Too Big To Fail: What ‘Batman v Superman’ Tells Us About Blockbuster Culture

Too Big To Fail: What 'Batman v Superman' Tells Us About Blockbuster Culture

In probably the single best essay that anyone wrote about “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Eric Hynes of Reverse Shot suggested that ours is the “era of do-not-fuck-it-up.” Accurately capturing the sense that J.J. Abrams‘ job in shaping the rebirth of potentially the most lucrative franchise of all time was almost more custodial than creative, and the underlying relief that characterized many of the film’s reviews, it felt like a good summation of the state of the blockbuster landscape in the mid-2010s. With studio strategy increasingly involving staking ever-larger amounts of money on ever-fewer films, the tentpole filmmaker’s first ambition can no longer be simply to create a great film. In fact, the filmmaker’s responsibility is no longer primarily to the film being made at all, but rather to the wider universe that it occupies, the bigger picture it serves, the master plan of which it is but one small, commodified part. 

That universe encompasses everything from the source “canon,” to the cherished childhood memories of fans, to the as-yet-unmade potential future installments. All Abrams had to do (and this is not to make it sound like an easy task) was not-fuck-it-up, and he succeeded admirably, with the film now nestling contentedly in the hearts of a whole new generation of “Star Wars” fans and in third place in the all-time worldwide highest-grossing pantheon. But this past weekend’s record-breaking success of “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice” suggests that the era of don’t-fuck-it-up is already over. We are now entering the age of too-big-to-fail.

Because without putting too fine a point on it, Zack Snyder did fuck it up. Whatever it was that dawned this morning, it was not box-office justice: At $166.1 million domestic for the Easter weekend, Warner Brothers and DC‘s ‘Batman v Superman’ has broken all records for a March opening, and scored the sixth-highest opening-weekend numbers ever (behind ‘The Force Awakens,’ “Jurassic World,” and three Marvel films, if you’re interested). And yet it is is a two-and-a-half-hour dunderheaded donkey bray of a film — overlong, incoherent, boring (here’s our review). It is noisy, inelegant and, as is the fashion these days, so crushingly self-serious (even the title font seems to think it’s Ibsen) that I almost feel sorry for it. Its bajillion storylines make no sense in themselves or in relation to each other and to their characters’ mystifying motivations. **SPOILER Even the climactic battle promised by the title, which is itself based on perhaps the most primal of childhood “who’d win in a fight?” scenarios, is resolved by a coincidence so confoundingly childish that is almost thrilling to watch Snyder, Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL try to invest it with Appropriately Immense Gravitas: “Wait, your Momz haz same name as MY Momz? Let’s be BFFs 4eva.”  SPOILER ENDS**

It’s possible that the very ineptness of Snyder’s approach, and the very many levels on which he did fuck it up, might be partially working in the movie’s favor as regards its reception. It’s hard to get angry, for example, at the shoddy non-canon treatment of Jimmy Olsen if you don’t even know that it’s happening. (The identity of the CIA spy/photographer who gets unceremoniously shot in the beginning of the film as Olsen is only revealed by the end credits, as he is never mentioned by name in the film, and no one seems to miss him at all). And Snyder’s response when questioned on that particular point is very telling: “We don’t have room for Jimmy Olsen in our big pantheon of characters, but we can have fun with him, right?”

“Having fun” is pointedly not what ‘Batman v Superman’ does anywhere, but especially not in the consequence- and impact-free execution of a character who could have had some potential use in the future. Here again, Snyder breaks the cardinal rule of the don’t-fuck-it-up mindset and for absolutely no meaningful reason at all, least of all “fun.” But Snyder and the whole Warner Brothers/DC team have basically made a religion of stating as fact things that are actually opposite, especially in relation to “fun,” “enjoyment,” and “self-awareness” — concepts with which the film I saw, which is as enjoyable in the moment as a dose of lockjaw, isn’t even on waving terms.

Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros. distribution executive vice-president said, “It’s just fun…it doesn’t take itself seriously. It’s just an enjoyable afternoon at the movies.” Then there’s the Zack Snyder press conference I wish I could stop quoting, but I think one could continue to parse its ironies till Judgment Day: “Tone, to me, is the number one aspect of a film that I’m really interested in. We take it heart-attack serious, but at the same time there’s a self-awareness to the movie that I think you have to have, in order for the movie to resonate on any kind of second level beyond just ‘Oh look, these two superheroes are fighting and that’s cool.’” Even other members of the extended DC Universe got in on the act — Jason Momoa, star of the upcoming “Aquaman” who is glimpsed briefly in the film, thumbed his nose at the critical reception on Instagram and exhorted audiences to “Just go have fun watch enjoy. Proud of WB and DC.”

The pre-emptive defensiveness on display here comes largely in response to the film’s poor reviews (it is currently at 29% on Rotten Tomatoes). And it’s telling, too, that they tend to revolve around how much “fun” the film is and how that narrative has taken hold, at least partially, by successfully pitching those critics who disliked the film as out of touch or overly, snobbishly serious about a movie whose only humble ambition is to entertain. This is the tack often taken with so-called “critic-proof” films like “Transformers,” but I’d argue that ‘Batman v Superman’ jettisons its right to play the “you’re overthinking it” card by being so inescapably self-important. It’s a bit rich to accuse critics of taking too seriously a film that probably boasted more theological allusions and Christian symbolism than was occurring during the nation’s many Easter Masses.

Of course, in advance of opening night, this was all due to the almost palpable nervousness emanating from the WB camp — even if the production budget was not one single dollar more than the $250 million official figure (and rumors put it $100-$120 million north of that), ‘Batman v Superman’ is still one of the most expensive films of all time. Add on the now fairly standard $150 million for worldwide marketing costs (and again, that figure is rumored to be much higher, as part of the strategy was an inescapable advertising blitzkrieg) and pundits suggest that the film will not start being profitable for WB until it crosses the $800-million-worldwide line. In any case, a haul of less than a billion for this mega-mashup would be regarded as a disappointment. So is this big opening weekend the huge vindication it seems to be?

Certainly many commentators are rushing to claim that it is — many, bizarrely, pitching the figures as proof that critics “got it wrong.” Here’s a choice moment from a particularly off-base Variety essay on the subject: “The results are a devastating rebuke to the power of mainstream American critics,” while even the title of TheWrap’s “Batman v. Superman: Who Was Right, Critics or Paying Public?” gives you some suggestion of how apparently the film’s box-office gain is the critical industry’s unequivocal loss. In this paradigm, the unwieldy, lumbering, colossally expensive and overmarketed Goliath is recast as the plucky underdog David. And critics, hilariously, are somehow painted en masse as the film’s snivelling antagonist — a monolithic axis of Evil, whose systemic corruption is such that almost charmingly naive conspiracy theories about Marvel being behind every single “splat” rating can gain traction. But even aside from all that, and beyond the many, many other false suppositions that the above articles are founded on (about the nature of criticism and the critic’s putative role as box-office predictor/influencer, and/or consumer advocate, all of which we’ll explore in more depth tomorrow) there are a couple of problems with this kind of snap judgement.   

Firstly, the numbers are huge, it’s true, but ‘Batman v Superman’ also posted the biggest-ever Friday-Sunday drop in attendance (55%) for a superhero movie — yes, including “Fantastic Four.” (Here’s the excellent Forbes article that goes deep into that). Traditionally, that would imply that it might not have much staying power, especially as “opening day grosses are far more closely related to marketing spend than they are to audience affection,” and as we already know, ‘Batman v Superman’ boasted a marketing spend that could well be among the most expensive ever. So while there is some truth to the conclusion that “Reviews don’t matter. The Batsuit and Superman’s cape are made of teflon” as Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore said, it’s a truth that is largely concentrated on a film’s opening weekend. After that, after those influenced by buzz and adspend, and the film’s pre-existing fervent fanbase have already gone, that’s when you start to get more casual moviegoers actually ponying up the bulk of a film’s take — and that’s when those reviews, as part of the wider word-of-mouth phenomenon, actually do start to matter.

