“BvS Rotten Tomatoes” started trending on Google on Wednesday (March 23).
Any other time this keyword phrase might seem confusing, but eager fans of DC Comics will recognize the abbreviation as belonging to Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
The film has started screening selectively throughout the U.S. ahead of its March 25 wide release. That means reviewers are starting to weigh in, thus prompting the “BvS Rotten Tomatoes” search.
RT is, of course, a critic aggregator site that takes all of the many official reviews from around the Internet and computes a percentage score based on the mix of positives and negatives.
“BvS Rotten Tomatoes” is a good way of learning the consensus on a film — something that can change over time as more reviews pour in.
Generally speaking, early scores aren’t that concerning, but enough critics have weighed in now that people hoping this film would be good should start to worry.
That’s because the “BvS Rotten Tomatoes” score first registered on Tuesday night with a paltry 39 percent, making it unquestionably “Rotten” in the eyes of critics.
As more reviewers began to weigh in on Wednesday, the score dipped further to 37 percent with 110 total reviews counted. At this same point in the release cycle, 2015 hits like Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Creed were staying above 90 percent with around 150 reviews counted.
For many film journalists, critics, and industry analysts, it’s not at all surprising. The first film in the newly relaunched “Snyderverse” — referencing controversial director Zack Snyder — was Man of Steel, which was also widely panned by critics, though it turned a tidy profit at the box office.
That film earned only 56 percent on RT — you have to hit 60 before being considered “Fresh” — and only registered 76 percent with the fan community, a number that usually runs higher.
Since last night, fan “BvS Rotten Tomatoes” scores have dipped from 98 percent to 83 percent.
None of this is good news for the DC Extended Movie Universe, which was sort of reverse-engineered from Disney/Marvel’s film and television universe.
Instead of getting a few solo characters built as Marvel did starting with 2008’s Iron Man, DC gave Snyder permission to throw in everything but the kitchen sink on the initial film and hope that it generated enough excitement to fuel future character-focused standalone films.
In Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, you will see Aquaman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and possibly more of DC Comics’ classic characters.
The decision provided ample ammunition for film critics like A.O. Scott of the New York Times, who writes that Warner has “begged and bullied critics not to reveal plot points, and I wouldn’t dream of denying you the thrill of discovering just how overstuffed and preposterous a movie narrative can be.”
Admitted Snyder apologist Devin Faraci of Birth. Movies. Death. said that it was “a very bad movie,” then added the following.
“It is, in fact, the film that finally drives home to me the reality that Zack Snyder is not particularly great at storytelling. I have spent many years defending Snyder, who I think is a first rate visual stylist (and who conjures up some excellent images in this film), but even I have to put down my sword. Zack Snyder, left to his own devices, cannot tell a story.”
Faraci’s criticism also touches on a point many made about Man of Steel, which had a more heavily involved Christopher Nolan overseeing Snyder.
Nolan checked out prior to the film’s heavy-handed and phony-looking finale that relied heavily on the CGI that drenches most Zack Snyder films.
With the “BvS Rotten Tomatoes” reviews now coming in strongly against the new film, it appears that this one is all Snyder.
[Image via Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer screen grab]