THURSDAY UPDATE: On Wednesday in an Instagram post, Kevin Smith posted that his Jay and Silent Bob compadre Jason Mewes took him to go see Batman v Superman a second time. “I’d said the film didn’t have any heart, but after the second viewing, I actually found the heart in#batmanvsuperman: it’s in the viewer. And the viewer I watched the blockbuster with the second time was all agog, eyes as big as saucers.”
ORIGINAL STORY: Kevin Smith is never shy about voicing his opinions, especially as they pertain to all things comics-related. Thus, it was only a matter of time before the filmmaker — whose own relationship to the DC universe extends back to his time working on Tim Burton’s failed Superman Lives project starring Nicolas Cage — chimed in on the film everyone is discussing: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. And suffice it to say, he wasn’t very pleased.
In a lengthy chat with Ralph Garman on the Hollywood Babble-On podcast, Smith argued that, while it had its moments, director Zack Snyder’s superhero clash was far more of a messy missed-opportunity than a pulpy masterpiece. On the plus side, he thought Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman was “fun.” And as a long-time friend of star Ben Affleck, it’s no surprise he had nice things to say about the latest actor to don the Dark Knight’s cape and cowl:
“Ben was good as Batman…and that was the thing everyone was most worried about when they announced this…”
“He moved, the way that Batman moves and fights…[it was] the best cinematic presentation of Batman fighting you’ve ever seen in a movie. It looked like the videogame, almost. It looked like how you imagined he moves in the comics.”
Yet he also called the movie “dour” and said it was so long, it felt like “a third trimester.” He also contended that BvS’ biggest problem was its portrayal of its iconic heroes. “There seems to be a fundamental lack of understanding about what those characters are about,” Smith said:
“The movie I felt like didn’t really have a heart. It was certainly f—ing humorless — there was nothing funny going on in that world, whatsoever. But it had lots of spectacle. You can’t take that away from Snyder. Boy, he knows how to compose a frame and set up a shot. Beautiful visual stylist. But you need more than just the pictures — you need characterization. And these characters seemed off-character.”
Moreover, he was disappointed in the “flimsy” reasons Batman and Superman both begin — and in particular, stop — fighting. “Wow, $250 million riding on that? That’s your moment?”
Still, though Smith believed it lacked the “joy” of Marvel’s movies, it did at least make him feel a temporary kinship with critics, with whom he’s often sparred. After seeing the film early, Smith said, “I couldn’t wait to read reviews of the movie, because I was like, ‘I gotta know if I’m f—ing crazy.’”
The entire chat can be heard here.
(Photo: Victoria Will/Invision/AP)
Watch a video about the iconic character killed off in ‘Batman v Superman:’