And outside of the reviews, which we already know are poor, word of mouth, insofar as we can measure such a thing, is not that great. “Batman v Superman’ has a B Cinemascore, which may seem fairly healthy at first glance, but that’s before you realize that it’s a lower score than any Marvel film has ever achieved — indeed, DC’s megaton rival has only ever scored lower than an A grade on one film, and “Thor” got a B+. Not only that, but audiences also awarded widely ridiculed flops “Catwoman” and “Green Lantern” B grades, and that is not good company for DC’s flagship team-up, the first film in an ambitious expanded universe project, to be in.

But you know, it almost doesn’t matter. ‘Batman v Superman’ is part of a new breed of mega-blockbuster that simply must succeed — even if that means massaging the numbers, shifting the goalposts or redefining what success actually is. In that context, the triumphalist crowing over its opening-weekend figures, which in their unexamined state are impressive indeed, is to be expected, and is probably just the first of many landmarks and milestones that will be touted by the film’s defenders as evidence that the mean old critics, who are somehow imagined to be invested in a film they panned not making money at the box office, “got it wrong,” and are out of touch with the tastes and desires of the decent, hardworking moviegoing public. 

In fact, the truth is much bleaker than that: ‘Batman v Superman’ will be a success outside of whether critics or audiences like it. It will be a success for reasons that have nothing to do with the film, which at this point is almost a nuisance irrelevance at the heart of this hubbub. There is simply too much Hollywood capital invested in ‘Batman v Superman’ as a product, not just in terms of DC and Warner Brothers but in terms of the way the whole industry approaches the blockbuster machine that is its main cash cow. Like with the banks in 2008, if ‘Batman v Superman’ were unequivocally to fail, it could take the whole blockbuster industry with it, and so it feels like the industry at large is invested in deeming it a success. 

It’s just one reason why it is proving so much more interesting to talk about afterward than it is to actually watch. Because though it’s a terrible film, “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice,” suggests that WB, DC, Zack Snyder and co. do actually deserve some congratulations. With it, they have finally managed to make a film that is of itself perfectly irrelevant to the discussion that surrounds it, and whose actual merit, audience reaction and inherent qualities have absolutely no bearing on its “success.” Perhaps it’s the perfect blockbuster. 

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Comments

Arjun

All that being said, I agree with Martha.

Arjun

The fact that critics have been doomsaying from the moment the movie was announced belies pretty much every single attempt at critical neutrality towards the film. This piece isn’t even a thoughtful analysis– or any kind of analysis at all. It’s just repeatedly saying that anybody who disagrees with the writer and the writer’s assertions that the movie is wrong on all fronts because it doesn’t treat certain characters the way they would have liked, is wrong. (for example, Jimmy Olsen. Who are you to say that Olsen needs to be in the stories that the artists who actually made the film want to tell? And if you want a retread of the older comics, why not just stick with them instead of criticizing the film for not pandering to your mental fan fiction? It seems to me that the people who made the film have their own stories to tell, instead of hewing to comic and animated canon– all of which tell their own, often radically different, stories as well, by the way)

This sort of determination to hate the movie with the only qualifications being that it’s not treating characters and telling stories that you expect, and isn’t like a Marvel movie– this is exactly the same kind of "criticism" that’s been sprouting on the websites of professional critics everywhere. The assertion that critics are *not* a massive force akin to Goliath, and that they are not often corrupt and coopted (say, by WB/DC competitors like Disney/Marvel) is, frankly, belied by the amount of weight that’s given to critical reviews on aggregator sites, and in marketing. Also by the fact that studios court critics by inviting them to red carpet premieres, to previews, and by sending them free goodies of all kinds in order to win favor. If you really think otherwise, you’re lying to yourself, critic.

All those wistful and angry comparisons to Marvel properties, wishing the DC films were like them– is there no room for films that aren’t made from a cookie cutter mold? DC films don’t need to hew to the same sensibilities; they already have a unique tone.

BvS would have benefited from better editing, certainly, and it seems like Terrio’s script was either in need of another pass, or that the film was chopped up to reduce the run time very hastily towards the end. That’s a failure of mechanics, not tone or story. Every single kid I saw at the theater on opening weekend was excited going into the film, and excited on their way out. The only complaints I heard were that they wished there were more Justice League characters. So, it seems like there is indeed a huge divide between critics, who most definitely seem like "they just don’t get it", and much of the audience (people who enjoyed the movie in theaters don’t seem to be the vocal segment, here). Granted, it’s not loved the way Star Wars – The Force Awakens was, but even that film had its vocal detractors, though they rarely included critics. This cynical and completely arbitrary differentiation between one film, which relies on the audience’s nostalgia, and another which relies on the audience’s willingness to accept something new being done with something old, rings false.

