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First Batman v Superman Reviews: Was It Worth the Wait?

By Brian Gallagher — March 22nd, 2016

Yesterday, we showed you a slew of fan reactions from the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice world premiere, which was held in New York City on Sunday. Even from a small sample of fans, it was clear that many truly loved the movie and were eager to see what happens next in the DC Comics Extended Universe. The official critics' reviews were under embargo until today, with the first wave appearing on Rotten Tomatoes. And it seems that they don't quite see eye to eye with the fans.

While we'll surely see many more reviews pour in over the next few days, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice currently sits at 40% "Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes, with 16 positive reviews and 24 negative reviews. One of the positive reviews, from USA Today's Brian Truitt, praises both Ben Affleck as Batman and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, but criticizes the movie for cramming in too much material. Here's what he had to say below.

"BvS does well laying groundwork for a cinematic universe that could hold an entire Justice League. But it unpacks too much material for even a 2½-hour film, leaving Dawn of Justice a superpowered jumble at times... But that takes a backseat to the joys of watching Gal Gadot's awesome Wonder Woman smile gloriously in the middle of a fight, Ben Affleck turning in a strong take on an older Dark Knight and his alter ego Bruce Wayne, and a story about two orphans."

The movie featuring just too much material seems to be a common argument among these critics, which some might expect, especially from a movie that runs just over two and a half hours. The movie not only needs to showcase Batman and Superman squaring off against each other, but set up the massive DCEU as well. Here's what The Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy had to say in his negative review.

"The story does take an epic, rangy perspective, as the long setup jumps from one far-flung locale to another to establish pockets of evil while also dramatizing Bruce Wayne's backstory, here conceived as seeing his parents gunned down in the street after emerging from a theater showing Excalibur. Seemingly disconnected worldwide events - Metropolis being destroyed as a huge spacecraft with claws hangs overhead, Lois Lane (Amy Adams) on assignment in Africa, criminals threatening wider destruction with a dirty bomb - are mixed in with Bruce (Ben Affleck, fitting the role just fine) brooding over his place in the world and his legacy, to which his butler Alfred (Jeremy Irons, who could use more to do) replies with perhaps the film's best line: 'Even you've grown too old to die young.'"

There will surely be more reviews added soon, and you can keep an eye on Rotten Tomatoes to read the reviews that have been posted thus far. It remains to be seen if there will be an influx of positive reviews that will come in and bump Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice into the positive spectrum of the Rotten Tomatoes TomatoMeter, but we'll have to wait and see. Until then, take a look at more review excerpts below.

Entertainment.IE

"It all looks pretty and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is an entertaining enough watch. It has moments that are engaging and thrilling, but you'll come away pining for something less busy and over-long. Worth a watch, but about as good as Man of Steel."

Empire

"There are moments that make the whole enterprise worthwhile, and introduces an intriguing new Batman. But it's also cluttered and narratively wonky; a few jokes wouldn't have gone amiss, either."

The Wrap

"Wonder Woman injects some real vitality into the sludgy superhero sameness. It's also worth nothing that she's the one female character, with the possible exception of Soledad O'Brien playing herself, who isn't used in the film as a pawn or hostage, which is about all we get from Amy Adams' Lois Lane (who's apparently as addicted to stilettos as Bryce Dallas Howard in Jurassic World), Diane Lane's Martha Kent or Holly Hunter's all-too-brief turn as a Kentucky senator who squares off against Luthor."

Mashable

"Batman v Superman is kind of a disaster... But dang, is it a watchable one. And it's got its twists and turns, its surprises and stabs of satisfaction - just enough that whether you're a fan of these Hero Brands or not, Batman v Superman is an entertainment worth your time."

The Playlist

"Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is an extraordinarily odd, idiosyncratic movie that presents aggressive, even warlike concepts of Batman and Superman without entirely justifying the eccentric visions. The bold concepts from Zack Snyder and screenwriters Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer have potential value as reflections of modern America, but devising a new vision of Batman (which occasionally works quite well, thanks in large part to Affleck), dealing with the fallout of Man of Steel and moving all these characters forward with nearly an hour devoted to an bloated, overlong battle proves to be too much weight for the movie to bear."

Early box office projections for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice have put the superhero adventure at somewhere around the $140 million and the $150 million mark for its opening weekend. It remains to be seen whether or not these negative reviews will adversely impact the box office take, but it's also possible that the positive reactions from the fans could cause more people to head out and see it this weekend. What do you think about these reviews?

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