When people try to defend ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice’ against the harsh evaluations of critics, they’ll justify their arguments by saying that the movie is meant for the fans or that there’s a disconnect between critics and audiences or that the fans are comfortable with change. Well, one of the biggest DC Comics fans in all of Hollywood today has just weighed in with his two cents about Zack Snyder’s latest superhero blockbuster and it’s a lot less stellar than many would anticipate.
During the latest episode of the Hollywood Babble-On podcast, filmmaker Kevin Smith shared his thoughts on ‘Dawn of Justice’ with co-host Ralph Garman and their legions of listeners. But Smith isn’t just a writer, director, producer, and lover of films. It’s extremely well-documented that he has a passion for superheroes on top of being a comic book writer himself. He even hosted the recent DC Cinematic Universe special on The CW with Geoff Johns. Safe to say, the New Jersey native is most definitely the sort of fan that this movie was made for. However, he didn’t exactly have the same reaction to the movie as the other fans did:
“Remember before when we were talking about ‘The Flash’ [on The CW], and that it has heart, humor, and spectacle. The movie I felt like didn’t really have a heart. It was certainly f*cking humorless, there was nothing funny going on in that world whatsoever, but it had lots of spectacle. Like you can’t take that away from Snyder. Boy, he knows how to like compose a frame and how to setup a shot. Beautiful visual stylist but you need more than just the pictures, you need like characterization and these characters seemed off character, particularly Superman.
There seems to be a fundamental lack of understanding of what those characters are about. It’s almost like Zack Snyder didn’t read a bunch of comics, he read one comic once, and it was ‘Dark Knight Returns’, and his favorite part was the last part where Batman and Superman fight. But … you get to do that in that book because you’ve got three books prior to that and 50 years at that point of comic-book history to build on.”
Smith did mention that he didn’t necessarily hate the film and went on to say that he did enjoy parts of it. Unsurprisingly, he was a fan of his friend’s portrayal of the Caped Crusader. In fact, he said that “the best cinematic presentation of Batman fighting you’ve ever seen in a movie”. But even after singing the praises of Snyder’s cinematography and Ben Affleck’s performance, he noted some problems with the Dark Knight’s characterization as well by saying that “Batman is never like, ‘If there’s a 1% chance shit can go wrong, let’s f*cking stab people.”
The filmmaker definitely isn’t the first to point out that Bats does far too much killing in the movie (especially the kind with guns), but the fact that Kevin Smith is mentioning these glaring faults should be enough to show anyone (comic book fan or otherwise) that there is some merit to what the critics have been saying about the film. Like most critics, Smith obviously doesn’t have an agenda of hate against the movie and is simply pointing out that it wasn’t great. Some would say downright bad, but that’s just semantics at this point. At the end of the day regardless of what anyone says, chances are that there are people out there that still won’t own up to the problems with it and relentlessly say that ‘Batman V Superman’ was a good movie despite the fact that someone could still enjoy a movie while acknowledging that it wasn’t particularly well done. I mean, Paulie Shore made a career out of such movies, didn’t he? One could even make a case that this idea applies to Smith’s later works as well. Let’s just hope that the right people take the right things away from this whole ordeal and the next films in the DC Cinematic Universe are both good and enjoyable.
What do you think about Kevin Smith’s comments regarding ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice’? Are you surprised by his statements? Do you agree with his assessment of the film? Sound off in the comments.
‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ starring Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, Diane Lane, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter, and Jesse Eisenberg is in theaters now.
Despite being a “professional writer”, Ben likes run-on sentences and puns far too much. For more of his attempts at being funny and the occasional insightful thought, follow him on Twitter and Instagram.