“Batman vs. Superman” is Criminally Underrated

It’s one of the classic debates in comic book circles: if Batman and Superman got into a fight, who would walk away?

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Copyright belongs to DC Comics and Warner Bros.

A lot is being said about this new movie, and I won’t spoil the outcome, but the critics and “comic book authorities” are certainly losing. That’s because for reasons I cannot understand, they are hating on one of the greatest, most thrilling, best-balanced comic book movies in recent memory.
It’s a long movie, and requires an investment of time and attention. Come to think of it, maybe that’s enough reason for it to not “click” with the Twitter generation. (I doubt even the Lord of the Rings movies would be allowed to run for three hours to tell their own stories, if they were being made today) But the payoff and literally Earth-shattering developments are well worth it. The consequences of the almost-as-underrated Man of Steel are intelligently dealt with, and feed into this one’s storyline naturally. It plays its numerous elements like a rip-roaring symphony, to an effect that reminds us all what the word “epic” actually means.
Both Batman (Ben Affleck) and Superman (Henry Cavill) get the space they need to tell their stories, plus the villains and secondary characters get plenty of time to shine, so I don’t get why people are saying the movie and plot are underdeveloped. Frankly, it’s an absolute miracle this movie gets so much right, considering the fact that it crams in enough plot for three films. In addition to the two title characters, there is Wonder Woman (an undeniably awesome Gal Gadot), Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg, providing the scariest and most deliciously unhinged take on Luthor since Kevin Spacey), Doomsday, and several others beside. If there was anything that didn’t quite work, it was the extra attention given to all the setup for the Justice League to come together. But that setup is still tantalizing and just plain cool, and I say that as someone who’s never read a Justice League comic.
There was always something fishy about the overreaction against Ben Affleck. Sure enough, he makes an entirely believable and human Bruce Wayne, a bitter man with all the trust burned out of him by two decades of fighting “freaks dressed like clowns,” who would be exactly the sort of man to assume the worst in Kal-El/Superman and take a stand against him. He is arguably one of the best incarnations of Batman ever put on screen.
For those who have groused about Superman not being the perfect Boy Scout of the Christopher Reeves movies: remember in Superman II when he gives up his responsibility of saving lives and defending Earth so he can sleep with Lois Lane? Not exactly the spotless paragon everyone talks about. Cavill makes perfect sense as a Superman who struggles with doubt, but is still trying to be an authentic hero in a world that has all but given up on morality, and often looks with suspicion on the exact people who have the courage and conviction to do what we all know to be morally right.
I have been given plenty of reason to distrust the critic community already, but quite honestly, this is also a reason to distrust the comic book crowd as a whole when it comes to appreciating a great story. They’ll love a comic book film just because it’s an exercise in snark and mean-spirited flippancy (exhibit A: Deadpool) and make fun of Ben Affleck for being disappointed at the negative response. It seems nothing else will be good enough for them.
Remember, this is three movies in one. But it works. Do yourself a favor and go see it, and don’t let all the parroted hatred toward this incredible film stand in your way.

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7 thoughts on ““Batman vs. Superman” is Criminally Underrated

  1. This.

    Okay, the first portion of the movie was somewhat slow and too melodramatic at times; other than that, there really wasn’t much wrong with this movie. For whatever reason, people were just geared to hate it, and I honestly think that—in spite of the overwhelmingly negative response—time will be very kind to this film and treat it as a classic of the genre.

    I’m a huge DC fan, a hardcore Batman fan, and I’m fairly versed in Superman’s lore. Also tend to be pretty cynical and critical about movies, especially about my most beloved characters. But this film was great and one of the best in the genre. Flawless? No, of course not… but worse than the bulk of comic book films out there? wtf were all of you watching, and wtf have you been watching all these years?

