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DC Strikes back?

So we have had the latest superhero movie, this time from the DC universe.

Batman V Superman:Dawn of Justice is the start of what DC hopes will put them on the same footing as the current Marvel universe. DC comics began in the late 1930’s featuring Batman as a detective outside of the law. This proved a success and other characters started to be introduced in their own spaces. Soon we had Superman, the man of steel from another planet.

In 1960, DC brought together its core of characters as the Justice League. This team consisted of AquamanBatmanthe FlashGreen Lanternthe Martian ManhunterSuperman, and Wonder Woman. The comics were a success and in turn prompted Marvel to bring together its own team, the Avengers.

Moving forward to the digital age and the dawn of the superhero movie. For the past few years we have been treated to the carefully planned building of Marvel’s team and it has been a stunning success. There are back stories, each major character having its own movie working towards the Avengers.

DC must have realised the success was something they had to follow. They had a number of poor reviews for some of their films, including the Green Lantern and Superman Returns. One film barely recovered its production costs, so DC had to come up with a new blockbuster.

Bringing together its core characters and introducing the non DC public to the Justice League was a clear option.

There is now an art to selling a movie to the public. Fans of whatever it might will clearly split into two camps; the hoping its great and the worried it’s going to fail (again). For myself, being a Marvel fan, I was honestly hoping for a good movie to push Marvel to be better.

Batman V Superman had the right selling points, it looked good and it appeared brilliant. The trailers gave all the teasers. I don’t often give spoilers about any new movie as a rule. My reviews tend to just review. However, I do want to comment about what I feel are the differences between the two universes.

This movie opens once more with how Bruce Wayne becomes Batman. Why? Do people forget this every time the last movie ends? Yet nothing on Superman. There is a darkness to this as there appears to be with many DC movies. Some of it is good, some is over played. We sort of recap the end of Man of Steel using it to feed into this movie. It is a clever idea but it takes a bit too long to get going. The movie drags from the starts. It has stunning visual effects, yet there was little noticeable music. I am not sure I could place any themes anywhere, was that good or bad?

The story itself is disjointed, while Batman was torturing bad guys looking for a certain someone, Superman was being setup. Bruce Wayne was also ‘unhappy’ at the destruction Superman caused yet being hailed a hero. It seemed to annoy him. Clark Kent for his part did not seem to like the vigilante dispensing justice. Yet both of them were doing something of a similar role. Plot hole? That is one of many but all films have them. It seems to me that the DC executives have watched so many other versions of Big X V Big Y and thought that’s our movie!

Yet they have forgotten to build in the sub-elements of the plot. Batman uses guns, not just to scare but kill and he has dreams of killing. Superman appears bored almost trying to recoup his mantel in human eyes by saving a few people. He fails in a couple of places. Then there is Lex Luther. An attempt at a psychotic, match-maker who helps telegraph the plot in stunning fashion. That is one of the biggest disappointments of this movie. Not only are some elements telegraphed, they are pounded out time and time again.

The plot device to make the two fight is weak, how did Luther find out about a secret that no one else could find, Superman’s mum. Did I miss that?

How did Batman know that Luther was planning to get Superman to make the two fight?

How did a supposed alien spaceship who clearly says you can’t make this alien, let an alien make a bigger badder alien?

One good point (I think) was the introduction of Wonder Woman. However no back story unlike how Marvel handle the main characters. She just appears, trying to keep a photo private that shows her to a whole bunch of people while she is in costume. She seems to have half the powers of Superman with the strength of Batman and more brains. There is also the brief flash (pardon the pun) of Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman without knowing who they are. Lex however seems to know it all, maybe he read the comics.

The film is way over 2 hours, it dragged for me. There are times when you think they should have expanded on that point, explained more yet they miss it. Somehow DC keep missing the mark in the movie universe but in the TV they have the edge. As I said before, Green Lantern was an almost movie, Man of Steel lost the end and Superman sort of returned. There is no humour in this film and it lacks a little humanity for me. There are so many words one could describe this film and it has been by many both ‘professional’ critics and fans alike.

My rating for this movie is 6 out 10.

Tagline: ‘Not again. We just finished building that darn place.’