Tag Archives: Batman

Injustice 2 Review

A superhero fighting game that’s actually good? Believe it or not, that’s exactly what we’ve got from NetherRealm Studios. For those who don’t know Injustice 2 is a Tekken/Street Fighter style fighting game which allows you to pit 2 DC heroes or villains against each other. Each Hero/Villain has their own abilities, attacks and Supermoves, ranging from Batman’s melee and gadget attacks to Superman’s various powers.

Minor spoilers for Single Player plotline follow.

The sequel to Injustice: Gods Among Us looks better than its predecessor and features a wider roster of DC characters. You don’t need to have played the original to get to grips with this or to follow the single player storyline (long story short: the first game featured Superman going off the rails and forming a tyrannical regime backed by Wonder Woman, Aquaman and several other superheroes after Lois Lane was murdered by Joker, only for Batman to rally other superheroes, such as Green Lantern and The Flash, against the regime and take Superman down). The story this time continues the power struggle between the two factions while also seeing Earth come under threat from Brainiac, the villain responsible for Krypton’s destruction.

The single player campaign takes between 3-4 hours depending on difficultly setting and your own proficiency. The game features an extensive tutorial mode which YOU NEED to try before jumping right in – it will take you several fights to get up to speed. While the campaign is short, there are so many single player modes that Injustice is well worth the £20/30 price tag. As well as a battle simulator and 1v1 modes, Injustice 2 introduces the ‘Multiverse’ section, which features a daily/weekly selection of challenges (involving a series of events featuring anything from 3-10 matches and an occasional high level boss fight). Multiverse challenges will often feature an additional twist, such as having a secondary hero who will occasionally support you, or added arena hazards to worry about. Given that the multiverse challenges refresh continuously, you’ll never really run out of single player. At least not until you’ve levelled EVERY character up to level 20 (the maximum) at which point only the hardest challenges or the extensive multiplayer might still provide challenges. This would take weeks if not months of gameplay, so you really don’t have to worry about running out of things to do.

As for what Heroes and Villains are available? Well put it this way: if you’re a fan of DC movies, the Arrowverse, Gotham or the various cartoons from when you were kids, you’ll be happy with the selection. Injustice 2 features:

Justice League Members: (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Cyborg, Green Lantern and Aquaman)

Batman Villains: (Harley Quinn, Joker, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Scarecrow, Bane)

Arrowverse characters: (Green Arrow, Supergirl, Black Canary, Firestorm, Captain Cold, Gorilla Grodd, Deadshot)

Others: Swamp Thing, Black Adam, Cheetah, Atrocitus, Blue Beetle and various other characters who you may not have heard of before also feature, but are all surprisingly fun to play as.

The season pass is well worth getting as well, as this gives you access to a whole host of extra characters, such as Starfire, The Atom, Raiden, Red Hood, Enchantress, Darkseid and, believe it or not, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!?!?! I don’t think anyone expected them, but there they are.

Incidentally my personal favourites to play as so far have been Starfire, Harley Quinn, Joker and Swamp Thing, but I’m sure everyone will have their own preferences in this game.

Injustice 2’s reward system is a bit more complicated than it needs to be (i.e. 3-4 types of currency where 2 would have really been sufficient), but its not a f*cked up mess like Battlefront II’s seems to be according to reviews, and any pay to play retards (i.e. ones who waste real money buying credits so they can level up faster) won’t actually get themselves much of an advantage in multiplayer. You may get loot crates throughout the game, that’s true, but most of the time the gear they provide is either immediately useable or only 1-3 levels above your characters level, so it isn’t a big problem. They also provide additional skins for your characters, some of which are really cool.

Overall it’s great value for money because of the wealth of potential single-player and multiplayer content. The currency system is a bit contrived and the gameplay can get repetitive, but overall its a fine fighting sim, and a must for DC fans!

Rating: 4 out of 5

Next Up: Horizon Zero Dawn (i.e. the game of the year so far).

My Top 10 film moments of 2016

I’ve missed a few of the major films this year (notably Arrival slipped by me) so instead of doing a top 5 films I’ve instead decided to pick out my favourite moments from films this year, as even the weaker blockbusters like Dawn of Justice had their moments. Enjoy.

