Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures (2 hr. 31min.)
Plot: Batman takes on Superman while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs.
Cast: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Laurence Fishburne, Holly Hunter
Bottom Line: **
By Samantha Ofole-Prince
It isn’t hard to see what the filmmakers were thinking when they decided to pit two iconic favorites together. A battle between an underground vigilante and an unbeatable alien certainly makes for good viewing, but it’s hard to believe they signed off on this debacle.
As the story kicks off, Superman (Henry Cavill) is still trying to do right by everyone dealing with everyday life as a Super Hero, but there’s a distinct shift happening in how his heroic efforts are viewed and after a few incidents, he’s now seen as an enemy of the masses.
One of those who mistrust his intentions is Bruce Wayne/Batman (Ben Affleck). His Wayne Enterprises building was destroyed during Superman’s tryst with General Zod. Adding, he’s also disgusted at the carnage and casualties caused by the caped crusader’s heroic dalliances. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg), the evil billionaire who has a strong dislike for super heroes, has ironically discovered that Kryptonite was found at the bottom of the Indian Ocean and is concocting his own brilliant scheme to rid the world of Superman. Both Bruce and Lex want to stop Superman at any cost. Except Bruce’s motives are good, while Lex's motive is evil. Fast forward a few scenes that include Bruce bemoaning to his closest confidant Alfred (Jeremy Irons) about the sad state of worldly affairs and Superman being summoned to court, and finally the two superheroes are decking each other pitted together to battle for an idiotic reason manufactured by Lex.
Combining Batman and Superman in one film was no small feat so kudos to the filmmakers for even trying. Director Zack Snyder is all about the visuals and throws together a mixture of fast-paced live action and CGI reminiscent of his earlier film “300,” as Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL’s score hammers the drama home with a way over the top score.
Returning from 2013’s “Man of Steel” is Diane Lane as Superman’s mother Martha Kent. Amy Adams reprises the role of journalist Lois Lane, Laurence Fishburne revisits the role of the practical Daily Planet editor Perry White, who struggles to keep Lois on track, while Holly Hunter plays a Senator who leads a Government investigation into Superman’s intentions. Rounding out the cast is Harry Lennix who returns as Swanwick, formerly a general but now Secretary of Defense and Callan Mulvey who plays a mysterious figure whose actions have an impact on both Super Heroes.
Lex Luthor has always been one of the great DC villains, but the powerful and imposing businessman we have been accustomed to, is now more of a sulky, socially awkward twit played by Jesse Eisenberg who seems miscast in the role. Gal Gadot makes the most of her small screen-time as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman and has a Kim Kardashian-esque look about her.
Tiresome to watch, it’s far from being the masterpiece expected in terms of plot or pacing. There’s zilch humor and zero emotional impact, but if you want to just see superheroes pummeling each other, capes flashing, fists flying and things getting blown up then “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” is right up your alley.
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This was printed in the April 17 - April 30, 2016 edition.