It is safe to say that the highly anticipated Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice has divided audiences in spectacular fashion. Perhaps more so than any other high profile release, this movie seems to inspire either glowing appreciation, or vehement hatred – which, in itself, is a fascinating turn of events. Because the division is so stark, it inevitably awakens the desire to explain it.
The truth of the matter may well be that, quite simply, ‘some people like it, and some people don’t,’ but that seems too amorphous a concept for the majority of popular media. It cannot be reduced to a single sound-bite, nor can anyone point to it and say, ‘There’s your answer.’ And yet, it is the vehemence that lingers, and keeps us asking the question.
There are those that will predictably dismiss the division as being the result of blind Marvel/DC loyalty, and there are those that will blame a perceived predisposition to dislike Zack Snyder films. For the record, this writer has settled upon the theory that the explanation for such a wildly polarized response might be two-fold.
Firstly, Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice is a flawed film. It absolutely has its problems, many of which are legitimately highlighted in the negative reviews it has received. However – and secondly – would these problems generate such phenomenal venom if the movie were about characters other than Batman and Superman?
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Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice utilizes two of the most beloved and iconic figures of popular culture. They are characters of such power and influence that they transcended their comic book origins decades ago. You might never have touched a comic book in your life, but Batman and Superman will still hold some meaning for you, in some way, deep in your consciousness. If we examine our reactions to the film, I suspect that even the most objective reviewer, or audience member – whether concluding the film is good, bad, or somewhere in-between – will find a level of instinctive response, based upon their personal relationship with Batman and Superman. It is simply human nature.
In the interests of full disclosure, I am a DC fan, and I wanted to like the movie. However, I am also the first to admit that there are as many Zack Snyder films that I dislike, as those I am a fan of. Likewise, I dislike a number of films featuring DC characters – including Batman and Superman. These facts, coupled with the initial wave of negative reviews meant that, by the time I walked into the movie theatre, I had fully prepared myself to be disappointed. I had talked myself down from the heady heights to which the Warner Bros. hype machine had driven us all, and I was ready to have my hopes dashed.
In the final analysis, my hopes were tempered, slightly, but not dashed. It’s not a perfect film, but I liked it. I also left the theatre with an understanding, and an appreciation of why some people did not. In many ways, a film that brings two of the most recognizable characters in history into conflict is destined to cause division among its viewers but, as seen in the film’s questionable marketing strategy, the question of ‘Who will win?’ is futile. This is the Dawn Of Justice, after all.
So, now that the film is out, and we can finally see it for ourselves, let’s take a look at the best moments of Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice – not necessarily in chronological order. Being such a divisive film, these moments are clearly subjective, and I will endeavour to explain why each of them stood out, and resonated, in a film crammed with notable characters, plot lines and action sequences.
Be aware, however, some mid-level spoilers are unavoidable from this point on.