“Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice” serves as both a sequel of sorts to “Man of Steel” and the setup for DC Comics to expand its cinematic universe.
So, let’s get the most obvious question out of the way: Does it live up to all the hype? Almost. The problem is it is always busy and overstuffed in one way or another, whether it be a murky plot, too many new characters or delivering a whole third act of nothing but special-effects sequences.
Henry Cavill returns as Clark Kent and his alter ego, Superman, who continues to save humanity all the while being the target of controversy for being extremely powerful. Is the world ready for a being of his magnitude? Some say yes. Some say no.
There is one person that Supes isn’t popular with, and that’s Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck). Minor spoiler alert: In “Man of Steel,” a climactic battle leveled the Wayne Enterprises division in Metropolis, killing employees who worked for Wayne. Now, he’s determined to come out of retirement as the Batman and face him one on one.
The villain introduced is Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg), an egomaniacal businessman. Luthor’s schemes involve taking down the Man of Steel with a lot of inventions that are traced back to his home planet of Krypton.
As I said before, there’s an overabundance of characters, including Amy Adams’ Lois Lane; Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince, who may be a super heroine of sorts; Lawrence Fishburne as Daily Planet editor Perry White; Jeremy Irons as Wayne’s faithful butler, Alfred; and Diane Lane as Clark’s mom, Martha. They’re all occasionally shortchanged, but they do deliver nice moments.
As for the rest of the film, director Zack Snyder once again showcases his hyperkinetic imagery, though he shows surprising restraint until the end, when the effects take over in spades. Until then, the movie continues to give us too much in other areas. It’s almost impossible for a movie of this scale to construct something that barely makes sense and still manages to include everything it wants.
Did I enjoy it? Yes, enough to recommend it. Does Affleck do a good job? Well, he’s no Christian Bale, but not George Clooney either. Will it lead to better things for DC on film? Hopefully. Only time will tell.
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action throughout, and some sensuality.
Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia.