In the span of just a little more than a month, fans of movies based on comic book characters have been given a legion of costumed characters to watch.
The DC Comics enthusiasts finally got to see the long awaited “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” that featured the brutal battle between the comic company’s two biggest characters. Fans waited even longer to see Wonder Woman join the mix and she arrived thanks to Gal Gadot.
Marvel fans got their own league of characters battling in “Captain America: Civil War,” which not only included most of the Avengers but features appearances by Spider-Man and the debut of Black Panther. You couldn’t throw a patriotic shield in the film without hitting a superhero.
Here are five ways the comic-book inspired blockbusters stack up against each other.
Who has the write stuff?
“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”: The action picks up at the end of “Man of Steel” with much of Metropolis being reduced to rubble. This is the spark for Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) to go all Punisher and try to take down the Man of Steel.
“Captain America: Civil War”: Members of the United Nation are tired of the Avengers ripping and roaring their way around the world in the name of justice. Some heroes are OK with the world leaders putting some form of control on the group. Others think that idea is as bad as a “Howard the Duck” sequel.
Give the point to “Captain America: Civil War.” The “Batman” script is a muddled mess.
Welcome to our world
“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”: Despite Wonder Woman being one of the biggest names in the DC universe, getting her to the big screen has been a painfully slow process. Flash (Ezra Miller), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and Aquaman (Jason Momoa) make brief appearances.
“Captain America: Civil War”: Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland) stop by to help with the fight but the big addition is Blank Panther (Chadwick Boseman). The actor plays the role with great strength and character.
Point goes to “Batman.” It’s close but there’s been no more anticipated character that Wonder Woman.
“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”: The film has two main villains (three if you count the dead body of Zod). Jesse Eisenberg plays Lex Luthor as part Mark Zuckerberg and part Archie Andrews. Doomsday shows up near the end to deliver the biggest evil blows.
“Captain America: Civil War”: Although the world leaders prove to be a pain, much of the evil is sparked by (spoiler alert) Zemo (Daniel Bruhl). Just like “Batman,” the big fights are among the heroes.
One of the “Captain America” flaws is the weak bad guy, so the film doesn’t deserve a point. But the casting of Eisenberg is so far off the mark that “Batman” deserves to lose a point.
Fight for your rights
“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”: The fight between Batman and Superman lands a few blows but the overall fight makes no sense. Sure, Batman’s using kryptonite, but a blast of super breath would have sent him back to the Batcave. And, most the fight takes place in the dark.
“Captain America: Civil War”: The battle between the dozen heroes is staged in the bright sunlight at an airport where it is easy to see the fights. And, the directors, Anthony and Joe Russo, have fun with a merry-go-round of different clashes.
Another point goes to “Captain America.” The showdown at the airport has set the bar incredibly high for future films.
In the end
“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”: Director Zack Snyder’s film looks like he had six good ideas to start the movie and decided to use all of them. Toss in embarrassing dialogue from Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, an awkward bathtub scene between Lois and Clark, and performance by Affleck as Bruce Wayne that has less life than a zombie and there are major problems.
“Captain America: Civil War”: The setup to get the heroes to fight is a little thin and the cameo by Spider-Man looks too much like a promotion for his own movie. These are small problems in a production that starts with terrific action and only cranks it up with each step.
No contest: “Captain America” gets the point. It’s one of the best films in the Marvel movie universe while “Batman v Superman” is one of the most disappointing in the DC Comics realm.
“Captain America: Civil War” 3, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” 0.