All that being said, I wholeheartedly agree with Carl– the WB marketing folks, like all the marketers for large blockbuster films, would have greatly benefited from the knowledge that in marketing a hotly anticipated/preemptively hated movie, less is more. They could– and should– have created posters and trailers for Batman v Superman – Dawn of Justice that were more in line with the material created for Suicide Squad. More art, less reliance on exposing the impactful moments and characters in the film, would likely have created a far more positive reaction to the final product.

Dark World

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To begin with, it takes about half the film before the first drop of blood flows cartoonenter.blogspot.in

jimmy

Apologie to the writer. I got cared away with my opinion, but I am tired of people on the internet and especially critics claiming the movie is bad when most Marvel movies get worse with each viewing even the good ones like Captain America 2. It is OK for superhero movies to take themselves seriously especially when they are based on critically acclaimed comic books like the Dark Knight Returns. Marvel movies rely on too much humor and are geared to 10 year olds. Once viewed they go out of the brain like waist. Spiderman 2 yawn nearly a decade later..

jimmy

With all due respect to the writer, Batman who had been othering Superman as an alien who deserved to die is snapped out this believe when he realizes that Superman has a mother and is, therefore, a "human being." Once he humanizes his enemy, Batman can no longer kill him. Batman also realizes that Luthor is manipulating the situation. Batman not a fool or an inhuman bastard makes a course correction. This shouldn’t have to be explained to the idiot general public with an average IQ of 100. Apparently 100 doesn’t get the job done.

Troll Au Pair

I dont think the author understands what "too big to fail" means

SAD

This article basically translates to "This thing that I didn’t like did really REALLY well at the box office, and rather than admit that maybe a lot of other people really liked it, I’m going to make up a retarded theory that Hollywood is somehow incapable of producing a failure because they spend too much money to make things a succcess. Nevermind that there are about a billion counter-examples to this argument (Fantastic 4, John Carter, Battleship, Tomorrowland, Seventh Son, The Lone Ranger, Pan–to name a few from just the last couple of years). I don’t like this thing. Therefore, if other people appear to like this thing, they must be wrong wrong wrong and there must be another explanation for its success."

You know less than nothing about how this industry works.

Diablo

Alot b*llsh*t, & nitpicking where is the same with all the sub-par disney films? ahh you RT critics all got a d*ck in your mouth. Everyone wanted to hate this film & now they can. F*ck off

Ray

I want to take back my rude comment to the author of the article . It was an emotional response to what I thought was an insulting premise by the author. She is reacting like many critics who trashed this film and seemed to be astonished that audiences enjoyed it. "Too big too fail" is a terrible analogy. I also objected to her disrespect to Snyder as in "he fucked it up" We are taking about a superhero movie here and I see lot of these type of articles now that BvS has made over $500 million as of today. Comparing this to Transformers is also insulting. Also, how do you edit a post here. I don’t see the option for it.

Ray

Jessica, go F yourself. This long defensive article is trying to justifying critical overreaction to a superhero. if this movie bombed, you would never have written this, except maybe I toldfd you so. This is very insulting to the worldwide audience that enjoyed this film.

Malcolm

"…the truth is much bleaker than that: ‘Batman v Superman’ will be a success outside of whether critics or audiences like it.”

Indeed, if I went to hear a symphony and were instead pummelled by a drone note for the entire duration, and audiences and taste makers a-like voiced their displeasure, yet the board of directors, the conductor and indeed the musicians themselves hailed it a success, I would wonder for whom the endeavour was staged in the first place. Certainly not for the pleasure of our ears as a collective audience.

Thank you. A great bit of analysis and writing. Very helpful to have it put against the wider context of big banking.

