The much-anticipated “Batman V Superman” movie “Dawn of Justice” has premiered to mixed reviews. The second weekend it dropped income by 81%, the largest Friday-to-Friday drop for a comic book movie. Fans seem divided down the middle and it’s sparked some rather angry Marvel versus DC debates as well.
I’ll try to do this with minimal spoilers and not mention anything too specific in the article ahead, but if you’re hoping for zero information about the actual goings-on of the film, this isn’t the place for you.
I saw a meme which perfectly summed up BVS for me. It said if you were a fan of the comics it was an awesome movie, if you’re a more casual fan it’s a pretty nice movie, and if you were looking for the Marvel formula of light-hearted fun it might not be for you.
I have not, until this year, read a comic series in my life. I can safely say I’ve never been much of a DC fan until this year either. Some might categorize me as jumping on a bandwagon with the popularity of the movies and TV shows (The Flash, Arrow, etc) but I just like what I like when I see it. You can label me any way you’d like if it makes you happier. I am gaining new appreciation for comic books. They can be quite fascinating and engaging. That doesn’t mean I know anything extra about Batman or Superman besides what I’ve seen in movie and TV shows since I was a kid up until my 33 years of life thus far. That said, I enjoyed the movie. I cheered, I teared up, I jumped from being startled a couple times, and I was thoroughly engaged throughout.
I watched Man of Steel when it was first shown to me by a friend and it was a movie that I probably wouldn’t watch again but which I liked watching. He wanted my son to see it (who was about five years old at the time). My son loved it, I liked it. I am big on aesthetics and something about the coloring and lighting of the film was “off” to me. The same was true of Batman V. Superman, though this one seemed to at least have some brighter scenes in it.
I’ve heard a lot of complaints about the lack of strong female characters in the movie. Lois Lane constantly needing Superman to rescue her, being one of the biggest complaints. Here’s the thing about Lois Lane. She’s brave. She takes the hard assignments. She’s a regular woman who’s not a superhero, but yet still goes about her life knowing these crazy things exist in the world and she doesn’t let that stop her. At one point in the movie Clark mentions always thinking of her first and how it could hinder his abilities to help others. I’ve seen some jump on that line as proof that Lois is a useless female character, always needing rescuing, so much so that even Superman doesn’t think he can do his job anymore. It’s not always her choice to be rescued, though. Just as in real life, when we put ourselves in situations we take responsibility for our actions. I don’t see Lois Lane do anything less than that.
Speaking of strong female characters, one of the highlights of BVS for me was the appearance of Wonder Woman. She was intelligent, beautiful, and kicked ass just as well, if not better than, the men. I wanted to cheer when she first appeared, she being one of my personal favorites from when I was a kid. Being someone who *isn’t* a huge fan of the comic books or even follows the DC universe that closely, I had actually forgotten she was going to be in the movie. I know, terrible of me. So I was all the more surprised and happy to realize who she was about halfway through the film.
As someone who considers themselves somewhere in between those first two categories mentioned in the meme, not quite a die-hard comic fan but also not just a casual “they were comic books first?” Type of fan, I would recommend the film. It sets up others to follow, it has some unique takes on some well-loved characters, and it introduces others that some of us have been waiting to see on the big screen since we were children.
Worth a view or two at the theater, definitely.