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Superhero bout is far from a knockout; BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE 3D (12A).

Byline: David Edwards Film reporter

THE headline act may be the Caped Crusader versus the Man of Steel but the real test will be whether these DC comicbook characters can match the box office might of Marvel's all-conquering superheroes.

The action begins with a young Bruce Wayne attending the funeral of his parents, gunned down in a street robbery, before we fast forward to modern-day Metropolis, the home city of Clark Kent/ Superman (Henry Cavill), whose battle with alien invaders leaves the skyline in ruins.

The collateral damage prompts people to question if the Son Of Krypton truly is a force for good.

As a result, the Caped Crusader (Ben Affleck) makes it his mission to bring down the man in the sky, despite dark warnings from his loyal butler, Alfred (Jeremy Irons).

And if that weren't enough, Superman also has to contend with paranoid billionaire Lex Luthor (terrifically played by a twitchy Jesse Eisenberg) who's trying to obtain Kryptonite, the only thing on Earth that can kill him.

Zack Synder's movie, a direct sequel to his 2013 Superman flick, Man of Steel, is packed with action stunning setpieces, from toppling tower blocks to the Caped Crusader gunning through the streets in his Batmobile, and a terrific early scene where Superman rescues his girlfriend, Lois Lane (Amy Adams), from terrorists in the Sahara.

But no amount of crash, bang or wallop can conceal a muddled and ungainly storyline. You're never quite sure whether the action's taking place in Metropolis or in Batman's fiefdom of Gotham City.

Meanwhile, the Caped Crusader's grudge against his fellow superhero feels as it's been contrived solely to set up an encounter that's less an iconic fight and more an exhibition match.

Unfortunately for DC, there's only one winner in the battle of Expectations V Reality.


| Meeting of minds... Clark Kent (Henry Cavill), Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) and Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck)

| To the rescue... Superman with Lois Lane (Amy Adams)

| Steely determination... Henry Cavill as Superman

| Give him the signal... Ben Affleck as the Caped Crusader, left

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Copyright 2016 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Mar 27, 2016
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