In Defense of Batman V Superman: The Critics Need Critics


So if you have recently traveled the streaming digital airways known collectively as the internet, you’ve seen the endless vitriol directed at Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. The critics have spent most of their time tearing into the movie’s nuances while some pointed to popular websites like Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic to show how universally panned poor old Zack Snyder’s latest outing truly is. However, being the curious-to-a-fault fellow that I am, I had to go and see Batman V Superman. The critics couldn’t all be wrong, right? How could having Batman and Superman on the same screen even have a remote chance of messing up? In defense of BvS, I think the critics and I have seen different movies…or at least preconception forms a lot of what one might take from BvS.

So you’ve heard the complaints; the pacing is off, the movie is humorless, Superman can’t act, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, there’s too much stuff going on, the trailers showed everything, etc. etc. etc. until the freaking end of time. Considering how everybody has been echoing the exact same sentiment, I truly expected Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice to be awful…and I know what it is like to go and spend hard earned money at the theaters watching bad movies. I have the rather dubious distinction of having seen both the Dungeons and Dragons movie AND Wild Wild West in theaters. Don’t feel sorry for me though – I knew what I was getting in for and I was prepared in pretty much the same way for BvS considering what the critics have said. Imagine my surprise as the movie rolled on and BvS wasn’t as bad as they all had said…it was actually quite ‘normal’ in the sense of a superhero movie! I kind of felt like the Red Viper from Game of Thrones explaining to Tyrion all of the rumors he had heard about him…only to be disappointed. Seriously critics…you told me this movie sucked and it was far from it!

'Batman has one red eye with a shriveled up arm while Jesse Eisenberg has both girl and boy parts'
‘Batman has one red eye with a shriveled up arm while Jesse Eisenberg has both girl and boy parts’

I don’t know how it exactly happened either. Suddenly Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was being critiqued for some very minor things. Sure, the critics have some merit in their opinions but it is really, really minor – I felt BvS was a significant improvement over Man of Steel and far less bloated than Avengers: Age of Ultron which is all I really wanted out of the movie. I guess all of those clicks websites have been getting for saying ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice sucks!’ helps them sleep easier at night. Have we forgotten why we go to movies in the first place? To be entertained?

Sure, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice isn’t lighthearted or bright and shiny like the Marvel Universe – would you really want it to be? It works because it is a contrast, and having both DC and Marvel movies operating is best for all of us true fans. To even compare the two on more than a superficial level does a tremendous disservice to both. I only mention it because it seems like there is a small vocal minority that believes that there is a zero-sum game between the two companies and they tend to stir the proverbial digital pots. You wouldn’t judge the movie Zootopia the same way you judge A Scanner Darkly. “But look, they both used computer generated images!”

Honestly, I don’t understand the amount of hate Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is getting. I thought it succeeded in establishing the DC Cinematic Universe. Was it the best movie ever? No. Was it the best comic book movie ever? No. Was it better than at least half of the stuff that’s out there for comic book movies? Most assuredly. Was it entertaining? Oh, hell yes.


  1. Yeah I dont get the hate either, a lot of my friends who are fellow comic book fans liked it

    Sure there are flaws but it’s a solid movie

    Plus someone pointed out to me tonight, at the time Empire Strikes Back got critically panned and we all know how that turned out

    • Yeah, and if you stop being a fanboy you understand why SWV got that treatment. Bespin is boring and Yoda is a prick. Bam, 50% of the movie destroyed. That’s what I got from people who aren’t into SW and even as a fan, I get it and I like this episode less and less with each viewing.

  2. Was it better than at least half of the stuff that’s out there for comic book movies? Better than some but not even near the top 20. Was it entertaining? Barely.
    The image is messy, Batman is the Punisher, Luthor is a mix between the Joker and Fonzie… adaptation-wise, it’s an atrocity. It was okay, I’d give it 6 out of 10, but its mistakes are really obvious. For instance, the tone. Yeah it’s not a Marvel movie and it shouldn’t look like it, but it really lacked something on the spirit side, something to make it less serious. It’s entertainment with superheroes and stuff ! It’s dark enough as it is, we could’ve used some of Alfred’s infamous sass. And some things really don’t work at all, like the end.

  3. To hell and be damned with critics and reviews. The only one allowed to decide if a movie is worth my cash is ME.

  4. looking at rottern tommatos green lantern and mall cop 2 has a higher critic raying, thats ridecules, just seen BVS and its fantastic, i love marvel x men and DC but if people are comparing that’s silly. Its like saying i dont like Pizza because I prefer ice cream, yes both are foods but one is clearly a desert the other is not and nor do I want to eat Ice cream forever.