Warning: Minor Spoilers for Fantastic Beasts and Rogue One, Major Spoilers for Batman vs Superman.

10. Jacob and Queenie (Fantastic Beasts) While Newt and Tina were the lifeblood of the film, Jacob and Queenie stole every scene they were in and were undoubtedly its soul, and their pairing was both sweet and believable. Jacob’s smile at the end when Queenie strolls into his bakery and seemingly restores his memory is the icing on the cake for arguably two of the best characters JK Rowling has given us. They better be back in the sequels!

9. Wolverine’s Cameo (X:Men Apocalypse) The X-men series is always accused of over-using Wolverine, and somewhat ironically, his best two appearances have now been cameos (him telling Xavier and Magneto to fuck off in First Class and here, where Wolverine’s psychopathic rampage through Stryker’s bunker reminds us of just how badass/terrifying/awesome the character is). Hugh Jackman now is so intrinsically associated with the character I doubt anyone else will be able to play him for a good 20 years (and they shouldn’t, hopefully next year’s Logan is a worthy send-off to both the character and the actor). Anyway, while Apocalypse was a very fun movie, this was the sequence that will stick in my mind the most.

8.Doomsday battle (Dawn of Justice) Doomsday may have had a completely different origin from the comics, but his threat level was actually genuinely impressive for a superhero film in 2016 (he wasn’t easily beaten in 5 mins in a final confrontation – looking at you Enchantress in Suicide Squad and Kaecilius in Doctor Strange!!!) as Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman team up to stop him and barely survive… and Superman doesn’t. We all know he’ll be back in some form for Justice League but his heroic sacrifice, backed by Hans Zimmer’s haunting ‘This is My World’ still made this a very emotional moment. Also nice to see a superhero film where not every hero makes it out alive (basically EVERY MARVEL FILM EVER apart from X-men), bold move DC, bold move. Even if the first half of the film was a total mess, you did nail the ending.

7. Inside the Case (Fantastic Beasts) The beasts were appropriately the centrepiece of the film, from the cheeky niffler to the amorous Erumpent to the magnificent Thunderbird, with those and many others stunningly showcased in the heartwarming sequence where Next shows Jacob around the inside of his travelling case where he keeps the animals for their own protection. A very sweet interlude in this loveable film.

6.Vader Returns and Kicks Ass (Rogue One) After the tremendous battle of Scarif sequence, Rogue One could have easily ended as the Death Star opened fire. But it didn’t, instead giving us the best scene with Darth Vader since ‘No, I am your father’. Vader’s first scene in the film where he threatens Krennic was tense/awesome in its own right, but the second is full-on terrifying as Vader is unleashed on a group of rebels and scythes through them with brutal ease. It might be the best 40 seconds of cinema in 2016, hell maybe ever. If it wasn’t so short a scene it would have been much higher up the list, but still, damn that that was awesome!

5. The Fight in the Cistern (Inferno) Inferno may have been a relatively weak film, but was saved by its riveting climax as a betrayed Langdon allies with the WHO to try and stop a viral breakout in a cistern in Istanbul. Hans Zimmer’s superb track ‘Cistern’ really makes this a heart-stopper and the divergence from the book really leaves you with no clue how it will play out as Langdon and co fight with Zobrist’s extremists. Hell of an action scene.

4. Everything K2 does (Rogue One) K2 was easily the best character in Rogue One (not that that was easy or anything) and made the film sassier and more hilarious that I’d have ever expected it would be. His constant deadpan humour and the brutal way he took down imperial soldiers were the icing on the cake in one of the best films of the year.

3. Airport Battle (Captain America: Civil War) Civil War was the best superhero film of the year, and its highlight was the fight between Team Cap and Team Iron Man in a deserted airport, which was both highly amusing and seriously cool. Spidey and Ant-Man arguably stole the show, but every character got a chance to shine even if, as usual with Marvel, there weren’t really any lives at stake here. Still, this was a high point of an excellent film – shame they bottled out on giving it a memorable ending afterwards, but still, perfect popcorn cinema here.

