Finally got to see it last Saturday. I went into it with one eye shut, simply because of the harsh criticism that’s been leveled against the movie for a while. A large part of the Internet actually seems to be enjoying reporting the declining percentages in ticket sales, week after week. Before I get into spoiler territory, let me just say the movie wasn’t bad. Nor was it mediocre. It was a good Superhero romp that delivered a lot of interesting ideas and wrapped them in a cool package, full of spectacle and bold artistic choices.
Now, into spoiler land …
In much the same way BvS was a reaction to the Man of Steel, I think a large part of my opinion about the film came out as a reaction to the critics. A reaction that didn’t seem to surprise Zack Snyder one bit. But the dude made it for his own inner fanboy which, in the face of such a passionate audience, demands respect from at least an artistic standpoint. Even if you don’t agree with his choices.
A Batman and Superman that kills people is nothing new. Keaton’s Batman did it. So did Reeve’s Superman. Nobody thought anything about it then. And if you don’t dig this spin on these characters, that’s cool. Just do what I did when Andrew Garfield put on the Spidey suit: skip it. Go back to the stuff you enjoyed. Nobody’s taking that away. These characters are myth and the thing about myth is that they’re going to be reinterpreted again and again, long after all of us are gone.
Character motivation was also a common problem people had with the film. The motivations are there for everyone. They’re just complex in the case of Superman and Batman. Really simple in the case of Wonder Woman. And … well, even though we thought we knew Lex’s motivation, we find out in his jail scene that we really don’t. Not yet. Which leads to the biggest–or at least loudest–criticism against the film: it being a commercial for future movies.
Like or not, these shared universe flicks are becoming more and more like the comic book counterparts–an ongoing serial. And serials need hooks. They need something to maintain interest while story tellers get to work on the next thing. The major pro is that we always have something to look forward to. The major con is that, essentially, it’s always act 2. These stories are never going to finish.
All of this isn’t to say that the movie is perfect. No story is perfect. All you can do is tell the best story you can in the amount of time you’re given. But I think BvS deserves more respect than it’s getting. If you dug Man of Steel, I would at least give BvS a shot.
If not, just wait.