Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is more like Batman WITH Superman feat. Wonder Woman: Dawn of Mercy Graves…
Well, those are the elements I can remember best.
The film quickly deals with Batman’s origins, and thankfully quickly, given that Man of Steel took the best part of an hour to do that, and we didn’t need chapter and verse given Christopher Nolan’s trilogy only ended just four years ago with The Dark Knight Rises.
I’m sum up straight that I’m not a follower of comics, and so I just rely on the films to entertain me and tell the story. And what I got from this one is that the animosity between the two leads is down to a basic misunderstanding. It begins during the end of Man of Steel, with Bruce Wayne (now Ben Affleck) spotting Superman (Henry Cavill) and General Zod (Michael Shannon) smashing up a number of building. Alas, since Gotham City is suddenly now placed right next door to Metropolis, it’s going to lead to him having to put in an insurance claim later in the day, as well as attending a number of funerals for many of his staff.
Cut to 18 months later, and there’s a Russian called Anatoli Knyazev (Callan Mulvey), a ship called the White Portuguese carrying something untoward, and a to-do in Juárez, based around lives in danger at the Day of the Dead carnival, which makes me wonder if that was meant to be caused by James Bond after he fired the rocket launcher in Spectre. And this is all part of the problem because the whole film is just so bitty. It has two-and-a-half hours to attempt to tell a story, yet doesn’t even manage that. It ends up being less a film and more a mass of disjointed set pieces.
Okay, so far, so negative, but there WERE some things I liked about it. Firstly, while the initial trailer I watched looked pretty dull, my interest was piqued with the second one, which featured plenty from both Jesse Eisenberg putting in a nicely comic turn as Lex Luthor, and Gal Gadot (above) as Wonder Woman – prior to her 2017 movie release. I was pleased that if anyone was going to be a bit madcap whilst also managing to look like a businessman, he made a good fist of it. I also enjoyed his Blanche DuBois-esque line about ‘depending on the kindness of monsters’.
My only experience of Wonder Woman was Lynda Carter in the ’70s TV series. Back then, her outfit was definitely of its time, all gung-ho American flag stylee, but Ms Gadot’s goes for a much darker look and fits in with dark tone that a lot of Marvel/DC films are starting to aim for.
But moreso than our Gal, I did enjoy the appearance, albeit not doing an awful lot, of the stunning Tao Okamoto (below) as Luthor’s personal assistant and bodyguard, Mercy Graves. She didn’t have a lot to say, and certainly didn’t get to do any bodyguarding, but for me, she stole any scene in which she appeared. Like I said earlier, I’m not one for comics, so I looked up the character afterwards and saw that she’s well versed in hand-to-hand combat and kickboxing, yet there was NONE of that here. Perhaps, based on what I’ve read, she could make a comeback in next year’s Justice League movie? And a quick spoiler heading about my reasoning…
Go to page 2 for more good thoughts about this film (while they last)…
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.