Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is actually a sequel to director Zack Snyder’s Superman flick, Man of Steel. The story picks up with Superman becoming controversial because his Earth-saving actions sometimes kill people and destroy property. Once in a while, saving one person causes the death of others. Plus, he’s an alien, and there is a basic mistrust of aliens.
Congress — via Holly Hunter’s Sen. Finch — wants answers and explanations.
One of Superman’s actions caused people to die in a building owned by Bruce Wayne. So when Bruce Wayne becomes Batman, Superman isn’t one of his favorite people. Enmity follows. Both men then become ripe for the plucking for Jesse Eisenberg’s (The Social Network) Lex Luthor.
The film also introduces us to Gal Gadot’s (Fast & Furious series) Diana Prince, aka Wonder woman.
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A bunch of subplots are sprinkled throughout, but those are the basics.
The acting — other than Eisenberg’s unnecessary over-the-top performance — is OK. Ben Affleck makes a pretty good Batman, and Henry Cavill is a competent Superman.
What is interesting — and the only reason I can recommend it — is how Snyder’s film is dark and foreboding. Deep tension runs through the first two acts as writers Chris Terrio (Argo) and David S. Goyer (Man of Steel) bounce back and forth between the two camps. Fascinating filmmaking.
At least for a while.
The version you see may not have this, but the one I saw begins with Snyder urging those in attendance not to share plot details. No one likes plot spoilers. I know I don’t.
But don’t you first have to create a movie that contains real surprises?
Batman v Superman doesn’t. This isn’t a spoiler or even a surprise. As the heroes take out the villain, everyone knows act three will end with either a city, country or planet being wiped out. At what is now the standard comic book movie length of two hours, 30 minutes, Batman v Superman is drawn out, mostly overdone and packed with predictable villainy, and even more predictable big-buck special effects.
This predictability — in the end — turns Dawn of Justice into the Yawn of Justice.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Director: Zach Snyder
Stars: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Kevin Costner, Holly Hunter, Gal Gadot, Scoot McNairy, Michael Shannon, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Charlie Rose, Anderson Cooper, Nancy Grace, Soledad O’Brien, Sen. Patrick Leahy
Mr. Movie rating: 3 stars
Rated PG-13 for mature themes, extreme violence. It’s playing at Regal’s Columbia Center 8, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and Queensgate Cinema 12, and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen.
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don’t bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.