I hope none of you out there thought I would allow the release of the greatest superhero film ever to go by without mention. Of course, I speak of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, directed by Zack Snyder, greatest film auteur of all time, whose work clearly dwarfs formerly well-regarded hacks like Wells, Fellini, Bergman, Kubrick, the Coen bothers, and Scorsese. Forget Superman the Movie; forget Avengers; forget Dark Knight. BvS is the only superhero movie any of us will ever need to go back and watch again.
Okay, seriously now: was anyone buying that? Even if it wasn’t April Fools’ Day, you’d have to know I was pulling your leg, right?
Now that we’ve got that silliness out of the way, we should have an honest talk about BvS—a movie I have not yet seen, nor do I ever plan on seeing, yet I am completely comfortable in declaring it one of the greatest crimes against humanity in the history of our species.
I can hear the cries of protest already: “How can you say it sucks when you haven’t even seen it?” Well, I’ve never eaten dog poop but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t like it if I tried, based on what I know of it. And what I know of this film, having read every spoiler, along with numerous quotes from Snyder, is that Snyder has no grasp whatsoever of his source material.
Moreso, when you look at Snyder’s overall résumé, it becomes clear that the man is not terribly creative and certainly not original. He’s got one film there that’s all his: Sucker Punch. Another film I haven’t seen, but by every account I’ve read was horrifyingly bad.
Some might point to 300 as being good, but again—the story wasn’t his; it was Frank Miller’s. Other big-franchise directors like Abrams and Wheedon both created some interesting, original TV properties before getting into film directing. Chris Nolan has done nothing but original stuff since Dark Knight, and it’s certainly fresh and daring, even if it doesn’t always work.
Makes you wonder how Snyder ever landed this gig in the first place.
The bad news is this: As of today, the film has made $201 million domestically, plus $329 mil internationally, for a total of $530 million. But wait—all is not lost! Fact is, we’re talking about a film that features Batman and Superman, together on the big screen for the first time ever. This thing could have had eighty-year-old Adam West and the bones of George Reeves in the starring roles and it still would have opened huge. In this light, the money it’s made thus far isn’t so impressive after all.
Secondly, this movie was expensive to make and also cost Warner Brothers a ton in promotion. By some accounts, the film needs to make a billion just to break even. So if the film proves to have no legs whatsoever, it could still sink the franchise.
This means the real test is this weekend. Word of mouth on the film has been nothing short of horrendous, so there’s still a chance the box office falls off a cliff. Since it’s already suffered one of the worst Friday to Sunday dropoffs ever, there’s reason to hope this could actually happen.
Speaking of those terrible reviews, some the better critiques of the film can be found here and/or here. Then there’s another more spoilerific and comedic take here. Finally, there is also a petition being circulated to give Snyder the boot from the franchise—for more on that, click here.
But right now, let’s just keep our fingers crossed that the film bombs hard this weekend. Hard enough to cause Snyder to get sacked, along with a whole big bunch of WB execs. It’s the only hope we truly have for the future of the DC film universe.