Batman Vs. Superman is, putting it lightly, a colossal failure. But that’s only in one sense. I’ve just this moment seen an article reporting that the film pulled in over $170 million worldwide at the box office in just over two days.
However the film got an absolute critical beating, and currently stands at just 30% on Rotten Tomatoes (which is lower than Affleck’s Daredevil film, for what it’s worth). So, in short, it looks like the public weren’t actually put off by the dire reviews for the film, which is in itself slightly worrying.
Bottom line is, Batman Vs. Superman is bad. So bad, that I’d actually recommend people save their money and don’t bother seeing the film. While this is probably an article for another time entirely, Zack Snyder’s film made little effort at fleshing out either the characters or the plot of the film, which partially attributes to the poor reviews you’ll currently see swarming the internet.
And the failure to properly establish characters, in a film that was supposed to do just that, could potentially have big consequences for the DC Cinematic Universe going forward. Batman Vs. Superman was supposed to achieve what Marvel managed to in around five films: a cast of characters that we can all ultimately empathise with.
This is what’ll make Marvel’s Civil War, which launches next month in the UK, so intriguing to audiences. We’ve spent the better part of a decade with the majority of the characters featured in the film, such as Captain America and Iron Man, which then means that watching these characters fight each other to the death might just pull on some heartstrings.
However absolutely no one feels any empathy for the characters we’ve just seen introduced to us in Batman Vs. Superman. We barely got any sense of character motivations throughout the entire film, let alone an improvement on the dire personality of Superman himself (that’s subjective, I know).
So, no matter the money that Batman Vs. Superman rakes in worldwide, the core group of producers overseeing the DC Cinematic Universe will inevitably have to stop and listen to the criticism coming from both professional reviewers and the public at large, particularly when this film was supposed to lay the groundwork for the Justice League films.
And I seriously hope they do stop and listen to the criticism, because it’s invaluable to improving the future superhero films from Warner Bros. In a perfect world I’d have the entire creative group behind Batman Vs. Superman sit in front of interviewers and face the criticism head on, just like the cast have had to do these past few weeks.
But perhaps the problem was primarily Zack Snyder, in which case we have reason to rejoice, for Snyder won’t be helming either Wonder Woman (which is currently shooting), Aquaman, or The Flash solo films. In a really perfect world, Snyder would be dragged from his proverbial office in Warner Bros. by the scruff of the neck and thrown out onto the streets, but for now I’ll keep wishing.
Then again, I can’t imagine Snyder is immune from internal questioning within Warner Bros. as to the poor state of Batman Vs. Superman. Maybe the suits within the studio have already dragged him down to the interrogation chamber, but I’m somehow doubtful considering the film received a standing ovation from the studio heads earlier this year.
If Warner Bros. have any common sense whatsoever, they’ll listen to the criticism on Batman Vs. Superman and actually act on it, changing the script and the plot of future films where necessary. I’ve heard it said that there would be discussions within the company stemming from the poor reviews of the film, and this gives me a great deal of hope.
Warner Bros. desperately tried to reach where Marvel are through just one film, and in doing that they completely screwed over the development of iconic cinematic characters, rushing them through an overcrowded and busy film to what they hoped would be the finish line.
I really wish Batman Vs. Superman had been an excellent film, not merely because I’m a lifelong Batman fan, but also because it would’ve actually given Marvel a serious competitor within the superhero film industry.
One company having a monopoly on anything is never good for the consumer. We’ve seen this demonstrated countless times in recent history, for example with the recent wave of underwhelming Apple products that saw their share prices fail to rise as significantly as they usually do.
A competitor, and a significant competitor at that, would undoubtedly make Marvel step up their game in the production of the endless superhero flicks they currently have in development. It’d make them and Warner Bros. continually vie to outdo each other, instead of allowing Marvel to rest easy on the reassurance that Warner Bros. are still playing catch up.
Competition within the superhero genre would be extremely healthy and invaluable to all, and this can only work if Warner Bros. take on the criticism from Batman Vs. Superman, and actually act on it.