By Colm McCall
When the final credits rolled at the breathtaking finish to Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises (2012), the majority of us were left yearning for another film featuring the caped crusader. It seems that everybody has formed their own opinion of how the cinematic clash of the DC universe’s two most popular titans will play out on screen. Despite the fact that I am far from aficionado status on the topic of graphic novels and whatnot, I have been a constant fan of Gotham’s dark knight. Superman on the other hand, never appealed to me to the same degree. But nonetheless, here are my two cents on the most anticipated movie to hit cinema screens for quite some time.
In the opening stages, the audience is made aware that Bruce Wayne was in Metropolis during the destructive events which took place in Man of Steel (2013). With many people having lost their lives and a vast portion of the city left in ruin, Batman/Bruce Wayne declares war on the heroic alien. What ensues is a drawn-out, distended mess with a very muddled indistinct plot. In essence, this initial Justice League outing was as bloated as a belly after an overindulgent visit to a Chinese buffet. These ensemble superhero movies are so obviously an unashamed cash grab, in a market which has become exhaustively saturated. In my humble opinion, studios and producers should concentrate more on one central protagonist per film. But then again, the movie industry is commerce like any other thriving business and to think otherwise would be nothing short of blatant naivety.
Criticisms aside, kudos to Ben Affleck who absolutely destroys it throughout. He is probably the only redeeming quality of the entire thing. Amy Adams doesn’t do half bad either. Any reservations fans had about the Argo (2012) star donning the cape and cowl were ill founded and unjustified. Over the last ten years, Affleck has totally revitalised his career, both in front of and behind the camera. Scepticism is regards Jesse Eisenberg on the flipside, was probably warranted. I don’t think he is quite as bad as some critics are making him out to be, but there probably were better opinions out there. Further to the food related analogies, Henry Cavill has yet again confirmed he is no Christopher Reeve. Frankly, I would rather Dean Cain! I don’t care if the masses consider him as irresistible eye candy; I think his performances are as bland as a plain digestive biscuit.
Michael Bay could have directed this film for it totally overuses CGI. The lighting techniques employed by Zack Snyder (300, 2006), along with the tone were totally out of place. It is a stark contrast from the depictions of Gotham’s hero presented to us by Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan. Snyder probably is more renowned for fantasy driven sci-fi content than the aforementioned pair, and this instance is no different. This science fiction themed Superman clashing with the realism of Batman is an unpleasant mish mash which lacks any clear coherency.
Affleck ought to give Snyder, Cavill, Eisenberg and Wonder Woman the boot and take the Batman franchise and turn it into his own. Coming from a lifelong Batman fan that had high hopes for this blockbuster, I must disappointingly admit that one is better off watching Freddy vs. Jason (2003) than chancing another viewing of this.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice scores 5.5/10 on the MACmeter.