2. Batman takes down Superman (Dawn of Justice) Despite the controversial way the fight ended with the whole ‘Martha’ scene, the fight itself between the two giants of the DC universe was the high point of the film. Batman uses a state of the art battlesuit and some Kryptonite gas-grenades to not only pose a genuine threat to superman, but after a titanic struggle, actually beats him. The whole ‘Man VS God’ thing the film was going for paid off beautifully here, even if the film as a whole still has a wealth of problems, this scene alone was worth it.

1. The Battle of Scarif (Rogue One) Wow. Now that is how you do a finale! The battle between the Rebels and the Empire had everything: awesome visuals, high stakes, tension and good direction. An epic way to cap off the first Star Wars spin-off film and without doubt the best sequence in film this year. Well done Gareth Edwards, Felicity Jones et al, this was simply amazing!

I’ve seen a fair few films that don’t have appearances here (Deadpool, Star Trek Beyond, Doctor Strange etc.) but I couldn’t think of any stand-out moments in those films – they are entertaining throughout, but there aren’t any moments of greatness. Suicide Squad was too poor to merit a place here, and I haven’t seen many other films this year, so there may be some omissions.

My Film Awards 2016:

Best Film: Rogue One
Best Director: Gareth Edwards (Rogue One)
Best Script: Captain America Civil War
Best Special Effects: Doctor Strange
Best Soundtrack: James Newton Howard(Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them)
Best Actress: Felicity Jones (Inferno/Rogue One)
Best Actor: Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool)
Best Voice Actor: Alan Tudyk (Rogue One)
Worst Actor: Jesse Eisenberg (Dawn of Justice)
Worst Actress: Holly Hunter (Dawn of Justice)
Worst Script: Suicide Squad
Worst Director: David Ayer (Suicide Squad)
Worst Soundtrack: Suicide Squad
Worst Film: Suicide Squad (noticing a pattern here? Well done DC…)

My Top Games of 2016

As with last time, this isn’t specifically 2016 releases but rather games I’ve been playing for the first time this year (though all of them have had recent releases). Spoiler-free.

6. F1 2016 (PS4) Formula One, like FIFA, realises a new game every year. Unlike FIFA fans I don’t waste my money buying every single one (Hell, I’ve only purchased 2010, 2012 and 2016) but F1 2016 got strong reviews and looked amazing, and given the lack of racing games on current-gen consoles atm, I gave it try. Boy was I glad I did. As an F1 Simulator, its all you could ever want, with practice, qualifying and the race all tuneable to your personal preferences (you can use aids like automatic gears and racing lines but they are easily switched off if you want the whole experience). Practice sessions now have a point (unlike previous entries) with 3 optional practice programs/mini-games that help you learn the circuit and earn resource points which you can use to upgrade your car. The random weather effects have never looked better or felt more real either (heavy rain is now genuinely challenging). Another welcome addition is the ability to save mid-session, even while on the racetrack, which makes longer-distance races and realistic qualifying sessions less of a challenge. The only slight problem is the AI difficultly, which can jump between difficultly levels somewhat steeply (particularly between Hard and Expert) but its easy enough to fix by altering the game settings in other areas. Admittedly the racing might seem a bit bland if you’re just looking for a fun racer, but for an f1 fan, its a thrilling recreation of the actual sport. Overall, a great F1 sim, though not one that will win you over if you aren’t a f1 fan already.

Rating: 4 out of 5

5. Batman: A Telltale Series (PS4) I’ve really got into Telltale games this year (for those who don’t know, they’re basically interactive episodes which play out dependent on the choices you make in game, with the main gameplay usually composed of quick-time events in the action sequences). The Game of Thrones one from 2014 interested me (as life-or-death choices/plot twists work well in that universe) and Tales from the Borderlands was a hilarious 5-episode romping spin-off from the game series. But its their 5-episode Batman tale that ends up in my games of the year, simply because it does something better than ANY of the Batman films (even the Nolan trilogy) in the way it focuses on the duality of Bruce Wayne and Batman. Its the best I’ve seen it covered and surprisingly the Bruce segments are in a way more memorable that Batman’s as Bruce gets embroiled in a scandal involving his deceased father’s connection to mob boss Carmine Falcone, while supporting Harvey Dent’s mayoral campaign. The Batman combat segments vary in quality (an early fight with Catwoman is underwhelming, but fights with new villain ‘Lady Arkham’ late game are very tense) and the best combat sequence in the game is actually where Bruce and Selina Kyle get in a downtown bar brawl. The game has Catwoman, Two-Face, Penguin and Joker (who has a small role but will probably return in the inevitable sequel) in addition to the ‘children of Arkham’ who serve as the main antagonists. A great story makes this the Telltale game to pick if you want to give the series a try. Can’t wait for their Guardians of the Galaxy game next year!