Michael

A great article, well researched and accurate. I think, that "BvS" is something of a film industry game changer, too, because the industry products have become so big that they now start a war with popular culture than admit failure. I’m convinced that many of the so-called defenders or apologists of "BvS" are not genuine fans or cinephiles, but PR sponsored people or fan groups. This is a terrible film by most standards and has few good qualities. When everyone got a cool head, they’ll see, I hope. If Wanrner Bros. and DC Comics respect their judgment. Maybe the cultural wars have just started…

Perry

The think pieces are coming! The think pieces are coming!

Steve

Martha, that’s about on-par with the desperate defensivenesss we’ve been seeing from the DC fans: angrily blaming everyone that had absolutely nothing to do with the making of this film.

Michasha Armstrong

Well said Carl.

BR

BvS took a lot of chances. Not all worked. But I was happy watching something that didn’t seem like it was trying to please all four quadrants of the audience. They were trying to tell their own story, in their own way. You clearly didn’t like it. But it is resonating with a lot of people. Your comments on it smack of smug arrogance.

Also, they don’t become friends because their moms have the same last name. It’s because it forces Bruce to deal with the fact that Supes is trying to save his mom… it humanizes him and makes Bruce realize that he’s on the wrong path.

Critics like you are not creative. You do not have to put anything out into the world and face judgement for it. This allows you the freedom to sh*t on the work of others. Well done!

John

I don’t think its supposed to be taken "heart attack" serious. I think its supposed to be a serious comic book movie, that is still a comic book. If you read the Justice League comics most have this tone. Its not necessary to change it just because Marvel movies are so light and breezy. Snyder tends to lean towards hyper realism anyway, in which the audience is supposed to be aware that they are in a reality different from our own. It isn’t supposed to be "what if batman and superman were real?". I think that is where most people are missing the point.

Tom

When Bruce Wayne learned superman’s mother had the same name as his mother was meant to function as a catalyst to his realization that superman is not a monster or a killing machine but someone who loves his mother. Yes the need for coincident that this was also his own mother’s name was more as a way to cut straight into Bruce’s heart, as his parent’s death are the very foundation of who batman is. I disagree with you be-littling this plot device as much as you did. It was a very human moment that was probably the only way to get through to an obsessed batman who was hell bent on killing superman in that moment. I think it was clever and well executed. It think your criticism of it is overly simplified and lacks thought. It seems like a lot of people are quick to hate this movie regardless of its quality. I think a lot of people don’t really look at it the right way, or they allow the entire movie to become sullied in their minds as soon as they find something they don’t like about it. Its only a movie about superheros. Its not shakespeare.

Dan

This movie was great IF you know the "What happened when Superman fought Doomsday and afterwards?" story. Otherwise, in your ignorance, you may have found yourself confused and take out your ignorance on this movie. Meanwhile, it continues to break records in the USA and around the world!

Dave

Spot on analysis. I can’t stomach the response that I’m not a "TRUE FAN" and thus I don’t get it. I don’t need to have memorized Death of Superman and Dark Knight Returns to enjoy a movie. I like all these characters and no more about them than Captain America, Thor and freakin’ Guardians of the Galaxy. BVS:DOJ is objectively by any metric a BAD movie – jarringly bad editing, sloppy dialogue, inconsistent acting and underwelming effects. There were a flashes of excellence of what might have been…

Thanks for writing this up… I hope once the fanboy sweat dries up everyone can see this for the Phantom Menace-sized mistake it is.

Jan Braun

Many thanks for the link to the fantastic essay by Eric Hynes!

B.G.

Ignore Martha. Whoever she is (I’m guessing a 2nd grade comic book geek) she is clearly threatened by you thought provoking and insightful examination of the discussion around this movie and what the factors that compose the discussion represents. This is an excellent analysis and exactly the kind of thorough objectivity that is needed regarding this movie and the entertainment industry as a whole.

Jacob

I really enjoyed the movie. I do really disagree with your review and your superior, elitist tone in this review and article.You’ve illustrated what Speilberg said about the elitists of his days that hated Jaws. In your mind, a large commercial success cannot equal a good movie. The numbers don’t lie. People like this movie. The numbers always tell the story. The rebooted Fantastic 4 was crap, and the audience recognized it. So, your issue isn’t really with the movie, but with all of these people all over the world that did like the movie.

