Bat­man v Su­per­man: Dawn of Jus­tice (12A) Dou­ble trou­ble

Bat­man V Su­per­man is a su­per­hero smack­down, says Damon Smith – it’s just a shame it drags on a bit

Harefield Gazette - - LEISURE -

HEROES rise and fall in Bat­man V Su­per­man:

Dawn Of Jus­tice, a su­per­pow­ered smack­down in­volv­ing two of DC Comics’ most pop­u­lar char­ac­ters that neatly tees up a bl­itzkrieg of Jus­tice League fea­tures and block­buster spin-offs. With Zack Sny­der, di­rec­tor of Man

Of Steel, at the helm, ev­ery frame is crammed to burst­ing with art­fully com­posed de­struc­tion.

Gun bar­rels un­leash spin­ning cylin­ders of hot metal in lus­trous slow mo­tion, a fe­male vic­tim tum­bles to the floor amidst a cas­cade of milky white pearls from her bro­ken neck­lace, ex­plod­ing ve­hi­cles pirou­ette through the night­time air dur­ing a high-ve­loc­ity chase.

If noth­ing else, Bat­man V Su­per­man de­liv­ers a ca­coph­ony of slam and bang.

Screen­writ­ers Chris Ter­rio and David S Goyer haven’t scrimped on char­ac­ter devel­op­ment or nar­ra­tive, knitting to­gether sinewy sub­plots with flash­backs and dream se­quences in­volv­ing Thomas Wayne (Jef­frey Dean Mor­gan) and Jonathan Kent (Kevin Cost­ner) to em­bel­lish the ori­gin sto­ries of the tit­u­lar com­bat­ants.

Un­ques­tion­ably, there is a leaner two-hour film lurk­ing within this bloated beast, but brevity has never been one of Sny­der’s virtues.

The world strug­gles to come to terms with the ar­rival of Me­trop­o­lis’ mod­ern-day mes­siah, Su­per­man (Henry Cav­ill).

A com­mit­tee led by Sen­a­tor June Finch (Holly Hunter) asks un­com­fort­able ques­tions about the god-like pro­tec­tor and his abil­ity to crush hu­man­ity.

Martha Kent (Diane Lane) tells her son that he doesn’t owe the hu­man race any­thing but Clark’s heart be­longs to Daily Planet co-worker Lois Lane (Amy Adams).

“I don’t know if it’s pos­si­ble for you to love me – and be you,” she


Un­for­tu­nately, tor­tured vig­i­lante Bat­man (Ben Af­fleck) holds Su­per­man ac­count­able for the deaths of the in­no­cent and de­clares war.

“Maybe it’s just Gotham City and me – we have a bad his­tory with freaks dressed as clowns,” snarls the or­phaned phi­lan­thropist, who is aided by his sar­donic but­ler Al­fred (Jeremy Irons).

While the two crime­fight­ers are locked in bat­tle, in­flamed by the schem­ing of Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisen­berg), a new threat arises.

When all hope seems lost, Ama­zo­nian war­rior Won­der Woman (Gal Gadot) en­ters the fray...

Bat­man V Su­per­man: Dawn Of

Jus­tice aims for a sim­i­larly down­beat tone to Christo­pher Nolan’s Dark Knight tril­ogy, re­plete with ex­plo­sions of bone-crunch­ing vi­o­lence.

Ac­tion se­quences are ro­bust but the mi­asma of dig­i­tal ef­fects some­times re­duces skir­mishes to a blur.

Snappy di­a­logue sounds like it has been torn from the pages of comic books and Af­fleck and Cav­ill en­gage in a bat­tle of top­less pos­tur­ing and chis­el­jawed sto­icism.

Eisen­berg’s twitchy, psy­chotic arch­neme­sis stays the right side of pan­tomime – just.

“No­body cares about Clark Kent tak­ing on the Bat­man,” screams Daily Planet edi­tor-in-chief Perry White (Lau­rence Fish­burne).

I beg to dif­fer.

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