The Poisoning of ‘Batman v. Superman’

Just got out of Batman v. Superman and I want to say it is a sad, sad day for American cinema.

Not because the movie is bad, but because our critics have grown accustom to the generic, fluffy Marvel formula that Disney has peddled into our theaters every single year since The Avengers first came out. It’s nothing new, but they are now overly-critical of anything but. If you did not like Batman v. Superman then you belong to one of three groups: 1. you are a brainwashed dullard and cannot think for yourself, 2. you dislike Zack Snyder and his style of direction, or 3. you are a Superman fan. Plain and simple. And if you belong to the first group, you may not even realize it, you poor pathetic fool.

Your brain has been trained to search for negatives, found in any film ever made, and bruise them to the point of scarring because some critic walked into the film with a conscious or subconscious grudge… which is fair, because criticism is ultimately subjective. But let’s not act like it’s not there. If that 31% didn’t pop up on RottenTomatoes, I’d gamble both of my testicles that the hate being spewed all across Facebook and Twitter would be minimized greatly.

Batman v. Superman is an insane, modern day, over-the-top Greek tragedy. You are not going to find a more ballsy and ambitious comic book movie possibly ever. It doesn’t always hit its targets, and takes courageous leaps with the characterizations of some, but it’s something new and different — and it has made me excited for the future of DC universe. While director Zack Snyder and screenwriter Chris Terrio emasculated Superman (Henry Cavill) to a damning degree, they’ve brought us the definitive Batman (Ben Affleck) and, without a doubt, the best Alfred (Jeremy Irons) ever to appear on screen. Jessie Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor is very hit or miss, but I can appreciate the originality brought to this tired role even if it’s not always on point.

Not a bad movie by any means — kind of schizophrenic at times, especially tonally — but it left me ready for more. Do not listen to the critics on this one. Time will show Batman v. Superman to be a better film than it has been made out to be.

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About Jayme Karales

Jayme Karales is a writer, filmmaker, actor, and comedian. He is the founder of Clash Media, the director of Practice Makes Perfect, and currently stars in the UnHollywood original series The Hutchcast. His writing has been published by Thought Catalog, The Rebel, Before Sunrise Press, Your Daily Subvert, Moon Project, and others. Follow @JaymeKarales on Twitter.

6 Responses

  1. Clark

    Personally I was a superman fan and still enjoyed the movie. I think all the superman hate made the ending more rewarding for me!!! Happy to hear somebody liked it woooohooo!!!

  2. Dougie Fresh

    I don’t know if you wrote this review in 1 minute or 11, but its scattered and vague. You should really take more time to craft your words. Or ask yourself the all important question – “should i start a blog because I CAN or because I SHOULD?” There’s enough terrible writing in the world. Don’t contribute to it.

  3. Clamhorn

    @Dougie Fresh

    I just read your review of Jayme Karales’s review of the effect the reviews are having on people’s pre-viewing reviews of Batman v Superman and I have to say… you could use a dose of your own advice. The point of a blog is to give people a forum to speak their mind. If you want an opinion piece that’s passed through the hands of editor after editor and been subjected to crystalline groupthink… might I recommend the New Yorker. Anytime someone is willing to create something or step up and put themselves out there, be it Zach Snyder or Jayme Karales, along comes an army of douchebag nobody’s ready to tear them down and try to shut them up. People like you really piss me off.

    Look I know you got you lost from your d-bag army platoon, wandered over here and started firing in a relatively empty bar, but consider me the badass vet trying to enjoy a quiet drink in the corner when your dumb ass stumbled in, started mouthing off and pissed off the wrong motherfucker. So here’s me smashing a bottle over your arrogant head, grabbing the assault rifle from your hands and swinging it as hard as I can behind your knees before you can even react, then pulling your judgemental face off the bar by the throat as I throw you up against the wall, lean in menacingly and with whiskey on my breath and a crazy in my eyes that can only be earned from suffering I say through gritted teeth….

    “You need to ask yourself the all important question… did you come in here to shit all over Jayme because you can or because you should?”

    And when I finally see it start to set in, that realization on your face that you are part of the problem, and that nobody gives an actual fuck what you think, then and only then will I relax my grip and let you collect yourself as you walk out of here, shamed. You don’t like the way Jayme writes… fine. Fuck off and go read something else. Nobody asked you.

    Then again, that’s just my opinion.

  4. Spoiler alert: Going back to the last Batman movie where the Billionaire Bruce Wayne puts down an uprising of the commoners – which was a thinly veiled attack on the Occupy movement. I was worried coming into this movie that there would be more top down psychological warfare aimed at a viewing populace primed for an uprising and ready to mobilize against the status quo. What I saw was the current power structure embodied in the Billionaire Batman Defeating the champion of the common man Clark Kent. Clark is truely in search of truth and justice and has waged war against corrupt billionaires like Lex Luthor and others. So by having a scene where Superman’s girlfriend begs for his life and has to rescue him from Batman and then Batman goes off to save Superman’s mom because Superman is too weak (not man enough wink wink). Total emasculation of the common man’s psyche. Heavy Freudian based suppression.

  5. Chris Lambert

    Why are those the only three options if we didn’t like this movie? I think film critics write a lot of egregious pieces, and that, overall, they’re more about stroking their own egos than actually contributing to the conversation about cinema. But that doesn’t mean that Batman vs Superman is beyond reproach.

    I get being hyperbolic to make a point and create discussion, but you’re now being guilty of the same kind of critical powerplay that your piece condemns. Since I didn’t like the movie you think I’m either an idiot, or assume I’m not a fan of Snyder, or that I like superman. Instead of just creating dialogue about the film, you’re taking the same kind of “My opinion is definitive and important” stance that those other critics take.

    Why not just say that you think critics have poisoned the opinion on this movie and that people should watch it with an open mind, or that they should challenge their feelings by talking with people who did like the movie and see if maybe a lot of the negativity was founded by what critics had said?

    But there are reasons people wouldn’t like this movie:

    1. Lex Luthor comes out of no where. He happens to know everything about Superman and these other heroes. He hates Superman for reasons that are never fully explored or developed. If you don’t buy the main villain, how much will you enjoy the rest of the movie?

    2. Eisenberg’s performance could strike someone as clashing with the reality/tone of everyone else. Some would get a kick out of this, others would find it incredibly annoying.

    3. The whole turmoil surrounding Superman/Africa was never really explained well. Lois was going to interview someone that may have been a terrorist. Mercenaries shoot and kill some of the terrorist guy’s soldiers. Then they drive away. Everyone is then pissed off at Superman because they think he might have killed the people? Or did the mercenaries go and kill people off screen and then say it was Superman? That was such a key component to the movie and yet it didn’t seem, when it happened, like it was that big of a deal.

    4. The Superman/Batman exchange of Save Martha/Why did you say that. Someone could find that incredibly poignant or incredibly cheesy. Then having Lois Lane run in to clarify things?

    5. Lines like “You’re the boss, boss,” struck me as incredibly cheesy.

    So I don’t think it’s the thing that critics ruined this movie for everyone and people who don’t like it are either dumb or haters. You said yourself, it doesn’t hit the mark all the time. We could make arguments that there’s not enough backstory development for certain characters and certain plot points. There’s a Flashpoint/Injustice reference that will absolutely confuse some viewers. The very last shot removes tension about the last 10 minutes of the movie.

    I’m not trying to so that it is or isn’t a bad movie, or that it’s not being unfairly crucified by critics in a way that Avengers 2 was not (and I don’t think Avengers 2 is any better than BvS).

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