Wouldn't it be nice, for once, if somebody expressed their honest opinion of something on the internet?
Ever since Batman v Superman was first mentioned, people have hated this film. All through production, there have been all these articles about how "troubled" the production was. It has gotten to the point where anytime I see a picture of any of the titular characters leading an article, I know the article will be negative.
Now that the film has been released, the floodgates have opened. Doom and destruction is raining down my Facebook feed as everybody and their step-sister gets in line to dump on BvS. But is the film really that bad? Does it deserve a Tomatometer rating lower than "The Room"?
Well, I have to admit that I'm not the biggest comic book reader. I've seen pretty much all the comic book movies, and I know enough of the peripheral stuff to have an expectation when a character like "Doomsday" appears in a film (he has to do something very specific...). So, put me at the bottom rung of competent in understanding and appreciating comic books.
Is BvS the greatest super hero movie of all time? No, of course not, it's got some major problems. But it's not a total disaster either. It's way better than the recent Fantastic 4 film, and honestly, I didn't think that movie was all that bad either.
What bothers me is this social media campaign to bury the film without judging its merits. Hey folks, we live in America, everyone deserves a fair trial don't they? What would Superman say?
What strikes me as bizarre is that not only are the reviews negative, but the first hundred or so comments on most of these articles are as well. But don't take that to mean anything. Actually stop for a moment and read the comments. Do this because I'm starting to think that the comments are as phony as the original articles.
Put it this way. Do you remember how when Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out the internet had been virtually scrubbed of negative reviews for this film? Everything was 5 stars or better. But take a second to go to the Amazon page and check out the listing there. That's right, a 3.7 aggregate rating with 155 1-star reviews. Now look, some of these are certainly unfair "haters" but I think enough 1-star reviews exist to derail the thought that "Force Awakens" is a universal, all-time classic.
So why weren't there more critical reviews when the film was actually released?
Well, here's what I think: Many of the positive reviews were fake, or at least planted by Disney.
Amazon has very strict rules about what reviews are allowed. For example, if you have your Facebook account hooked up to your Amazon account and you are an author, Amazon will eliminate reviews from people who are your Facebook friends. Amazon has policies against "review exchanges" and you're even walking a fine line if you send out review copies. Amazon is basically the review gestapo...
But what about when a magazine or newspaper that is owned by Disney reviews a Disney film?
Ooooohhhhhhhhhhhhh, well, that's toooootaaalllllyyy fine as far as Amazon goes.
Well, guess what comic book franchise Disney owns...yup, Marvel.
So do you think I'm crazy to think Disney might be involved in flexing their media influence to create a negative reception for the film of a direct competitor?
What drives me nuts is the superficial way people are attacking BvS. Like I said, the film has its flaws, but I found it a bit more entertaining than the Avengers. But I should disclose that I never really "got" the Avengers. I thought the first half of the first one was boring and none of the Avengers movies are worth repeat viewings. I probably won't sit through a repeat viewing of BvS, but at least it tackled some interesting issues.
Affleck, is really good as Batman by the way. I will definitely be first in line to see him don the cowl again. And I like the fact that a few baddies apparently meet their end at his hand. Look, you can't tear around major metropolitan areas in a tank at 120 mph and not kill anyone, also, why is it OK to punch people repeatedly in the face, but not shoot them in the shoulder? If somebody the size of Batman punches you, guess what, there's a good chance that's a lethal attack (face or chest).
I think people like to watch this punishment getting doled out and think, "well, it's OK because it's non-lethal." I have two responses to that:
1. It's not non-lethal and never has been
2. You're delighting in the abuse of another human being, so you're not innocent
I'm glad BvS exists because sooner or later comics have to grow up. This is the first step. Give it a chance.