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 vs The Critics
Zack Snyder vs The Critics

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.

THR_Deborah_and_Zack_Snyder_160202_THR_SNYDER0346

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.

6 COMMENTS

  1. In theory, this is correct. Why should anyone make a fuss about it? Anyone who liked it will ultimately watch it and enjoy it, and anyone who didn’t, won’t watch it and will hate it. By the time the other DCEU movies come out, nobody is going to waste their breath on nitpicking it or defending it. Everyone is going to love/hate it in silence. However, that tiny little percentage calculated in such arbitrary ways will brand this movie for who knows how long; that arbitrary percentage will be more important than the actual movie. People will look at it and base their judgement on it, regardless of whether they’ve watched the actual movie or not.

    The critics aren’t harmless. Why do you think the ticket sales dropped so drastically in the weekends that followed its release? Because people used the Rotten “Movie Bible” Tomatoes as a guide: “What does RT say: should I like this movie or not?”. And thus, the percentage of people who liked it dropped even lower. Words like “joyless” and “incoherent” will indeed blow away like sand in the desert, but that 27% will be tied to Batman v Superman for a long time and will prevent audiences from forming their own opinion about it. It will prevent audiences from changing their mind about it, too. They will fail to see it under a different light in the future, since it will be unfairly and illogically put into the same category as “The Room” and “Showgirls”, and simply be dismissed, ignored, although it has absolutely nothing in common with those movies. They will never get a second chance, and neither will Batman v Superman.

    For most supporters of Zack Snyder and his films, it’s not even about convincing the world that it is wrong and that they’re right. Imagine their pro-arguments as a cry of frustration towards the present reality of under-appreciated vision and artistry, and the universally-praised, recycled mediocrity.

    • “Because people used the Rotten “Movie Bible” Tomatoes as a guide”
      You Zack Snyder fanboys love to say this but I’ve never seen any solid evidence that RT had a significant effect on BvS’s box office performance. What might’ve happened is people who saw it on the opening weekend didn’t like it and told their friends and simply to skip it.

      “will prevent audiences from forming their own opinion about it. It will prevent audiences from changing their mind about it, too.”
      More conspiracy nonsense that doesn’t have any solid evidence. There are tons of critically loathed movies that are widely loved by audiences.

      You guys need to stop deluding yourselves into thinking that BvS’s failure is entirely because of the critics.

      • What “solid evidence” do you need, apart from the fact that people check RT to decide what movie to watch next?.. And if it’s “rotten”, chances are they won’t watch it, no matter how shortsightedly the movie has been branded as such. You’re admitting to it yourself: people influence each-other’s tastes. The critics have more credibility than that friend who told you it was boring (since it’s their profession), so audiences will be influenced more by their judgement.

        Also, I don’t remember ever mentioning any conspiracy. I’m not saying that the critics “have all agreed to sabotage Zack Snyder’s film”. I’m saying that most of the critics were simply shortsighted, and didn’t bother to analyze the movie’s themes – they judged it based on their expectations of a straightforward, three-act blockbuster, but instead got something entirely different (and we all know how people react to deviations from the so-called norm)

        All in all, even with the drop in ticket sales, BvS is far from being a failure. Also, did you really get yourself into a website literally called “The Bible of Zack Snyder” to say to Zack Snyder supporters: “Stop deluding yourselves”? Wow, edgy. So much energy put into discussing a movie you don’t even like, in a website dedicated to Zack Snyder. I mean… wow.

  2. This article is on point with the way many people think including me. I enjoyed Dawn of Justice far more than Civil War I am more pumped to see Justice League than I am another Avengers. Snyder is a god and has released films that mirror the action and feel of things I grew up with and and always wanted to see in a live action film. Keep up the good work!!

  3. Well, film criticism is not dead, as there are still quite few good , thoughtful critics still practicing the discipline, creating space for discussion. What has happened, though, is the rise of snarky reviews as opposed to real critiques. There is a mind set that prefers the yay/nay consumer guide that rates whether a film merits the consumer’s dollar. That’s fair enough, but this means we’ve ceded the middle ground, that area where discussion occurs and nuance and context is considered. Now there there are two poles, the first being where reviews are irrationally positive and the praise is a shuffling of unconvincing cliches and platitudes, and the second, where “bad” films are rated in a manner that makes you think someone is being charged with war crimes. Both stances are hysterical and without real thought or prgamatism, just different neurotic sides screaming their talking points. This has bled into our politics as well: Trump and Bernie supporters often times seemed to bring a collective, submerged insanity to to an arena where civil discourse ought to be.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!

Please enter your name here