Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (12A)

Vigilante bad boys Batman and Superman clash in a bid to launch Zack Snyder’s new superhero franchise.

The city of Metropolis has been devastated by a battle between Superman (Henry Cavill) and General Zod (Michael Shannon). People have long since fell out of love with the caped crusader and are calling for Superman, going by the human name of Clark Kent, to be held accountable for his actions.

Multi-millionaire Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck), whose alter ego Batman has also been branded a dangerous vigilante, is determined to stop Superman in his tracks before he causes more destruction.

The two superheroes have matching PR problems and mummy issues so you know it’s not going to end well. Soon enough the two powerful titans come head to head. But the enemies have to put their differences aside when the maniacal entrepreneur Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) provides the heroes with their deadliest threat yet.

Help comes in the form of Wonder Woman played by Gal Gadot; a mysterious superhero that seems to turn up when she can be arsed or the movie requires a scantily-clad woman to pout. Suffice to say that Wonder Woman doesn’t really make an impact in her debut to the franchise. I mean come on, give the woman some action scenes.

Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor is without a doubt the most irritating screen villain of the year. Yet again Eisenberg has been typecast as the evil genius. It’s such a tired concept. Superman’s main squeeze Louis Lane (Amy Adams), who tends to be in constant peril, provides some much-needed tension, but inevitably we know that her man will always save the day.

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is like the vile trifle Rachel makes in the TV series Friends where each layer is a different flavour. Separately each layer is fine, but the end result just isn’t as good as you anticipated. Together you just end up with a mishmash of flavours and a stomach full of regret. Something I’m pretty sure director Zack Snyder is experiencing right now.

The inevitable showdown isn’t the all-out-destruction that we’re used to in superhero movies. While our apathetic adversaries fight it out, lives hang in the balance and franchises rise and fall. The sheer spectacle of it all makes the movie’s failure even more catastrophic.

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is one of the worst films of 2016 so far. It should be called Yawn of Justice. The Avengers posse have no need to worry; the incoherent storytelling in this movie it an absolute chore to watch. It’s less superhero smackdown and more super lame snorefest.

By Ruth Walker
★★★☆☆

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