Rating: 4 out of 5

4.Bioshock: The Collection (PS4) We’ve had a fair few remasters this year (Skyrim, The Ezio Collection and Modern Warfare) but the Bioshock Collection has to be the best value of the lot. I brought it to get my hands on the DLC for the third game, Infinite and the collection is simply a delight. Bioshock looks amazing and the sequels are nothing less than cinematic in graphics quality. Several issues involving longer loading screens have been dealt with as well. It doesn’t include 2’s attempt at multiplayer but that’s probably for the best. If you missed this series first time round, don’t repeat that mistake – its a riveting shooter/rpg with a great storyline and superb dlc.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

3. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (PS4) Uncharted’s fourth entry (and the final one with Nathan Drake) fixed a lot of the problems I had with the third one. The gameplay wasn’t sacrificed for the sake of the story this time, and this time the story was far more engaging. The exploring element factored in some of the Last of Us’ features such as optional conversations and collectable journal entries, adding considerable replay value. The fact this was theoretically a series finale also added much tension to the story, with the incredible graphics and cinematic score from Henry Jackman making this feel like a movie even more than the previous entries did. A few minor problems aside (the final third of the game is slightly too long and the final boss fight isn’t the best – admittedly a problem most uncharted games have) it’s one of the best in the series if not the best. Should they return to the series, it also gives us a new character  suited to carry on the adventures and if they don’t, it gives me even more confidence for the Last of Us 2.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

2. Ratchet and Clank (PS4) Part-reboot, part remake of the first game, Ratchet and Clank was a joy to play. It was sheer fun – the guns are as wacky and varied as ever, while some very memorable missions (collecting brains for a blarg scientist has to be the highlight) are complemented by the insanely good visuals. The film may have been a disappointment but this is one of the best games in the series, even if the difficultly is minimal, you’ll have so much fun playing it that it might just be the best way of relaxing 2016 gave gamers.

Rating: 5 out of 5!

1. Shadow of Mordor: Game of the Year Edition (PS4) Ironically, Shadow of Mordor feels like the best Assassin’s Creed game we’ve had in years. The free-climbing, execution style kills, stealth gameplay etc. all feels like what we loved in games like AC II and Brotherhood, while the Lord of the Rings setting and innovative Nemesis system reals adds another level to things. Melee combat is very similar to the Arkham games (if not a touch better implemented) and the whole game feels like a sublime mesh of those two titanic gaming series. The challenge factor is decent too (though not anywhere as high as something like Dark Souls) as failure is punished by your enemies levelling up, to such an extent that if you bugger things up in the early game restarting isn’t the worst idea. The Nemesis system is particularly punishing, as the Ork who survives the most encounters/kills you most often will continually ascend in rank and power till you dispatch him. The dlc included with the GOTY version is worthwhile, the Beast-Lords campaign, while only a few hours long, adds an enjoyable if more of the same storyline with a few interesting monsters like the wretched Graug and the Ghul Matron adding additional challenges, while the Bright Master dlc fills in some backstory to the events of the main game while bringing Sauron to the forefront as never before. Overall, the main game itself is stellar, and the GOTY edition is a fine addition to your collection. Appropriately enough, Shadow of Mordor is my favourite game that I played this year, and i’d thoroughly recommend it to fans of LoTR, the Arkham Series or Assassin’s Creed!

Rating: 5 out of 5!

