(Includes potential spoilers to the plot)
Zach Snyder presents his second foray into the superhero world in the form of his familiar Man of Steel encountering the Caped Crusader of Gotham in a rivalry of morals and justice. Citizens of Metropolis emerge conscious of the destruction Superman has brought to their city, and are now striving for the protection they deserve against the world’s evils. Bruce Wayne shares the city’s concerns after witnessing the effects of the alien from Krypton. Wayne resolves to put an end to this carnage, whist Clark Kent himself is aware of an additional threat in the form of the somewhat unhinged Lex Luthor. Vast plans unfold and the two heroes are forced into confrontation and subsequently required to unite against the perils Luthor wreaks upon the duo.
Two giants of the DC cinematic universe collide in an epic adventure of destruction and over-exaggerated effects which are unnecessary much of the time. Following Snyder’s initial attempt at portraying Superman in Man of Steel, this feature also demonstrates a high level of havoc – an element which is anathema . The Dark Knight is naturally a man of shadowy brutality, yet the existence of Superman alongside him brings out more dangerous rage that can be considered largely out of character. Overall, the lasting partnership between the two superheroes lacks focus. The audience is exposed to the origins of Batman – a visual that we have all witnessed so many times before – along with a general introduction to Ben Affleck’s rendition of Batman’s persona.
Effectively, too many questions and flaws arise from this attempt to unite two such beloved characters, as critics and fans alike have stated elsewhere.
For this reviewer, it is the glossing over of the reasons behind the alliance, and the ensuing slump in plot, which provide the problem. Following the reveal of a family connection, Batman is then swayed from his initial intention to rid the city of the Man of Steel and instead assists him in putting a stop to the crazed Luthor and his experiment.
A seemingly lackluster reasoning behind such a sudden change in story development demonstrates exactly how mundane the overall premise of the full feature turns out to be. As a two and a half hour feature, the audience still has to sustain uninspired attention through battles that ultimately have no concise or concrete motive behind them.
Considering the additional supporting figures, there are some favorable additions, accompanied by other tiresome occurrences, appearing alongside the duo. Lois Lane, portrayed by Amy Adams establishes herself as a typical female burden to our hero. In attempts to demonstrate Superman’s tough and heroic attributes, he goes out to rescue his very own damsel in distress on multiple occasions after she manages to find herself in unfortunate situations. Irritatingly, Superman desperately goes out to immediately liberate his beloved, despite her own doubts as to his true superhero status when she’s still distinct in his life.
Jesse Eisenberg stands out as an unhinged persona, capable of commentaries and ventures even the Bat’s very own crazed, clown adversary would be proud of. He does generate a darker tone to Superman which we wouldn’t usually witness, but thus provides a coherent association between him and his Dark Knight protagonist.
On a positive note, we must acknowledge the visuals and aesthetics. Gotham and Metropolis alike, glisten on screen. The introductory appearance of Ben Affleck as our beloved Dark Knight provides a reassuring performance, settling individual queries regarding the replacement of Christian Bale – even through some audience members may not want to let go of the outstanding performance of the former bat. Appearing to fitfully overshadow Henry Cavill’s charming Superman at times, Affleck’s bat personifies the true dark and brooding manifestation that is regarded as encouragingly homogenous to the comics, games and overall atmosphere surrounding the Gotham bat franchise.
Overall then, an enjoyable experience, despite the flaws in plot and character development. Establishing a solid rise towards the upcoming Justice League films, it may not include the most concrete storyline or continuous narrative, yet it still succeeds in its task: epic.
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