Batman v Superman has been one of the most anticipated films of all time, and tonight's the night it hits theaters everywhere. Of course, members of the press as well as fans lucky enough to score tickets to the early fan screenings have already been able to watch the movie, and many have given full reviews of the showdown between the Bat of Gotham
and the Son of Krypton. So what are people saying?
Unsurprisingly, Zack Snyder has created another polarizing and divisive flick. In reality, the only films of his that there is really any sort of common opinion on are Dawn of the Dead and 300 (which most people generally think are good), and Sucker Punch (which pretty much everyone agrees is terrible). Watchmen, Man of Steel, and Legend of the Guardians have all been extremely polarizing flicks, with some believing they're the worst examples of filmmaking ever, many thinking they're mediocre, and others claiming that they're some of the best movies to ever hit the big screen.
Think about it - there's still a ton of internet debates about the quality and faithfulness of Man of Steel
and Watchmen going on today. The fact that people still have such passionate, differing opinions on these films is probably the greatest testament of Snyder's ability to divide (comic fans especially) right down the middle.
So what are the critics saying about Batman v Superman? Some think it to be a great film and a beautiful start to DC's cinematic universe, though almost everyone is acknowledging the film has some pretty big flaws. Likewise, others are claiming that these flaws outweigh the better parts of the film, and that it's basically not worth anyone's time. Check out what these reviews are saying about Batman v Superman:
Outer Places - B Rating
My review takes the position that the good in the movie heavily outweighs the bad (though quite frankly, there is a lot of bad in this movie). All of the actors gave a superb performance with Jesse Eisenberg's Lex becoming the best thing about the movie. The emotion, humor, and thrills of the film were awesome, but they weren't enough to make me totally overlook some of the glaring problems in the film. They were enough, however, for me to say that the film was a really enjoyable experience and must watch for comic fans.
The BBC - 4/5 Stars
Considering that super-powered crime fighters don't exist, and that there's no pressing need to fret about their effect on civilisation as we know it, it might be nice if someone would make a superhero film intended to thrill young viewers rather them give them nightmares. But if you are willing to buy into a mean and moody examination of 'meta-humans', as the film calls them, then Snyder is undeniably the man for the job.
Rolling Stone - 3/4 Stars
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. Suck on that, Marvel.
Variety - Mostly Positive
As a pure visual spectacle, however, "Batman v Superman" ably blows the hinges off the multiplex doors, and editor David Brenner does excellent work to comprehensibly streamline the chaos, capably captured by d.p. Larry Fong. Composers Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL are again key assets here, with Gadot's theme in particular proving quite infectious. Snyder largely tamps down his penchant for hyper-stylized combat imagery until the end, when he stages a series of galactic battles that take style notes from sources as varied as classic WWE rumbles and Harryhausen creature features. As overblown as the lengthy showdown might become, Snyder gets closer than ever before to the chiaroscuro palette of classic comics, and even if his scrupulous efforts to avoid reopening 'Man of Steel's' collateral damage debates are a bit on the nose, at least he's clearly received the message.
Empire - 3/5 Stars
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.
The Guardian - 3/5 Stars
But Batman v Superman
is likely set to be monstrously popular, at least in its opening weekend. Affleck, whose appointment to the Batman role was so controversial among the Comic Con crowd, acquits himself pretty well: more careworn than any previous Batman, but bulked up enough to cope with the combat scenes. He leads a principal cast of considerable pedigree, packed with past Oscar winners and nominees (including Irons, Holly Hunter and Amy Adams). Director Zack Snyder, returning from Man of Steel, applies the degree of visual polish that the contemporary superhero film demands, even if subtlety is not his strong point. And Wonder Woman
(Gal Gadot) gets the introduction she needs to trigger the required interest in the inevitable standalone feature. All in all, job done, just about.
Entertainment Weekly - C+ Rating
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?
Roger Ebert - 2.5 Stars
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. At times it might make you long for Christopher Nolan's delicate touch. Those last four words have never appeared side-by-side before. Life's funny that way.
HitFix - C- Rating
Much of the blame for this film will be laid at Zack Snyder's feet, but that feels unfair to some degree. I think he made exactly the film Warner Bros. asked him to make; that's the problem. The film they asked him to make wasn't developed from an organic place. It's not the logical next step in a story being told. It is an informercial. It is slick, and it is frequently very pretty, and from scene to scene, from moment to moment, it looks like a real movie. But without a beating heart, this is a wax figure, lifeless and frozen, a simulation. The studio asked Snyder to make them a 150-minute trailer for their entire slate of superhero films, and he certainly did. Sadly, like most infomercials, this one promises more than it delivers, and two-and-a-half hours of being hustled left me cold. Whatever it's selling, I'm not buying.
Collider - D Rating
I don't necessarily mind that Snyder seems firmly against the notion of heroism. It's an odd position to take, but if it were argued with nuance and subtlety, I could at least entertain the idea of taking two of our culture's most revered fictional heroes and removing their quintessential attributes. But Zack Snyder does not do nuance. He does not do subtlety. He only does loud, thunderous, angry darkness that consumes everything in its path.
Of course, the list goes on. IGN gave it an "OK" rating of 6.8 out of 10, and Metacritic, one of the biggest review compilation sites on the web, currently gives it a horrendous 44%. Rotten Tomatoes? They have it at 33% (though like Man of Steel, the audience score is much higher - currently at 79% with an average 4.1 out of 5 rating). Forbes has at least three reviews up, one that says "it is not a good movie," the other two giving it arguably the best reviews currently on the web by a reputable source, one of them going so far as to give it an 8/10.
So what can you expect from Batman v Superman? It looks like your feelings about Man of Steel will likely determine how you feel about BvS. If you loved Man of Steel, Batman v Superman will likely blow you away. If you felt OK about MoS, you'll probably like Batman v Superman. If Man of Steel wasn't your thing, even a little bit…Well, most likely you're not going to come out feeling good about Batman v Superman at all.
Zack Snyder has crafted another divisive film, and what that means for the DCEU, only time will tell. Personally, I really enjoyed both Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, and I'm totally excited about Justice League. However, I also hate that I'm going to spend the next year having to defend why I actually liked Batman v Superman despite its flaws, instead of raving about it with other fans like I did with Nolan's The Dark Knight.
Though I'm one of the guys that chooses to overlook Snyder's flaws in light of everything he does so well, I have no problem saying the DCEU might be in better hands with Ben Affleck or George Miller at the helm going forward. It won't be surprising if Justice League
Parts 1 and 2 suffer from similar problems as Batman v Superman and Man of Steel, and really, I kind of expect them to. It looks like it's too late in the game now to change directors, but if I was WB and DC…Let's just say I'd be considering it.