Admittedly I’m late with this morning’s blog post… In fact, it’s almost noon EST and so I’m scraping by the hour. I spent some time doing some work and some time reading about wage inflation and Batman vs. Superman. Don’t worry, though, I’m only going to talk about the second of these.
Stop the Hatin’
There are those of you out there who love to hate, so I know I will not reach you because you will be thinking with anger instead of logic and so will totally miscomprehend everything I am saying. Those of you not filled with the insanity of hatred will be more open to my writing.
To begin with, much of the backlash against Batman vs. Superman stems directly from hatred for Man of Steel; the chief causes being that 1) Metropolis was destroyed and 2) Superman killed General Zod. Both of these “reasons” to hate the movie are totally irrelevant. We have seen a ton of superhero movies involved city-wide destruction and killing the bad guy, including Batman Begins, The Avengers, and The Avengers: Age of Ultron for the first and Superman 2, Iron Man 3, and The Dark Knight Rises. Since most of those movies all received stellar reviews from critics I shall move on.
The hate directed exclusively to Zack Snyder’s newest film seems to originate from the idea that 1) the movie is too dark 2) that there was too much action or 3) there was not enough action. The last two cancel each other out, proving critics don’t have a clue why to hate the movie first, and the first reason just speaks for itself. Critics have written as varied things as “I don’t want to think during a superhero film” to “This was all just meat-pounding and no thinking.”
Critics are making noise and trying to convince the public that this is a lousy movie and you should not go see it. Nice try guys…
Not your ordinary Action film
Let me explain something to you. Critics like boxes. Most people with power and influence do. You hear politicians talk about voting blocks. You hear critics talking about movie genres. So, “indie” films, films that focus on the art of the film (movies you don’t hear about until the Academy Awards basically) are allowed to do whatever they want in pursuit of making the best movie possible. Why? That’s what they do. That’s what they’re supposed to do. Then you have chic-flicks, which are supposed to be all romance etc. and they stay in their bubble. Thrillers blow stuff up. Superheroes defeat bad-guys. That’s it. All these “lesser” films stay in their bubbles. Very few escape (for instance, The Lord of the Rings trilogy which was recognized as and is a masterpiece).
Batman vs. Superman has escaped and the critics are furious. They want it to remain in the bubble.
Popping the Bubble
Zack Snyder, the director, (and his team, of course) is worthy of praise for this film. He took two superheroes and made them human. He put them in conflict with another human. He put them in conflict with a whole bunch of humans, and it felt real. Sure there were fantastic aspects of the film (Superman can, indeed, fly. Spoiler alert), but the pressures and responsibilities of being Superman were played out magnificently in the film.
As for Batman, the character, played excellently by Ben Affleck, was an aged figure who had been battling criminals for 20 years and began to feel helpless in the face of Superman, who he feared.
Lex Luthor, a scientific genius, felt powerless against Superman, despite his wealth of knowledge. He is tortured over the idea of Superman. Being “all powerful” and “all-good” are mutually exclusive to Luthor and he tests Superman’s limits as a person.
The three-way dynamic for this film is simply outstanding. Two characters tortured by the presence of the third who is simply trying to do the best he can.
Conceiving and frequently referring to Superman as a “God,” exploring man’s need or desire for a God and what God’s limits are, are other aspects of the movie that Snyder has explored and done a fantastic job with.
[I hesitate to provide further details for those who have not yet seen the movie but may wish to!]
What’s the point?
The point is that this movie has given us something more than we bargained for with a superhero film.
BVS Is the Superhero Movie We’ve Been Waiting For
Batman vs. Superman is more than a superhero film. It has taken the excitement and “meat-pounding” (as the critics would have it) of superhero film and combined it with deep complicated characters and a deep philosophical questioning of who we are and what is the nature of God.
Philosophy + Action + the Human Element = Fantastic Film
The movie is literally about being human.
That may be, in fact, what scares the critics so much. I’m not so sure.
That is why, though, I saw Batman vs. Superman is what we’ve been waiting for. It’s what I’ve wanted, it’s what I loved about Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy and Man of Steel, it’s not just a superhero film. It’s what I try to write. It’s what I tried to accomplish with The Legend of Borach…
Speaking of which: finally got my Legend of Borach Facebook page up so go like it… You know you like it so just go do it!
And go see Batman vs. Superman! (but like my facebook page first)