By now I’m sure you’ve heard that Batman v Superman got terrible reviews pretty much across the board. I still went in thinking that it couldn’t be that bad, perhaps everyone was just piling on because kicking Ben Affleck while he’s down is one of America’s favorite pastimes (that poor guy, I hope he’s driving around somewhere listening to Jay-Z’s “Can I Live”).
I was wrong. This is not a good movie and looking back I’m not sure if it ever had a chance. WB said from the get go that they weren’t trying to mimic Disney’s Marvel films, but rather create a much darker, grittier superhero universe than their mouse worshipping counterparts. And this made sense to me, because it brings to mind Christopher Nolan’s very recent Batman trilogy with WB, arguably 3 of the top 5 best superhero films ever made. While BvS IS dark and gritty, I failed to realize that director Zack Snyder would toss aside the realism that Nolan incorporated into his films. And I guess he kinda had to with a dated character like Superman, a dude who can do whatever the hell he wants but somehow has also never done the wrong thing in his entire life. C’mon, even Brandon Walsh had his hiccups. On top of that, the look of this film is a little too cartoony for my taste. BvS is still worth seeing just for the sheer spectacle and star power, but you’ll recognize about halfway through that it’ll be a hatewatch.
There are Justice League related movies on the docket for the next 4-5 years, and I’m interested to see if WB is going to pivot any of the plans involving this franchise due to the critical distaste BvS is receiving. People are going to throw out the idea of Affleck taking over some of the filmmaking reigns given his impressive track record behind the camera, but my guess is this run of the DC Comics franchise rides or dies with Zack Snyder. The movie is apparently still making a killing at the box office this weekend despite a 30% Rotten Tomatoes score, and it’s just part of our nature to forgive a bad movie if the trailer for it’s sequel looks “dope.”
Some other random thoughts I had while watching this movie:
- Superman is the baseball of superheroes
- The few instances of intended humor in BvS doesn’t hit, but it has a couple unintentional gems, most notably Ben Affleck’s shirtless Rocky-type weight training montage that comes out of nowhere. I bet he thinks Carly Simon’s song is about him.
- I know I’m the millionth person to say this, but the dumbest thing about Superman is his disguise as Clark Kent. All it takes as a disguise is putting on glasses and switching from pomade to low grade wax? Tobias Funke’s disguise as Mrs. Featherbottom was more convincing.