Batman vs. Superman

Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice

What does 250 million dollars, a star studded cast, unlimited special effects, and a director with a school boy crush on epic comic battles create? 

A 2.5 hour slug fest whose raison d'être seems to be to repeatedly question the nature of power and beat us over the head with it.  

There is a lot to like about Batman vs. Superman but with the talent and budget they had at their disposal, it really should have been a home run. 

Let’s start with what’s to like. Ben Affleck is surprisingly good (and totally jacked) as the now jaded Batman. Bruce Wayne has been fighting crime in Gotham for 20 years, and both he and Alfred (brilliantly played by veteran actor Jeremy Irons) are tired. As he says to Alfred, “Criminals are like weeds, pull one up, another grows in its place.” 

In one of many dark plot twists, a disenfranchised Batman has begun indulging in his own type of vigilante justice: Branding and torturing criminals with the sign of the bat.

The film opens with two flashbacks – one where Bruce Wayne’s parents are killed before his eyes when he is a small child, and the second the apocalyptic battle Superman had against General Zod, which all but decimated the city. The liberal use of dream sequences and flashbacks really keeps you on your toes, so pay attention or you’ll get lost.

Henry Cavill as Superman is just so pretty to look at, and really is perfect as the Man of Steel. Let’s hope he actually learns to act someday, beyond his current lock-jawed sincerity. 

Amy Adams is plucky and convincing as a headstrong Lois Lane, and there is a lovely moment in the beginning involving a bathtub that provides a nice attempt at a ‘real-people’ glimpse into her relationship with Superman. Despite their physical attractiveness, I really didn’t feel any chemistry between them, which was a shame, as that scene could have been really quite hot.

Not since Heath Ledger’s Joker has there been a villain so terrifyingly interesting and entertaining. Jesse Eisenberg as the eccentric megalomaniac Lex Luthor is twitchy and brilliant. Luthor has some of the best lines in the movie, and provides the ONLY comic relief in a film that takes itself very seriously.

Young men of all ages will enjoy Israeli model-turned-actress Gal Gadot as the very sexy and electric Wonder Woman. There was more chemistry between her and Batman than there was between Superman and Lois.

Also worth mentioning are some lovely smaller roles played by Holly Hunter as Senator Finch – a power hungry politician on a McCarthy era type witch hunt against Superman. Kudos also to Diane Lane as a very sincere Martha Kent. 

I guess my biggest complaint about Batman vs. Superman is that it attempts to tackle such big issues, and seems to get depressingly lost in the circular quandary of the nature of good vs. evil. 

Are there absolutes? Does power corrupt? Isn’t the nature of good all about perspective? All of the main characters talk about the demise of man’s relationship with God, and the toxic nature of power. 

Lex Luthor sums it up best: “See, what we call God depends upon our tribe, ’cause God is tribal, God takes sides . . . if God is all-powerful, He cannot be all good. And if He is all good, then He cannot be all-powerful. And neither can you be.” This is an incredibly dark and depressing theme for an action film. 

Heroes shouldn’t fight other heroes – it goes completely against everything we have been taught, and personally, I think it’s a dangerous conversation to have in a film that children are going to see. We need heroes who give us something to aspire to, and creating a world where all heroes are flawed and questioning whether being good matters anymore sends kids a confusing message.

Batman vs. Superman is long and exhaustingly action-packed (I don’t think it goes more than 10 minutes without something exploding), and the final fight scene truly feels as though it’s never going to end. 

Suspend your disbelief for some preposterous plot twists, and enjoy the effects. It deserves to be watched on a big screen.

I give this movie three hearts.

Movie locations and times


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About the Author

Kim Foreman-Rhindress is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City and London Western Conservatory of music for piano and voice. 

Kim has been performing in theatre and film for over 30 years in Canada, NYC, Palm Beach, Los Angeles, and the Netherlands. She has written several plays which have been produced in Canada and the U.S., and is the founder of Kelowna Voice Lab - helping people find their voice, be it singing or acting. 

A working musician, she performs regularly in Kelowna with her husband, Jim Rhindress, in an acoustic duo Smitten, and with her vintage trio Kitsch 'n Sync.  

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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