Batman v Superman is directed by Zack Snyder and stars Ben Affleck as Batman and Henry Cavill as Superman, with Jeremy Irons, Jesse Eisenberg, Amy Adams and Gal Gadot supporting. It is the second film in planned DC Cinematic universe, after Man of Steel. As the title implies, the film focuses on the clash of these two well-known heroes. Batman, and the rest of the world, are in a fierce debate over Superman’s morality after the death and destruction of Metropolis caused during his fight with General Zod at the end of Man of Steel. Batman sees Superman as a threat to humanity on a global scale and, motivated by the death of a friend in the Metropolis battle, makes it his personal vendetta to destroy the Man of Steel. Unfortunately, the rest of the plot was spoiled by that second trailer, so as the trailer shows, Lex Luthor is in the background manipulating events, and another villain, Doomsday, appears to bring the characters together. There was stuff I enjoyed in this film, and some things I probably liked more as a fan of the comics, but there was also a lot of elements I really didn’t like.
I did find some good strengths in this film. The film does really well at creating the conflict, and not just in the actual fight between the characters, the build-up throughout is definitely the most interesting part. The debate over whether Superman is the saviour or destroyer of humanity added some depth to his character that I’ve not seen before and made him a lot more interesting and compelling than he’s ever been to me. Ben Affleck as Batman was outstanding. Affleck portrayed an older Batman, with an inner rage and determination which you feel has grown from 20 years of being the Dark Knight. His performance is very layered and complex, and he is great as both Batman and the billionaire under the cowl, Bruce Wayne. The fact that both of these character’s motivations and opinions are very clear and strong makes their conflict so intriguing. The more it grows the more fascinating it becomes, and the fight that it builds too is very entertaining. Jeremy Irons as Alfred and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman were also very strong. The action throughout is well made and it is a visually pleasing film, but what stands out the most in Batman v Superman was just that, the conflict between Batman and Superman.
However, the film has a lot more in it than Batman and Superman, and so there are also a lot of flaws with this film, most of which come from the films absurdly long length and messy plot. There is so much crammed into the film that does not feel necessary and could have easily been removed. Lois Lane (Adams) was given way too much to do which didn’t add to the plot in any way and could have easily been cut. She just came across as really irritating, as her role should have only been small in this film. The film doesn’t just focus on the battle of Batman and Superman like it should have, but is full of some really pointless plot points and set ups that seemed to be added without care, making a lot of the film very confusing and messy. There were points where it really dragged for me because the film tried to be way more complicated than was necessary. Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luther was annoying and overacted, coming across more like Mark Zuckerberg than anything else. It felt like they were trying to make Lex Luther seem “Indie” like other popular young business people and it did not work at all as there is no way that he could challenge Superman like he’s supposed to. He is only really there to create Doomsday, so that Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman can team up at the end. The final fight with Doomsday and the ending in general really ruined the whole film for me, as it was just a flashy CGI fight that felt tacked on and overly long. The majority of the film was dedicated to the Batman/Superman conflict and so I was emotionally invested in that, but then that finished but I still had to sit through a montage of big explosions and pointless action that I did not care about and really didn’t need to be there. Not to mention that once the big fight had finished, the film kept going for way too long with not much even happening.
Finally, it’s hard to get past the fact that Batman blatantly kills people in this film, without any explanation. His ‘no killing’ rule is such an essential part to his character and to ignore it without even an explanation was annoying at times.
While I enjoyed parts of Batman v Superman, I wish it had just kept it simple and focused on Batman and Superman, rather than being full of set ups, dream sequences, unnecessary characters and all the other stuff that made this film a 2:30 hour mess with some good parts but overall a bit of a drag. I will say it’s worth seeing if you’re a comic fan or just like the characters, because I did like it overall as I liked those elements, It’s just annoying that you have to sit through the other stuff to see that.
P.S. There was part that was an obvious set up to the future justice league characters like Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman, which, while I admit was very forced, did get me very excited for future films.