  5. No, this was a bad movie. Forget the superheroes. It was a bad movie. It was an incompetent movie. It was a vicious movie. In ten years everyone here who is praising it will be forsaking it like Jar Jar. You know this to be true. Accept your fate and step into the light.

    • 10 years later, if you’re still crying about Jar Jar, you are a complete idiot who missed the purpose of his character entirely. Congrats you’ve bullied a punching-bag! You hate (still) a character who is literally about to be put to death for being annoying and…you agree with them. Boohoo Jar Jar is annoying! Boohooooooooo!!!1one

  6. OK, let’s assume for a moment Batman v Superman is an average superhero movie. Not terrible, not great, a movie you can sit through and not feel you wasted your money. On the surface, that sound OK, right?

    But now what if I told you the total budget for filming and marketing comes in around 400 million dollars and that to pull a profit they need to draw around 800 million dollars globally to the box office? By the way, they need to do this with a movie that’s critically dismissed and was just reviewed as a dead average Superhero movie.

    Also consider, this is the lead in for other movies including the Justice League which will add box office gold Aquaman, Cyborg, and the Flash. (Yes, I’m looking forward to that movie, but if you can’t make BvS better than average then adding Aquaman and Cyborg is kind of a frightening proposition).

    It’s getting panned because it didn’t need to be an average movie. It had to be the first Avengers … And by most accounts, it wasn’t. So now are we going to get typical DC writing for movies like Aquaman or the Green Lantern Corps? If so, then we have potentional box office losses for these movies as we march toward the end of the decade.

    • Well, it’s already projected to hit 180 mil this weekend domestically and upto 300 mil globally. That’s almost the entire budget in 3-4 days. It’s already out pacing Marvel’s films and will possibly beat the Hunger games for highest, non summer release… I’d say it’s in a good spot.

  7. Screw people who want superhero movies to be for children ages 2-10. I’m so glad it was dark. I don’t need comedy in a movie. The forced comedy is horrible! THOR is an example of horrible movie making. BVS wasn’t. The first half definitely lagged a little but it was worth the payoff. Ironman 2&3, wasn’t worth it in ANY WAY! That’s 3hrs I would like back. Transformers, the humor ruined the movie. That, and it wasn’t a story about transformers but people living is a world with transformers. If people were expecting it to be like the CW B.S., I just thank God it wasn’t. I can’t even watch Arrow or SHIELD. BVS isn’t for people with tiny attention spans for sure! Everything about the Doomsday battle was spectacular! This is like X-men, it doesn’t need to be light. I don’t read Batman comics for comedy. Without ruining anything, this paid homage two of the greatest Superman and Batman story arcs. F&$% the critics! I loved it!

  8. I respect your opinion, but man do I disagree! You listed a bunch of the criticisms that people have, but then just dismissed them as if the critics are just wrong. The plot holes, the casting, the soundtrack, Snyder’s continued objectifying women, the mischarectarizations of actual icons. Your math and my math turned up very different results. I am jealous that you found a way to enjoy this movie. To someone’s point, I think it belongs in the category of green Lantern. Although I thought Ben was cool as batman.

  9. The reason for all the vitriol is that there’s this segment of posers who want to look like they know a lot about the biz by painting DC (that is, Warners when it’s making movies based on DC characters) as this struggling company that can’t do anything right. Many of them are Marvelites. On the other hand, there are people who want to act like it’s this horrendous dark sign of the times so they can feel morally superior. It’s not that they want to bring back the days of “Super Friends.” It’s that they want to look like it and say, “what’s wrong with that,” thereby establishing a shallow moral superiority.

  10. The movie was absolutely amazing. A tour dé force. So why did the critics hate it?
    1. They wanted a quick, get-in & get-out movie that ran for 100 minutes.
    2. They’re getting tired of superhero movies now because Marvel flooded the market. So keep it short and comedic.
    3. Their views of superheroes are outdated because they steadfstly believe these characters can’t be complex characters.
    4. A critic hates when a director makes a film asking them to apply the rules of grading dramatic thrillers to the superhero genre– one they believe should only ever be a genre of funny, mindless, family fun movies.
    5. A critic believes no one can take these characters serious because they themselves do not. So making a movie with emotional endings and high stakes implications is going to be shredded by them because they just want escapist comedy.

    In conclusion, it’s like that episode of Seinfeld– 99% of people fell in love with the English Patient for it’s ambition but Elaine hated it because she just wanted to spend 90 minutes watching Sack Lunch. Unfortunately in this case, Elaine is the movie critic who has the platform & power to shape audiences’ desires to see the movie.

  11. The article is spot on. The people who hate this movie either didn’t see it or are influenced by the critics. The complaints are all recycled and it amazes me that the average person amazingly now speaks in the same manner of movie critics…….why……….because they adopt what they hear and recycle it right down to the way they deliver it. The movie is fantastic. I took my mother and niece along and they both loved it.

