You’ve read the terrible reviews and you’ve probably seen the Sad Affleck Meme (kung hindi mo pa napapanuod, panuorin mo please. Sige na, click mo muna yung link tapos balik ka dito. Hihintayin kita promise!)
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice got a 28% from the review site Rotten Tomatoes. That’s really bad. Just to give you an idea how bad that is, the first Twilight movie got a rating of 48% on Rotten Tomatoes. You’re probably thinking “Grabe ka naman, okay naman yung Twilight ah!” Well, even the cast of Twilight hated their own movie so unless you are a 13-year old girl, let’s just agree that you’re wrong.
But despite the bad reviews, the movie has grossed an estimated $420M globally during its debut weekend, which is good for the 5th best opening of all-time. So how can something so “terrible” sell so well? Have the people spoken? Are the critics wrong about the movie?
Well, it’s definitely not “worse than Twilight” bad. But in all honesty, it’s also not very good. Maybe because we expected more from the movie since this is the first incarnation of Batman on the big screen we’ve seen post-Nolan. So unless you can top those movies, you are bound to disappoint. Isipin mo kung naging girlfriend mo si Pia Wurtzbach. Kahit maganda naman yung susunod mong girlfriend, sasabihin pa rin ng mga tao, “Okay naman siya, yun nga lang Miss Universe na yung dati e.” Paano ka mananalo diyan diba?
Pero sige, let’s judge the movie in a vacuum. Bakit ba siya hindi maganda? Mostly it has to do with Zack Snyder. Zack Snyder is an okay director but he’s not a very good storyteller. The first half of the movie has no rhythm. There’s no flow to the storytelling. Papakita si Bruce Wayne for about 40 seconds, then next scene si Clark Kent kausap yung nanay niya for 1 minute, then si Lois Lane papakita sandali just to remind us that she’s in the movie, tapos babalik kay Batman. Change the sequencing of some of the scenes and it still wouldn’t matter. You’re just being shown a series of scenes with no emotional build-up to anything. Maybe that’s not Snyder’s fault entirely. Marvel had stand-alone movies for it’s characters before finally leading up to the Avengers. Here you get the feeling na minamadali ka para mapunta na dun sa literal na “Batman vs. Superman” part para eventually mapunta na tayo sa “Justice League” na part.
There was a rumor from before that DC had this “no jokes” rule for the movie. Ibig sabihin unlike their Marvel counterparts, the new DC Cinematic Universe shall be devoid of all jokes. True enough, the tone of BvS like that of Man of Steel was indeed gloomy. There was a few quips here and there but it was very minimal. Nolan’s Batman was gritty but it had its witty moments especially the banter between Michael Caine and Christian Bale. Di naman kailangang na kasing kengkoy ng mga Marvel movies pero it’s still a comic book movie after all. A few light moments here and there wouldn’t hurt. Kung nagkalandian sa Palace Pool Club yung Batman movies ni Christopher Nolan at yung Transformers movies ni Michael Bay, tapos sa sobrang kalasingan nila may mangyari sa kanila at nagkaanak sila, Batman v. Superman ang makukuha mo. Seryoso ang tono pero lulunurin ka sa pasabog at special effects.
Ben Affleck as Batman was not the disaster that everyone feared. However, he wasn’t able to showcase the charm and arrogance of Bruce Wayne the billionaire, which is actually the more challenging aspect of the character. Madali lang maging Batman e. Maging macho ka lang, brooding, at gayahin mo ang boses ni FPJ pagkatapos magyosi ng isang kahang sigarilyo. Mas mahirap maging si Bruce Wayne kasi you have to be arrogant yet likable. The story didn’t allow Ben Affleck to show that side of The Dark Knight’s character so the jury is still out on Batffleck. Pero napansin ko na medyo mabigat siyang tingnan as Batman. Sa fight scene sa desert parang kulang na lang marinig mo na nag bibilang ng moves si Batman e. Parang pinagsuot mo ng Batman costume si Zangief ng Street Fighter tapos pinalibutan mo ng goons. Henry Cavill looks the part as Superman but he doesn’t embody the virtues of the Superman from the comics na ultimate good boy na opposite dapat ng dark and brooding na Batman. It was supposed to be a battle between “night and day” but instead we have two heroes with varying degrees of emo.
In my opinion (and I know I’m not alone in this), Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was one of the best things about the movie. You already expect her to show up and join the fight against Doomsday but when she finally does, the reveal still catches you by surprise. It was glorious seeing her wearing the Wonder Woman costume for the first time. Batman vs. Superman was supposed to make us feel excited about the upcoming Justice League movie. I don’t know if it did, but what I do know is it made me look forward to seeing Wonder Woman kick ass for a whole two hours. June 2017 can’t come fast enough.
Pero ang pinaka hindi ko nagustuhan sa movie siguro ay si Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. Hindi ko gusto yung treatment niya sa role. My knowledge of the DC Universe is modest but I think he’s a better fit as The Riddler. When I saw him play Mark Zuckerberg for The Social Network, I was actually impressed. He’s like Michael Cera if Michael Cera were an asshole. But then I saw his other movies and I realized that he’s actually playing the same Mark Zuckerberg role for every movie that he’s in. Now You See Me? Mark Zuckerberg as a magician. Zombieland? Mark Zuckerberg vs. zombies. Lex Luthor? Mark Zuckerberg na naka-shabu. I guess effective siya in a way kasi yung pagiging over the top niya makes him so annoying as a villain na gusto mong gulpihin na siya ni Superman. But just imagine what a more subtle actor like Bryan Cranston, who can be menacing without being campy, can do with that role.
In the first place, bakit ba niya gustong patayin si Superman? Oo gets ko, ayaw niya kay Superman kasi para siyang diyos. Pero bakit mo nga gustong patayin? Wala lang? Gago ka lang Mark Zuckerberg ganun? Again, I go back to Christopher Nolan’s Batman. In The Dark Knight, may scene doon (please refer to exhibit A above) na nakadungaw si Joker sa bintana ng police car after he burns half of Harvey Dent’s face and kills Rachel Dawes in an explosion. Walang dialogue, just an eerie sound habang nakalabas yung kalahati ng katawan ni Heath Ledger sa bintana habang tumatakas yung getaway car niya. Was that scene necessary? Not really. But it adds a dimension to his character. Scenes like that make all the difference. And we wonder why Heath Ledger won an Oscar for the role? Like what the late great Alan Rickman used to say, “roles win awards, not actors.”
But if the movie is so bad, bakit ang dami paring nanunuod? Para kasing Manny Pacquiao at Floyd Mayweather yan e. For better or worse, the names are just too big to pass up. Alam na natin na pangit yung unang Pacquiao vs. Mayweather fight, pero pag naglaban sila ulit hindi mo ba papanuorin? Lahat naman ng bata inimagine kung sinong mananalo pag naglaban si Batman at si Superman e. And in that regard, to be fair, I think the movie delivers. Gusto mong makita na inuuppercut ni Batman si Superman? O ayan! Gusto mo makitang tinatag team nilang dalawa si Doomsday? O sige! E ano kayang mangyayari kung sumali pa si Wonder Woman?! O eto ka! Dawn of Justice may not be a very good movie but you have to admit that it’s entertaining as hell. And in the end, isn’t that the reason why we watch these movies anyway?