By Adam Guy
Director: Zack Snyder
Starring: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons, Laurence Fishburne, Diane Lane.
There’s a video doing the rounds at the moment. Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill are being interviewed for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice when the interviewer politely asks what impact the less than perfect initial reviews are likely to have on the films success. As Henry tries to talk for long enough to sound like he’s answered the question Ben quietly stares off into the distance with the look of a painfully tired, broken man. The clips genius is to slowly zoom in on Ben’s face while dubbing over the audio with Simon and Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence. It’s a funny video. But the problem with it is that if Batman v Superman is a bad super hero film then I don’t think I know what a good one looks like.
The tone of the film is dark throughout, with obvious lessons learnt from Christopher Nolan, and the story moves along fast enough to gloss over any slightly dubious plot points. Affleck’s older, obsessive and bitter Bruce Wayne works well and feels in keeping with Frank Miller’s vision of the Dark Knight. Cavill’s interpretation of Superman can still air on the cheesy side at times but his limited dialogue mostly keeps that in check, while the self doubt that Superman feels genuinely adds a much needed layer to a character who has often come across as incredibly two dimensional. The rivalry between the two men is somewhat forced though, and considering the film spends so much time setting up this mutual hatred it’s then surprising how quickly it’s resolved. Batman is also troubled by multiple poorly placed and purposefully misleading dream sequences which make almost no sense. As well as this, Wonder Woman’s inclusion adds nothing other than the sense that the studio clearly hopes the film will do well enough to kick start a franchise. So don’t get me wrong. Batman v Superman does have it’s faults, and if you wanted to spend the day pulling apart every detail that doesn’t quite add up then I’m sure you’d have a lot to work with. But it’s also a really entertaining film with a strong visual styling, a few excellent set pieces, and some really interesting ideas.
Batman & Robin was a bad film. That 2006 Superman reboot that no one remembers was a bad film. Batman v Superman is not. It’s a flawed film with enough good parts to make it still well worth the price of a ticket.
Watch the trailer here: