Zack Snyder, 2016, USA
A second watch of 'Batman vs Superman' and the first twenty minutes are fine. There’s the unnecessary recap of Batman’s origin in nightmare form with Snyder’s particular “opening credits” editing style that was so effective with the ‘Watchmen’ opening credits – but even that can’t liven up this well-worn origin – and some action and some spy-like shenanigans and that’s all good enough. It still seems to have promise. And then Jesse Eisenberg does his impression of Lex Luther as The Joker and it’s pretty insufferable – why conceive Luther that way? Go straight to Vincent D’Onofrio in the ‘Daredevil’ TV series. The films takes a true nosedive them, but it’s never badly made. It’s a mess and overloaded and the rivalry between the two heroes never really convinces, although it’s mostly based on Bruce Wayne being an uncompromising asshole. Jeremy Irons makes for a cranky and quite unlikeable Alfred instead of wry and dryly super-efficient. There’s a dream sequence that seems to be there just to allow Batman the fantasy of a different suit and using a gun and owing down bad guys; and make no mistake, he make not actually wield a gun but there’s so many explosions and physical violence that he obviously kills many by proxy. There’s a confusing appearance from The Flash in a vision of sorts. There’s nothing really wrong with Henry Cavil but this Superman … well, although we’re meant to be convinced that he’s conflicted and angst-ridden, it’s not truly convincing as colouring him in and perhaps going with the Good Guy God approach would have been more interesting, done right (like Peter Parker is better for being naïve and gung-ho). He’s not quite 2D in a way that captures the imagination. But a second watch shows that Gal Godot does much with little and that Doomsday is pretty cool for a CGI creation, if it would only linger a little. Oh, and there’s something about other superheroes too. And why leave a Kryptonite spear underwater where any bad-guy could trace it? And superheroes bonding over mummy resolves conflicts... But by then, true interest has been pummeled away by overstuffing the turkey with CGI, protesting too much forgetting to be fun.
But ‘Batman vs Superman’ does have one stand-out scene with Batman’s hand-to-hand combat with a gang of bad guys in a warehouse. That remains and is the one moment when it all comes alive.