13 QUICK THOUGHTS: So, Really, Was BATMAN V. SUPERMAN Good or Not? 

Here we go …



Spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned.


For the complete BATMAN/SUPERMAN WEEK Index of stories, click here!

1. It was a hot mess. I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it either. It had its moments, but having low expectations definitely helped. I never had that “Hell yeah!” moment, though there were times I got excited, like seeing the gigantic omega in the desert and Darkseid’s parademons. But at the same time, that’s part of the movie’s problem: There was a ton of fan service that will be lost on the average moviegoer.

2. And don’t kid yourself, that’s a serious issue. As I write this, the movie’s score on Rotten Tomatoes is 30 percent. That’s appalling. Argue the merits of critics all you want, but these are largely professional, experienced tastemakers — and when you have consensus like this, don’t blame the messengers, blame the filmmakers.

3. As I noted the other day, I expect that second-weekend, merchandising and home-video sales for this movie will be way off the opening-weekend numbers. And forget about repeat viewers. I saw The Force Awakens four times in theaters. I’m only planning on seeing this the one time. I’m not alone.


4. And forget about the average popcorn-movie customer. There are a lot — and I mean a lot— of regular folks out there who like the idea of going to a big action/superhero movie who do not understand the idea of Batman fighting Superman. Combine that with atrocious reviews and that’s the kiss of death.

5. People who argue that it should be sufficient that comics fans will like this movie are missing the point. There are maybe 100,000 regular comic-book customers in the U.S. At least that’s the number I’ve seen thrown around, whether it’s entirely accurate or not. Regardless, you cannot sustain a gazillion-dollar enterprise on the backs of such a tiny number. Marvel has figured that out. DC/Warner? Well, they’ve figured it out on TV

6. OK, enough about the business end of things. Back to the movie. Affleck was fine. My 17-year-old son liked him more than I did. I definitely like the Batsuit. It’s probably the best we’ve ever seen on screen. (By the way, if you dig this look — hell, even if you don’t — check this out. Some amazing pix here.) Gal Gadot was fine as Wonder Woman. I think my expectations were higher there, given the buzz. Thing is, they gave away all her best scenes in the trailers. There were no surprises left, so the excitement we were supposed to feel had already dissipated.


7. My lord, Henry Cavill is a specimen. By the way, I don’t know if it’s his and Affleck’s costumes or their physiques, but it always looks like they can’t put their arms to their sides. They walk around like Hans and Franz.

8. I actually couldn’t tell whether Batman was killing people (outside the desert dream sequence/vision) or whether it was just collateral damage. Sigh. Either way, I’ll say it until I’m blue in the face: Batman and Superman don’t kill people. Enough already.

9. Jesse Eisenberg was awful. Awful. Awful. Awful. Distractingly so. So was the CGI Doomsday. Terrible. I still don’t like Amy Adams as Lois Lane. But I liked Laurence Fishburne more as Perry White this time around. He was charismatically crotchety.

10. The Justice LeagueMomoa’s cameo? Fine. Cyborg’s creation? OK. But Ezra Miller’s ripped-from-the-pages-of-Crisis on Infinite Earths bit was unsettling. And not the way it was intended. It was creepy in an almost laughable way. Next to Eisenberg this will go down as one of the worst bits of miscasting ever.

11. How weird was it that Batman and Superman bonded over their moms being named Martha? I mean, I get it: Bruce realized Clark was “human,” etc., etc. But that was … strange.

12. Man, are the Kents the worst parents ever, or what? You get Jonathan suggesting Clark maybe should have let a school bus full of children die … and Martha basically telling Clark that it’s OK if he wants to take his ball and go home. “You don’t owe this world a thing” isn’t exactly “With great power, comes great responsibility.”

13. Batman wins. Because Batman always wins.


For the complete BATMAN/SUPERMAN WEEK Index of stories, click here!



Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. GREAT review & comments, Dan! Here’s my review:

    BATMAN v SUPERMAN was another mixed bag like MAN OF STEEL; some to like, some to not. Overall, Snyder, Terrio & Goyer tried to do too much with this lugubrious, plodding, dark, too-heavy (all that operatic singing all movie long) movie:

    Combining the stories of Dark Knight AND Doomsday, introducing Luthor (sorry, Jesse, you sucked, but you just did what Snyder/Goyer wanted you to), Wonder Woman (Gadot is probably the best part of the film, she provides the only ray of light in the movie), hinting at the JLA, and, most important of all, “answering” for all the MoS complaints–the whole thrust of this movie, really, which, to me, is a big “Who cares?” MoS was only a movie, I never thought for a second about any “real” collateral human damage, nor did I during the first Avengers film when they destroyed Manhattan too. (It would be like criticizing Scott McCloud for not thinking about all the consequences of his cult classic “DESTROY!!!” slugfestorama decades ago!)

    Batman kills in this film, and his entire mission to “kill” Superman is totally NOT the comic book character as I remember him best from the Neal Adams era (my definitive Batman); my Batman doesn’t kill, period. And perplexingly, the filmmakers DON’T show Batman in what I would’ve thought would make for key scenes: stealing Luthor’s Kryptonite & suiting up in his Miller-DK armored suit.

    I like Snyder; I think he’s a great visualist of the superhero genre. I think the fault might be Goyer’s (Affleck brought in his Argo man Terrio to rewrite/fix Goyer’s script), but Goyer (and Snyder) are maybe only executing the style/vision that DC’s brain trust (oxymoron?) wants? If so, then where do they go from this mish-mash mess?

    But Gadot is a babe and a half, with brains & beauty to spare, and makes you look forward, with hope, that they do WW better than this.

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  2. The side story of Lois tracking down the origin of the bullet didn’t need to be in this film. With that runtime, I’m actually surprised it made the final cut, but I guess they felt they needed that to keep Amy Adams present and have something to do. I personally thought the scenes with her and Clark at home were enough. I didn’t come away from the Avengers films missing Jane, or wanting for more Pepper Potts. I was also very surprised that they made this version of Batman a killer. Two of the biggest complaints that fans had with Man of Steel were the amount of destruction, and Superman being very un-Superman like and snapping Zod’s neck. It was like they said, yeah, we heard you but we don’t care. This is the direction we are going with these characters, and it’s on you if you don’t like or “get” what we’re going for here. There’s a great movie in all of this somewhere, you can see it, but unfortunately they just couldn’t bring it all to the surface.

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  3. “My lord, Henry Cavill is a specimen. By the way, I don’t know if it’s his and Affleck’s costumes or their physiques, but it always looks like they can’t put their arms to their sides. They walk around like Hans and Franz.”

    This amazes me. Is no one aware that both actors are wearing rubber costumes with sculpted muscles in them? Cavill’s is just as obvious as Affleck’s. Neither actor is built like a bodybuilder. As in “at all.” And people joke about Clark Kent’s secret identity not working because of a pair of eyeglasses?

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  4. i hated man of steel and you convinced me not to go see this. i have a channel on Roku where i get the movies for free pretty fast anyway. i have DVD quality Star Wars and Deadpool already. I’ll wait a month and watch it at home (or i can watch a cam recording of it now too)

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