  12. The movie was amazing! It was ambitious and emotionally stirring. So why did the critics hate it?
    1. They wanted a quick 100 minute picture; a get-in & get-out movie.
    2. They’re getting tired of the genre because Marvel has flooded the market. Keeping it quick & easy is all they want now.
    3. They refuse to believe audiences can take these characters seriously because they can’t, so making a movie that attempts to expand the genre with high stakes implications and emotional endings is a theoretical impossibility in their minds.
    4. Their assumptions for the genre are outdated. Superhero movies should only ever be escapist family fun movies. Only …. or else!

    In summary, the critics are a lot like that episode of Seinfeld…. The vast majority of people loved the English Patient for it’s ambition and density. Elaine only wanted to watch the ridiculous, 90 minute screwball fliick Sack Lunch. Unfortunately for us, Elaine–the snobby critic–has the platform to hinder audiences’ willingness to even give the movie a chance.

  13. That’s the problem these days. A lot of people go to a movie expecting too much and then come out unsatisfied. They forget why these movies are made in the first place. For entertainment. Not everyone is going to be happy with it. But true movie goers, not people trying to be critics, will enjoy it.

  14. Cmon! It’s Bstman vs Suprrmsn! It’s supposed to be EPIC not mediocre…not regular and far more than entertaining.

  15. I loved the movie trust me if you’ve seen it and don’t understand it I will tell you but for those who didn’t see it I can’t tell you but I do know this I enjoyed every minute of it

  16. I liked it, it was fast paced, a little naïve at times (the walk into Lex’s server room bit?).The dreamscapes seemed a little weird, although trying to show Bruce’s state of mind.
    Personally, I think Disney’s marketing machine is just better than Warner Brothers, as Star Wars with it’s strange plot and ‘jazz up episode 1’ bits was no better than BvS, yet it was a hit with critics?
    Makes no sense…..

    • Disney’s marketing, and perhaps COUNTER marketing as well. Then it makes sense. Sounds like a crazy conspiracy theory, but one wonders.

  17. Comic fans are weird. I have enjoyed comics longer than most of them have been alive. I love that they’re making good movies. If these overly critical dicks saw the first attempts at super hero movies, they would appreciate what we have. This was a good movie. The only thing I didn’t like was all the geeks before the movie talking too loud, complaining about everything, acting like they were the smartest in the world. Then complaining like spoiled kids at the end. Didn’t like this or that. Aside from watching a good movie, my favorite part was standing up at the end, turning to face the five obnoxious comic geeks and telling them to shut up and quit complaining. They looked like they were going to piss their pants.

  18. “The plot holes”

    name one. really. and be specific.

    “Snyder’s continued objectifying women”

    When? Again be specific

  19. “It’s getting panned because it didn’t need to be an average movie. It had to be the first Avengers”

    I can’t watch the first Avengers movie. I saw it once in cinema, enjoyed it…but can’t sit through a viewing since, because it is so thin.

    Thanks God, BVS is NOT another Avengers.

  20. At the end of the day you can pick holes in the Dark Knight trilogy but they are a fantastic set of films. Yes the film has its flaws but I absolutely enjoyed it and cannot wait for Justice League. Zach Snyder is in the position that Superman was in the film, divisive. Some people hated what he did and some loved what he did but he must endure and not listen to what people think he should do. Everyone needs to experience this movie and I for one will be going again.

  21. holyshit, after they saw Gal Gadot they still hate the movie?? Hello??? Well, after all, it only took 3 to take down the entire Avengers

  22. This cracks me up… Ppl being critics about a movie on a website in which a critic has already criticized is hilarious hah! Stop voicing your opinion BC I stopped reading your comments after the second one

  23. This movie goes to a deeper level than most routine superhero films. The movie plays like a live action comic. The scenes and acts jump seemingly incoherently at the start much akin to any comic. The scenes of parademons, the possible Robin suit with the line “Maybe is the Gotham City in me that has a bad history with freaks dressed as clowns,” and the “you let your family die” speaks volumes of whats to come. But in finality the story begs the question, are these heroes god? And, if so, should we idolize them. By the conclusion of the movie we are forced to come to deal with an existential question as to whether we are better off without religion in general. The fact that these “heroes” are seen as deities and that man ultimately decides their fate, then makes people introspectively question their own religion, morals, and ideas for society in general. The first half of the movie, the only thing that kept going through my head, was man the devoutly religious are not going to be happy. That said, this is emerging as the ultimate theme that distinguishes DC from Marvel in itself. DC, why portraying heroes as deities speaks to a deeper level as our own mythos, are we creating our own new ‘gods’ from our own mythology as a culture and society? Marvel, on it’s own largely portrays ‘safe’ heroes and villains that rarely delve into the gray areas of morality and more or less play it safe with plain white and black, heroes and villians, etc. It is my opinion that this is one of the most true depictions of comics on the silver screen in ages, perhaps since the first Spider-Man by Raimi. I was happy when I left the theater, because I knew that there were things in this movie that I, as a comic fan since childhood in the late 70’s, was rewarded for having read Infinite Crisis, and Dark Knight Returns, as well as through the years of Batman: The Animated Series; and that casual fans who were not astute were either largely confused by or completely missed. I can understand why people reject the movie when they are used to passively watching super-hero genre films, i.e. the Michael Bay-esque/Buffy the Vampire Slayer concoctions that are the Avengers movies. This movie was great if you were actively watching and familiar with the history of the DC Universe. I am ecstatic about what is in store, and feel that they did a great service to the fans and did not make a watered-down version for the lowest common denominator movie goer.

