Superman (Henry Cavill) is dead. The world’s crime rate is rising and a supernatural threat could mean global destruction (a worn-out staple of most modern superhero films). Batman (Ben Affleck), with the help of Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), assembles a team to fight back and preserve the Kryptonian’s pursuit of peace. DC’s latest attempt to spur their cinematic universe to life has been plagued by post-production troubles and an absurd budget. It’s unfortunately all evident in the finished product. The script is constructed in fits and starts, limping from one special effects-heavy set piece to another, with cumbersome dialogue interspersed between. It’s adequate; not satisfying but not offensive either. A dose of humour is thrown into the mix, evidently as a response to the backlash Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice received. But, apart from Ezra Miller’s amateurish take on The Flash (which itself wears thin), and a couple of other lines here and there, there’s little reprieve to the somber mood that doesn’t land with a thud or feel uncomfortably forced. As for the actors, Gadot continues to impress, while Jason Momoa shows promise that an Aquaman standalone might be worth a watch. The same can’t be said for Affleck, who’s as sullen as ever. There are flashes of entertainment, but these are abrupt and clash altogether with what – Wonder Woman being the exception – has become the most tedious of the shared universes.