It’s going to be an interesting scene in the boardrooms of Warner Bros. this weekend. On the one hand, “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice” is headed toward a massive, possibly record-breaking opening, with many projecting the film to earn well above $300 million worldwide over the Easter holiday. That’s a healthy figure. But if the studio is hoping for the movie to hit the reported $800 million they need to break even, or the $1 billion required to call it a success, they are going to need good word of mouth. And right now, that word is pretty toxic.
Last night, reviews rolled in for Zack Snyder‘s blockbuster (here’s ours) and in short — it wasn’t good. Currently, the film is sitting at a fairly ugly 39% Rotten Tomatoes score, well below the 56% earned by “Man Of Steel,” and far, far lower than any Marvel movie to date (the lowest from the MCU is 66% for “Thor: The Dark World“). Critics are not liking this movie, and their good word is exactly what you need if you’re hoping for massive, four quadrant success. Yet to be seen is how hardcore fanboys receive the film, but that verdict will be in by the time Monday rolls around.
With Zack Snyder entrusted with the DC Films universe, and gearing up to start shooting “Justice League” next month, one has to wonder if WB is having second thoughts about putting this brand in the hands of the filmmaker. And it’ll be interesting to see how they course correct (screenwriter Chris Terrio is already saying that “Justice League” won’t be as dark as ‘Dawn Of Justice’) or change up their slate to respond to the numerous criticisms about the self-seriousness of the affair, and Snyder’s approach.
Below, you can see a round-up of reviews for the film, including some positive notices to kick things off. “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice” opens on Friday.
Rolling Stone: “Snyder, juiced up by Hans Zimmer’s caffeinated score, throws everything at the screen until resistance is futile. Better than ‘Man of Steel’ but below the high bar set by Nolan’s ‘Dark Knight,’ ‘Dawn of Justice’ is still a colossus, the stuff that DC Comics dreams are made of for that kid in all of us who yearns to see Batman and Superman suit up and go in for the kill.”
Variety: “That this very long, very brooding, often exhilarating and sometimes scattered epic succeeds as often it does therefore has to be seen as an achievement…”
Village Voice: “The movie’s not bad, but it doubles down on its least interesting and potent elements at the expense of those that actually work. In the end, the film is as forgettable as the dime-store philosophy that fuels it.”
USA Today: ” ‘BvS’ will please those either waiting for the two main players to lock horns on a movie screen, or those who’ve just been pining for Wonder Woman forever. And for the nerdier crowds, a fleeting glimpse at other superheroes hints this is the Dawn of something potentially sensational.”
RogerEbert.com: “There are a few brilliantly realized moments, the acting is mostly strong despite the weak script (Affleck and Cavill are both superb—Affleck unexpectedly so), and there’s enough mythic raw material sunk deep in every scene that you can piece together a classic in your mind if you’re feeling charitable; but if you aren’t, ‘Batman v. Superman’ will seem like a missed opportunity.”
The Guardian: “It’s tough to take all the hardcore emoting seriously, particularly as the emotional heavy lifting is designed to be done by the occasional maudlin line in brief pauses between the explosions. For a film so concerned with its characters’ inner lives, there’s a fundamental disconnect going on here – enough to make you yearn for the lighter touch of the Marvel films.”
Empire: “There are moments that make the whole enterprise worthwhile, and introduces an intriguing new Batman. But it’s also cluttered and narratively wonky; a few jokes wouldn’t have gone amiss, either.”
EW: ” ‘Dawn of Justice’ starts off as an intriguing meditation about two superheroes turning to an all-too-human emotion: hatred out of fear of the unknown. Two and a half hours later it winds up somewhere very far from that—but at the same time, all too familiar. It’s another numbing smash-and-bash orgy of CGI mayhem with an ending that leaves the door open wide enough to justify the next 10 installments. Is it too late to demand a rematch?”
The Wrap: “The DC Comics Cinematic Universe train has now officially left the station, but let’s hope that someone besides Snyder gets to steer, lest the whole thing jump the track and plow through the middle of the depot.”
Time: ” ‘Batman v Superman’ lunges for greatness instead of building toward it: It’s so topheavy with false portent that it buckles under its own weight.”
THR: “…after ‘Man of Steel’ three years ago, the studio had to know what it was getting with director Zack Snyder; the film may be imposing, but it’s not fun.”
The Telegraph: “Marvel can rest easy. Zack Snyder’s superhero spectacle is a meatheaded, humourless mess that squanders its cast and makes little sense.”
Screen Daily: “Gorging on bombast and self-importance, swamped by its own mythology, Batman v Superman is loud, sprawling, and distracted.”
The Daily Beast: “Zack Snyder’s would be game-changer sets the big business of spandexed spectacle back a step, because—shocker!—watching Batman and Superman rage at each other like little boys makes for a pretty tedious two and a half hours. When you walk away from the terminally unfocused ‘BvS’ with no desire to see another Batman or Superman story ever again, someone up the chain has made a terrible mistake.”
The Times: “Have we reached peak superhero? ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ is surely the beginning of the end as two big brands battle for box office supremacy with little thought for niceties such as plot, character or wit.”