    • I too was impressed by the depictions and characterizations in this movies.. I have come to expect DC brand of movies to not be tongue in cheek slapstick super hero movies. I expect and enjoy that with Marvel movies. I dont want to see that with Batman or Superman … I lived with the post keaton Batman letdowns until the Christian Bale wave if films.. I enjoy the Cavill Superman too .. Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman was spot on… If you were a superhero movie fan, you might have been looking for less drama or epicness..and more blunt action, but for an appreciator like me of the comics, I hope there are more folks that hate the movie and dont go back. It’s more seat selection for me when I go back next week.

  24. Ben is a great Batman, but it was too early to bring them all together. They really would’ve been better off if they would’ve used solo Batman and Wonder Woman movies first to introduce their new characters instead of doing it in a team up movie. It was far too early for the storyline at the end, that should’ve happened much later on after the Justice League is formed, then the characters would’ve cared more about the death, and would’ve made his “resurrection” much more impactful. They should’ve slowed down and taken their time, it seems like they’re skipping steps to try to catch up to the Avengers.

  25. OK, before I cite this example I want to make it absolutely clear I don’t care about the whole Marvel/DC argument, but…

    I find it a bit strange that Thor 2 has 66% on Rotten Tomatoes while BvS has 30%, I’ve watched Thor 2 twice and it just strikes me as not a very good movie. I’m not bashing on it by the way – it just seems really inferior, in the same way that BvS is… Same could be said about Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk etc

    So why are we holding this movie to some higher standard? Think the critics have gone into overdrive on this one…

  26. Finally buddy gets it right the movie was great by far better then the last and that’s all its ment to do is succeed the last movie right? pumped full of action and the batman we all wanted !

  27. Technically a scanner darkly does not use computer generated images. It was all painted by hand over the filmed images.

  28. I took the kids yesterday and saw the movie. We all loved it. I was that kid in the 90s who spent all my $80dollar paycheck or part time work to buy Superman and Batman comics. I give that movie 5 out of 5 stars! That movie was just like the comic books-, from that genre that no critics cared about when it is in the comic book form- that is how you must see it, from the eyes of a kid. I also loved that there were some many imagery and symbolism which coincided with it being released on lent. If you are a practicing Catholic, you would smirk at the symbolism of the Fourteenth station of the Cross, The death and resurrection, the breaking point of Batman and coming back…, and many more. Critics can suck it. That movie was great! Happy Easter.

  29. The fact that some people in this comment section are responding to negative opinions by saying that people either didn’t see the movie or are just Marvel bitches shows that this is gonna fall on deaf ears, but I genuinely hated this movie and I wanted nothing more than to love it. I respect the opinions of those who liked it much like I do for Man of Steel (a movie I think is “okay”), and I understand how people could enjoy it. You say “Have we forgotten why we go to movies in the first place? To be entertained?” Did you consider that many, like myself, might just…not have been entertained? Is that such a difficult concept to grasp, that a variety of people had an opinion that differed from your own?

    “I felt BvS was a significant improvement over Man of Steel and far less bloated than Avengers: Age of Ultron which is all I really wanted out of the movie.” You start this sentence with “I felt”. The rest of it is no longer journalism, you’re just saying your opinion. which I also disagree with. I think Man of Steel is a superior film and that Age of Ultron was both less bloated and more coherent than this film. But again, opinions. Arguing about this, or questioning a large quantity of them, is pointless.

    I look forward to being called a shill and told that I have a stick up my ass.

  30. The critics are almost all liberal socialist hipster zealots and hate religion. The religious overtones in the movie would make them froth with anger.

    This is the main reason for the venom. Granted it may have some major flaws editorially and storywise but according to some audience reviews the critics were overly scathing.

  31. Pretty much my how I felt about the film! I liked it better after watching the 3 hour long director’s cut.

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