I'll be clear from the outset, I'm a huge Batman fan. He's my favourite superhero and has been for quite some time. Superman not so much. I've always struggled with his 'disguise', or lack thereof (though Henry Cavill did show that all it takes is a different hairstyle and pair of glasses to go unnoticed on the streets earlier this month…) Aside from that Superman has, to me, just been another superhero. I could give or take him, but really enjoyed Cavill's performance as him in solo movie Man of Steel, so excitement to see Dawn of Justice was at an all time high when the flick was announced what feels like a lifetime ago.

Credit: WB

Credit: WB

I tried to avoid reviews and spoilers ahead of my BvS viewing but, with it drawing so much criticism and variation in response it was hard not to take a look at a few words here and there. I'm thankful, strangely, that I'm with the critical minority. I really enjoyed the movie and knowing that so many didn't is admittedly a little frustrating. If Marvel have set out a blueprint for superhero movies that must be adhered to at all times, I don't want to be a fan of 'the blueprint superhero movie', and so I'm thankful that DC is willing to continuously push the boundaries. Granted, it means their movies aren't for everybody, but isn't it boring when everybody has the same opinion? Moving on…

The early outrage of casting Ben Affleck as Batman was unfounded. He is the best iteration that the big screen has ever seen. He's beaten out only by voice actor Kevin Conroy and brings a brooding, bitter and beautiful portrayal of the middle-aged vigilante to viewers. Opposite to Cavill he is superior, but that's not to say Cavill deserves a lot of the 'wooden actor' nonsense that's being thrown around. He does a fine job and for me at times was the hero the audience could get behind.

Then there's Gal Gadot. It's fair to say she was relatively unknown before her casting as Wonder Woman, but boy does she bring the heat to the big screen. She's smouldering, a fantastic actress and perfect in her role. Seeing her suited and ready for the first time had the hairs on my arms standing on edge and I imagine she's going to pack out cinemas across the globe when she returns with her solo movie next year.

Jesse Eisenberg is a terrifying yet hilarious Lex Luthor. He's just the right amount of crazy tinged with genius and whilst I don't want to give too much away, he's incredibly adept at putting together a brilliant masterplan that would see Batman and Superman go head-to-head. This was a role built for Eisenberg and he shows his gratitude through his performance.

So, onto the titular battle. Batman hates Superman because he reminds him of the death and injuries inflicted upon thousands during the events of the Man of Steel movie. He doesn't see this flying red-caped crusader as a symbol of hope but instead as an alien incapable of feelings, incapable of love and incapable of being a part of something bigger than himself. Superman meanwhile is becoming disillusioned with the people of the planet after they've started to turn on him, wanting to keep him in check despite his actions always being for the greater good. Seeing that Batman is celebrated in Gotham City whilst he has to answer to those calling for his head gets to him and so, when facing one another, Batman and Superman are a pair of angry men who refuse to back down and admit they're both more similar to each other than they could have imagined. Men, right? Always so stubborn.

For casual fans, things could have done with a little more explaining at the beginning of the movie. That, or the editing could have been slightly adjusted, but this was a hard movie to pull off and I'm gonna let director Zack Snyder off the hook. He had the job of bringing the first ever big screen Batman versus Superman battle to the masses and did it in style. Not only that, but he had to introduce the future members of the Justice League to the audience to whet their appetites for what's to come. Could the movie have worked without the three or so minutes dedicated to Aquaman's, Cyborg's and The Flash's files being showcased? Sure, but without them we would have had less on screen time for Wonder Woman, and I have a feeling her looking through the files will be playing a part in her forthcoming movie. For now it felt a little shoehorned in and out of place but again, it's something that will (hopefully) be cleared up in time.

Let's be honest here, this is a dark and gritty movie with a lot of the colour from the two and a half hours coming from a glowing green chunk of kryptonite, but we're not in Kansas anymore, Toto. This isn't an episode of Rainbow or The Magic Roundabout, we're rolling with the big boys now, and the big boys attract chaos and destruction, not glitter and unicorns.

I love that there are only glimmers of hope in DC movies. That's exactly how it should be. It's closer to real life than its superhero movie opponents. That means it's less accessible because many watch movies to escape the realities of the dull and dismal real world, but it's honest. DC have some big balls and I hope that continues. The stage is set. May the powerful and emotional storytelling continue.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is out now.


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