‘Dawn of Justice’ fails to match hype

Jumpy plot, run time undermine memorable Batman, Superman battle

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Special To / The Advocate

By Edwin Herrera, Staff Writer

“Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” is a perfect example of film that a bunch of executives thought would be an amazing story, but could not translate it onto the screen. 

The second entry in a Warner Bros. series leading up to the Justice League film is a giant mess with a jumpy plot. It is a filler movie in the DC universe. While it had potential to be good, unfortunately screenwriter David Goyer could not write a story with a central plot point, but instead it’s filled with confusing subplots.

Despite the run time of two hours and 33 minutes of “Dawn of Justice,” it was not enough time for Goyer to tell a structured story.

The film resembles an essay with all the content a professor wants from the rubric, that doesn’t make any sense.

All the subplots are too much to include in a single film. Each had the potential for its own film and would have been more interesting if it were separated into a longer series.

In “Dawn of Justice” leaders are dealing with the possibility that Superman could rule the world if he wanted to, but Lex Luthor, envious of such god-like power, plots against the man of steel as he resents the lack of media attention for rebuilding a city that was destroyed during a battle between Superman and Kryptonian general Zod at the outset of the film.

Batman, who realizes the extent to which Superman could use his power to dominate the world if given enough reason to, tries to neutralize him using Kyrptonium-based weapons.

Goyer’s script tries to combine plots from the Batman and Superman comic book series, and includes characters like Wonder Woman, the Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg.

Despite the inevitable Justice League tie-in, Wonder Woman, lacks character development and has no real purpose in the film except for the final fight scene against Doomsday.

The climax of the film seems to be a reflection of director Zack Snyder’s inability to convey Batman’s true fear of Superman’s power and makes Ben Affleck’s character seem more like a jealous child than a man concerned about the future of humanity.

The one thing going for the film are outstanding performances from Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Henry Cavil as Superman and Affleck. The poor translation of most of the DC characters from the comic panels to the silver screen, however, undermines the film’s potential.

Adams’ character is often portrayed as a damsel in distress and used as a way to move the plot along. In the third act, her purpose is to be a distraction for Superman. 

Affleck’s performance as Batman, however, was great. He portrayed an older, grittier version of Batman that many people are not accustomed to seeing. Affleck plays a more convincing Bruce Wayne than prior actors in Batman films.

But because the film does not spend enough time developing Superman’s character and the obvious possibility of using his power for self interests, his potential for acting excellence in the film is limited.