(2 stars out of 4) 1 hour, 47 minutes
PLOT: A sniper, his autistic son, a scientist and a ragtag group of ex-military friends face off against an angry, king-sized predator. The latter has come to Earth to hunt another of his species.
SCOOP: The film – the 4thor 6th in the franchise depending on if you count the “Alien Vs. Predator” flicks — has a retro vibe but doesn’t feel dated. It also has more humor than past entries, giving it some entertainment value. That said, the picture seriously overstays its welcome. Although only 107 minutes, it feels longer thanks to standard action-movie tropes and a plot that isn’t inventive or special. Director Shane Black (“The Nice Guys,” “Iron Man 3,” “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”) has a nice style, but he doesn’t overcome the fact that this movie is basically a standard-order guilty pleasure.
STARRING: Boyd Holbrook, Olivia Munn, Jacob Tremblay, Sterling K. Brown, Trevante Rhodes, Keegan-Michael Key, Thomas Jane
DIRECTOR: Shane Black (“The Nice Guys,” “Iron Man 3,” “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”)
Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
151 minutes, Rated PG-13
Critical rating: 3 stars out of 4
Directed by: Zack Snyder (“300,” “Watchmen,” “Man of Steel”)
Starring: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg and Gal Gadot
Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action throughout, and some sensuality
The story: The movie is set after 2013’s “Man of Steel” in a world that has come to love Superman’s (Henry Cavill) heroic deeds but fear his immense power. One of the people most concerned about Superman’s extraordinary abilities is Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck), the billionaire businessman who moonlights as Batman. Wayne watched as Superman battled the Kryptonian super villain Zod, laying waste to much of Metropolis in the process. Although Superman didn’t intend on the destruction, Wayne takes it personally because many of his employees were killed when a building was destroyed. At the same time, Superman is growing increasingly concerned about Batman’s vigilante tactics. This, and some meddling by Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg), leads to a showdown between the two heroes.
The scoop: The film boasts plenty of silly moments, but it’s also a lot of fun. Director Zack Snyder’s visuals are beautiful, and he allows time for the cast to develop their characters. Cavill and Affleck are good, as is Gal Gadot who makes an appearance as Wonder Woman. Although some plot points strain credibility, viewers willing to go for the ride can have plenty of fun.