such a huge run-time, the pacing doesn’t feel slow even if some sequences don’t quite work. Zack Snyder’s direction makes the most of the story and CGI even if he is let down by some performances. Eisenberg especially seems ill-cast as Luthor, playing him far too over the top compared to his co-stars. Such misgivings are minor as the film delivers on providing glossy spectacle amongst a generally engaging narrative.
Although the Marvel films are still more fun and exciting, ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ is a good ride to be on. The best of the DC Comics’ films to date that generates a tantalising taste of things to come with further heroic adventures certainly not unwelcome.
Movie Review Rating out of 10: 7
Movie Review by Patrick Moore
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