Prize fight bit of a let­down

Rutherglen Reformer - - The Tickets - Bat­man v Su­per­man: Dawn of Jus­tice (12A)

DC’s on­go­ing at­tempts to com­pete with Mar­vel’s hugely suc­cess­ful cin­e­matic uni­verse con­tinue with the clash be­tween their two big­gest name heroes.

For a comic book afi­cionado like my­self, it sounded like a dream come true – helped by the fact Bat­man and Su­per­man were my favourite su­per­heroes grow­ing up.

Does the fin­ished prod­uct live up to ex­pec­ta­tions? At times, def­i­nitely yes – but there’s a lot wrong with Zack Sny­der’s over­stuffed block­buster.

Let’s start with what does work. Just see­ing Bat­man, Su­per­man and Won­der Woman to­gether is a giddy mile­stone in it­self and the cen­tral trio are wor­thy of the iconic roles.

While not hit­ting true great­ness, Ben Af­fleck makes for a fine Bat­man – and Bruce Wayne – and the strik­ing suits and hand-to-hand com­bat skills and flair for tech­nol­ogy jump straight from the comic book pages.

Henry Cav­ill is sad­dled with a moody, down­beat Su­per­man who is tar­geted not just by Bat­man, but a so­ci­ety split be­tween think­ing he’s a de­struc­tive alien or God-like saviour. The Brit does the best he can with such a role – and does get his chance to shine late on.

Al­most steal­ing the show, though, is Gal Gadot’s Won­der Woman. Helped by the fact this marks the hero­ine’s movie bow she may be, but the Fast & Fu­ri­ous star is a strong, ex­cit­ing, crowd-pleas­ing pres­ence that bodes well for her solo ad­ven­ture.

Jesse Eisen­berg’s Lex Luthor is a world away from Gene Hack­man’s take on the su­pervil­lain; he plays him as a ki­netic young en­tre­pre­neur with a knack for lev­ity drip­ping with evil in­ten­tion.

Sny­der’s trade­mark slo-mo and vis­ual eye re­sult in mem­o­rable shots and set-pieces, not least a 9/11-ish open­ing se­quence that sees Man of Steel’s cli­mac­tic bat­tle from Bruce Wayne’s per­spec­tive, and the score by Junkie XL and Hans Zim­mer is suit­ably epic.

Plenty go­ing for it, then, but Sny­der and the stu­dio heads were too am­bi­tious in their ef­forts to cram so much into one film. Not only are we in­tro­duced to a new Bat­man and Won­der Woman, but there’s the pro­gres­sion of Su­per­man’s story and lay­ing down mark­ers for the two-part Jus­tice League movie.

Chris Ter­rio (Argo) and David S Goyer (The Dark Knight) do their best with the script but only ex­perts in all things DC will keep up with some of the go­ings-on, and con­tro­ver­sial changes to Bat­man’s char­ac­ter felt out of place.

They’re in keep­ing, though, with the dark tone that moves things in a more adult di­rec­tion than found in Mar­vel’s movies; not sure what kids will make of the jump scares, night­mar­ish vi­sions and hu­man bombs.

It’s over an hour-and-ahalf un­til the tit­u­lar scrap takes place and, like the film it­self, it’s a bit of a let­down.

What a shame the emo­tional kick and hero­ism in the CGI-heavy­but-thrilling fi­nale take so long to show up.

Head-to-head Cav­ill and Af­fleck’s heroes pre­pare for bat­tle

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