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Review: Batman Vs Superman – Dawn of Justice

There will be spoilers…

Well after the mess that was Man of Steel I went in hoping this would clear all that up and put DC back on the right path. To be fair the box office pre-sales are awesome for the film but then they were for Titanic. As a lifelong comic book reader I always try and separate the two within some reason when watching films like this. They only time they got it right with regards to source material was Deadpool but this film seems to not even bother explaining anything let alone the plot. If I didn’t read comics I would have no clue what was going on.

Firstly there if a badly executed scene (pun intended) where Jimmy Olson is murdered but if you hadn’t seen Man of Steel you would not even know who he was. That don’t bother naming him (apparently there will be a bit extra on the bluray) so any impact is lost. Superman’s best friend just took a bullet in the head – that’s why Superman smashes that dude through a wall! None of this matters though as having one of your best friends executed seems to have no long term impact especially when we as an audience are blitzed with a bevy of horrible editing decisions. Jumpcuts and/or dream scenes repeatedly head-butt the audience so much that we can’t fathom what happened 5 minutes ago. Let alone focus on what we are supposed to be following.

Did Jimmy just die so we could get to see Amy Adams sad in a bath?

Plot explanations are few and far between and set only to link the action pieces together, and leave massive holes that some of my comic knowledge filled in. If you have no idea of the comics though then The Flash appearing to Batman will make no sense especially as once again they fail to identify him. I’m now hoping Jeffrey Dean Morgan reprises Thomas Wayne for a Flashpoint movie!

Also why did Superman not hear the bombs? Do all alien ships give security clearance to anyone who asks? Did anyone else find it weird that Batman was banging Superman’s mum in Hollywoodland?

It is all ok  in the end though because their Mum’s have the same name. Should I become best friends with everyone whose mum has the same name as my mum? How did the World’s greatest detective not work this out? Lois Lane did it in twenty minutes!

As for the Justice League – can’t wait for their next film… Operation Shoe-horn…

Furthermore, if Wonder Woman never came to get the photo nobody would ever know it was her – or miss her 11 lines in the film!

Now don’t get me wrong all the elements of an excellent film are here. Lois gets annoying but it is Amy Adams so all is ok. Affleck delivers, Cahill does ok, but it’s just thrown together so badly. Just that bit more care in storytelling could have made this the true classic it should be. Instead we are left with moody set piece battles linked together with dream sequences. It does not suffer in the way Man of Steel did – where it just felt like a highlight video – it just failed to show out to an audience. With so much going on it is vital you hold the audiences hand as all the pieces come together then let go of them as they get caught up in the final epic conclusion. Instead we get a bunch of poorly explained set pieces that will only be explained (hopefully) when the extended bluray comes out. Was this the marketing plan all along? Was the work experience guy left to do the editing?

Then the whole tone changes as we hit Frankenstein territory with Doomsday. Now comic book fans all know what Doomsday means but how does it come off in the film? To start with, Luthor creates Doomsday, ok, but with all those resources (and Kryptonite) he could have killed Superman a million different ways but you know…goes for a big uncontrollable monster instead.

At one point in the film Perry White shouts at Clark Kent: “”It’s not 1938 anymore, nobody cares about that!” I wonder if this was the plan? Get Superman out the way and now we can make a real film? Like Phil Coulson before him – his death inspired a team, and like Phil Coulson, and Optimus Prime before him, Superman will return!

Final Verdict: 6/10. It is nowhere near as bad as Fantastic 4 but you just get the feeling it could of been so much more. It’s like waiting for the Richard Donner cut of Superman II. It needs to learn how to tell an actual story. Instead it alienates all, both sets of its audience – the comic book army and the general public. I await the Bluray release to see if the extra footage helps. Either way I’m sure it will bank huge cash!

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