You would have thought that the studios / producers / execs would have learnt their lesson by now in how long to leave a franchise or film before rebooting. Spiderman anyone? But it seems, alas, they have not and so, just four years after the excellent Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy came to an end, we have a reboot, follow on, something else?
Chris Terrio (Argo, Heights) and David S. Goyer (Man of Steel, The Dark Knight Rises) take on the writing duties with everyone’s favourite style-over-substance director Zach Snyder (Watchmen, Man of Steel) taking directorial duties. It’s very much keeping it in the family, a sort of odd, Hollywood, Batman and Superman family.
Ben Affleck (Good Will Hunting, Argo) stars as Batman, Henry Cavill (Man of Steel, The Man from UNCLE) is Superman, Lois Lane is played by the criminally underused (and criminally used for a woman of such acting talents) Amy Adams (The Fighter, American Hustle) whilst Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network, Zombieland) puts his take on the insane characters by playing Lex Luthor, which he does nicely.
You’ve then got a few other big hitters who are so underused you’re surprised they signed up: Diane Lane continues to play Superman’s mom, Laurence Fishburne runs the Daily Planet, Jeremy Irons is Alfred (though he’s got so little to do or say he may as well not be), Holly Hunter is a senator and Gal Gadot (Fast & Furious 6, Furious 7) plays Wonder Woman who you see much more of then the trailers would have you believe.
The story is pretty much exactly what you will have gleaned from the trailers that have been released. Does the Earth need Superman? Is he a menace? Who does he answer to? Can the Batman save us? Is Lex Luthor evil? Can we drop Wonder Woman in to prep for the forthcoming movies? Too cynical?
What you get is yet another flashback sequence as to why Batman is Batman (the parents dying thing, how many times?). Though you get nothing about Superman, or Wonder Woman, or Lex. This sets the movie off on an odd tone which continues throughout. The story feels like a hodgepodge of ideas, thrown together in a blender with only some semblance of linking it all together to make it coherent.
On the one hand this is a reasonable update to the Superman tale, it raises the sorts of questions we would probably ask if this where real. But then on the other hand it completely ignores rational thought and fails to ask any sort of questions whatsoever. It seems no-one is bothered about a guy dressed as a bat, just the alien. It’s obvious this was created to tee up the Justice League movies, you get the sense they tried to follow the Avengers format but they haven’t got it right, heck the Avengers haven’t got it right so following it probably wasn’t the best idea.
This doesn’t have the darkness of the Nolan franchise, it doesn’t have the comedy of the Avengers movies nor does it have the action and gore of something like Deadpool. It doesn’t fit, which I would like to say is a good thing, I’d like to say it doesn’t fit because it stands out, they’ve got it right. But they haven’t. It’s a forgettable movie that I’m not even sure tee’s up the next films very well.