FILM FRANCHISE OPENER A FALSE DAWN
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
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.