By Rodney Turner
This is not a review of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. I have not seen this film. In fact, I will state for the record that I have no intention of seeing it at the prices theaters charge for admission. I did consider going back on that this weekend since this is one of the topics we like to cover at Microphones of Madness. Also, my impression of this film is admittedly colored by my experience of watching Zak Snyder’s previous offering in this universe, Man of Steel. However, a more interesting phenomenon has cropped up in the wake of BvS’s release: the fan reaction.
Like Man of Steel, reaction to Dawn of Justice is mixed, divisive, and in the case of supporters of this film, downright vitriolic. Where critics cite examples of what makes this film bad, arguments in support of the film are little more than personal attacks on people with a negative opinion. In my masochistic perusal of the cesspool of fandom comments, it came to my attention that these attacks take three forms.
The Jon Snow Argument
This is the assertion that critics and moviegoers know nothing about comics. BvS is a fan’s movie and if you are a “true” fan you will love it. Otherwise, shut up. We can also lump accusations of bandwagoning and the fashionable hate of Zak Snyder into this category. To my mind, it is an interesting circling of the wagons. It would seem that this defensiveness and willingness to go all torches and pitchforks and effectively alienate critics is rooted in fear. If this movie is thought of as bad, the studio will cancel the entire DC cinematic universe project. Seriously, guys, studios are into making money. It’s kinda their thing. Sempai is not going to notice you protecting this movie against the haters and say, “you deserve a Justice League movie for being so loyal”. There is no need for you to be an asshole to people on Facebook or in the comments of any given website. People who don’t like this movie aren’t “fake geeks,” “crybabies,” or any other derogatory name you pull out of your ass, they just don’t like the damn movie. Drop it and go light some incense in front of your Frank Miller altar or something.
When in doubt, it’s a conspiracy! How paranoid do you have to be to buy this? Do you really think that DC and Marvel are such bitter enemies that Marvel Pictures would pay all these critics and internet personas to sabotage this movie? How is this scenario more logical than personal taste or- gods forbid- the opinion of someone who has devoted a significant portion of their lives to the study of film? The short answer to the latter question is that the Marvel Payola conspiracy is not rational in the slightest. If you really think this is what happened on the critical level, you have lost your damn mind.
The Intellectual High Horse
The final and, from what I have been able to tell, the most recent defense of this movie is that people who don’t like BvS just simply are incapable of grasping it on an intellectual level. The movie is high art and the people that enjoyed it are intellectual giants (who probably believe in conspiracy theories). This argument was bullshit when Josh Trank tried to use it to defend Fant4stic and it is bullshit now. When you elevate liking a film to some kind of unassailable intellectual superiority, it smacks of desperation. Seriously, the film is financially successful. It has made a pile of money despite critical failure. It doesn’t need your loud, obnoxious, and toxic defense.
People get that you liked it. People get that having Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman in the same movie has kept you up at night, glued to the internet, waiting for the next set photo of a goddamned shoe. We get it, OK? Maybe instead of throwing childish tantrums and espousing weak ass arguments when people don’t like the damn movie, get off the internet and support the industry that gave you these characters. Buy DC. Buy Marvel. Buy independent. Read them all and love them. Support your friendly neighborhood comic shop. Same goes to the haters.
There are so many stories and so many characters. Who needs movies?