2017 hopefully should be a good year for games, with hyped sequels such as Injustice 2 and promising new entries like Vampyr. Personally though, I can’t see past Mass Effect: Andromeda… the game we all need after the last 12 months! If we’re lucky, COD might finally remaster MW2, accepting they can’t do any better. Regardless, should be a promising year, and I’ll be eagerly awaiting news on when the Last of Us 2 might come out (end of next year if we’re lucky?).

Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice Review

Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Amy Adams and Jesse Eisenberg.

All you people who disliked Man of Steel (a group which I’m not a part of) – Zack Snyder has answered your criticisms. By totally ignoring them. I’m glad he stuck to his guns – those Superman fans who hate different interpretations of the character are the reasons we get dull, lifeless reboots like Superman Returns. As you can probably tell – I loved Man of Steel and I really wanted to love this one. But I didn’t.

Warning: Major Spoilers!

Dawn of Justice was divisive before shooting had even started, mainly because of its casting. Affleck as Batman??? Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman???? Eisenberg as Lex Luthor?!?!? So, two years on, were those concerns justified? In Gal Gadot’s case the answer is a resounding no – Wonder Woman is easily the best thing in the film – she looks the part and excels both when fighting as Wonder Woman and when sparring with Bruce Wayne as her alter ego Diana Prince. Eisenberg is less successful and the most divisive of the three. His manic, unhinged Lex Luthor has shades of the Joker and is clearly sociopathic/psychopathic/insane in a way most variants of the character haven’t been. His motivations are murky and his take on the character isn’t particularly close to the original version (but after that’s been true for both the Bat and Superman, should we expect anything else from Snyder?). Critics have been divided, but personally, while he had his moments (pushing Lois off the Lexcorp tower/unleashing Doomsday) his interpretation wasn’t my favourite.

As for Ben Affleck? His older, somewhat broken Bruce Wayne is a different interpretation on the character, but one with plenty of potential. The scenes between him and Alfred (a wonderful Jeremy Irons – who not only equals but arguably betters Michael Caine) work well, even if he is remarkably stiff and serious when interacting with others (the playboy Bruce Wayne is long dead in this film) which does make him less likeable than Christian Bale (but his take on the character wouldn’t have worked in this film). Where Affleck excels is as the Bat himself: cruel, brutal and as brooding as ever, Batman is genuinely terrifying here in a way he hasn’t been for decades, if ever. We’ll probably learn why he’s this way when a solo-film comes around, but it’s hinted at that Bruce has lost any hope he had of changing Gotham and has lost most of his allies along the way. His no killing rule? That hasn’t survived – which I suspect may ire some fans – but before you all rise up in anger, the first 4 Batman films (1989-1997) and the comics for a long stretch never included this rule – it’s a recent thing, and a darker Batman who is willing to kill is nothing new – and frankly, quite an interesting prospect. Apart from the fight with Superman, I’m pretty sure the Bat killed more than a few of Lex Luthor’s thugs in this film with the Batmobile and Batwing (there’s even a dream sequence in a hellish dystopian future where the Bat is a rebel leader willing to use guns – but it’s only a dream fortunately, as that would be a step too far.)

Now for the film itself. It’s a game of two halves, with a muddled, slightly directionless first half and then a pulsating, brutal second half. It starts promisingly, setting up Batman very well in the first 10 mins (first by incorporating the murder of the Waynes into the opening credits and then by showing Bruce being bad-ass in Metropolis trying to save people on the ground during the Superman-Zod fight in Man of Steel). Unfortunately most of the rest of the first half is spent moving Bruce, Superman and Lex into the positions we know they’ll be in during the film’s climax. There’s a fair bit of philosophising/moral dimensions/Luthor being crazy, not all of which comes off. This isn’t helped by how some of the dialogue is very clunky and doesn’t sound remotely natural in places (mainly with Bruce and Lex) We see how Clark Kent is frustrated at the Bat taking the law into his own hands in a way Superman wouldn’t, as Lex Luthor conspires to turn the media against Superman while getting his hands on some Kryptonite/Zod’s body/the Crashed Kryptonian ship, while Bruce’s underlying hatred of Superman for metropolis, underpinned by a couple of nightmarish dream sequences and one very weird vision/warning given by what appeared to be a time-travelling flash. Fortunately Snyder throws in a thrilling (brutal) Batmobile chase sequence to serve as some ‘light’ relief. This is one serious film, barring a few comments from Alfred, Diana and Superman’s mother Martha Kent, there aren’t many laughs.

