Once in a while a film comes along that simply causes non stop debate between fans. There be those who love what they have seen and those who hate and yet there is always some middle ground to where both views are settled and each argument is heard and agreed.
Transformers and Michael Bay is one debate that comes to mind, with the original and its sequels taking millions at the box office and yet hardly any film gets critic approval. Of course, you do not expect to go into the cinema and expect high art and drilled in realism for a film that has cars turning into fighting machines and its well acknowledged that its success and the reasons why more additions are being made, is because they are fun and the cinema crowd do pay with their hard earned cash to see the next new release.
There are rare occasions when a film comes along that does not have that middle ground. Where fans either love or hate the experience and the chance to settle an argument is non existent. That such film is Batman V Superman and its a fierce debate that has spilled over across the internet over the last few days.
Here at HCF, my own review of the film has been met with such disdain that I even began to question my own reasoning, was I too harsh? Did I watch the film in the wrong frame of mind?
Being such a fan of DC and Batman in particular I decided to venture out and watch the film again, but even during the second viewing I found what I thought the film lacked on first watch, lacked just as bad the second time around. Does that make me right and those who disagree wrong? Of course not! Did I mean to cause offence and just write a review for shock value? Again, of course not! And trust me, I am more shocked than anyone that I found no love for this film, simply because I am such a fan of these two heroes.
This is why when fellow HCF Critic Jim went to the cinema and found the film fun and enjoyable, we decided to run another review, so HCF will have two features, both highlighting the good and the bad, so our readers no matter what side they are on, have one review they can relate too.
But the biggest debate to come out of this whole argument is that Batman V Superman shows that in this day of age, does anyone really care what a critic has to say about a film? Films like the Twilight saga which took billions at the box-office and as a huge worldwide fan-base was never received with open arms by critics and while a lot has been made of the score BVS is generating over at Rotten Tomatoes, lets not forget that films like Home Alone (53%) Die Hard With A Vengeance (51%) Saw (48%) are just a few films you can name that have mind baffling low ratings and they are considered pretty good films.
The opening number of $424m at the box office also proves that fans voted with their feet and while they are suggestions that the film began to drift off towards the end of the weekend, we have to be reminded at the fact it was Easter Sunday and traditionally a family day, where going to the cinema is the least in people’s thoughts.
Fans seem angry and upset that the film has had some savage reviews. Even the stars like Jason Momoa (Aquaman) have joined into the debate, calling film critics “hypocritical” and not actors or comic book acolytes, while Ray Fisher who will play Cyborg asked the simple question “How many good critics are left?”. Which is a bit unfair! No one goes into a film with a mission to instantly hate what they are about to see. I did not arrive at the cinema just past midnight thinking “No matter what Zack Snyder does here, afterwards I am going to give it a controversial review?”, because I really wanted the film to work, the fact it didn’t for me does not mean it did not work for someone else.
One silly argument I have heard is that the critics hate films that are “fun” but if that is the case, why did I personally lavish the praise on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a movie that actually our Doc did not like so much and offered an alternative review.
Critics and fans do not have to agree every time, because if we did, then life within the movie genre would be kind of boring and dull! The recent Fantastic Four remake was met with harsh critical reviews, but at that time the fans also agreed and the film flopped.
Its been proven over the years, for example the Harry Knowles incident regarding Batman and Robin, that a critic’s voice can be a powerful tool, but so can the fans by voting with their feet. All our mother’s do not have to have the name Martha for us to be friends!
Like I said, its very rare a film comes along that causes such a divide, but its silly to dismiss a film critic’s opinion simply because you do not agree. I’ve listened to all the comments from fans and I am thrilled that BVS has found love out there and that the Justice League movie is still awaited for with excitement. Like many of you, I will be there when that film is released despite my lack of love for its origin, simply because I hope to get more out of its concept this time and you never know……I may actually join the other side for the next one…..