Cockburn Gazette - - LIFESTYLE -

THERE is more at stake be­hind the scenes of Bat­man v Su­per­man: Dawn of Jus­tice than there ever is on screen, as DC Comics at­tempts to build a ‘shared uni­verse’ of su­per­hero films to com­pete with Mar­vel’s fran­chise.

Bat­man v Su­per­man is de­signed to jump­start DC’s con­nected uni­verse by bring­ing to­gether the tit­u­lar char­ac­ters, as well as Won­der Woman and other cameos, in what is ei­ther an al­ter­na­tive ap­proach de­signed to dis­tin­guish it­self from Mar­vel or a short­cut to avoid the lengthy ground­work.

What it all means is that it’s dif­fi­cult to judge the movie in its own right be­cause even the di­rec­tor treats it as a pre­lude to a slate of al­readyan­nounced movies through to 2020.

It’s also dif­fi­cult to feel that any­thing is at stake through­out the movie. Dur­ing the ini­tial ac­tion scenes the au­di­ence is wait­ing for Bat­man and Su­per­man to clash; when the two heroes do go toe-to-toe, au­di­ences are wait­ing for the true vil­lain to re­veal them­selves; and even as the film builds to its fi­nale, it’s all just a pro­logue for the up­com­ing Jus­tice League movies (as ev­i­denced by the far-too-many epi­logues). That’s not to say it’s a bad movie. Os­ten­si­bly a se­quel to Man of Steel, it opens with the fi­nale from that film told from the point of view of Bruce Wayne.

Wit­ness­ing the de­struc­tion brought down on Me­trop­o­lis by two god-like be­ings, he be­comes con­vinced that Su­per­man is too dan­ger­ous and

Zack Sny­der Ben Af­fleck, Henry Cav­ill, Gal Gadot, Jesse Eisen­berg now

Dave Fried­los

that he must be stopped.

At two-and-a-half hours long, it doesn’t drag, with the ac­tion flow­ing quite seam­lessly.

But it’s not quite the home run DC Comics would have hoped for. It doesn’t have the comic touch or ca­ma­raderie of Mar­vel’s films (un­der­stand­able given it is the first out­ing for all but Cav­ill in their roles), nor does it have the grav­i­tas of the Dark Knight movies.

Ben Af­fleck and Henry Cav­ill.

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