Critics v. Fans: Dawn of Reviews

On March 25, 2016 the highly anticipated superhero-action flick Batman v. Superman premiered in theaters. Despite the hype among DC Comics fans, the movie has gotten an incredible amount of negative reviews.

Compared to the Rotten Tomatoes score for Man of Steel (2013) of 56% and the score for The Dark Knight (2008) of 94%, the newest addition to the DC Extended Universe completely tanked. With a lowly score of 30%, Batman v. Superman does not appear to be the critically acclaimed film the world was expecting.

However, the audience scores on Rotten Tomatoes are over twice as high as the score on the “Tomatometer”.

“I have to say after Man of Steel (which was okay but by no means great), I didn’t have much expectations from this, and to top it off the castings for this film had set the comic book fans on fire,” IMDb user “gadme” wrote.  “But tell you what, this is epic. Some people are even calling it better than the Dark Knight, while I wouldn’t go that far, I would still call this a complete package.”

While there are 271 positive reviews on IMDb, there are almost a hundred more negative ones.

IMDb user wildhunt1-585-849528 wrote “I just got back from a 6:00 PM showing of Batman v Superman, and I have to say that it was much better and more coherent than Man of Steel, but it was still a bit of a mess. I won’t give anything away because you need to judge the movie for yourself, but there are many things I had issues with concerning Batman’s characters, a lot of things I had issues with concerning Superman’s character, and the entire third act needed a massive, massive overhaul.”

After a viewing of the film myself, I have come to the conclusion that the movie wasn’t what people were expecting. After reading countless reviews of the movie before the movie itself (even though I tried my best to avoid it), I had mediocre expectations that were exceeded. While there were some major plot holes, I enjoyed the movie overall.

Many people were up in arms about Ben Affleck being cast as billionaire vigilante Bruce Wayne, but in the end he was a perfect casting choice. Henry Cavill’s performance as Clark “Mr. Perfect” Kent was a significant improvement to his performance in Man of Steel.

While the casting was unconventional and unpopular, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor brought the comedic relief I was looking for throughout this dark movie. He wasn’t the Luthor most people were expecting him to be, but with a director adamant on pushing humor from the film, it was much appreciated. While I don’t mind a darker superhero movie, I didn’t want to sit through a two hour film without having anything to laugh at.

The addition of Wonder Woman to the cast was the highlight of the film. Gal Gadot put on a great performance as one of my favorite superheroes of all time, and I left the theater already excited for the Wonder Woman and Justice League movies over the next few years.

One of the biggest complaints that fans have is the CGI used in the film. Doomsday, who acts as the minor antagonist of the story, looked like a goblin from Lord of the Rings on steroids. Not to mention the acting during the major fight scene, which had nothing to do with the actors’ skill, but the fact that they were fighting empty space. Everything was added in during production, making the fight scene less “real”.

The movie was more of another Batman movie than a Batman and Superman movie, as we were given a majority of Batman’s backstory in the beginning of the movie before jumping right into Superman fighting a villain. While I didn’t mind this concept, I felt that Superman didn’t have enough development throughout the movie.

With Batman on center stage, there was more room for fight scenes between Batman and the scum of Gotham that his life revolves around and more room for character error. Batman kills with no evident remorse, yet he is mad that Superman supposedly kills people as well? That didn’t make sense to me. It’s against the principles of the character to just kill people willy nilly, not to mention that he seemed determined to kill Superman with minimal explanation given to the audience; it was all meant to be inferred.

I would watch it again because the action was enjoyable, and if I turned a blind eye to the holes in the plot I would be perfectly happy watching it again when it comes out on DVD. My advice is not to listen to what the critics are saying about the movie and to go see it for yourself. You should form your own opinion and not take others’ word for it.