A fight between Batman and Superman might be the "greatest gladiator match in history," but is it greater in 3D? That's the question many fans are asking themselves this weekend as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters. Batman v Superman is playing in theaters in about as many formats as possible: IMAX 3D, 3D, and your regular old 2D. Lucky for you, I saw BvS in IMAX 3D, and I can tell you with absolute certainty that seeing Batman v Superman in 3D is unnecessary.
First, let me start off by saying that I'm not a huge fan of 3D conversions. Like all the superhero movies before it, Batman v Superman was not filmed with 3D cameras, but converted into 3D in post-production. The results are mixed, and, while 3D conversions can be fun, nothing beats a movie actually filmed with 3D cameras. Unless a director sets out to make a 3D film, seeing a movie in 3D in doesn't do much to add to the experience because that's not how the director made it. Of course, Batman v Superman director Zack Snyder, known for his unique visual style, probably thought about what a 3D conversion would be like when he was filming the movie. But I'm not sure that will make it worth your while (or extra three bucks.)
In the end, whether or not you choose to see Batman v Superman in 3D or not will depend on whether you like 3D movies, but, if you need a nudge in either direction, here are a few reasons why I think Batman v Superman in 3D is unnecessary.
1. It's Loooooong
Batman V Superman clocks in at about two hours and a half, and, contrary to fanboys' wishful thinking, the entire movie cannot and is not an epic showdown between Batman and Superman. This means that a lot of the movie is just like any other movie: scenes of people talking to each other, where 3D does little but add a bit of depth to an image already saturated with visual effects (color saturation or desaturation, changes in focus, etc.). The big fight doesn't really happen until the end, and only then does 3D really add some fun to the film.
2. You Cannot Move Your Head
Full disclosure: I wear glasses when I go to the movies, which means that, if I'm at a 3D movie, I'm wearing glasses over my glasses. (Yes, it is super sexy, thank you for asking.) Having two layers of lenses — not to mention the struggle of fitting clunky 3D glasses over my fashionably medium sized frames — was annoying, yes, but once I got over that, I realized that, even if I wasn't wearing two pairs of glasses, moving my head drastically in any way would ruin the 3D image and make me have to adjust my glasses.
As previously mentioned, Batman V Superman is a long movie. You're going to need to move your head a little. And, if every time you move your head, the image gets distorted, there's a moment, no matter how brief, where you're taken out of the film. Given the length of the movie, the constant need for adjusting got pretty cumbersome.
3. The Color Scheme
Like Man of Steel before it, BvS sticks with one or two color schemes. Whether it be washed out grays and blacks, washed out, cool blues, or washed out yellows, the end result is that the washed out, uniform color sometimes got in the way of the 3D depth. It was almost as if the color flattened the image. I'm guessing this is evidence of that pesky 3D conversion side-effect that darkens and muddies the original color. This darkening blended the colors together, causing images to lose depth and appear strangely flat.
4. The Visuals
Assuming you're a reasonable human, I'm guessing the main appeal of seeing Batman v Superman in 3D is the climactic fight scene. You want to make Wonder Woman jumping off to save the day, or Batman throw Superman around like a football, and vice versa, as immersive an experience as possible. And I don't blame you. Here's the thing though: the visuals are already impressive on their own. I'm not going to lie, the fights provided the best 3D moments in the film. However, the fights were the most striking set pieces of the entire film regardless. The detail, the scope, the cool action, it all would have been equally as impressive in 2D.
There is no right or wrong way to see Batman v Superman. If you love 3D, or seeing films in IMAX, go for the 3D ticket, but, if you're at all hesitant, I'd skip it and go with 2D. I would, however, suggest seeing the film on the largest screen possible, regardless dimension. Say what you will about the content of BvS, but, damn, the visuals are cool.
Images: Warner Bros Pictures; Giphy (4)