Fortunately things pick up in the second half. We get some mini-trailers for the Justice league members courtesy of Lexcorp intelligence (because DC doesn’t do post credit scenes!) with Jason Mamoa looking particularly badass as Aquaman – not a phrase you’d normally associate with the character! Then the main event – Luthor forces Superman to fight and kill the now enraged Batman by kidnapping Martha Kent and holding her hostage at a unknown location – but the Bat has stolen Luthor’s kryptonite to fashion some gas grenades and a lethal looking spear capable of killing Superman. The fight scene itself is unremittingly brutal – and those who think Batman doesn’t stand a chance are in for a shock as the Kryptonite really levels the playing field. However its the end of the fight sequence and then the final fight against Doomsday when the film is at it’s best.

WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD! DO NOT READ BEFORE WATCHING!

Doomsday is one of the strongest monsters in DC. You should check out the Wikipedia page on him – the backstory is both interesting, horrible and terrifying. And the film gets Doomsday right – even though they completely change/simplify his origins (unless there’s an original version we’re set to meet in a Justice league film later). Here he’s created by Luthor using Zod’s body spliced with his own DNA as an abomination to use as a back-up if Batman loses.  But Batman (to most of the audience’s surprise – but not mine because I’d seen the Dark Knight Returns part 2) doesn’t lose and actually takes down the Man of Steel. And does so believably. If it wasn’t for Lois’ timely appearance and Superman’s last request to save Martha (coincidently also the name of Bruce’s mother), the Bat would undoubtedly have killed him. We then get a great fight scene as Batman rescues Martha from Luthor’s thugs and a tense showdown as Superman confronts Luthor aboard the Kryptonian ship. Then all hell breaks lose as Luthor screams that line from the trailer ‘if man won’t kill God… the devil WILL DO IT!’ and unleashes Doomsday. Doomsday lives up to his name – as his ability to evolve and absorb energy means he’s effectively immortal. The following scenes are brilliant, as Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman team up to fight him – and lose. Even when Superman drags Doomsday into space and the US military fires a nuke at them – Doomsday at best looks mildly pissed off. This was what i’ve been waiting for from Marvel but haven’t got yet – a villain who isn’t easily beaten in the final 10 mins and who poses a genuine threat on their own. Loki and Ultron were amusing and a threat when one on one or backed up by an army – but the avengers as a whole have never faced a threat capable of fighting them all at once (until Thanos finally shows up or they bring in Galactus?) Here even the 3 greatest heroes in DC can barely hold their own against him. Then comes the one shock in the film that wasn’t spoiled by the trailer: Superman unexpectedly dying while using the Kryptonian spear to kill Doomsday. Didn’t see that coming before the Justice league film – don’t see him staying dead though (he doesn’t in the comics – but ways to take risks just 2 films in DC – it took Marvel 9 films before they were brave enough to pull the SHIELD/HYDRA twist (to date the only risk they’ve taken).

Overall a film that delivers on it’s promise to pit the two greatest superheroes against each other – but isn’t that successful everywhere else. The first half is weak and Lex Luthor just plain mad, but Wonder Woman is brilliant and Doomsday terrifying. Also – bleakest Superhero film ever? Surely we’ll never see one this uncompromisingly serious, brutal and downright depressing in places. I liked it. But I don’t love it. Can’t wait for Wonder Woman next year though!

Rating: 3.5/5 (Not a flop like Green Lantern, nor a Dark Knight trilogy triumph)

If you didn’t like Man of Steel, you probably won’t like this – and if you like your violent superhero films upbeat, go watch Deadpool again! (Like anyone needs an excuse!)

Article: Which Batman film is the best?

With the much anticipated Batman vs. Superman out tomorrow it is inevitable it will be compared to previous DC films, especially the Batman and Superman ones, as well as the Avengers films. But in terms of Batman films, what does it have to live up to? (and what should it avoid?)

Warning: Minor Spoilers for the Dark Knight Trilogy, Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher Batman films.

Note this list will not include Adam West’s feature length Batman from the 60’s for two reasons: 1. I haven’t seen it and 2. the Joel Schumacher films are campy enough – i have no desire to see the infamous 60’s version as well. While some of the animated films are good enough to make this list there are far too many to include (and i’ve only watched half of them) – but if you want to give any a try go for The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 and 2 (Part 2 has elements that will probably be used in Batman vs. Superman as well) or Under the Red Hood. But now on to the question itself: which is the best Batman film?

7th (Last). Batman and Robin: Oh dear. Bad place to start but none of the others (thankfully) come close to the franchise-killing travesty that was Batman and Robin. It was a miracle George Clooney’s career survived this mess. He actually isn’t bad as Bruce Wayne, but he really coasts through playing Batman and is the worst of the actors to play the role. Mind you, he delivers a masterful performance compared to Robin and Batgirl. Alicia Silverstone is so out of place as Barbara that you wonder if she walked on set accidently, while anyone who gets through this film without wanting to kill Robin (Chris O’Donnell) has the patience of a saint. The film also manages to ruin two of the most iconic Batman villains: Mr. Freeze and Bane. Uma Thurman manages to make the seductive Poison Ivy watchable (though still too camp and OTT) but Arnie was always the wrong choice for Freeze. One-Liners abound through this film and are totally inapproriate for one of the more serious and tragic Batman villains, while Bane is reduced to a monosyllabic henchman with half a brain. A subplot involving Alfred dying from the same disease Freeze’s wife is afflicted by is probably the only plus-point, as it briefly gives Michael Gough (Alfred) and George Clooney some decent material. Joel Schumacher – you really f*cked this one up! If you’re curious watch the 20 minute cinemasins version – it’s far less painful!

Rating: 1 out of 5. The lowest score i’ve ever given on my reviews, for it’s value as a comedy (after a few drinks preferably) – for a serious Batman film it would get 0.

6. Batman Forever: Joel Schumacher’s first attempt contained many warning signs, but avoided falling over the cliff entirely as it’s successor did. The villains are just as OTT, but thankfully they avoid speaking in puns the whole time, and Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones make Riddler and Two-Face a hilarious combination to watch (if not to take seriously). Robin isn’t quite as annoying in this film, and Val Kilmer tries harder (admittedly with better material) than George Clooney to give a memorable performance, but ultimately neither of the dynamic duo are as likeable or badass as they should have been, and this hampers the film. Kilmer’s romance with Nicole Kidman’s Dr. Chase Meridian is by the numbers, but Kidman is far from the worst superhero love interest DC has given us. The best scene is Two Face’s murder of Robin’s family – the only time the film comes close to provoking a response from the audience that isn’t laughter or embarassing groans. Speaking of embarrassing – why the hell does the Batsuit have rubber nipples on it??? While this is watchable for laughs again, those serious Batman fans might want to opt for the cinemasins version. (Again plus 20 mins – never a good sign).

Rating: 3 out of 5. Again best approached as a comedy, fortunately the Riddler is a villain that can be used this way without ruining the character. Two-face fares less well, but Tommy Lee Jones and Jim Carrey are undeniably funny and you won’t be bored.

5. Batman (1989). The original and Tim Burton’s first effort, this has a very film noir feel about it with a distinct gothic undertone – it’s mostly a brooding character piece with touches of romance and action. Not for fans of Blockbuster superhero films, but comic book fans will appreciate its characterisation of Joker and Batman. The supporting cast is great, Danny Elfman delivers a good soundtrack (bizarrely combined with songs by Prince – which somehow works…) Nicholson’s intrepretation of the Joker is by turns darkly captivating and insanely OTT, but it stands up with Hamill’s and Ledger’s as a class performance – what version Leto gives us will be interesting to find out. Michael Keaton remains the best ‘Bruce Wayne’ from any of the films but his Batman isn’t as good as Christian Bale’s. Kim Basinger is easily one of the best love interests Bruce gets, and while she does revert to damsel-in-distress at times, she’s got more depth than many of her rivals- not as good as Katie Holmes or Michelle Pfeiffer but a mile better than Nicole Kidman or Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Rating: 4 out of 5. A weird combination of prince songs, Jack Nicholson and trademark Tim Burton gothic drama deliver a good Batman film, if an unusual one.

