Posted on Wednesday, March 30th, 2016 by Ethan Anderton
It seems like there’s a huge divide between film critics and general audiences when it comes to their enjoyment of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. However, if you look at what some of the viewers who enjoyed the film have to say, including the more hardcore comic book fans, you’ll see that they have many of the same complaints that critics wrote in their reviews.
In my personal opinion, while there’s a visual feast to be had, and plenty of blockbuster spectacle, the story lacks focus, is packed with far too much disjointed set up for future movies, and has a real problem with taking itself too seriously, despite the studio trying to paint it as an “an enjoyable afternoon at the movies.” That’s not to say it’s not enjoyable at all, as it has plenty of great cinematic moments, but they just don’t add up to a truly fantastic movie.
Still, if you’re still of the opinion that there is a divide between fans and critics, how about we hear from someone who is not only a huge comic book fan, but also has an unfavorable relationship with critics: Kevin Smith. The filmmaker, who is also good friends with new Batman Ben Affleck, doesn’t seem to be pleased with the movie Zack Snyder made. Find out what he had to say below.
The Kevin Smith Batman v Superman review is key because it comes from someone who is a filmmaker, a movie fan, and a writer and lover of comic books. While some of you might not care what Kevin Smith has to say most of the time, this is one area where his expertise and experience actually makes his opinion matter more than ever. Here’s what Kevin Smith had to say about Batman v Superman on Hollywood Babble-On:
Remember before when we were talking about ‘Flash’, and that is has hear, humor, and spectacle? The movie, I felt like, didn’t really have a heart. It was certainly fucking humorless. There was nothing funny going on in that world whatsoever, but it had lots of spectacle. Like you can’t take that away from [Zack] Snyder. Boy, he knows how to compose a frame and how to setup a shot. Beautiful visual stylist. But you need more than just pictures. You need the characterization and these characters seemed off character, particularly Superman.
Smith continued on his with this thoughts on the titular characters:
There seems to be a fundamental lack of understanding of what those characters are about. It’s almost like Zack Snyder didn’t read a bunch of comics, he read one comic once, and it was Dark Knight Returns, and his favorite part was the last part where Batman and Superman fight. But … you get to do that in that book because you’ve got three books prior to that and 50 years at that point of comic-book history to build on.
As you can see, Smith is being pretty even-keeled when it comes to his reception of Batman v Superman. He gives Zack Snyder credit where credit is due, because there are some absolutely gorgeous shots in this movie, including some straight out of a comic book, and there are plenty of moments that bring a smile to your face, especially the arrival of Wonder Woman to that killer rock theme. But in the end, he’s not satisfied with how the characters were presented, and this is coming from a guy who got paid to shill for the movies in a Dawn of Justice TV special on The CW.
Smith went on to say that while the film does have “the best cinematic presentation of Batman fighting you’ve ever seen in a movie,” he also found plenty of problems with how the Dark Knight was portrayed this time around: “Batman is never like, ‘If there’s a 1% chance shit can go wrong, let’s fucking stab people.”
Plenty of Batman fans have pointed out that Batman does far too much killing, especially with guns (even if you don’t count the Knightmare sequence), and that’s just not the Caped Crusader’s style. Some think that this grittier, darker, more desperate version of Batman is a nice change of pace and makes things a little more interesting. But it also doesn’t stay true to the comics for the fans, who are the only ones who can pick up on all the details that set up the arrival of Darkseid.
Therefore, from my perspective, this movie is as much for the fans as a slap in their face. Again, that’s not say the movie doesn’t have its moments. It’s not as bad as some of the vitriol being spewed at it, but it’s also not worth some of the blind praise that fans have been giving it. If you listen to the whole episode of Kevin Smith’s podcast for his complete thoughts, you’ll see that he doesn’t hate the movie and mostly enjoyed it, but these remarks are key in understanding that you can acknowledge the flaws of the movie and still enjoy part of it. It’s not as simple as just loving or hating it.
In the end, Batman v Superman was always going to be too big to fail, but the box office take is not something that proves critics are irrelevant. As time goes on, I think we’ll get a more level-headed perception on Batman v Superman, but for now, the debate rages on.
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