What’s the Story?
Superman/Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) and Batman/Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck), each convinced the other is a threat to law and order, are manipulated by Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) into a battle to the death. While Batman is already itching for the fight, Superman is coaxed into battle by a death threat to his earthly-mom Martha (Diane Lane).
The dark-in-tone movie serves as an all-purpose combination sequel to 2013’s Man of Steel, a sort of rebooting of the Batman franchise and a launching pad for both the projected Wonder Woman (portrayed by Gal Gadot) and Justice League film series.
Amy Adams is back as the intrepid Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane as is Laurence Fishburne as cost-conscious Editor-in-Chief Perry White. Kevin Costner has a ghostly cameo as Clark’s late father Jonathan Kent. Jeremy Irons succeeds Michael Cane as Bruce Wayne’s butler/confidante Alfred.
Holly Hunter also appears as a United States senator whose congressional hearing on Superman has dire consequences.
Helmed by Zack Snyder (who also directed Man of Steel), writing credits go to Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer (who also penned Man of Steel).
Batman v Superman is, in short (something the bloated script definitely isn’t) one self-serious, colossal mess of a movie. Jumping from one dark and brooding scene to another, Snyder (the film’s director) presumes that everyone is taking his pretentious themes as seriously as he is.
While Man of Steel was perhaps a bit darker than earlier versions of Superman, it was still essentially an uplifting adventure about a hero struggling to use his powers for good. To be sure, Superman is still clearly a good guy but the overall film is overwhelmed by excessive violence that goes way beyond the cartoon-level to fairly graphic portrayals of terrorism. Throw in some unnecessarily inappropriate language (for a film that will attract kids) and you’re not left with a particularly family-friendly movie.
Lex Luthor is portrayed as a twisted cross between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (who Eisenberg played in 2010’s The Social Network) and perennial Batman foe The Joker (think Heath Ledger in 2008’s The Dark Knight). It’s a performance that tiresome remarkably fast.
A note to parents of younger children: Clark Kent and Lois Lane, are clearly more than friends as one nude scene featuring Adams (with certain private parts barely obscured) demonstrates.
Running Time: 2 Hrs. 31 Min.
Violence (on a scale of 1-5): 4
Fe-Media’s recommended age: 14 years of age
Discussion Topics: How can you distinguish the line between good and evil? why is one person’s hero, another person’s villain? How can we avoid being manipulated by evil?