Since Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice debuted to less-than-stellar critical reviews, there's been a concerted effort by diehard fans who believe that, well, we're wrong.
We've noticed it ourselves, with almost every article we write on the negative reception receiving some sort of criticism about our reporting or, in some cases, an accusation that we've been paid to slate the film. For the record, we haven't. E-mails were sent to the site, complaining that we were giving the film an unfair thrashing in our reporting - not our review, our reporting - on the film. It's not just us, of course.
Many well-known critics in the both the US and the UK who voiced their criticisms against Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice were subjected to abuse via Twitter, Facebook and in the comments section of their reviews by angered fans who felt they either didn't understand the film, didn't get what Zack Snyder was trying to do or that they preferred the "childish" approach Marvel was taking to the source material. Some said these critics were being paid off by Disney.
Funny how people dont cover how much BvS did opening weekend but do it for Civil War & cover bad news on BvS pic.twitter.com/tXqiezt8I6
— Jae (@JaeRoar) May 9, 2016
What's interesting is that this phenomenon of fans attacking those who criticise a film isn't particularly new, it's become much more prevalent in since the wide turn against Batman V Superman. In 2014, Village Voice's Stephanie Zacareck received torrential abuse from Marvel fans when she criticised Guardians of the Galaxy.
My thoughts on the biased reviews (and yes they are bias) for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
I saw the movie and ENJOYED it completely
— Tyler Whisinnand (@SKILLEDxKILLAH) March 23, 2016
Village Voice responded with a piece on the abuse Zacareck received, by saying that "when you eschew argument and instead act like sexist pricks you not only encourage all of the lonely-dude stereotypes that comics creators and fans have been working to shake for decades — you make Steve Rogers cry."
More recently, Devin Faraci - who has been more than vocal about his distaste for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice - has been targeted by angry fans who believe he's using every available opportunity to knock the film. Faraci has been at the centre of many rumours surrounding the film recently, many of which have been less than positive about the film. Most recently, Faraci alleged that Affleck was "humiliated" by the negative response the film received.
"It's worse than BATMAN FOREVER but slightly better than BATMAN & ROBIN."
is Devin Faraci a fucking idiot? This basically confirms it
— Charles Gerian (@AverageCharles) May 1, 2014
Let's be clear about this. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice wasn't good. It had moments where it could have been something, but it wasn't. You can read our three-star review over here, if you like, but we'll summarise it by saying that Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was just OK.
However, the way in which fans have orchestrated a huge campaign against critics and those who have said that Batman V Superman was less than THE GREATEST FILM OF ALL TIME are letting everyone down. Subjectivity or not, there's just no way you can honestly say that Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was a flawless film. It wasn't.
What's made it even more difficult to defend is the way in which people are defending it. If you need to defend a film this viciously, you need to really look at what you're defending and why you're defending it. Currently, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has a rating of 44% on Metacritic. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has a rating of 27%. Any major outlet in Ireland, England, the US and anywhere you can name gave it a less than positive review. Most felt the same way, that it was incoherent and too laboured.
It's not all that often that critics agree as clearly as they did on Batman V Superman, so how can "fans" say that they've ALL been paid off to slate the film? What's more, how can you honestly defend it when there's such overwhelming voices against it? Is it an underdog thing, perhaps? There certainly wasn't this kind of response when The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was roundly ignored by critics.
What's clear is that those defending the film, even now, are making it worse for the film and further pushing the film's reputation into the gutter. With a home release due in the coming months, there'll undoubtedly be more commentary and reviews on the so-called Extended Cut, but the damage is done and the "fans" are partly to blame.