    I feel terrible for Snyder, Gadot, Affleck, Cavill, Eisenberg and everyone involved in the project. They took huge risks making this movie and obviously put an incredible amount of effort into it, only to have it chastised by a sea of people who didn’t get it. I’m not saying the film was so layered with complexity that it went over people’s heads. But I’m calling bull on anyone who dismissed it entirely… all of their talent shines through greatly. People are confusing their preferred interpretation with the actual quality of the film.

    I was beyond skeptical while Batman V Superman was in development, and even more so when it came out and all the negative reviews hit. But this film was simply one of the best in the comic book genre. I really hope the team who made this remembers how good the film was to them before critics tore it apart, because that’s how good it actually is. Please keep it guys, this movie was awesome and many of us want to see more.

  2. SPOT ON!!!

    I took have been irritated with the critics take on this film and agree they were just geared to hate it before they saw one frame.

    I hope time will be kinder to the film like John Carpenter’s The Thing. There was so much critical backlash he lost his job at Universal but NOW it gets a high score on RT. The critics were wrong at the time and I believe that is the case here as well.

  3. I went to see it at the cinema and didn’t hate it, but it didn’t live up to my expectations. I was left with no doubt I had to see it again. There is alot of story being told very quickly! I have watched it again on a streaming device with alot less picture quality, but in a more comfortable environment where I can vape, pause it to go get a coffee and a piss. I absolutely loved the second time where I recall parts and see parts I kind of missed by toilet breaks. The first time round I hated Eisenberg, I really do understand the negativity toward his direction. The second time I didn’t hate him as I knew what to expect. I’m a huge Batman fan since I was 11, I’m now 35. Not so much a Superman fan but I like him. However there was that satisfaction from 24 years ago when all my friends loved Superman and you were the only one who loved Batman and you could not give them any reason in the argument why Batman would win in a fight, other than he’d find a way. I know Miller has already solved the argument, but to see my side win on screen made me grin hoping them kids, now adults wherever they are were thinking back to those arguments! That’s just another piece of satisfaction on top of a really great film. Mr Snyder for me you got it right. Well done sir! Day one Blu-Ray purchase for me!!!

  4. I emphatically agree that this movie was extremely underrated and harshly criticized. I do not believe that most of the criticism came from erudite ‘cineastes’, but instead from the Marvel/Transformers crowd who expected to see explosions and CGI galore with a sprinkle of Disneyfication. I also besmirched Ben Affleck due to the thought of following up Christopher Nolan’s Batman (Christian Bale) with his on-screen presence, and boy was I wrong! I was terribly wrong. Not only does Ben carry out the tradition of a gritty, dark, edgy Bruce Wayne but I thought possibly gave him more edge than Bale’s depiction. Even the Under Armour product placements were well done, as to not overtly throw the logo in our faces. This is possibly the 2nd greatest comic-book based flick I’ve ever seen after the Dark Knight (Ledger’s performance as the Joker is hands down second to none).

    At a certain point this almost reminded me of a Wagnerian Opera, where the gallant hero dies amidst a thunderous and beautiful score in self-sacrifice to save a world in chaos a la’ Rienzi and The Ring Cycle. The theme of God vs Man, the messianic nature of Superman and the insecurities and jealousy of Batman gives this a very human touch. The Wonder-Woman interjection could have been avoided but nevertheless her character wasn’t overbearing in an insufferable ‘You-go-girl’ way, to prove that she could hang with the boys. Over-all out of 5 stars this movie was a 4 1/2 stars. I truly believe this movie will be redeemed in the eyes of history once more knowledgeable film aficionados finally watch this and give it its just due. The only sad aspect of the circumstances surrounding the criticism of this gorgeous film is if Snyder and Co actually dumbed down the next installments in the series to placate the CGI/Explosions-Marvel crowd; that would be the real tragedy, should it materialize. DC comics be true to your brand.

    • Well said that Sir! Unfortunately they probably have Warner Bros breathing down their necks, about making that Marvel/Transformers movie.

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