I wrote my review after watching the movie. I still liked it. It was still better than I thought. But I hear certain criticisms, and I have trouble arguing against them. And I think people are "unfair" to the movie because I think, universally, EVERYONE wanted it to be great. And when it wasn't what people were expecting, people sorta tear it up. Again, I think this movie's failures have a ton in common with the failures of Force Awakens. But for whatever reason, people forgave the Star Wars film. Oh well.
See, I have to disagree with this. I don't want to make it sound like I don't think any of the criticism isn't legit just because I disagree with that criticism, but I don't think that everyone wanted it to be great. I think that for a long time, leading up to the premiere, there were more negative articles being written about the movie than positive articles. Things that were completely unfounded, just like we are seeing again now, with Suicide Squad. While a large part of the audience may have wanted it to be great, the press surrounding the movie turned bashing it into a pop culture movement before the movie was ever shown to anyone. Today, articles about the success of the movie are still given headlines about the failure of the movie. Articles about the faith that the studio has in Suicide Squad are still given headlines about their lack of faith in the movie.
I think that a lot of the negativity surrounding the movie now is caused by the media, turning it into something that it never was. The critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes is 28% while audience rating has it at %69 (which is actually down from where it was the last time I checked). IMDB has an audience rating of 7.2 stars, with 243,198 viewer ratings. Comicbook.com has it rated at 4.25 stars (out of 5) from 9353 voters, placing it #3 in their overall ratings, after The Dark Knight and Batman Begins, and just before The Dark Knight Rises and Deadpool.
All of this is to say that there is a huge disparity between the media reports surrounding the film and the actual response to the film. The media is not unbiased here and they never have been. So, why? Why do they want to drive the movie's numbers down? What do they gain from that? Is it just that negative headlines will result in more clicks? I don't know. But I don't think that there was much support for the film going in, the same way we see excitement about the next Marvel movie or Star Wars movie (is it a coincidence that they get nothing but positive press, no matter how bad their movies are? I mean, the last Thor movie got a 67% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes and that was a horrible movie. Age of Ultron got 75%, despite being widely considered to be a huge disappointment, even among Marvel fans)
The comic book audience has reacted to BvS much more positively (though not all praises) than the average viewers, which is probably related to the average audience taking more of a lead from critics.
I can't comment on how fun Star Wars was since the trailers didn't tell me enough about the actual plot to grab my attention and I keep forgetting that it's out there to be watched at some point. I will probably watch it eventually.
That said, I had a great time watching BvS. I don't know what qualifies as "fun". Is it about more jokes? Is it about brighter colors or more explosions? I had a blast watching BvS, because it was a solid movie and had great characters. I know people will disagree with that, but I never found myself thinking "Why would he/she do that?" while watching the movie, which is pretty rare in a superhero movie where they usually don't pay attention to character motivation. I always understood where Superman was coming from and I think that's one of the things that I love so much about this version of the character. He is usually beyond understanding. He is always a perfect boy scout type, with a bland personality and no real emotional core. Very few writers ask themselves how he grew up and what type of person that would make him today. Granted, this version isn't close to the typical image of Superman, but he is exactly what I would expect him to be if I had to sit here and outline the character from scratch, given his history.
The movie doesn't do his point of view justice, because it's not really about him. We get glimpses of who he really is, but most of what we see is through this lens of Bruce Wayne, Lex Luthor, or the general public. When he is hovering over people, it's usually more about the reaction of the people than Superman's point of view. They do see him as some sort of god in a lot of cases, which is why when we see him from their point of view, he is hovering above them and isn't one of them. He saves the kid in Mexico and he becomes lost in a sea of people who are reaching out to him, praising him. It seems like it would be almost as lonely and isolating to be Superman as it was to hide himself for all those years. But that makes sense to me. I understand that more than I would understand hands on his hips and cutting ribbons at the opening of a supermarket.
I like how Batman was used to tell that story of Superman. Lex Luthor was just a maniacal, arrogant, selfish lunatic. Batman was the human perspective. And yeah, while he was putting a lot of his detective skills to use on other people, he really wasn't looking into Superman. He didn't want to. He was angry about what happened in Metropolis and he wanted someone to hate because of it. He spent as much time as possible dehumanizing Superman, so why would he want to find out who Superman was during his off hours? Why would he want to know about Superman's parents? He wouldn't.
Add to that the fact that Bruce has been doing this superhero thing alone for a long time. He's seen bad guys just get crazier and crazier. He's seen good guys go bad. He's seen allies die. He has been trying to stop his farm from flooding for 20 years and nothing he does ever helps. He is broken. He needs Superman, but when he finally gets that help, he isn't able to believe it.
And again, I totally get this. It makes sense. It's where I imagine Batman would be in this universe and his thoughts are what I would expect them to be. The whole reason the Martha thing works is because in that moment, Superman becomes more human. He isn't begging for his life or screaming in pain. He is telling to Batman to go save Martha after he kills Superman. Batman can't dehumanize that (especially since he had that vision of his mother's crypt). Clark seemed to know who Batman was behind the mask, so did he do that on purpose? Did he know that the name Martha would get through the hatred and anger that Batman felt? Hard to say, but I think it's likely.
The cooler way to play Batman would be for him to win the fight and cut Clark's cheek and let that be that. Just to prove that he could and that Superman can bleed. But that would have said less about how desperate Bruce was at this point in his life.
And I do hold Snyder responsible for that based on his similar tone in things like Suckerpunch. He's probably not, but I imagine Snyder as this gloomy, emo guy directing the world to his downbeat view.
I don't know that it's fair to characterize Snyder as being a gloomy emo guy based in his past work. 300 and Watchmen were made to look like the source material. He honored that well. And while Man of Steel was criticized for being gloomy, I saw it as inspiring and hopeful. I see BvS much the same... a desperate, scared world, looking for something to believe in. Batman unable to have that faith in someone until he sees that man die saving a world that he wasn't even born on. There is a lot of hope that comes out of Superman in these movies, but because it's not all bright colors and too-perfect lighting, people say that they're gloomy. And I don't think it's "emo" to put some thought and consideration into the characters. I'm bored with comic book movies that care more about being "fun" than exploring the depth of these iconic characters. They have great stories, which are rarely acknowledged. People wanted a paint-by-numbers Superman, rather than a movie that was treated like a real film.
I didn't see Sucker Punch, so I can't comment on that one. I can only comment on what I've seen and Snyder seems to be someone who cares about the source material more than he's given credit for. He's someone who put more thought into these characters than most comic book movies ever get. He takes them seriously as characters and doesn't try to create a cartoon in live action, which is exactly where movies like X-Men or most of the Marvel movies go wrong.
I can appreciate the fact that his interpretation of the character may not be for everyone. But that kinda makes his movies even more fitting for the comic book genre, because there is always debate about who writes which characters the best, or who draws them the best. It has driven me insane for many years that so many writers/artists used Christopher Reeve as their template for Superman, when I thought he was so wrong in that role. So I get that there are times when you just don't like how things are being done. I'm just not used to being the one on the side of enjoying and really getting a thrill out of Superman while other people are so down on him. This movie was fun for me, because while I was watching it, I was in it. I wasn't distracted by what I'd do better or whether or not the characters made sense. As someone who loves great characters and who sometimes finds himself checking his email during "exciting" action sequences, I thought the movie was a blast.
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