Honest Trailers – Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Strap in for the superhero film that was so highly anticipated it could never have lived up to all our expectations and instead turned into a badass Batman movie trapped inside a mediocre attempt at a Man of Steel sequel- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice!
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice received generally negative reviews. Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 27% approval rating based on 340 reviews, with a rating average of 4.9/10. The site’s critical consensus reads, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice smothers a potentially powerful story – and some of America’s most iconic superheroes – in a grim whirlwind of effects-driven action.” Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average to critic reviews, gave the film an average score of 44 out of 100, based on 51 critics, indicating “mixed or average reviews”.Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of “B” on an A+ to F scale. It earned “B–” from men, “B” from women, a “B” from those under 25 and a “B–” from those over 25.
BBC News reported that, “the film had been widely praised by fans after its first screening in New York last week. But critics have not been so positive about the long-awaited movie.” Lindy West in The Guardian described it as “153 minutes of a grown man whacking two dolls together”, asking “(h)as the definition of ‘movie’ changed from ‘motion picture story that a human wrote on purpose’ to ‘700 only tangentially related 12-second grey and red vignettes’?” A. O. Scott of The New York Times wrote: “The point of Batman v Superman isn’t fun, and it isn’t thinking, either. It’s obedience. The theology is invoked … to buttress a spectacle of power. And in that way the film serves as a metaphor for its own aspirations. The corporations that produce movies like this one, and the ambitious hacks who sign up to make them, have no evident motive beyond their own aggrandizement.” Writing in The Telegraph, Robbie Collin called the film “humorless” and “the most incoherent blockbuster in years”. Cynthia Fuchs of PopMatters said, “As you’re watching this movie, you might also contemplate your own part, in being swayed into consuming so much of what you’ve consumed before.” Adding, “Wonder Woman’s remains Batman v Superman‘s most compelling story, precisely because it’s untold.” Matt Patches of Thrillist wrote “what Batman v Superman can do, it does, at the cost of coherency and thrills. The movie is bat-shit crazy. A dour, disdainful demeanor, plus a gluttony of complex plot twists, dissipates most of the contact high.” Michael Philips of Chicago Tribune wrote, “A near-total drag, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice plays like a loose, unofficial quarter-billion-dollar remake of The Odd Couple, in which Oscar and Felix are literally trying to kill each other.” On his podcast Hollywood Babble-On, film director Kevin Smith, a long-time friend and collaborator of Affleck, praised Affleck’s performance but panned the film, commenting that it “didn’t really have a heart” and was “humorless”, arguing that “there seems to be a fundamental lack of understanding of what those characters are about. It’s almost like Zack Snyder didn’t read a bunch of comics, he read one comic once, and it was [The] Dark Knight Returns, and his favourite part was the last part where Batman and Superman fight.” On a second viewing, however, Smith via his Instagram lightened his stance. Jeremy Irons expressed displeasure with the film, feeling it was “deservedly so” savaged by critics and calling the feature “very muddled” while expressing hope that the forthcoming Justice League (2017) would be better due to its story being “…a lot smaller, it’s more linear”.
Conversely, David Betancourt of The Washington Post and Scott Mendelson of Forbes praised the film’s visual spectacle and the performances of Affleck, Gadot, Irons and Hunter, though Mendelson also called the film “an utter mess of thinly sketched characters, haphazard plotting, surprisingly jumbled action”. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone called the film “better than Man of Steel but below the high bar set by Nolan’s Dark Knight, adding that “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.” Jake Coyle of Associated Press wrote, “it hurtles not with the kinetic momentum of Mad Max: Fury Road nor the comparatively spry skip of a Marvel movie, but with an operatic grandeur it sometimes earns and often doesn’t.” Mark Hughes of Forbes called it “the follow-up to The Dark Knight that many viewers and fans wanted or hoped for”, adding that it’s “visually stunning, with powerful emotional storytelling and awe-inspiring action spectacle.” Andrew Barker of Variety said “as a pure visual spectacle… Batman V Superman ably blows the hinges off the multiplex doors.” Charles Koplinski of the Illinois Times called it “a brooding, but most importantly intelligent take on the seminal figures of our 20th century pop culture mythology, a movie that at once pays tribute to these characters’ roots while offering up modern incarnations of them that ring true for our times.” Nicolas Barber of the BBC called the film “a four-star epic” praising Affleck’s performance as Batman and the visual grandeur of Fong’s cinematography. Jordan Hoffman of The Guardian gave an ambivalent review; he especially criticized the “very bad writing”, but conceded “there are a lot of moments… that work” and praised Affleck and Gadot’s performances, calling Gadot as Wonder Woman the best thing in the film.