Robert

Yeah – the authority with which you speak is kinda funny. Who are you? Seriously?

Also, I read an article about critics jumping on the band wagon, too scared to voice opinions that differ from their counterparts. Seems like that’s the case here.

Matt

ok ok – we get it, The Playlist didn’t like Batman V Superman. Can we move on now?

Marco

Sorry Jessica, but I don’t understand all these terrible, awful reviews and comments for a film that is weak just as every other blockbuster. I live in Italy, the film perform well at box office, but the critics were not so harsh. To me it’s clear that BvS it’s divided almost exactly in two parts: the first one it’s interesting, bold, complex. The second one, that starts with the two heros fighting, it’s a mess. I don’t know why you hope the film fail at box office: I didn’t read the same analysis fo the awful Age of Ultron, the childish and implausible Jurassic World, or the even worst Harry Potter’s last chapters, or the Hunger Games sequels. I wish I could read all these comments way before…

Salem

Well, it opened worse than Iron Man 3 despite 3 years of inflation and it’s going to be beaten domestically by Deadpool, an R-rated flick which cost $58m, so it’s not like a huge success or anything.

Dominic

Critics hate it, everyone else loves it. I think this shows more of a disconnect between actual people and what critics think people want.

ROLAND RAT

Great article. It’s worth mentioning that while blockbusters like BvS sometimes turn out to be terrible, a lot of very talented people work extremely hard over several years to make and market them. A $250m+ movie is not an easy ship to steer.

Arthur

Very well written but at the same time so angry… I can feel the frustration seeping through the spaces. I think talking about it now wouldn’t make much of a difference. If the huge drop is an indication of where it would end up, time will tell.
My take on the contradicting "serious" comments is different though. Snyder is taking it "serious" as a material but Goldstein is telling the critics not to take it "seriously" as a movie. And to be honest, we really shouldn’t. It never felt much like a movie for me anyways but a live-action comic book on the big screen, which is what Snyder has been doing all his career ever since 300. No adaptation process, simply put the panels on the screen. Either way, just let it be and move on. I love The Playlist and watching you guys getting so worked up over this is kind of silly. Winning the debate at this stage doesn’t really prove anything anyways. It’s the money that will ultimately decide the directions of any blockbusters. It’s got a life of its own.

Micahael H.

This is a good article. I like all kinds of movies, but do I have to love only the popular ones and dislike ones that aren’t. Is the public, of which I’m part, never mistaken? Or hoodwinked? Or advertised to death? Are all the young people always right? Always? Zack Snyder would win more friends if he didn’t respond to critics directly lol. If the movie is a lark, is fun, is just entertainment, why be so serious? Why take it personally? Unlike a restaurant, a movie you pay up front. Can you imagine the grosses of many movies, if you paid, coming out? Wow, I bet they’d be different. Go see what you want, if that’s BVS, so be it. But if it’s small movie or a foreign film, so be it also.

James VDB

A well-written analysis, Jessica. Your last paragraphs remind me of what Spielberg predicted in 2013: "There’s going to be an implosion where three or four or maybe even a half-dozen mega-budget movies are going to go crashing into the ground, and that’s going to change the paradigm”—forcing the industry to rethink its reliance on gargantuan spectacles." He was talking about this kind of movies.

cirkusfolk

This whole, the people have spoken idea based on its weekend BO is ridiculous. Of course people will go see it, it sounds cool. Just because they bought a ticket doesn’t mean they liked it and are on its side. Most of the whole group I saw it with didn’t like it, yet we still contributed 100 dollars towards its BO. The article mentioned its low meta critic score. That’s how you judge if the audience liked your film or not. They have to buy a ticket to see it in the first place and form an opinion. The studio is just trying to spin it their way why sighing a huge sigh of relief. Believe me, they would rather have made a movie that got terrible reviews but made money than a movie that got great reviews but didn’t make money.

Dave

@Daniel – Abrams made a financially successful movie, which was what he was hired to do. He dare not made an artistically ambitious movie, which to industry insiders would be taken as a challenge to the guys who currently own that niche. As for Snyder making the movie "bad on purpose", the message is not just to critics, but the entire class of people which they represent – upper middle class liberals. You see the big ticket sales from his film just as you see the huge turnout at Trump rallies. The people who go to those things want to send a message to the rest of us.

