04/05/2016 – He Said Keep it Safe!on April 5, 2016 at 12:00 am
Fine, I give. I think I will get on the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice shit train.
… All without seeing the movie.
Yep. Gonna be that guy.
What I’m doing here is not a review. I mean, how can I review a movie without seeing it? The truth is, I don’t want to see it. Sure, I’ve grown up on these heroes, this showdown being one of the most sought after events in comics history. But “because it’s a comic book movie” isn’t really enough motivation for me at this point. These characters have dueled in thousands of mediums, major motion pictures being the last to the party. And when you get right down to it, if my seeing this movie encourages more like it to be made, then what’s the appeal?
You’re probably wondering how I know I don’t want more movies like this if I haven’t seen it. And it really comes down to my trust in its creator – or rather, my lack thereof. Each one of Zack Snyder’s previous films has revealed more of his directing aesthetic and storytelling style. And nothing I have heard about this one makes me think he’s gone in a different direction. And, look, let’s be clear here. I don’t begrudge Zack Snyder for doing, literally, what he was hired to do. It would be more damning if, suddenly, all the aspects of what made his films Zack Snyder films just vanished. It would be like going to a Tarantino and there being no blood, cursing and N-Bombs dropping like Trump news coverage. So why are people surprised that the same problems plague this flick? This isn’t his first rodeo, you know. WB got what they paid for.
Let me sum up Zack Snyder’s directing with an analogy.
You’re leaving your high school when Snyder, a kid with a runny nose and a gaudy Batman bowling shirt, runs up to you and says, “You wanna see something cool?” The few of you who follow are led into the nearby woods. There’s a smell you don’t like as you push through the brush. Snyder tells you you’re almost there. It smells horrible now. Someone pukes. Finally, Snyder presents his discovery: a dead body. “Isn’t that cool?!” he exclaims. Gagging, you ask if maybe you should do the responsible thing and call the police. Snyder scoffs at you, and pokes the corpse with a stick instead. It penetrates the bloated flesh and some unspeakable combination of blood and viscera spurts out.
That’s Zack Snyder’s directing style.
And that’s fine.
He has an amazing eye for, well, cool stuff (disturbing though it may also be). He can’t stay away from material he’s too immature to properly handle, but I give him credit for making the attempt. Most filmmakers wouldn’t dream of approaching this stuff in any movie, much less in a popcorn franchise that ultimately exists to sell toys. And to be honest, were I 13, I’m pretty positive Zack Snyder would be my favorite director working in Hollywood. But in the end, I’m not 13. I’m closer to 31, and his directing just isn’t my thing anymore. Even a deathmatch between my two favorite heroes isn’t enough to make me care enough to chance otherwise
So here’s my question: why are people surprised by the content of the movie? By the reviews? What did you think was going to happen? What in his portfolio led you to think that this time would be different?
What is my point in all this? Am I just another internet basher, grabbing at some low hanging fruit? Maybe, but not because I’m writing this. This isn’t about the quality of the movie, the performances, the directing or even the direction of the franchise.
This is just to say: if you don’t like something, that’s fine, but maybe it’s not worth all this hate. Maybe it’s best to just leave it alone. Let it be.
Batman v Superman was a killer job for a lot of people, and a dream come true for many a fan. You can critique it all you want, and I’d certainly never want a world without film criticism, and sometimes, evisceration. But at some point, its quality is beside the point, because it’s a film, not Hitler. It’s not hurting you (unless you paid to go see it, ha-CHA!). If you don’t like the direction of these movies, don’t see them out of a sense of obligation to the characters or your childhood self, or go down screaming and defending what it isn’t. See it because you want to see it, talk about it because you want to talk about it, and be a part of it because it’s a part of you. Or don’t.
There are some things worth getting up in arms about. Is this really one of them?
UPDATE: Zack told me he just saw it. To quote him “It was garbaaaaage.” His full review will be on Thursday. See ya then!