4. Batman Returns: The best of the original four, this film gives us a masterclass in handling multiple villains which only Batman Begins (out of ALL the DC superhero films) has matched – Danny Devito’s Penguin is a repulsive, unstable yet calculating villain who nearly but not quite matches Nicholson’s Joker. Christopher Walken (if there was there ever a man born to play villains it’d be this guy) gives a chilling, cold yet OTT performance as Max Shreck, and Michelle Pfeiffer remains my favourite version of Catwoman (even if Burton takes certain liberties with her character’s abilities) – Burton, Keaton and Elfman all return to make this a classy sequel. If only Burton had done the following sequels instead of Schumacher, this list could have looked quite different.

Rating: 4 out of 5. Only weak action sequences and the bizarre March of the Penguins sequence (you have to watch it to get what I mean) let it down.

3. The Dark Knight: No that wasn’t a misprint. I didn’t leave Rises off the title – The Dark Knight is a fantastic film and Ledger knocks it out of the park with Joker – but it’s my least favourite of the Dark Knight Trilogy (which isn’t saying much – I love all three of them). Leto’s biggest problem is living up to Ledger, but while Ledger is amazing and gives us by far the most unique Joker interpretation, there are other parts of this film. And those parts have issues. The major issue is Maggie Gyllenhaal putting in a strong call for worst Batman love interest – she lacks any charisma with Bale, and her romance with Harvey is more irritating than touching – i have to partially blame the otherwise faultless scriptwriters for this. But the biggest problem is it feels like she’s playing an entirely different character from Katie Holmes’ Rachel in the first film – the character’s depth and strength is gone, and her romance with Harvey Dent is only there to help create Two-Face and create emotional trauma for Batman. The other issue is the change in atmosphere – Begins and Rises were on the same wavelength but Knight has a very different tone – and i simply don’t prefer it’s approach. It is the most modern/realistic Batman film, the supporting cast are all brilliant (apart from Gyllenhaal) but it veers too far from its predecessor for it to be my favourite.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5. If Katie Holmes had stayed as Rachel, this would get a 5 (and maybe be top of the list).

2. The Dark Knight Rises: It was very hard to split the final two. But this films plot holes and the fact i couldn’t think of a weakness in Begins means it just falls short of the top spot. Tom Hardy reinvents the character of Bane and redeems the character assassination he suffered in Batman and Robin. Anne Hathaway is decent as Catwoman, Marion Cotillard is perfect as Talia and Joseph Gordon-Levitt does the impossible in making Robin cool. The final hour is utterly perfect and the RISE section in the pit and the Batman/Bane fight sequences have a strong contention for best moments of the trilogy. Scarecrow’s cameo and the final scene with Alfred are nice touches. I know there are plot holes in the second half – but no one cares about the many, many ones in the Avengers series so cut Rises some slack people. A rousing, bold, bombastic soundtrack from Hans Zimmer is the icing on the cake.

Rating: 5 out of 5! Screw the plot holes, i love this film and its getting a 5!

1. Batman Begins: My favourite superhero film – from either DC or Marvel. Unless they base a film on the Arkham games i doubt i’ll ever prefer anything to it. The characterisation of Gordon (Gary Oldman), Alfred (Michael Caine), Bruce (Bale), Lucius (Morgan Freeman) and Rachel (a wonderful Katie Holmes – note to Arrow – this is what love interests should be like!) is spot on perfect. Liam Neeson is a memorable Ra’s al Ghul with excellent support from Cillian Murphy as Scarecrow and Tom Wilkinson as Carmine Falcone. Aside from the acting, Nolan is brilliant as director, Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard create a memorable score and the action sequences (particularly the fight in Wayne Manor and the final train fight) are top notch.

Rating: 5 out of 5! Origin story perfection, no wonder they basically used its formula for Man of Steel! Honestly can’t think of a single flaw?

Ben Affleck clearly has a lot to live up to! Fingers crossed Dawn of Justice can match the Dark Knight Trilogy (as big an ask as that is!).