By now you might have heard that critics have savaged Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (currently 29% on Rotten Tomatoes), and despite this Warner Bros. can make it rain on the haters. At time of writing, the movie has already brought in half a billion in box office receipts worldwide. Which goes to show that even if a bunch of fart-sniffing movie critics didn’t like it, the target audience of teenage boys was willing to shell out their allowance for this popcorn flick.
Since I imagine the majority of my readers to be older than the target audience, I write this review for my readers who might be goaded into seeing this movie by a child, nephew, or fanboy spouse. Should you take these kids to see Batman v Superman? Or should you just dump the kids at the mall and wait for them at Starbucks?
I’ll go verdict first: I didn’t hate this movie, but I think you should skip it. Ben Affleck’s emotionless Batman is Razzie-worthy, and you can clock Lex Luther’s (Jesse Eisenberg) Eddie-Vedder-in-1992 wig a mile away. Also, even teenagers will be tired of some of the comic book superhero cliches. How many times do we need to see Senate committees making a breathless condemnation of Iron Man/X-Men/Superman? Foreign audiences must think the United States Congress does little more than sit around looking for ways to persecute misunderstood mutants and superheroes. Let your kids go see Superman, but go see Cloverfield 11 for yourself if it is still playing.
Slow clap for Wonder Woman serving magic lasso realness for the 2 minutes she was in the movie. She was definitely the high point, but I had so many questions surrounding Gal Gadot’s portrayal of the Princess of the Amazons. Like if she is more than 100 years old, whose social security number did she steal to get a bank card she uses at the ATM machine (there are numerous shots of her at an ATM). Also, why is she posing with a Native American in 1918 Belgium? And if she is from Belgium, why does her accent sound Romanian? So many questions, and I am sure we will learn all the answers in the sequel.
If some high-level Hollywood executive or producer like Harvey Weinstein were to stumble onto my website, I have one request for you: in superhero movies we don’t really need the backstory. I understand Batman v Superman is supposed to be the backstory behind the Justice League which was my favorite cartoon in Kindergarten (link). But trust me, when I was 6 I really didn’t need an explanation as to why Wonder Woman, Superman and Aquaman were all hanging out. I mean, who else would they have hung out with? The Wonder Twins were there. They had to fight Black Manta (whatever that is). For a series of this nature, you simply don’t need all this crappy backstory and exposition. Just get to the fighting and explosions.
PC Police: the cast is pretty diverse… but all the superheroes are white. Also, I know Russians and Middle Eastern people are the go-to bad guys for Hollywood. But there are literally millions of Russian-Americans and Americans of Middle Eastern origin at this point in time. Would it kill Hollywood to switch it up a little more? I think these stereotypes are just as damaging as those relating to race or sexual orientation.
Can I take the kids?: I think they’ll enjoy it. A couple explicit words and cartoony violence. PG-13.
Images via Warner Bros.
Batman v Superman review