Bat-tered and bruised

SFX - - Contents - By this point you’re re­ally tak­ing brood­ing to an epic new level. James White

An­other view on the Zack­man’s con­tro­ver­sial block­buster.

re­leased 1 au­gust (Blu-ray/ Dvd)/out NOW! (down­load) 2016 | 12 | Blu-ray 3d/Blu-ray/ DVD/DOWN­LOAD Di­rec­tor Zack sny­der Cast Ben af­fleck, Henry Cav­ill, amy adams, Jesse eisen­berg, diane lane

Bruce Wayne. Clark Kent. Diana Prince. Prop­erly to­gether on the big screen in live-ac­tion for the first time ever. Surely you can’t mess that up? And yet Zack Sny­der, so con­sumed with the grim and se­ri­ous tone he set in Man Of Steel, gives it a royal try, suck­ing the fun out of a land­mark cin­e­matic event.

But let’s find the pos­i­tives, shall we? Ben Af­fleck makes for a de­cent, haunted Bruce, en­livened by his spiky in­ter­play with Jeremy Irons’s Al­fred and Gal Gadot’s Won­der Woman. Gadot’s war­rior is a ray of light, grin­ning into bat­tle with the in­evitable CG bad­die, while the fi­nal con­fronta­tion – when it ac­tu­ally gives the ac­tors some­thing to do rather than their stunt­men – has a few flashes of the sort of movie we might one day get. That’s about it for the plus col­umn.

Else­where, Sny­der makes every­thing dark and fore­bod­ing, drag­ging Henry Cav­ill fur­ther away from the charm he has shown else­where, with writ­ers David Goyer and Chris Ter­rio dream­ing up a truly stupid rea­son for the two main heroes to fight and an even more lu­di­crous ex­pla­na­tion for their change of heart. We all know the Jus­tice League is in their fu­ture, and the ride to that point could have been ex­hil­a­rat­ing, but this feels more like a chore than en­ter­tain­ment. Amy Adams is stranded in a con­fus­ing, use­less sub­plot and while Jesse Eisen­berg does his best to inject fresh life into Lex Luthor, he’s also mired in twists and turns that do lit­tle to help the film’s cause. (The less said about Granny’s Peach Tea, the bet­ter.)

Sny­der had a hefty ef­fects bud­get to play with, so we cer­tainly get some spec­ta­cle, but there’s lit­tle depth be­neath it. With the di­rec­tor clearly fig­ur­ing that Bat­man wasn’t gloomy and driven enough, now he’s ex­tra vi­o­lent, while Su­per­man rarely both­ers to seem more than an­noyed that he has to save peo­ple from time to time. The fi­nal “twist”, mean­while, is ren­dered mean­ing­less given what we know about the char­ac­ter and their fu­ture with ev­ery­one else. Sure, it’s some sort of spur for the for­ma­tion of the Jus­tice League it­self, but it’s

Re­mains a badly struc­tured mess

such a waste of what could have been in­ter­est­ing down the line.

Bat­man V Su­per­man has its de­fend­ers, but un­for­tu­nately the ver­sion that was de­liv­ered to cin­e­mas re­mains a badly struc­tured mess. Plot threads are left dan­gling for the fu­ture with all the sub­tlety of a streaker at a foot­ball match, and there’s a real feel­ing that a solid cast of ac­tors (in­clud­ing Lau­rence Fish­burne, Holly Hunter, Scoot McNairy and Diane Lane) are wasted, with lit­tle to do other than push­ing the plot for­ward.

And if you are go­ing to use a movie to in­tro­duce the other mem­bers of the Jus­tice League in tiny cameos (their names and lo­gos picked, con­fus­ingly, by Lex), at least do them the hon­our of find­ing some way of do­ing it that doesn’t make non-comics fans scratch their heads. Bat­man V Su­per­man had all the in­gre­di­ents to be a comic book movie classic. It’s just a shame that along the way, the recipe got mud­dled and the re­sult was such a mis­han­dled con­fec­tion.

Ex­tras The Blu-ray for­mats fea­ture both the the­atri­cal cut and a longer Ul­ti­mate Edi­tion cut fea­tur­ing 23 min­utes of ad­di­tional footage, which helps ex­plain some con­fus­ing logic leaps (such as all the guff about the “magic bul­let” that serves as a jour­nal­is­tic quest for Lois) but doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily im­prove things. You also get 11 fea­turettes on such as­pects as the de­sign of the new Bat­mo­bile, the Bat­cave, and the main char­ac­ters. Some of these are fairly sub­stan­tial, with the to­tal run­ning time clock­ing in at 138 min­utes. NB: buy the DVD and you just get the the­atri­cal cut, plus one five-minute fea­turette.

Af­fleck bor­rowed his suit to play Bat­man at his son’s fourth birth­day party. Now that’s the Bat­man movie we need.

Nope, noth­ing weird or creepy about this at all, nosiree.

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