WARNING: this article contains spoilers.
Zack Snyder made the bold decision to sideline Superman at the end of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Snyder has now revealed he did this because he wanted Ben Affleck’s Batman to build the superhero team the Justice League in the movie’s sequel.
The film is very decisive, the main disappointment for me is that it doesn’t just enjoy the premise of these two pop culture icons doing battle but has to weave in the set up for future films. Now even the movie’s climax, the apparent death of The Man of Steel, seems to be driven by the plot of future films.
“I wanted Bruce Wayne to build the Justice League, with Superman around, it’s a different conversation when you create the Justice League, right? It’s like, ‘Me and Superman, we want to make a Justice League.’ … Bruce Wayne having to go out and find these seven samurai by himself, that’s a lot more interesting of a premise.”
Two movies in 2017 and 2018 will see Batman joining Wonder Woman, Aquaman, the Flash, Cyborg and others as the Justice League banner. Entertainment Weekly reports the first of these films may follow a ‘searching for Superman’ template,
“He comes very close to death in space, and the reason we did that is because I wanted to show – and keep the idea in the viewer’s mind – that he can come pretty close to death and the sun can revive him, or he can be revived, but think something more is gonna need to be done. There’s a mythological journey for Superman. There’s the birth, death and resurrection thing. And when you bring him back, who knows what he is when he comes back.”
Despite the poor critical response Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is still raking it in at the box office.
This film suffers from the Iron Man 2 conundrum of too much world building for future projects. There is a little sequence of ‘trailers’ for forthcoming DC films which was fun but unnecessary. There are numerous dream sequences that do not contribute to the plot but drop hints of being more predictive than dreams.
This new Batman is the darkest of all the Knights, an older, world-weary and bitter vigilante. The internet chorus of discontent over Ben Affleck‘s casting was unfounded as he is the best thing in it, the character even has a training montage. Refreshingly Gal Gadot is the second best thing and the final realisation of Wonder Woman on the big screen is a triumph.
Regrading the plot the wry Jeremy Irons as Alfred does provide the most ironic and self-aware quote of the film when asked by Batman ‘what’s going on? He replies “It’s hard to describe sir“.
Batman v Superman is dark and gloomy with violent action that deserves the 12A rating. It is an obvious counterpoint to the flash, colourful and family-friendly marvel cinematic universe.
Snyder produces Nolan superhero films on steroids and I’m still unsure if this is a good thing. However overall I enjoyed the film, the promised showdown is spectacular and it throws everything at it including a sink (not sure if it’s a kitchen sink)!
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is in cinemas now.