The problem which plagues Batman vs. Superman from its outset is that the scope of material it is dealing with is too wide: in trying to contain two larger than life pop culture behemoths in the same runtime, one runs the risk of doing each the disservice of patchy coverage.
To answer the question on everybody’s lips, Ben Affleck is fine as Batman: he does a capable enough job in the role even if he doesn’t bring anything particularly new to the table. Less can be said on Henry Cavill, he essentially reprises a role which was average at best the first time he wheeled it out in Man of Steel and he is utterly forgettable as a result.
The highlight comes in the form of Gal Godot as Wonder Woman: she admirably sticks her head above the sea of mediocrity around her, but unfortunately she is not given nearly as much screen time as she deserves. Jesse Eisenberg on the other hand is horribly miscast as Lex Luther and proceeds to give us a masterclass in overacting. Every scene he is in becomes a chore to sit through as he spouts a multitude of poorly written, half formed, pseudo-philosophical witticisms at the audience, none of which make a jot of sense. The film, as such, lacks a convincing villain and it suffers terribly for it.
The first half is tediously slow, lacking any real tension or in fact any real plot line for the character’s to pursue. The ideas that the film initially sets up are interesting one’s, namely holding superheroes accountable for the gratuitous destruction they leave in their path and examining the godlike reverence which are placed on them. Unfortunately, this line of argument is almost immediately forgotten, only briefly referenced on sporadic occasions.
The ending is what saves this film from the veritable garbage can: to its credit it is well handled and succeeds in being genuinely touching and unexpected. However this is all too little too late and we are as such faced with a bloated, overlong and disappointingly underwhelming attempt at a blockbuster.
Image: Vivian Uhlir