Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was welcomed positively during its world premiere. Apparently though, all responses at the time were from fans. Professional response was held off until the Zack Snyder film's Tuesday release, and when those came out, we're seeing a completely different side of the story.
The movie pits the two of the biggest superheroes in comic book history, and while that might make for an epic storyline, based on professional reviews, Snyder's attempt seems to have fallen short on the epic side of the film.
Why are the critical reviews important? Well, not only is the movie the first film to feature a superhero-versus-superhero battle on the big screen, but the movie sets the stage and tone for future DC films, including Wonder Woman, the two-part Justice League, and Aquaman.
To answer the question whether the film is really worth seeing on the big screen depends on who's answering. Some liked the action sequences and philosophical exploration on the meaning of heroism, but most critics claimed Batman v Superman to be unfocused, all over the place, dragging and worst – boring.
Check out the critique:
Matt Goldberg of Collider
The movie drags through its first hour as it carefully tries to set up the individual conflicts, and yet the only character it seems to actually develop is Bruce Wayne. Unfortunately, it develops him into the worst Batman we have ever seen.
Tim Grierson of New Republic
The template for how to make a great Batman movie laid out by Christopher Nolan in his Dark Knight trilogy—grounded characters, a somber tone, believable emotional stakes—has now been pureed by Man of Steel filmmaker Zack Snyder into this indigestible, posturing, two-and-a-half-hour mope-fest.
Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly
I get that this mano a supermano story line is a sacred text among comic-book aficionados, but Dawn of Justice doesn't do the tale any favors. It's overstuffed, confusing, and seriously crippled by Eisenberg's over-the-top performance.
Dawn of Justiceis big, all right. The brawls are busy and brutal, the story is sprawling in scope, the effects are an embarrassment of pixels, and the performances (well, some of them, at least) couldn't be broader. If it's just size you're after, you won't be disappointed. But at this point in Hollywood's superhero cycle, is that really enough?
Andrew Barkerof Variety
WhileBatman v Superman'sDark Knight may be more of a pure punisher than some fans would prefer, Snyder's conception of the character at least feels fully formed. Superman remains something of a work-in-progress. (If nothing else, it's strange to see Clark Kent cast a more brooding figure than Bruce Wayne.) Daily Planet scenes are even more perfunctory this time around, and Adams' Lois has plenty to do but little to say.
Peter Traversof Rolling Stone
Better thanMan of Steelbut below the high bar set by Nolan's Dark Knight,Dawn of Justiceis still a colossus, the stuff that DC Comics dreams are made of for that kid in all of us who yearns to see Batman and Superman suit up and go in for the kill. Suck on that, Marvel.
Todd McCarthyof The Hollywood Reporter
For his part, Batman is provided with plentiful backstory and psychology, but the mature character, as written, never comes into full bloom; all the same, one can look ahead with some hope to Affleck in the role in future installments. Cavill is also likeable enough but, again, hamstrung by the twisty, convoluted inventions designed to limit his abilities during long stretches.
Michael Phillipsof Chicago Tribune
An hour into Batman v Superman, you wonder: Can we just settle this little spat and move on to Gadot's Wonder Womanmovie?
Robbie Collin of The Telegraph
No major blockbuster in years has been this incoherently structured, this seemingly uninterested in telling a story with clarity and purpose.
Mike Ryan of Uproxx
Honestly, I can't remember the last time I was legitimately looking this forward to a movie that I found this dull. About halfway through this over two-and-a-half hour movie, I had to stop my brain from thinking about other things, like what groceries I needed to pick up at some point.
Alonso Duraldeof The Wrap
You can feelBatman v Supermanoccasionally reaching out toward more than what its corporate interests have dictated — there are a few minutes of Affleck and Gadot verbally one-upping each other at a swanky society party, promising a sexy caper movie that never emerges, and Luthor occasionally stops being a cartoon when Eisenberg commits to some speeches about the nature of man and his gods, and how a being can be all-good or all-powerful, but never both. Such moments are fleeting, however, and are mere filigree on Snyder's real agenda of blowing stuff up.
Devin Faraci of Birth Movies Death
The plot trudges along weighed down not just by the stupidity of it all - half the plot points make no logical sense, like Lex Luthor supplying his henchmen with experimental military bullets - but by the apocalyptic self-seriousness of it all. Each scene is ponderous in its attempt to be meaningful and iconic, rendering every moment in the movie a phony pose. Heavy, overbearing score thunders above it all, reinforcing the po-faced absurdity. The film reaches for an operatic thunder and ends up with a wet, limp raspberry.
This last one from Helen O'Hara of British GQ, takes the cake for me:
But the wider problem is that this film doesn't make youwanta Justice League film. It just wears you down and wears you out, making you wonder if there was ever such a thing as a hero anyway. Let them pummel each other if they must; just leave us out of it.
Overall Metacritic rating: 48
Rotten Tomatoes: 40 percent
It is indeed the wider problem. If Batman v Superman is really as bad as the critics say, and if viewers found the DC film that horrible, it could present a big problem for the future of DC films, especially Justice League, which is set to feature more DC heroes than we've seen together on the big screen.
Seeing most negative responses is quite underwhelming and disappointing. I was actually looking forward to watching this film and finding out whether the film is as good as the trailers and other promotional materials claim it to be. I'd still give the movie the benefit of the doubt though, but I must say I'll be watching more out of curiosity than anticipation.
What do you think?
Read: Zack Snyder Claims Star Wars: The Force Awakens Has More Collateral Damage Than Man of Steel
Read: Why Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Doesn't Need a Post-Credits Scene
Read: Warner Bros. Producer Deborah Snyder Swears By The Uniqueness Of Each DC Movie