This week’s big DVD features the biggest throwdown in superhero history as Gotham’s finest avenger takes on the Metropolis golden boy in Batman vs Superman.
Following on from 2013’s Man of Steel, BvS throws you straight into the action of that earlier film. In a breathless action sequence we follow Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) as he speeds through a Metropolis which is being torn apart by Superman (Henry Cavill) and General Zod.
Witnessing such devastation, and the feeling of powerlessness that goes along with it, has a powerful effect on Bruce and his alter ego Batman. The threat that Superman represents cannot be ignored and in Gotham, the Caped Crusader plots the Man of Steel’s downfall.
Meanwhile Superman has his own problems. Opinion is split over the merits of having this ridiculously powerful individual around and Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) is doing his sneaky best to tip the balance of favour against the superhero.
This is a movie which divided critics and audiences when it opened last year – a lot of critics panned it, a lot of the audience loved it. It certainly didn’t deserve the critical mauling but it was far from faultless, suffering from uneven plotting and a particularly messy first half.
This DVD edition boasts an extended “Ultimate Cut” with about half-an-hour of extra footage. The result is a better film than the cinematic release, but one which still retains many of the original faults. The extra material helps to round out the horrible narrative jumps which plagued the first half of the film, but the whole thing is still uneven.
It is far from terrible though, thanks to strong performances from Affleck as Batman and Gal Gadot who pops up as Wonder Woman.
It’s also a good looking film, with a dark aesthetic which is perhaps too relentless but a welcome change from the popcorn entertainment served up in many other superhero films.
Although Batman vs Superman feels like a missed opportunity there is enough in it to look forward to future films in the DC universe.