The big uneasy

No shortage of bigger pictures behind the spending of $250 million to make Batman punch Superman, before even considering the film-makers who ended up getting the job. I waded into the deep end of Zack Snyder’s film Batman v Superman for Sight & Sounds website; but in this neck of the woods it’s practically fractal. The deep masochism of dragging kids’ stuff onto some kind of adult plane of pains and delivering it via mass market entertainments is endlessly revealing as a cultural process, but flawed at source. My first response to giving Wonder Woman a zippy electric guitar theme was that it might have accompanied a cartoon version of the character; my second was to remember that the actual Justice League cartoons and her own animated movie had enough poise to give her an orchestrally styled theme instead. And round and round.

Critics are supposed to be the ones stood on the walls when these experiments roll up, but we’ve appointed ourselves the gatekeepers instead. Unoriginal” is very likely to be a legitimate complaint about a film called Batman Versus Superman, although if it’s the sum total of the analysis then the critical operation has become diluted to the point of failure. Bryan Singer made an original Superman film a decade ago and everyone lost their minds; even George Lucas got a less raw deal than that.


April 1, 2016