Puzzle Doctor At The Movies – Batman vs Superman

This is the part of my reviews where I provide a brief synopsis of the thing I’m about to review. That’s a bit tricky when the thing in question doesn’t make a lick of sense. Let’s try anyway.


Batman (grim brooding loner vigilante) wants to fight Superman because a) the collateral damage caused by the fight at the end of Man Of Steel; b) he thinks Superman is generally a bad thing; c) Lex Luthor tricks him into thinking Superman killed a bunch of other people or d) because he saw the title of the film and figured it was inevitable.

Superman (grim brooding mutedly colourful flying chap) wants to fight Batman because a) he thinks Batman is a murdering vigilante who he’s suddenly obsessed about for some reason despite the fact Batman has been around for at least ten years; b) he’s jealous that Bats gets all the better films and figures it’s time to take out the competition; c) Lex Luthor tricks him; d) Lex Luthor blackmails him or e) he also saw the title of the film and figured, what the hell, the sooner I fight him, the sooner this drivel is over…

Take your pick…

Well, I reviewed Captain America: Civil War a while back, so I figured now that I’ve finally got round to watching the DC equivalent of hero vs hero, I’d better review this. Not that I’m a big fan of kicking piles of dog excrement, but it’s a civic duty. That’s the sort of hero that I am. It’s just come out on DVD, and those of you, like me, who missed it in the cinema, might be tempted to watch it now. I implore you, don’t waste two and a half hours of your life. Go and clean the toilet or something even more edifying…

Where to start? Well, it’s pointless going into detail about the film’s problems. It’s all gloomy and portentous, the plot makes no sense whatsoever – seriously, our “heroes” behave as if they’ve had lobotomies and Jessie Eisenberg’s Joker Lex Luthor is horribly misjudged. What the hell is even the basic point of his plan anyway? Kill Batman? Kill Superman? Unleash SPOILER for some unknown reason? Unless there was an underlying and prescient satire about a lunatic with weird hair trying to set everyone against everyone else with bullsh*t that you’d expect anyone with half a brain-cell to see though. Which it wasn’t… And the reason for the end of the fight? I’m not sure what’s worse – the whole idea of it, or the fact that it was so clumsily telegraphed that I actually worked it out in advance!

And the attempts to shoehorn in the rest of the Justice League are dreadful. Apart from Wonder Woman. She’s the best thing in it. No, correct that. She’s the only good thing in it. There’s a lovely shot in the final fight, where, as she’s fighting the impossible, she smirks. Lovely shot. But apparently it was ad-libbed, so we can’t praise the director for that…

And the critical bit at the end. What was the point of that, given that I’ve seen publicity shots for the Justice League movie?

Overall though, my deepest problem with this nonsense was the tone. I understand the notion of a dark adult-ish Batman film, but I don’t understand this gun-toting version. The whole point of Batman is that he’s anti-gun. But this Batman happily murders several bad-guys without breaking sweat. And a dark Superman? Superman is supposed to be bright and colourful, the symbol of hope. Not some mopey individual whose primarily facial expression seems to be trying to work out who just farted. I love superhero films, but I shouldn’t be the target audience. Kids will want to see Superman being super, not a Superman who never goes out in the daylight and just reacts to things around him.

I assume that DC comics want to do something different than the Marvel movies. Well, they succeeded. They provided the exact opposite of enjoyable blockbusters containing wit, warm characters and plots that vaguely make sense (at first glance). Well done – it can’t have been easy.

Needless to say, Not Remotely Recommended. Go and sandpaper your eyeballs instead – it’d be less painful.



  1. Thanks for taking the bullet, but it wasn’t necessary. I’m not a fan of Zack Snyder’s murkiness, so I skipped Man of Steel. Then I skipped this. It’s nice to know that my efforts were rewarded!


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