Perhaps no blockbuster in history has been so divisive as Batman v Superman. Critics have created a martyr out of the film while the majority of audiences have enjoyed it. DC Comics fans, on the other hand, have raved about the film. According to Fandango, the positive reception of Batman v Superman has resulted in 30% higher than normal repeat ticket purchases. So where's the disconnect here?
Seems to me, if you know nothing about DC you might like the movie, but it'll probably be harder to love it.
As a complete DC nerd, I loved this film. It was everything I was hoping for. I could talk about this movie for days. For your sake, I will give only 4 reasons why Batman v Superman is a great start to the DC cinematic universe.
1) The Dark and Gritty DC Universe
If you go into this movie expecting the colorful happy world of Marvel, don't! DC is not bright and happy, and it never has been. If you remember, DC tried to make a lighthearted movie once and that's how we got Green Lantern. Darkness is DC's niche, especially any story involving Batman, but if funny is your thing, you can rest easy knowing that characters like The Flash and Aquaman will bring a lot more humor to The Justice League.
I'll admit it, I was as shocked as anyone when it was announced that Ben Affleck was cast as Bruce Wayne, but I was really impressed with his performance. His portrayal of Batman is by far the darkest we've seen on screen, but keep in mind that this is a Batman that has 20 years under his utility belt battling the villains of Gotham. He's witnessed the Joker's maniacal insanity and lived through the death of a close ally. But the most important thing to remember is this isn't the same Batman as Christian Bale's, you'd be surprised how many people don't understand that.
3) Dreams and Visions
Expressing a character's thoughts is about as difficult as filmmaking gets. How do you communicate something with no visual context? Batman v Superman has a few scenes featuring visions or dreams from each of the two main characters giving us a glimpse of what is pressing on their minds. DC is no stranger to dreams, and if you get a little weirded out at times think of it this way; would you rather listen to Bruce Wayne's subconscious voice tell you how worried he is that Superman is too dangerous, or watch a one-take IMAX shot of Batman taking on a Superman run army all by himself?
4) Easter Eggs
Batman v Superman is so full of DC easter eggs, you don't even have to search for them. Wonder Woman makes her big screen debut and other iconic DC character cameos are all over the place ranging from The Flash to Jimmy Olsen to KGBeast. Huge hints are dropped referencing the main villain of the Justice League movie, set to debut next year. It's no wonder DC fans are far more pleased with this film than audience members unfamiliar with the DC Universe.
This film gets a big recommendation from me (though I would avoid taking young children to see it). We get to see superheroes in a way that we've never seen them before, and the DC universe has drawn a very thick line in the sand between themselves and Marvel. These two worlds are not meant to be anything alike, and that is a very good thing for both sides.
If you have a hard time loving this movie, my guess is you probably just don't love DC, and that's ok. You are entitled to your opinion just like I am entitled to judge you harshly for it.