Are reviews really that important?

During this last year, I have spent a fair bit of time writing reviews for different sections of The Courier. But recently, I’ve been wondering just how many people actually bother reading them, if any.

Yes, I know that I’m not on the same level as reviewers from the big national papers, but even they seem to have lost their sway. How many times have you or someone suggested a film, only to receive ‘Yeah, but the reviews are shit,’ in response? And then you don’t go, or you go and instantly regret your decision, vowing next time you’ll look at the reviews first. True, there are also times when the reviews are generally awful but you enjoy it all the same. With Batman v Superman, however, this seems to be the case.

“How many times have you or someone suggested a film, only to receive ‘Yeah, but the reviews are shit,’ in response?”

The film only managed to get a 28% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and The Independent reviewer, Robbie Collin, mocks it as being ‘so haphazardly assembled, [he] honestly wondered if a reel had gone missing from the projection booth’ while others moan the lack of humour and that it never really gets off the ground. For all of this though, Batman v Superman is a massive hit. It’s earned around $800 million worldwide in the few weeks since its release.

$800 million for a film that’s being hailed as rubbish everywhere. How? I mean, it’s not even like Avatar, whose CGI made up for the storyline. It’s just two men in capes looking hot.

Maybe it’s the cast – Ben Affleck is a great actor, as well as Henry Cavill reprising his role as Superman and Amy Adams as Lois Lane. But then other films have had big names in their line-ups and not come close. The Edge of Tomorrow, which was released in 2014, had Tom Cruise as its main character, scored 90% on Rotten Tomatoes and had generally good reviews, yet took less than half of what BvS has achieved in a few weeks during its whole release.

The only explanation I can come up with is the success of the well-established Marvel films and the old Superman and Batman films, that people are hoping it will be much the same in the new crossover one. At the moment, audiences in general are loving on superhero movies, they provide a complete fantasy world, with big fight scenes and eye candy for everyone. And the storylines are generally quite easy to follow, allowing you to completely chill out – you probably go into the cinema knowing the story due to all the trailers.

“So, is that it? Have marketing methods finally overcome all, pulling people into cinemas and parting with their money, with their false advertising and killing off the sway of reviews?”

So, is that it? Have marketing methods finally overcome all, pulling people into cinemas and parting with their money, with their false advertising and killing off the sway of reviews? I’d say that’s definitely too far for the most part, but for superhero films, yes.

But hey, the reviews have the last laugh in the end – films don’t win big at the Oscar’s for hauling in massive amounts of money…

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