Daniel

Dave – this is conspiracy theory nonsense. Disney & Lucasfilm hired J.J. Abrams to make a successful movie, but he didn’t have enough backing to challenge ‘the Spielbergs’ of Hollywood to make the movie good, even though the better the movie it is, the more successful it is? And Zack Snyder made the movie ‘bad on purpose’ even though there are literally billions of dollars riding on it, just to send a message to the critics? That’s bonkers.

Fantastic article. And I have to admit, Martha's comment made me crack up, a more perfect example of mondless fanbot crankery couldn't have been penned, I almost wonder if Martha is a troll or a plant.

James

Dave

Also, with films like Zac Snyder’s, he purposefully throws in certain elements which critics and educated audiences will turn their nose at in the same way that Trump says things that will offend liberals. It’s bad on purpose, to send a signal us that there are large numbers of people who reject the parameters of what is considered "good" currently. The message is that if the critics and the better heeled people who form their readership consider something to be "good", then we will go the opposite direction on purpose, till our dollars and votes make you come to us.

Dave

I think the "custodial" attitude of JJ Abrams and other filmmakers of his generation has to do with the fact that he doesn’t have the backing to challenge the Spielbergs of Hollywood for artistic supremacy. Spielberg and Lucas among with a handful of other filmmakers still own the niche of "quality blockbusters". When Spielberg and other old hands step down from the filmmaking side of things, I think you’ll see the new generation of blockbuster helmers take more bold artistic decisions. You don’t dare make a better product than Dad if you’re in Dad’s company. Not while he still has the keys to the house.

BILL

But I liked the film. In fact, I enjoyed it moreso than any previous Marvel film – to date. So, what does that mean?

Surely I’m not alone in appreciating Snyder’s blockbuster epic, and it’s a little disheartening to read how GODAWFUL most of these reviews and "think-pieces" make it out to be.

You’re a blogger, for chrissake. What have you done with your life besides be miserable and condescending while at the same time offering no solutions to the so-called problem. This webiste has actively campaigned against Dawn of Justice from the get-go. Had it been directed by anyone other than Zack Snyder, I doubt it would’ve received this level of spite. It this film truly worse than Thor: The Dark World? Answer me that

cirkusfolk

Agreed. This article said everything I wish I could’ve. I gave the film a shot, and it was worse than Man of Steel. I don’t want bad movies to make money because it only celebrates bad filmmaking. Sorry.

Rafael

Spot on article Jessica, great reading. Congrats.

Macks

I’m one that usually leans on the side of certain critics being pretentious and just not really getting it, but this is not the case with BvS. This movie is bad. As a fan of the Batman comics, cartoon, video games and previous (good) movies, I was really disappointed in this movie, for all the reasons pointed out by pretty much every critic that gave their honest opinion about the movie. It’s emotionally hollow, uninteresting and totally disjointed. What’s more disappointing is that this movie COUlD have been really, really good… as a third act. Snyder just jumped right into three different massive franchises (not including the awkward foreshadowing of the additional JLA characters) with one long streak of explosions and god-awful dialogue. I bought the blu-ray pack of the Nolan trilogy immediately after watching this. Need to cleanse myself.

Carl

One of the problems that I had with the film is that there were few surprises in there, which for me was due to the way the film was marketed. Imagine how much more of a revelation it would have been if we did not know that Gal Gadot was playing Wonder Woman, or that Doomsday was going to be the final fight. Even the best line (Do you bleed? You will) was in the trailer. I can understand wanting to promote the film as best as possible, but just the fact it was Batman vs Superman would have been enough to get bums on seats.

Karen Silkwood

Martha, why even bother commenting something so rude? If you don’t enjoy reading critics or well-written analyses such as this, just look the other way.

Bill

I don’t go to blockbusters opening weekend but two adult friends did and both enjoyed it. The bottom line is they crushed numbers but $800M is a huge bar to be profitable. Let’s see how next week figures come in for a "terrible" movie

Martha

F uck you Jessica . .. Go eat a d – ick. You critics can eat turd

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