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REVIEW – BATMAN VS SUPERMAN: Another superhero ‘turkey’

MML

BATMAN vs SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE DOG (151 minutes) M

Heaven help us. Here’s another piece of superhero crap that is so inexcusably bad you’ll think you’ve died and gone to movie hell.

The film pits Batman (Ben Affleck) and babbling corporate bad guy Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) against Superman (Henry Cavill).

They see him as an almighty alien threatening the future of civilisation, while he sees himself as an icon of justice fulfilling the public duty bestowed upon him by his loving foster parents (Kevin Costner, Diane Lane).

To be fair, the opening stretch of the film actually does a good job setting up this three-sided conflict, with a lot of neat sidebar discussions about whether Superman is somebody people actually want fighting their fights for them.

But then, lo, comes the film’s ‘big revelations’ and, right before your eyes, you see what could have been a terrific entry into the superhero franchise totally collapse into the usual swirl of superhero franchise cliches.

One could be forgiven for thinking there is a default software package somewhere that filmmakers go to when they run out of ideas. The final battle here looks precisely like every other superhero movie climax: there are monsters; giant energy bolts; huge fireballs; brooding skies; the crushing of buildings; and, of course, rubble. Loads and loads of rubble.

It’s hard to imagine a big-budget film worse than Avengers: Age of Ultron or even Gods of Egypt – there, it’s been said – but Batman vs Superman has the dubious distinction of showing utter contempt for its audience, and wearing that contempt on its sleeve as if it was a badge of honour.

This is brazenly demonstrated through Superman’s completely back-asswards relatonship to kryptonite. Did director Zack Snyder really think he would get away with it? That nobody would notice?

Scratching the bottom of the barrell for fresh ideas is one thing, but what occurs in Batman vs Superman is the filmmakers scratching right through the barrell and hitting the floor below.   

The film’s messy resolution also signals a shift of emphasis for the DC Comic universe. Till now, with the Batman films, the brand was seen as holding the higher moral ground compared to Marvel’s more low-brow style.

Well, they’ve surrendered that now, along with their concern for the legacy of their superheroes.

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