Is Batman v Superman a perfect movie? Not at all. Do I, and will I always enjoy the hell out of it? Of course!
A problem I still see on my personal Twitter timeline is people complaining and complaining about critics not liking Batman v Superman, even almost 2 months after it’s debut in theatres. Unfortunately, whenever I log onto the account for this website and spy the timeline for a quick second before posting an update, it’s even worse. It did calm down however, people went from attacking critics who didn’t like the movie to complaining about people still complaining about critics, but with the release of Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War it got even worse and the same old debate reignited on Twitter and all social platforms. So, I ask you this one question;
Why do you care what critics think?
Zack Snyder sure as hell doesn’t. You know why? Because he set out to accomplish something and he did it to the best of his effort and he’s proud of his work and he knows it, at least I hope that’s the case. Regardless, the critics didn’t make Batman v Superman, yet they’re disappointed. It’s very okay that they don’t like it, because what matters is whether you like it or not. Right now, the film sits at a 27% on RottenTomatoes. Yet, everyone reads Rotten Tomatoes wrong. This isn’t saying “only 27% of the film is good”, which a lot of people misguidedly think is true. It’s saying, that of the very small sample of people in the world that professionally submitted a review of Batman v Superman, 27% of them liked the movie.
Here’s another way to help you not give a fuck about Rotten Tomatoes. 27% of reviews are positive. However, there are only 329 reviews counted. Only 329 people submitted their professional review to Rotten Tomatoes to be counted on the TomatoMeter. Batman v Superman‘s total box office gross? $867,855,601. Imagine how many people saw the movie to make that happen, surely not only 329. So why are you taking these 329 people’s word as gospel, or even getting bothered by it in the first place? Let’s look at the Audience Score TomatoMeter now. It’s sitting at 67% percent. However, it also only counts 207,779 user ratings. I don’t think 207,779 caused $867,855,601 box office gross either. Guys, there are 7 billion people in the world. That number is so incredibly tiny and insignificant that — in my opinion — no filmmaker should ever care about their TomatoMeter, it’s not an accurate census.
There will always be loyal and vocal fans, and the ones who don’t like it? They normally stay silent because they don’t like the movie so they forget it and move on with their lives and enjoy what makes them happy. Except in the case of Man of Steel, which people like Dan Slott still complain about to this day so regardless of if Man of Steel is a good or bad film, it did something right to stay in your minds.
Film Criticism Is Dead, Anyway.
Yeah, I said it. I dabbled in being a critic a few years back and the culture started to become so incredibly toxic. Nowadays, anyone with a couple hundred bucks who can launch a website and pay for advertising can become a film “critic” and start being invited to press junkets and premieres. You don’t have to study for a degree anymore, you don’t have to watch a ton of movies and be educated in the art of creating film. You just need a YouTube Channel with reaction videos and the studio will probably allow you at the World Premiere.
But that’s not THE issue entirely, because some of those people who use the easy method actually enjoy watching film, deconstructing it, and looking for more movies to watch. The issue is that the bulk of people who are able to get verified on RottenTomatoes’ outdated criteria don’t understand film and they don’t review it properly. Here’s a quote from Deborah and Zack Snyder in 2014 via a HuffingtonPost article called “Zack Snyder Strikes Back“ by Mike Ryan.
Over your career, do you feel critics have been fair to you?
Zack Snyder: I don’t know. You know, it’s a funny thing that you should bring it up. I always feel like — and I always believe the movies I’ve made are smarter than the way they are perceived by sort of mass culture and by the critics. We set out to make smarter movies than what they’re perceived to be, do you know what I mean?
Deborah Snyder: I think it has to do, in a way, because I’ve thought about it, and I think some of it maybe is that if they have a visual style — if they’re from a graphic novel, if they happen to be genre — I think people sometimes don’t want to look to see if there’s a deeper meaning. To see if there’s symbolism, to see if there’s other things going on. It’s easier to dismiss it and say, “Oh, it looks like a video game.”
Zack Snyder: And, also, “It looks like a video game.” Well, maybe it’s supposed to look like a video game.
That last line incredibly resonates with me, I think. Nobody reviews films as they’re supposed to be, but instead of how the viewer wants it to be. This is stupidly dangerous to the film medium and has only be antagonized by YouTube trash like CinemaSins and HonestTrailers, who have also somewhat deluded the mainstream audience with videos like “Everything Wrong With”.
For example, I love The Last Witch Hunter. Vin Diesel gave an excellent performance and the movie is jampacked with aweinspiring visuals. And you know what? Someone could come up to me and say; “Alex, The Last Witch Hunter looks like a stupid LARPing CGI-infested movie with Vin Diesel.”.
You know what I’d say back? “Well, maybe The Last Witch Hunter set out to be a fantastical adventure enhanced with gorgeous visual CGI design where Vin Diesel can roleplay as a badass ancient character who slays witches, and you know what? It knows it, and it excels at it. Because that’s what it wanted to do, and that’s why it’s awesome.”
Don’t get me wrong, some films are legitimately bad and don’t succeed at what they try to do at all, there’s plenty of those, but we can’t judge a movie for taking on a certain aesthetic, subject matter or tone. I judge movies at how well they succeed on doing what they set out to be, because that filmmaker had a very specific vision and he/she worked hard to get it done.
One of my all-time favorite movies is Snyder’s own Sucker Punch, and you know what score that movie has on Rotten Tomatoes? 24%, just a little less than Batman v Superman. And you know what? I don’t care, because Zack Snyder set out to change the game with that film and he succeeded. You might think Sucker Punch is the worst movie of all time, and that’s okay! It makes me happy, and if some other movie makes you happy whether that be Only God Forgives, Captain America Civil War or even Fifty Shades of Grey, then so be it. Keep watching those movies and stay happy, because if someone asks for your opinion, you’ll have your own unique identity and tale to tell about how you perceive those films.
As someone who is going to be a filmmaker, if there’s just one person who resonates with and enjoys my content, then I know I did my job right. So, if you like Batman v Superman and nobody else does, you’re that one person and take pride in knowing Zack Synder did his job right in making something you wanted to see and enjoyed.