Welcome to the official start of Blockbuster Season 2017.
This week, the most ambitious superhero movie of all time, Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice debuts nationwide. So far… anticipation, reviews, and expectations are mixed.
I’ve been reading comic books since I was a toddler and I am way more of a Marvel guy than a DC guy, but that being said I am in awe of both the Batman and Superman mythologies. How could you not be? Even the most amazing origin story– Captain America, Wolverine, Iron Man, the X-Men, Namor, Spider-Man, etc– immediately draw comparisons to Batman and Superman. These stories are the measuring stick by which all origins are measured.
Therein lies the problem.
Anticipation, expectation, and most of all backlash have been building since this project was announced three years ago. Unfortunately for BvS:DoJ those three years happen to be when tearing down what makes other people happy on the internet has blossomed into America’s fifth professional sport.
How do can you meet expectations when this is how you introduce the idea? How will your audience deal if their mind isn’t sufficiently blown?
Warner Brothers and DC basically introduced their universe in the same way LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade announced their run as the Miami Super Friends– with a ton of unattainable hype.
Batman vs. Superman isn’t the culmination of two legendary story arcs we never thought we’d see on screen together– it is the exact thing moviegoers and pop culture fans have been expecting since the closing minutes of Iron Man when Samuel L. Jackson said the words, “Avengers Initiative.” It was a foregone conclusion that DC would have to offer up a response eventually. And here it is– simultaneously five years late and still feeling rushed.
It took YEARS for Marvel to build up to an Avengers movie. The pressure has been on for a Batman and Superman movie since before the Batman and Superman reboots even got going.
This is the movie equivalent of Velvet Revolver– Guns n Roses and Stone Temple Pilots smashed together, which on paper is amazing. We were expecting Appetite for Destruction meets Core. What we got was The Spaghetti Incident and Shangri-La-De-Da. High expectations will get you every time.
Batman vs. Superman is just not built for times like these. How could it be when Marvel has a 16 year lead of pumping out hit after hit after hit? Even though the project has been in development for years, it still feels incredibly rushed. DC isn’t starting simple and seeing what they can build up to; they’re starting with a magnum opus and hoping for greatness.
It’s going to make a billion dollars, it’s going to get a few sequels, and everyone involved is going to make a lot of money. Just like Velvet Revolver. What it’s not going to get is all the love in the world or a million chances to get it right.
Will I see it? Yes. Will I love it? Probably not. But that’s ok. Sometimes you just want to hear Fall to Pieces and dream of how cool it would be Scott, Slash, Duff and the boyz just played this hits.