First off, it should be known that if you haven’t seen 2013’s “Man of Steel” movie, you’ll be somewhat confused because this film, although not really a sequel to it, is a companion piece which draws heavily upon the former to cast a line and reel you in. The first ten minutes or so revisit “Man of Steel” and enbellishes the story of how the world developed mixed signals from Superman’s battle with fellow Kryptonian General Zod and resulted in devastation and death to many people. We also found out that Batman suffered personal loss in that world-rattling fight and holds Superman accountable for that.
The beginning also revisits the murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents years before and how the young man was influenced into becoming Batman in a series of confusing vignettes that leaves us wondering WTF? Further adding to the confusion is a hodgepodge of additional scenes that show Lois Lane on assignment in the African desert, getting captured and her photographer getting killed by said captors. We don’t find out until the end credits roll, two and a half hours later, that this photog was Jimmy Olsen. Quick exit for him.
Part of this mish mash also shows Batman in Gotham City fighting criminals who run a sex slave operation, and we find that Bats is a bit deranged himself. Perhaps the two decades of being, as he’s called, a vigilante, have rattled him, but just like the original comic book character was in the early 1940s, he’s not above killing his foes, and even brands the bad guys he captures.
Setting the stage, Batman is played by Ben Affleck, who carries the role much better than when he had a previous hero turn in “Daredevil”. Henry Cavill reprises as Superman and Amy Adams as Lois Lane. Jesse Eisenberg is Lex Luthor, who is world famous as a scientific philanthropist who has managed to fool everybody and hide his warped personality, but this film lets it flourish magnificently. Also featured are Diane Lane as Clark Kent’s adoptive mother and newcomer Gal Gadot is Diana Prince/Wonder Woman. Laurence Fishburne is Perry White.
Let’s not wander too far from the premise, though. This film serves as the birth pangs for the upcoming Justice League of America series, so we also get to (briefly) see Aquaman and The Flash through Batman and Wonder Woman accessing Luthor’s secret files on super humans, although we see Flash as well during a “dream sequence” involving Bruce Wayne in the Batcave. During the course of the film, the three main heroes wind up finding out about each other’s secret identities, which helps them eventually bond, especially Bruce and Diana. Luthor becomes aware that Batman has stolen his kryptonite stock and uses this knowledge to maneuver him into fighting Superman.
TV watchers have already seen footage from this movie in several commercials about Jeep and Dodge vehicles, as obviously Chrysler supplied most of the rides seen onscreen. The new, nearly indestructible Batmobile is totally awesome and even crashing into Superman can’t destroy it. The Batplane is smaller than the original comic book version but nonetheless impressive.
Let’s not forget Lex Luthor’s importance to the plot here. His manipulation of people finds him getting access to a congressional hearing which leaves people divided about Superman when Luthor blows up the Capitol with Supes inside. Lex has also gained access to a kryptonite meteor, which he plans to use for making weapons capable of harming Superman. eventually, he uses a small piece of Kryptonite to slice off bits of Zod’s fingertips from his corpse and gain access to the dead Kryptonian’s ship and mix his blood with Zod’s DNA to create the monster Doomsday and attack Superman should all else fail.
The cataclysic ending has all thre heroes fighting Doomsday. Even though Wonder Woman has a legendary, mystical sword she recovered in Turkey that is somewhat effective in fighting Doomsday, it’s Lois Lane who becomes instrumental in defeating Doomsday at a heavy cost as Superman is apparently killed by him. At Clark Kent’s funeral, Bruce tells Diana that they must find others like her to fight for humanity, which launches the series of Justice League movies yet to come.
Confusing? Yes, but the non-stop action and adventure meshes well with the web of bits from the comics, both old and new, to create a story that will leave DC comics fans anxious to seee how the characters (Flash, Aquaman, Green Arrow, Hawkman, Cyborg, Green Lantern, and Martian Manhunter) will be incorporated.