By Linley McCord
The first of 2016’s superhero showdowns began with DC’s most iconic heroes: Batman and Superman. DC came busting out of the gate with “Man of Steel,” an average film at best. But the battle between Metropolis and Gotham had more impressive everything than its sole predecessor.
The film opens at the end of the battle from “Man of Steel” as we see philanthropist billionaire Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) rescuing his employees from the rubble of one of his destroyed buildings. His contemptuous glare to the sky at Superman is the foundation of the story. Superman (Henry Cavill) is just as fed up with Batman because of his archaic ways of handling criminals. This would be the “v” in the film’s title.
The movie jumps right into the action, assuming viewers already know the backstory of both heroes. Throw in Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg), a grudge match, some kryptonite, a few terrorists, some trippy dreams, allusions of heroes to come, a monster destroying a city, and that’s the gist of the film. It’s complex but not too hard to follow and ends with a bang that will definitely leave you hanging.
The two major complaints against it are the bizarre and disorienting flashback dreams Bruce Wayne has and the way Batman and Superman become partners instead of enemies. While no spoilers on those things will be revealed here, those two aspects of the film are disappointing and anticlimactic.
Arguably, the best part of the movie were the characters. Affleck kills it as an older Bruce Wayne, jaded by the pain of his city and haunted by his past. Cavill, of course, is the perfect Clark Kent/Superman with his need to be needed. Eisenberg was remarkably reminiscent of Heath Ledger’s Joker—an eerie brilliance and insanity. Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) stole the movie—her backstory and feminity mixed with incredible fighting skills makes her a force to be reckoned with in future films.
DC did decently well with this one, but here’s to hoping it will only go uphill from here.