Review: Batman v Superman is an epic superhero confrontation

Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill in Batman v Superman

Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill in Batman v Superman

Matt Adcock reviews Batman v Superman, starring Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill

Here it is then, the greatest gladiator match in the history of the world: Son of Krypton (Henry Cavill) versus The Dark Knight (Ben Affleck).

Seeing these two titans of comic book history come to blows on the big screen has been the fantasy of fans ever since Frank Miller’s seminal graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns pitched them in battle way back in 1986.

Now Zack ‘Man of Steel’ Synder has made it happen.

The plot sees Superman viewed with fear and mistrust by many since his city wrecking take down of General Zod which caused serious collateral damage.

Bruce Wayne can only see Supes as a danger to society and fears what will happen should the powerful red caped alien be left ungoverned. He decides to stop Superman and gears up in some new Bat-armour to do the job. But just when it looks like the fight is over a new bigger threat emerges along with a movie stealing Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot).

From then on all bets are off as to where we end up.

Dawn of Justice certainly takes its sweet time building up to the title fight, revisiting Batman’s childhood trauma, some dark and scary “what if” dream sequences and a ground zero re-viewing of the Zod/Superman battle.

Some might want things to move along a quicker, or grumble as the coherence occasionally flounders, but I found it a sheer joy to get to spend so much time with the two icons.

Affleck’s older, more grizzled Batman is great plus Jeremy Irons is quality as his butler Alfred. Cavill is an earnest Superman who is fond of a tortured look when not shooting lasers out of his eyes, while Gadot is absolutely superb as Wonder Woman, not letting her skimpy armour detract from her fierce, feisty Amazon warrior credibility. Jesse Eisenberg brings a fascinating new Lex Luthor and there’s good supporting work from Amy Adams as Lois Lane and Laurence Fishburne’s news mogul Perry White.

The writers have lots to pack in – setting up the DC super team of Justice League, yep with The Flash and all.

That they manage to deliver some meaty philosophical elements as well as a dose of unmatched and utterly jaw dropping super action spectacle should be applauded.

Embrace the epicness Batman V Superman delivers - the gauntlet has been thrown down for Marvel’s Civil War.