Heroic maverick Zack Snyder has finally, and definitively, triumphed over his archenemies in the critical press, deflecting their feeble, merely human jabs at his Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice with an $180 million projected opening weekend. In the battle of overwrought, needlessly gritty spectacle versus (sorry, “V”) impassioned pleas for blockbuster-seekers to just stay home for once, please, the American people have clearly picked a side. The movie is on track for the fifth biggest opening in American history, and nothing Rotten Tomatoes has to say is going to make a lick of difference.
It’s not just movie critics that Snyder is heroically defying, though; he’s also taking on the fundamental rules and beliefs of the characters he’s chosen to tell his bloody, violent stories about. Take, for instance, Batman’s famous resistance to killing. Purists might argue that it’s a core component of the character, and that by violating it—by, say, having Bruce Wayne blow up a bunch of bad guys with a rocket launcher—Snyder is betraying a deep misunderstanding of what makes the character great. But obviously that’s silly. Hand-wringing arguments about “the one line Batman must never cross” didn’t make $180 million at the box office. Zack Snyder did.
Besides, the killings in the movie barely even qualify as murder, according to an interview Snyder just gave to Hey U Guys. “I tried to do it by proxy,” he explained. “Shoot the car they’re in, the car blows up or the grenade would go off in the guy’s hand, or when he shoots the tank and the guy pretty much lights the tank [himself]. I perceive it as him not killing directly, but if the bad guys are associated with a thing that happens to blow up, he would say that that’s not really my problem. A little more like manslaughter than murder.” Snyder also cited Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns—a major influence on his superhero throwdown—in which Batman kills pretty regularly. (He apparently wasn’t quite as moved to take pages from Miller’s other Batman comics, though, like the ones where he locks Robin in the cave and tells him to eat rats, or where he has post-fight burning-dock sex with his mask on, because “It’s BETTER that way.”)
Anyway, now that film criticism is officially over, and the Snyder Era has begun, we’ll obviously be pulling up stakes here at the old A.V. Club, and selling the address off to the audio-visual department of some lucky local high school. Our brick-and-mortar stores, meanwhile, will all be converted into a line of delicious fried chicken joints. Y’all should come by; we batter our chicken in our own sense of cinematic disappointment, and the tears of our heart-broken critics.