Originally published March 25, 2016
I went to see Batman v. Superman at Cinemark on Thursday night in the Quad Cities. I attended the 6 PM IMAX 3D showing and I was pretty excited about it. I had the day off of school for spring break, so I spent some of the day wasting time at the theater. I saw The Bronze for the first (and last) time as well as my second viewing of 10 Cloverfield Lane.
All waiting for the main event of the evening.
Now, I had heard the poor reviews that the film had been receiving, and I knew of the low score on Rotten Tomatoes (which at the time was around 33% and it has slipped even more since), but that did not prevent me from hoping that the film was better than the critics said.
We got to go into the film early, around 4:30 which was awesome because I had been hanging out in the lobby for an hour or so. I could not find a good movie to fill the time before BvS after Cloverfield ended (Brothers Grimsby would have worked but I was not going back to that travesty of a film even if you would pay me).
As I sat and played on my phone, Snapchatting about my seeing this film, I heard something loud and clear.
The voice was coming from the entrance of the theater. In a few seconds, an African American man strolled in and began talking in a deep and resounding voice to the entire theater of people. He spoke about tonight being a historic night. He spoke about how he had waited for three years for this night. He made a snide remark about an “ugly-ass” Spider-man from the Civil War trailer. He spoke about the upcoming Suicide Squad and how the DCEU (DC Extended Universe) was to begin that night. He claimed that Gal Gadot, Ben Afflack and Henry Cavill had been unjustly criticized unlike any movie before. He listed off the Batmen (Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale). Someone in the crowd yelled out that he had forgotten Adam West, and that brought a laugh from the crowd as well as from him. It was painfully apparent how passionate this man was about what he and we were about to see.
And he did it in an extremely loud manner walking back and forth at the front of the theater.
At first, I was a little offended. The language was unnecessary (not sure what the kinds in attendance thought) and, being a huge Marvel fan, I wanted to disagree with him. However, after a little while, he became less obnoxious to me and more entertaining. He had promised to shut up during the film and the crowd apparently was eating him up. Admittedly, one guy dressed up in a Batman cape and mask confronted him and ran off to get a manager, apparently because he did not enjoy the diatribe.
Still, this man represented a group of fans who feel as if they have been put upon for quite some time. Unfortunately, many arguments on the internet devolves into a DC vs. Marvel argument with DC fanboys hating on Marvel and vice versa. It was funny how every YouTube reviewer I had seen prior to this and since takes time from their review of Batman v. Superman to ask their fans to not come after them with the hate, because clearly, anyone who wasn’t going to love BvS was a Marvel fanboy.
As the trailers began, our outspoken friend had taken his seat and we heard him again after the Suicide Squad trailer was shown. It looks to be a great trailer, and could be a surprise hit. We also got the great Captain America: Civil War second trailer with Spider-Man, and we heard him making crap out of Spider-man’s voice at the end of the trailer.
Then, the movie started.
Now, I had a group of people behind me who were giggling and making shit of the movie at times, and I was more irritated by them than by the guy who had been up front. At least during the movie, as he said he would, he did not say anything (at least, anything that I had heard.)
As I stated in my review, Batman v. Superman had some good parts, but it also had some real weaknesses. When the movie ended, those people behind me debated about the film with one of them saying that the film was “the worst comic book movie he’d seen.”
And what about our loud and outspoken friend?
He came back down to the front of the theater and paced before the screen, waiting to see if there was a post credit scene to watch (there wasn’t). However, he was no longer blurting out loud. In fact, I did not hear him say anything. The entire theater had a feeling about it. I do not think that my crowd thought this was great. The movie ended and we had a very small smattering of applause.
And I almost felt sorry for the guy. He had come into the movie with such boisterous bluster, claiming that we were about to witness history, and, although technically I do not know this for sure, he seemed very deflated after it was over. Maybe he was processing what he had seen, but it really felt as if he was hoping for something more, a post credit scene to give him some hope. BvS director Zack Snyder had actually stated that he disliked the post credit tease, so I did not expect that there would be one (yes, I did stay anyway).
Batman v. Superman will make somewhere around $180-200 million dollars domestically this weekend and it will most likely end over a billion worldwide when its run ends. Yet, the film will always be perceived to be like the Transformers series, a group of movies despised by the critics and made fun of by many others only to be highly attended by the population, instead of the respected comic book movies such as The Avengers or the Dark Knight. A movie more interested in explosions and world building than expanding upon some great ideas or story. That makes me sad.
Hopefully, they will be able to right the ship for Justice League because the lack of quality for Batman v. Superman will not affect the box office of BvS, but it might affect the box office of Suicide Squad or Wonder Woman or Justice League. That would be a shame. Maybe Zack Snyder’s style over substance manner of directing needs to be changed.
Because I don’t know if the guy could take any more.